1And so the Lord has carried out the sentence which he passed on us, on our judges who governedIsrael, on our kings and leaders and on the people of Israel and of Judah; 2what he did to Jerusalem has never been paral eled under the wide heavens -- in conformity with whatwas written in the Law of Moses; 3we were each reduced to eating the flesh of our own sons and daughters. 4Furthermore, he has handed them over into the power of all the kingdoms that surround us, to be thecontempt and execration of all the neighbouring peoples among whom the Lord scattered them. 5Instead of being masters, they found themselves enslaved, because we had sinned against the Lord ourGod by not listening to his voice. 6Saving justice is the Lord's; we and our ancestors have only the look of shame we bear today. 7Al those disasters which the Lord pronounced against us have now befallen us. 8And yet we have not tried to win the favour of the Lord by each of us renouncing the dictates of our ownwicked heart; 9so the Lord has been alert to our misdeeds and has brought disaster down on us, since the Lord isupright in everything he had commanded us to do, 10and we have not listened to his voice so as to fol ow the commandments which the Lord had ordainedfor us. 11And now, Lord, God of Israel, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand, with signs andwonders, with great power and with outstretched arm, to win yourself a name such as you have today, 12we have sinned, we have committed sacrilege; Lord our God, we have broken al your precepts. 13Let your anger turn from us since we are no more than a little remnant among the nations where youhave dispersed us. 14Listen, Lord, to our prayers and our entreaties; deliver us for your own sake and let us win the favour ofthe people who have deported us, 15so that the whole world may know that you are the Lord our God, since Israel and his descendantsbear your name. 16Look down, Lord, from your holy dwel ing-place and think of us, bow your ear and listen, 17open your eyes, Lord, and look; the dead down in Sheol, whose breath has been taken from theirbodies, are not the ones to give glory and due recognition to the Lord; 18whoever is overcome with affliction, who goes along bowed down and frail, with failing eyes andhungering soul, that is the one to give you glory and due recognition, Lord. 19We do not rely on the merits of our ancestors and of our kings to offer you our humble plea, Lord ourGod. 20No, you have sent down your anger and your fury on us, as you threatened through your servants theprophets when they said, 21'The Lord says this: Bend your necks and serve the king of Babylon, and you wil remain in the countrywhich I gave to your ancestors. 22But if you do not listen to the voice of the Lord and serve the king of Babylon 23then I shal silence the shouts of rejoicing and mirth and the voices of bridegroom and bride in thetowns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, and the whole country will be reduced to desert, with noinhabitants.' 24But we would not listen to your voice and serve the king of Babylon, and so you carried out what youhad threatened through your servants the prophets: that the bones of our kings and of our ancestors would bedragged from their resting places. 25They were indeed tossed out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. And people died indreadful agony, from famine, sword and plague. 26And so, because of the wickedness of the House of Israel and the House of Judah, you have madethis House, that bears your name, what it is today. 27And yet, Lord our God, you have treated us in a way worthy of al your goodness and boundlesstenderness, 28just as you had promised through your servant Moses, the day you told him to write your Law in thepresence of the Israelites, and said, 29'If you do not listen to my voice, this great and innumerable multitude wil certainly be reduced to a tinyfew among the nations where I shal scatter them- 30for I knew that, being an obstinate people, they would not listen to me. But in the country of their exile,they will come to themselves 31and acknowledge that I am the Lord their God. I shal give them a heart and an attentive ear, 32and they will sing my praises in the country of their exile, they will remember my name; 33they wil stop being obstinate and, remembering what became of their ancestors who sinned before theLord, will turn from their evil deeds. 34Then I shal bring them back to the country which I promised on oath to their ancestors Abraham, Isaacand Jacob, and make them masters in it. I shal make their numbers grow; they wil not dwindle again. 35And I shal make an everlasting covenant with them; so that I am their God and they are my people.And never again shal I drive my people Israel out of the country which I have given them.'
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