This paper discusses the lamentation genre of the Old Testament literature. Lamentation is connected to mourning, and can be found in the historical, prophetic and wisdom literature of the Old Testament. The genre is closely associated with the history of biblical Israel. Research concluded that the two dirges of David are unlikely to follow ancient qînâ-compositions. Nonetheless, this does not mean that the qînâ-texts in prophetic literature would not derive from early Israelite sources.