Priesthood of faithful

At the center of Lamentations, Jeremiah confesses that Yahweh is his portion (3:24). That’s said of the Levites: They have no land, so Yahweh is their portion and inheritance (Numbers 18:20). By driving Israel from the land, Yahweh makes them all Levites, all priests, who all have Yahweh as . . . . Continue Reading »

Unclean Skirts

Larry Lyke ( I Will Espouse You Forever: The Song of Songs and the Theology of Love in the Hebrew Bible ) notes the use of the word “skirts” (Heb. shwl ) in Lamentations 1:9, and comments that outside Jeremiah, Nahum, and Lamentations the term “is always used in reference to . . . . Continue Reading »

Breath of Israel

Jeremiah describes invaders chasing Israel across the mountains of the land, pursuing them as swiftly as eagles (Lamentations 4:19).  They can’t keep going; out of breath, they are ambushed and taken into exile. Why are they breathless and weak?  Because “the breath of our . . . . Continue Reading »

Feminine city

Chrisi Maier gave an interesting paper on the feminine conception of space in Lamentations. Jeremiah speaks of Jerusalem in turn as widow, as violated virgin, and as mother bereft of children. There is an intriguing asymmetry between these three images. The first two have an obvious literal . . . . Continue Reading »