The Bible – Old Testament
“And the LORD fulfilled the warning he had uttered against us: against our judges, who governed Israel, against our kings and princes, and against the men of Israel and Judah.
He brought down upon us evils so great that there has not been done anywhere under heaven what has been done in Jerusalem, as was written in the law of Moses:
1 that one after another of us should eat the flesh of his son or of his daughter.
He has made us subject to all the kingdoms round about us, a reproach and a horror among all the nations round about to which the LORD has scattered us.
We are brought low, not raised up, because we sinned against the LORD, our God, not heeding his voice.
“Justice is with the LORD, our God; and we, like our fathers, are flushed with shame even today.
All the evils of which the LORD had warned us have come upon us:
and we did not plead before the LORD, or turn, each from the figments of his evil heart.
And the LORD kept watch over the evils, and brought them home to us; for the LORD is just in all the works he commanded us to do,
but we did not heed his voice, or follow the precepts of the LORD which he set before us.
“And now, LORD, God of Israel, you who led your people out of the land of Egypt with your mighty hand, with signs and wonders and great might, and with your upraised arm, so that you have made for yourself a name till the present day:
we have sinned, been impious, and violated, O LORD, our God, all your statutes.
Let your anger be withdrawn from us, for we are left few in number among the nations to which you scattered us.
Hear, O LORD, our prayer of supplication, and deliver us for your own sake: grant us favor in the presence of our captors,
that the whole earth may know that you are the LORD, our God, and that Israel and his descendants bear your name.
O LORD, look down from your holy dwelling and take thought of us; turn, O LORD, your ear to hear us.
Look directly at us, and behold: it is not the dead in the nether world, whose spirits have been taken from within them, who will give glory and vindication to the LORD.
He whose soul is deeply grieved, who walks bowed and feeble, with failing eyes and famished soul, will declare your glory and justice, LORD!
“Not on the just deeds of our fathers and our kings do we base our plea for mercy in your sight, O LORD, our God.
You have brought your wrath and anger down upon us, as you had warned us through your servants the prophets:
‘Thus says the LORD: Bend your shoulders to the service of the king of Babylon, that you may continue in the land I gave your fathers:
for if you do not hear the LORD’S voice so as to serve the king of Babylon,
I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem The sounds of joy and the sounds of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; And all the land shall be deserted, without inhabitants.’
But we did not heed your voice, or serve the king of Babylon, and you fulfilled the threats you had made through your servants the prophets, to have the bones of our kings and the bones of our fathers brought out from their burial places.
2 And indeed, they lie exposed to the heat of day and the frost of night. They died in dire anguish, by hunger and the sword and plague.
3 And you reduced the house which bears your name to what it is today, for the wickedness of the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah.
“But with us, O Lord, our God, you have dealt in all your clemency and in all your great mercy.
This was your warning through your servant Moses, the day you ordered him to write down your law in the presence of the Israelites:
If you do not heed my voice, surely this great and numerous throng will dwindle away among the nations to which I will scatter them.
For I know they will not heed me, because they are a stiff-necked people. But in the land of their captivity they shall have a change of heart;
they shall know that I, the LORD, am their God. I will give them hearts, and heedful ears;
and they shall praise me in the land of their captivity, and shall invoke my name.
Then they shall turn back from their stiff-necked stubbornness, and from their evil deeds, because they shall remember the fate of their fathers who sinned against the LORD.
And I will bring them back to the land which with my oath I promised to their fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and they shall rule it. I will make them increase; they shall not then diminish.
And I will establish for them, as an eternal covenant, that I will be their God, and they shall be my people; and I will not again remove my people Israel from the land I gave them.
1  One after another of us should eat: see note on ⇒ Lam 2:20.
3  The house which bears your name: the temple of Jerusalem. What it is today: during the exile it lay in ruins.