Lamentations 4:1-22 open_in_new
The fourth poem is for the most part a dirge of desolation, which nevertheless ends in a song of hope. Jeremiah first described the disaster in Zion, declaring that it all arose as the result of the sin of the people, which was greater than that of Sodom. He then described the degradation of the people. From the perfection of health her nobles have degenerated into men on whom the stamp of an unutterable disease is clearly set.
All this has resulted from the sins of the prophets and the iniquities of the priests. Those who have guided men in the purity of their lives were blind and polluted to such an extent that the people held them in contempt, cried after them, "Unclean," and besought them to depart. The prophet then proceeded to deal with the folly of the men who had sought help from the nations, describing the useless looking of the eyes for help, and then the remorselessness of the enemies who hunted and pursued them to death. He ended with a satirical address to Edom, calling upon her to rejoice, but declaring that the cup should pass to her also, and a final word of hope for Zion in that the punishment of her iniquity was accomplished.