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5 A Rational Reading, in Retrospect

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Chapter Summary

Wisdom of Solomon, to risk an overused turn of phrase, is a hermeneutical tour de force. Beginning at the end and ending at the beginning, reality is read within a comprehensive vision of cosmic order and moral symmetry which is primarily evident in the deserved destruction of the ungodly and the suitable salvation of the righteous. For Wisdom, the distinction between the righteous and the wicked corresponds to the distinction between Israel and non-Israel. The semantic range of 'justice' and 'grace' are determined by the theological pattern of the Exodus event. This means that divine justice operates as a duality of divine action: judgment is an act of justice directed towards those worthy of death; grace is a just act directed towards those worthy of Wisdom. For Wisdom, the Exodus is the paradigmatic instantiation of an anthropological distinction and a corresponding soteriological distinction.

Keywords: Exodus event; Wisdom of Solomon

10.1163/9789004257412_006
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