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The Book of Lamentations and the Social World of Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Era


Using a form of social-historical criticism this book provides a counter-reading of Lamentations that elucidates the impact and aftermath of siege warfare on Judah's peasants. The rhetoric of Lamentations, ancient Near Eastern writings, and archaeological evidence are considered, along with social models from other agrarian societies. Together these shed light on the changing social dynamics, religious customs, and political and economic structures of rural and urban Judah in the sixth century BCE. This study brings to life voices long silent, and suggests that Judah's peasants played a significant role in the survival of peasant and city-dweller alike, when Jerusalem fell.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-112-6
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Sep 22,2010
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 277
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60724-112-6
$95.00
$57.00

The book of Lamentations evokes sympathy for the survivors of Babylonia's destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE. However, most of the Judeans who survived and remained in Judah during the Neo-Babylonian period were peasants living in the rural areas. The Book of Lamentations and the Social World of Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Era explores the experience of Judean peasants and reconstructs their stories.

Using a form of social-historical criticism this book provides a counter-reading of Lamentations that elucidates the impact and aftermath of siege warfare on Judah's peasants. The rhetoric of Lamentations, ancient Near Eastern writings and archaeological evidence are considered, along with analogous social models from other agrarian societies. Together these shed light on the changing social dynamics, religious customs, and political and economic structures of rural and urban Judah in the sixth century BCE. The Book of Lamentations and the Social World of Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Era brings to life voices long silent, and suggests that Judah's resilient peasant communities played a significant role in the survival of peasant and city-dweller alike, once Jerusalem had been destroyed.

Cover: Jeremiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem, oil on panel, Rembrandt, 1630.

The book of Lamentations evokes sympathy for the survivors of Babylonia's destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE. However, most of the Judeans who survived and remained in Judah during the Neo-Babylonian period were peasants living in the rural areas. The Book of Lamentations and the Social World of Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Era explores the experience of Judean peasants and reconstructs their stories.

Using a form of social-historical criticism this book provides a counter-reading of Lamentations that elucidates the impact and aftermath of siege warfare on Judah's peasants. The rhetoric of Lamentations, ancient Near Eastern writings and archaeological evidence are considered, along with analogous social models from other agrarian societies. Together these shed light on the changing social dynamics, religious customs, and political and economic structures of rural and urban Judah in the sixth century BCE. The Book of Lamentations and the Social World of Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Era brings to life voices long silent, and suggests that Judah's resilient peasant communities played a significant role in the survival of peasant and city-dweller alike, once Jerusalem had been destroyed.

Cover: Jeremiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem, oil on panel, Rembrandt, 1630.

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Contributor Biography

Lauress Wilkins

Lauress Wilkins is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts. She holds a B.A. from Smith College in Latin American Studies, and an M.Div. and Ph.D. from Boston University, concentrating in Hebrew Bible. Her research explores the social worlds of biblical communities and literary themes that connect them.

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Preface (page 7)
  • Acknowledgments (page 9)
  • Abbreviations (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
  • 1 Lamentations One (page 21)
    • Lamentations 1:1…2 (page 23)
      • Counter Reading (page 28)
    • Lamentations 1:3…6 (page 34)
      • Counter Reading (page 39)
    • Lamentations 1:7…11 (page 46)
      • Counter Reading (page 51)
    • Lamentations 1:12…16 (page 54)
      • Counter Reading (page 59)
    • Lamentations 1:17…22 (page 63)
      • Counter Reading (page 67)
    • Summary (page 69)
  • 2 Lamentations Two (page 73)
    • Lamentations 2:1…5 (page 75)
      • Counter Reading (page 81)
    • Lamentations 2:6…10 (page 87)
      • Counter Reading (page 93)
    • Lamentations 2:11…17 (page 97)
      • Counter Reading (page 103)
    • Lamentations 2:18…22 (page 108)
      • Counter Reading (page 114)
    • Summary (page 117)
  • 3 Lamentations Three (page 119)
    • Lamentations 3:1…20 (page 122)
      • Counter Reading (page 126)
    • Lamentations 3:21…42 (page 130)
      • Counter Reading (page 137)
    • Lamentations 3:43…66 (page 142)
      • Counter Reading (page 146)
    • Summary (page 149)
  • 4 Lamentations Four (page 151)
    • Lamentations 4:1…10 (page 153)
      • Counter Reading (page 160)
    • Lamentations 4:11…16 (page 169)
      • Counter Reading (page 174)
    • Lamentations 4:17…22 (page 178)
      • Counter Reading (page 184)
  • 5 Lamentations Five (page 193)
    • Lamentations 5:1…5 (page 195)
      • Counter Reading (page 199)
    • Lamentations 5:6…10 (page 204)
      • Counter Reading (page 206)
    • Lamentations 5:11…14 (page 209)
      • Counter Reading (page 212)
    • Lamentations 5:15…18 (page 214)
      • Counter Reading (page 217)
    • Lamentations 5:19…22 (page 218)
      • Counter Reading (page 223)
    • Summary (page 225)
  • Conclusion (page 229)
    • The Rhetoric of Lamentations (page 230)
    • Judahs Social World in the Neo-babylonian Era (page 236)
  • Bibliography (page 245)
  • Index of Biblical Citations (page 267)
  • Index of Extra-Biblical Ancient texts (page 275)
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