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A Wisdom Text With An Apocalyptic Worldview: 4qinstruction (1q26; 4q415-18, 423)

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Chapter Summary

4QInstruction is a wisdom text. It encourages its audience to make prudent and ethical decisions regarding ordinary spheres of life such as marriage and finances. In this regard the work is in continuity with traditional wisdom of Proverbs. 4QInstruction is intended for an elect community. The mebm has revealed knowledge not available to the rest of humankind. While the claims made about the elect status of the mebm are extraordinary, his social status is ordinary and common. The raz nihyeh is the chief means by which the mebm is to acquire wisdom. From the study of this revelation he can learn about various topics, such as fate of people after death. The mystery that is to be discloses the full extent of God’s dominion over history and creation, manifested as a deterministic plan that orchestrates events. 4QInstruction is the best example available of a wisdom text with an apocalyptic worldview.

Keywords: 4QInstruction; apocalyptic worldview; mebm; raz nihyeh; revealed knowledge; wisdom of Proverbs; wisdom text

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