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Proverbs and Qoheleth in an Historical Context

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Chapter Summary

In the emerging worldview that the epilogist represents, the human quest for understanding, so central to wisdom, loses its autonomy, and ultimately significance. In contrast Qoheleth's world is one of large empires, where the proverbial equality has been replaced by a hierarchy in which only those at the very top benefit from the produce of the land. This chapter argues that the world of Proverbs is one of a decentralised economy revolving around a small local community, where each individual has its place and the success of the community depends on its members working and living together in harmony. The family is the most significant and in principle the highest formal hierarchical structure of the proverbial society. In contrast Qoheleth's world is one of large empires, where the proverbial equality has been replaced by a hierarchy in which only those at the top benefit from the produce of the land.

Keywords: hierarchical structure; proverbial equality; Proverbs; Qoheleth's world

10.1163/9789004276161_008
/content/books/b9789004276161s008
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