Klaagliedere 3:42: vergifnis of nie-vergifnis?
This article investigates the short prayer of Lamentations 3:42, the only text in the prayer literature that uses the particle al (no) together with the term jls (forgive). The exegetical study focuses on the literal, historical and theological dimensions of the short prayer. The questions posed by this article is: Does this text portray God’s unwillingness to forgive? Does Lamentations 3 only speak about punishment and judgement or do we find references to divine forgiveness? Lamentations 3 speaks about punishment, but not rejection or unwillingness to forgive. The worshipper in verse 42 confronts God with his real self: He is supposed to forgive. In the rest of chapter 3 we find reminders of God’s forgiving heart: mercy and compassion (vv. 22, 32); faithfulness (v. 23); kindness (vv. 25, 26, 27); salvation (v. 26); and steadfast love (v. 32).