This important study of Israel’s communal lament tradition in the Psalms is the result of a 1996 Princeton Theological Seminary dissertation under the direction of Patrick D. Miller. Bouzard examines Israel’s communal laments for clues to possible origins within the Mesopotamian communal lament tradition. The author argues that the Hebrew communal laments are not directly dependent on the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.E. and may in fact predate the catastrophe of the temple destruction. The work includes an examination of comparative methodology and an extensive investigation of the Mesopotamian balag and eršemma ritual compositions. This carefully argued study will be essential reading for scholars working on laments in the Psalms.
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