The Book of Lamentations
in New Cambridge Bible Commentary
Publisher Cambridge University Press
In this commentary, Joshua Berman considers Lamentations as a literary work that creates meaning for a community in the wake of tragedy through its repudiation of Zion theology. Drawing from studies in collective trauma, his volume is the first study of Lamentations that systematically accounts for the constructed character of the narrator, a pastoral mentor who engages in a series of dialogues with a second constructed character, daughter Zion, who embodies the traumatized community of survivors. In each chapter, the pastoral mentor speaks to a different religious typology and a different sub-community of post-destruction Judeans, working with daughter Zion to reconsider her errant positions and charting for her a positive way forward to reconnecting with the Lord. Providing a systematic approach to the careful structure of each of its chapters, Berman illuminates how biblical writers offered support to their communities in a way that is still relevant and appealing to a therapy-conscious contemporary society.