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When Wisdom Is Not Enough! The Discourse on Wisdom and Torah and the Composition of the Book of Proverbs

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Chapter Summary

This chapter puts forward the thesis that the different concepts of Wisdom in the book of Proverbs are not accidental. Rather, they can be connected to a theological discourse about the relationship between Wisdom and Torah in the post-exilic period. Against a careful examination of the texts it can be seen that this discourse shaped the composition and redaction of the book of Proverbs, leading up to a final position which reduces wisdom to an everyday concept without any theological implications. This thesis is developed in three parts. First, the influence of Deuteronomy on Proverbs 1-9 is analyzed. Secondly and following this analysis the different positions on Wisdom and Torah in late-exilic literature are presented. Finally it is shown how this discourse influences the composition of the book of Proverbs up to the final layer in Proverbs 30.

Keywords: book of Proverbs; influence of Deuteronomy; late-exilic literature; theological discourse; Torah; Wisdom



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