Leviticus 26:29

Hebrew Bible

27 “‘If in spite of this you do not obey me but walk in hostility against me, 28 I will walk in hostile rage against you, and I myself will also discipline you seven times on account of your sins. 29 You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters. 30 I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars, and I will stack your dead bodies on top of the lifeless bodies of your idols. I will abhor you. 31 I will lay your cities waste and make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will refuse to smell your soothing aromas.

Lamentations 2:20

Hebrew Bible

18 צ (Tsade) Cry out from your heart to the Lord, O wall of Daughter Zion! Make your tears flow like a river all day and all night long! Do not rest; do not let your tears stop! 19 ק (Qof) Get up! Cry out in the night when the night watches start! Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord! Lift up your hands to him for your children’s lives; they are fainting from hunger at every street corner. 20 ר (Resh) Look, O Lord! Consider! Whom have you ever afflicted like this? Should women eat their offspring, their healthy infants? Should priest and prophet be killed in the Lord’s sanctuary? 21 ש (Sin/Shin) The young boys and old men lie dead on the ground in the streets. My young women and my young men have fallen by the sword. You killed them when you were angry; you slaughtered them without mercy. 22 ת (Tav) As if it were a feast day, you call enemies to terrify me on every side. On the day of the Lord’s anger no one escaped or survived. My enemy has finished off those healthy infants whom I bore and raised.

 Notes and References

"... One of the terrible results of a long siege of a walled city was food shortage. It sometimes became so severe that the inhabitants of the city restored to cannibalism (see 2 Kings 6:29). For instance, the Assyrian annals of Ashurbanipal describe his siege of Babylon 650-648 B.C. and the desperation of the starving people who were reduced to cannibalism. There are also a number of Mesopotamian treaties that contain a curse that calls for the violator of the treaty to feed on his own family or his own people (as in the Ashurnirari V’s treaty with Mati’ilu of Arpad). Biblical versions of this type of curse can be found in Leviticus 26:29 and Deuteronomy 28:53-57 ..."

Walton, John H. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament (p. 693) InterVarsity Press, 2000

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