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Wisdom In Transition: Mystery And Eschatology In 4Qinstruction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the complex understanding of causality and retribution in 4QInstruction. In discussing appropriate behavior and its consequences, 4QInstruction offers a fusion of practical advice and apocalyptic ideas. If the warnings in this text are heeded and the addressee develops the necessary discernment, eternal salvation becomes a possibility. This functions as a way of extending a consistent act-consequence relationship and represents a decisive break from the earthly rewards (lengthy days and an eternal reputation) promised by the compilers of Proverbs and Ben Sira. Many ideas in 4QInstruction, especially in the discourses, such as the idea of a final separation of the righteous and the wicked, occur in other books with explicitly apocalyptic interests (e.g., 1 Enoch). The chapter demonstrates the importance of social location for the complex vision of 4QInstruction, a text that originated on the periphery of the society.

Keywords: 4QInstruction; act-consequence relationship; Ben Sira; Causality; Proverbs; retribution



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