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‘Grafting’ Israel’s ‘Shoots’-Sayings from Proverbs 25–29

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows how 'shoots' from the biblical Tree of Life might be 'grafted' on to the Eʋe tree of life. To achieve a 'hermeneutic of grafting', the chapter concentrates on the sayings from Proverbs 25-29, the so-called Hezekiah collection of the Book of Proverbs. The Eʋe folk proverbs can be mostly attributed to rural folk contexts, the sayings from Proverbs 25-29, in their final form fit scribal contexts. The proverbs analyzed use act-consequence logic to condemn laziness and lack of diligence and teach diligence and a proper work ethic. The biblical proverbs also inherently teach the virtue of prudence and are comparable to the Eʋe folk proverbs. In a 'hermeneutic of grafting', the known or familiar African tree of life constitutes the important traditional imagery, themes and moral system exhibited by the virtues of diligence, humility, prudence, sociability and other similar virtues in the Eʋe cultural context.

Keywords: African tree of life; biblical proverbs; Eʋe folk proverbs; grafting; Hezekiah collection; Proverbs 25-29



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