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Wisdom and Immortality

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Chapter Summary

This kinship with God is, in the passage quoted from the Wisdom book of Merikare, expressed in the thought that human beings have issued from the God's body as his images. In Genesis i 26-28 man's special position is expressed by the statement that he was created in God's image, male and female He created them, the purpose of man's creation being that he is to have dominion over the earth and to subdue other creatures. When the idea of immortality spread in Hellenistic times, this was found to be a consequence of the fact that man was created in the image of God. In Judaism the idea of resurrection became prevalent. As "righteousness" became decisive of fate in the hereafter, considerations of wisdom receded into the background, and a continued eternal life was no longer thought to displace the boundary between God and man.

Keywords: eternal life; Genesis; God; immortality; Judaism; resurrection; wisdom; Wisdom book of Merikare

10.1163/9789004275263_019
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