Rachel’s Lament


Rachel weeps.
Her woes are lifted up in the night watch;
The cheeks of dawn are drenched with her tears;
Her lament enshrouds the land as clouds before the sun.
Those who watch on the tower give heed to her cry;
Her grief is borne on the flight of dawn;
The noon-day sun cannot silence her lament.

Swift is the work of the sword.
The laboring cudgel is cruel.
The axe head drips red.
Rachel weeps.
Let the dirge be broadcast over the land;
Let her sorrow drip in the city streets
And the towers echo her anguish.

Cry inhabitants of Israel;
Wail you daughters of Zion;
Mourn from the walls of Jerusalem;
For the voices are stilled.
Rachel weeping for her children
Refuses to be comforted, because they are not.

Cry from the mountain;
Let the valley be filled with distress,
And the groan of affliction spill from the housetop.
The knife is swift;
The needle’s work cruel.
Hands drip red
And are not ashamed.

Arise in sorrow inhabitants of Jerusalem;
Weep daughters of Zion;
Mourn, wail and lament with Rachel,
For the mothers betray their young
To the golden calf of choice.
The cry of the child is stilled,
Cut off in the womb the voice of the babe;
Severed the chord,
The infant is silenced before it is heard.

Hear our cry,
Bend down Your ear
To Your peoples’ plea.
Arise O LORD in Your mercy
Anoint the land with Your Word.
In Your compassion O LORD
Stay the haughty hand, the hardened heart restrain
From this evil.
Turn those who sacrifice at the altar of self
By the power of Your Spirit.
Then will the daughters’ of Zion sing in the streets,
Rejoicing resound from the walls,
And the laughter of children be heard in the land.
(Matthew 2:18)



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