8/24/2020 0 Comments
Continuing today, with more of an 'overview' that we may study 'Proverbs' verbatim, let us consider this week, August 24-26-28, 2020, the following additional information. Post 2 of 3.
The “proverbs of Solomon” (10:1–22:16) consist entirely of parallelistic couplets—the mashal in its primitive form. There are 375 aphorisms each complete in itself and arranged in no apparent order. The motivation of this section, in contrast to the preceding, [Chapters 1-9], is strongly practical: wisdom is a human achievement by means of which life can be fulfilled. The wise are contrasted with fools, and the just with the wicked. It is difficult, however, to establish the nature of the difference, if any, between the wicked and the fool or between the just and the wise. audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html
The “sayings of the wise” (22:17–24:22 audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html ) consist of longer units or sayings introduced by a preface. The most distinctive feature of this section is its close relationship to a piece of Egyptian writing, The Instruction of Amenemope, which has been dated within the broad limits of 1000–600 bce. The Hebrew author apparently used this work as a model—the Egyptian work comprises 30 chapters, and the Hebrew text refers to its “thirty sayings”—and as one of the sources in compiling his own anthology.
An additional collection of four wise sayings (24:23–34 audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html ) forms a supplement to the “sayings of the wise.”
The second collection of “proverbs of Solomon” (chapters 25–29 audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html ) consists of 128 sayings that closely resemble the earlier collection, although quatrains as well as couplets are included.
The scribes of Hezekiah’s court (c. 700 bce) are credited with assembling this collection.
The book concludes with four independent units or collections. The “words of Agur” (30:1–14) differs sharply in spirit and substance from the rest of Proverbs; it has much closer affinities with the Book of Job, stressing the inaccessibility of wisdom. There is no internal evidence, such as a continuous theme, to show that these 14 verses are a single unit; but in the Septuagint they stand together between the “sayings of the wise” and its supplement. audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html
The “numerical sayings” (30:15–33) contain elements of riddle and show a special interest in the wonders of nature and the habits of animals. audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html
The “instruction of Lemuel” (31:1–9) is an example of the importance of maternal advice to a ruler in the ancient Near East. Lemuel seems to have been a tribal chieftain of northwest Arabia, in the region of Edom.
The final section (31:10–31) is an alphabetical poem in praise of the “perfect wife,” who is celebrated for her domestic virtues. audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html
The wisdom movement constituted a special aspect of the religious and cultural development of ancient Israel. As the primary document of the movement, Proverbs bears a clear impress of this distinctive character, so that in many respects it presents a sharp contrast to the outlook and emphases of Israel’s faith as attested in the Hebrew Scriptures generally. This contrast also marks Job and Ecclesiastes, however greatly they may differ from Proverbs in other respects.
We shall continue this 'over-view' with Part 2 of 3, this afternoon; and Part 3 of 3, this evening. Then, we will begin the verbatim chapter posts on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. Thank you for returning. Amen. Amen.
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