4She is the book of the commandments of God,
the law that endures for ever.
All who hold her fast will live,
and those who forsake her will die.
2 Turn, O Jacob, and take her;
walk towards the shining of her light.
3 Do not give your glory to another,
or your advantages to an alien people.
4 Happy are we, O Israel,
for we know what is pleasing to God.
5 Take courage, my people,
who perpetuate Israels name!
6 It was not for destruction
that you were sold to the nations,
but you were handed over to your enemies
because you angered God.
7 For you provoked the one who made you
by sacrificing to demons and not to God.
8 You forgot the everlasting God, who brought you up,
and you grieved Jerusalem, who reared you.
9 For she saw the wrath that came upon you from God,
and she said:
Listen, you neighbours of Zion,
God has brought great sorrow upon me;
10 for I have seen the exile of my sons and daughters,
which the Everlasting brought upon them.
11 With joy I nurtured them,
but I sent them away with weeping and sorrow.
12 Let no one rejoice over me, a widow
and bereaved of many;
I was left desolate because of the sins of my children,
because they turned away from the law of God.
13 They had no regard for his statutes;
they did not walk in the ways of Gods commandments,
or tread the paths his righteousness showed them.
14 Let the neighbours of Zion come;
remember the capture of my sons and daughters,
which the Everlasting brought upon them.
15 For he brought a distant nation against them,
a nation ruthless and of a strange language,
which had no respect for the aged
and no pity for a child.
16 They led away the widows beloved sons,
and bereaved the lonely woman of her daughters.
17 But I, how can I help you?
18 For he who brought these calamities upon you
will deliver you from the hand of your enemies.
19 Go, my children, go;
for I have been left desolate.
20 I have taken off the robe of peace
and put on sackcloth for my supplication;
I will cry to the Everlasting all my days.
21 Take courage, my children, cry to God,
and he will deliver you from the power and hand of the enemy.
22 For I have put my hope in the Everlasting to save you,
and joy has come to me from the Holy One,
because of the mercy that will soon come to you
from your everlasting saviour.*
23 For I sent you out with sorrow and weeping,
but God will give you back to me with joy and gladness for ever.
24 For as the neighbours of Zion have now seen your capture,
so they soon will see your salvation by God,
which will come to you with great glory
and with the splendour of the Everlasting.
25 My children, endure with patience the wrath that has come upon you from God.
Your enemy has overtaken you,
but you will soon see their destruction
and will tread upon their necks.
26 My pampered children have travelled rough roads;
they were taken away like a flock carried off by the enemy.
27 Take courage, my children, and cry to God,
for you will be remembered by the one who brought this upon you.
28 For just as you were disposed to go astray from God,
return with tenfold zeal to seek him.
29 For the one who brought these calamities upon you
will bring you everlasting joy with your salvation.
30 Take courage, O Jerusalem,
for the one who named you will comfort you.
31 Wretched will be those who mistreated you
and who rejoiced at your fall.
32 Wretched will be the cities that your children served as slaves;
wretched will be the city that received your offspring.
33 For just as she rejoiced at your fall
and was glad at your ruin,
so she will be grieved at her own desolation.
34 I will take away her pride in her great population,
and her insolence will be turned to grief.
35 For fire will come upon her from the Everlasting for many days,
and for a long time she will be inhabited by demons.
36 Look towards the east, O Jerusalem,
and see the joy that is coming to you from God.
37 Look, your children are coming, whom you sent away;
they are coming, gathered from east and west,
at the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing in the glory of God.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011