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Wisdom, instruction and social location in Ben Sira and 1 Enoch

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on "a sociological matrix of the development of ideas" in the Wisdom of Ben Sira and in three sections of 1 Enoch without trying to posit identifiable social groups behind them and thus falling into the group-identification morass. It then focuses on some questions about what social locations these works may have originated or at least been used. The argument essentially breaks down into three parts. First, Stone, G.W.E. Nickelsburg and Argall have all offered strong cases that parts of 1 Enoch employ sapiential forms, language and ideas, although they are frequently invested with different content and meaning. Second, those Israelite and Jewish works traditionally included in the category "wisdom" have a clear pedagogical/instructional function. Third, scholars have variously situated ancient instruction as taking place in the family, the "school", the temple or the royal court.

Keywords: 1 Enoch; BEN SIRA; social location; wisdom



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