Jonah and Lamentations
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 128
Width: 13.8 cm
Height: 21.6 cm
While the book of Jonah is, in some ways, unique, it stands firmly in the Old Testament tradition. There have been various suggestions as to genre, the most likely being the (short) didactic story; but the aim of the author is not easy to discern. The authenticity of Jonah's message to the Ninevites is stressed, as is their repentance, and Yahweh's mercy. The purpose of the book must lie in a combination of these themes. Lamentations is a neglected book, perhaps because it was associated with the book of Jeremiah and considered almost as an appendix. On the question of genre it has the closest affinities with the psalms of lament; but, whereas it is very difficult to link a psalm with a specific historical event or period, the five chapters of Lamentations appear to have the Fall of Jerusalem as background. While gloom abounds, the careful reader discovers the faith of the author shining through. He is a "practical monotheist" who interprets the castastrophe of the fall of Jerusalem in the light of his faith.