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Gendered Wisdom: 4qwiles Of The Wicked Woman (4q184)

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Chapter Summary

4QWiles of the Wicked Woman is unique among Qumran wisdom texts in its interest in Strange Woman of Proverbs 7. 4Q184 that appropriates details about this woman and provides a new portrait of her. Both the Strange Woman and woman of 4Q184 lead victims to their death. The figure of 4Q184 is situated in Sheol in an explicit manner than the Strange Woman. 4Q184 offers a more vivid portrait of Sheol than Proverbs, describing it as a realm of darkness and flames. The text exhibits a dualism of light and darkness, with the former associated with a blessed afterlife for righteous and the latter with eternal punishment for wicked. The conception of death in 4Q184 is different from that of Proverbs, influenced by late Second Temple concepts of eschatology and punishment after death. 4Q184 transforms Strange Woman from an alluring but dangerous married woman into a mythological figure of evil.

Keywords: 4Q184; 4QWiles; death; gendered wisdom; Proverbs; Qumran wisdom texts; Second Temple concepts; Sheol; wicked woman



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