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A Closer Look at the Pig in Proverbs xi 22

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image of Vetus Testamentum

The present study denies that Prov. xi 22 equates a certain kind of woman with a pig, although a survey of recent scholarship on the book of Proverbs suggests just that. Material about women in the whole book of Proverbs shows that Prov. xi 22 needs to be interpreted in the context of instruction in gender relations. Such education about healthy and legitimate relationships with mothers, wives and other women is aimed at the target audience of Proverbs, young males who are being prepared for leadership roles in ancient Israelite society. Such teaching is in that society's best interest, as it promotes the family as a key social institution and hopefully contributes to the integrity and happiness of its future leaders and society as a whole. Specifically, the proverb warns men not to make fools of themselves by marrying socially inept women simply because of their good looks.

Affiliations: 1: Birmingham


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