Original Research

’n Alfabeties-akrostiese klaaglied

R. van der Spuy
Literator | Vol 32, No 3 | a213 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v32i3.213 | © 2011 R. van der Spuy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2011 | Published: 30 July 2011

About the author(s)

R. van der Spuy, Skool vir Antieke Tale, Potchefstroomkampus, Noordwes-Universiteit, South Africa

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An alphabetic acrostic lament

Laments date back to the start of mankind and are known among all peoples, languages and nations. Laments are often spontaneous and unstructured, but sometimes they are structured in poetic form. The biblical book of Lamentations is structured according to the alphabet. The alphabetic framework that forms the foundation of the book indicates that it has a cognitive advancement/build up, and consists of a logically-anticipated inception/beginning and conclusion. It starts with the first letter of the alphabet and concludes with the last. According to Jewish rabbis the alphabetic acrostic structure indicates that the lamentation was completed in full – from start to finish.

With the constant development of Afrikaans a need exists for a contemporary Afrikaans Bible translation. This article is an attempt to present the book of Lamentations in a contemporary alphabetic acrostic Afrikaans translation. The message and structure of the book form a cognitive unit that must be preserved as much as possible. A cognitive unit indicates that the reader anticipates the logical build-up and it makes sense to him/her. The acrostic structure is considered to be not only an inherent part of the poem itself, but it could also be insightful and illuminative to the reader.


Alphabetic-Acrostic Poems; Bible Translation; Names Of God; Lamentations


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