II. Historical Setting

II. Historical Setting

The content of this book and the consensus of Jewish tradition point in the direction of the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 b.c. as the immediate historical setting of this poetic work. The introductory statements of both the Septuagint and the Vulgate cite the fall of Jerusalem and the captivity of Judah as the occasion of the writing of Lamentations. The statement of 2Ch 35:25 has led some to think that this book as a whole, or a portion of it, contains Jeremiah's lament over the death of Josiah, which took place in 609 b.c. However, these poems do not speak about a deceased king, rather about a city and its people who suffer because of their sin.