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image of Vetus Testamentum

Proverbs vii is undergirded by a complex pedagogical process. The teacher uses the Strange Woman as a pedagogical vehicle and surrounds her figure with erotic language and themes. Thus reality is construed indeterminately. By attaining the skills to deconstruct the Strange Woman's speech, the student may perceive the shadow-side of her invitation. This process thereby serves to prepare the student to adapt to more complex obstacles along the path to wisdom.

4Q184 displays a significantly different approach to achieving a similar pedagogical goal. While utilizing both the language and themes of Proverbs vii, the ambiguities surrounding the Strange Woman are objectified and regularized. In this way, the description of this figure comports with the dualistic view of reality which the teacher at Qumran seeks to impress upon the young. Thus the pedagogy of 4Q184 minimizes the student's ability to adapt to indeterminate obstacles on the way to wisdom.


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