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Wisdom in the Old Testament Prophets

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Chapter Summary

'Wisdom' and 'wise men' as a special phenomenon in human society were well known to the Israelite prophets. The prophets are well acquainted with Wisdom among foreign, pagan peoples and speak about it in traditional terms. In 1 Reg. v 10 f. it is said of Solomon's wisdom that it surpassed the wisdom of all the children of the East and that of all Egypt. However, compared with Yahweh's wisdom and true prophecy, the wise among the peoples are naught in the eyes of the prophets: they are nothing but brutes and blockheads. The prophets are cognizant of the existence of 'wise men' as a definite class in Israel, too, though they do not often mention it. Wisdom is in some measure appreciated by the prophets, but when wisdom is opposed to the divine word through the prophets it becomes an object of scorn and condemnation.

Keywords: divine word; Israelite prophets; Old Testament; pagan people; prophecy; Solomon; wisdom; wise men; Yahweh



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