Study Guide

Lamentations Justice and Judgment

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Justice and Judgment

According to the Poet, all the suffering and destruction in Jerusalem was brought on by God. But the Poet is clear on this point: God did what was right. The people didn't listen to him and he was forced to judge them for their misbehavior and hand out the punishment. Another reason why Lamentations is so repetitive, and why people continued to read Lamentations regularly, was to drive home that point: you brought it on yourselves. Throughout the poem, the question is raised whether the judgment was overly harsh or well-deserved.

Questions About Justice and Judgment

  1. Do you think that the God of Lamentations is just? How does the Poet want us to see him?
  2. Why does the Poet need to believe that God is in charge of everything? Wouldn't it be easier to just to say that Jerusalem had the bad luck to be surrounded with mightier nations?
  3. Why aren't we told more specifically what the nation did wrong?

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