Lamentations - o Ch.4: 22 stanzas of 2 lines each; 1 st...

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Lamentations Author Jewish tradition attributes book to Jeremiah The book does not name its author Anonymous author o Eyewitness; events described in minute detail o Patriot who mourned nation’s passing o o Poet of great skill Context/Setting Fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE or shortly after The vivid impressions created by ch.1-4 suggest composition shortly after the events Ch.5 may have been composed somewhat later, during the exile after shock of events had turned to ache Poetic Form Acrostic poems Formed by starting lines of a poem with the letters of the alphabet in succession; i.e. it is a poem in alphabetical order First four poems/chapters are acrostics o Ch.1-2: 22 stanzas of 3 lines each; 1 st word of each stanza begins with new letter of alphabet in succession o Ch.3: 22 stanzas of 3 lines each; 1 st word in each of the 3 lines of the stanza begins with new letter in succession
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Unformatted text preview: o Ch.4: 22 stanzas of 2 lines each; 1 st word of each stanza begins with a new letter of alphabet in succession Purpose of Acrostic Style o Perhaps mnemonic (memory) device o Signals full expression of anguish & contrition by covering subject from beginning to end o Places artistic constraints on lament, keeping poems from deteriorating into and ode of self-pity. Qinah/ Dirge Meter o All 5poems are written in a distinctive Hebrew meter or rhythmic pattern called qinah o Written in 3:2 meter or rhythm which was an unbalanced meter thus symbolizing imbalance in life; 3:3 was the common meter of the Hebrew language o Though often used at funerals, qinah, or dirge meter could be used for any tragedy What to know about Lamentations Who wrote the book? Jweish tradition identifies Jeremiah as author; book does not name the author What is the book about? Destruction of Jerusalem & the temple...
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