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The Troubles of Templeless Judah$
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Jill Middlemas

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199283866

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199283869.001.0001

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The Voice of the Land: Lamentations

The Voice of the Land: Lamentations

(p.171) 4 The Voice of the Land: Lamentations
The Troubles of Templeless Judah


Oxford University Press

This chapter turns to Lamentations as it is most widely regarded as stemming from Templeless Judah. Of the five poems in the book, chapters 1, 2, 4, and 5 have the greatest claim to belong to Templeless Judah. These chapters of the book of Lamentations are used typologically to isolate prominent concepts. Five themes are found to be distinctive to the religious thought of Templeless Judah: (1) an emphasis on the extent of unalleviated human suffering, (2) the explicit assertion of uncertainty in future possibilities, (3) the downplaying of the association of human sin and judgement, (4) the need to witness to pain through the expression of grief especially within worship, and (5) the forming of grief in such a way as to limit it and evoke a future orientation. The delineation of themes distinctive to Judah provides a measuring rod with which to approach other material thought to stem from the homeland.

Keywords:   Lamentations, overview, sin, form, grief, suffering, hope, deconstruction, Mesopotamian City laments

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