Date of Award


Document Type

Seminar Paper

Degree Name

Master of Sacred Theology (STM)


Exegetical Theology

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Psalm 35: 10; Psalm 71:19; Psalm 89:9; Psalm 22:4-5; Psalm 44:1-4; Psalm 72: 12-15; Exodus 2:23-25; Exodus 3:7; Numbers 20:3-5; Genesis 2:18-19; Exodus 5:22-23; Joshua 7:7-9; Genesis 49:24; Exodus 15:13; Psalm 78:52; Psalm 77:20; Exodus 25:19-22; Numbers 7:89; 1 Samuel 4:4; Ruth 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; Psalm 10:1; Psalm 13:2-3; Psalm 22:2; Psalm 35:17; Psalm 42:10; Psalm 43:2; Psalm 44:24-25; Psalm 74:10-11; Psalm 79:5; Psalm 80:13; Psalm 88:15; Psalm 89:47; Psalm 94:3; Psalm 6:4; Psalm 10:13; Psalm 74:1; Psalm 79:10; Psalm 90:13; Psalm 119:84; Psalm 119:82;


The issue under consideration in this paper is the meaning and purpose of the questions How long? and Why? addressed directly to God in the lament psalms. The psalms which contain these questions are a subset of the larger body of psalms classified as laments or prayers for help. These particular question-psalms are comprised of nine individual laments, five community laments, one each of a kingly lament and an individual lament in behalf of the community. Of over one hundred and fifty questions in the entire Psalter, these psalms contain the majority of the questions addressed directly to God. The remaining questions are primarily leading questions or rhetorical questions not addressed to God but to the reader.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.