1 The understanding of Asaph. O God, why have you rejected us to the end. Why has your fury become enraged over the sheep of your pasture?
2 Be mindful of your congregation, which you have possessed from the beginning. You redeemed the scepter of your inheritance, mount Zion, in which you have dwelt.
3 Lift up your hands against their arrogance in the end. How great the malice of the enemy has been in the sanctuary!
4 And those who hate you have been glorified, in the midst of your solemnity. They have set up their own signs as a proof,
5 as if it had been issued from on high; yet they did not understand. As in a forest of chopped wood,
6 they have cut down the entrances themselves. With axe and hatchet, they have brought it down.
7 They have set fire to your Sanctuary. They have polluted the tabernacle of your name on earth.
8 They have said in their heart, the whole group of them together: "Let us cause all the feast days of God to cease from the land.
9 We have not seen our proof; there is now no prophet. And he will no longer know us."
10 How long, O God, will the enemy place blame? Is the adversary to provoke your name until the end?
11 Why do you turn your hand away, even your right hand, from the midst of your sinews, until the end?
12 But God is our king before all ages. He has wrought salvation in the midst of the earth.
13 In your virtue, you confirmed the sea. You crushed the heads of the serpents in the waters.
14 You have broken the heads of the serpent. You have given him as food for the people of the Ethiopians.
15 You have disrupted the fountains and the torrents. You have dried up the rivers of Ethan.
16 Yours is the day, and yours is the night. You have made the morning light and the sun.
17 You have made all the limits of the earth. The summer and the spring were formed by you.
18 Be mindful of this: the enemy placed blame against the Lord, and a foolish people has incited against your name.
19 Do not hand over to beasts the souls that confess to you; and do not forget the souls of your poor until the end.
20 Consider your covenant. For those who have been darkened upon the earth have been filled by the iniquity of the houses.
21 Do not allow the humble to be turned away in confusion. The poor and the needy will praise your name.
Lamentations 2:2, 10-14, 18-19
2 BETH. The Lord has cast down, and he has not been lenient, with all the beauties of Jacob. In his fury, he has destroyed the fortifications of the virgin of Judah, and he has thrown them down to the ground. He has polluted the kingdom and its leaders.
10 JOD. The elders of the daughter of Zion have become idle; they sit on the ground. They have sprinkled their heads with ashes. They have been wrapped with haircloth. The virgins of Jerusalem have cast their heads down to the ground.
11 CAPH. My eyes have exhausted their tears. My internal organs have become disturbed. My liver has been poured out on the earth, over the grief of the daughter of my people, when the little ones and the infants passed away in the streets of the town.
12 LAMED. They said to their mothers, "Where is the wheat and the wine?" when they fell like the wounded in the streets of the city, when they breathed out their lives into the bosoms of their mothers.
13 MEM. To what shall I compare you, or to what shall I liken you, O daughter of Jerusalem? To what shall I equate you, so as to console you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your destruction is as great as the sea. Who will cure you?
14 NUN. Your prophets have seen false and foolish things for you. And they have not laid open your iniquity, so as to provoke you to repentance. Yet they have seen for you false revelations and banishments.
18 SADE. Their heart cried out to the Lord from the walls of the daughter of Zion. Let tears run down like a torrent throughout the day and the night. Do not give rest to yourself, and do not allow the pupil of your eye to cease.
19 COPH. Rise up. Give praise in the night, in the first of the watches. Pour out your heart like water before the sight of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him on behalf of the souls of your little ones, who have passed away from famine at the head of all the crossroads.
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