THE FUNCTION OF (MATERNAL) CANNIBALISM IN THE BOOK OF LAMENTATIONS (2:20 & 4:10)
AbstractCannibalism is a sensitive subject that many commentaries on the Book of Lamentations pay little attention to. This article develops the possibility that the Book of Lamentations confronts YHWH with the affliction that He has caused the destruction of Jerusalem and that maternal cannibalism is the horrendous extreme of this divinely inflicted suffering. This suggestion is discussed against the background of a central motif in later Greco-Roman literature that the tyrant is the inverted Other. Cannibalism may then be interpreted as a motif in the polemics against tyranny by the author of Lamentations to depict YHWH as author of the misery experienced with the destruction of Jerusalem and thereafter.
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