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Act And Consequence In The Book Of Proverbs

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explicates the act-consequence relationship in the book of Proverbs and contextualizes the sages? views on this issue of virtue-reward and vice-punishment. It locates a trajectory for Israel?s wisdom tradition and the theological assumptions behind some of the later shifts. It also locates a comprehensive ?world-order? in Proverbs miss the practical nature of the collection, whose addressee often appears to be an impressionable pupil. Through a combination of fear and the promise of reward, Proverbs seeks to shape human behavior. Along similar lines, language about God generally has a pedagogical function. In addressing the divine role in Proverbs, the chapter takes up the ?Yahwistic? redaction theory and its implications for the study of causality. The chapter also addresses the content of Proverbs, with an eye towards the differences between this traditional instruction and its successors, particularly in relation to retribution and death.

Keywords: ?Yahwistic? redaction theory; act-consequence relationship; book of Proverbs; divine role; human behaviour; Israel?s wisdom tradition; vice-punishment



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