Moderately Late Date (Seventh-Sixth Centuries 600 B. To provide skill for living (successful living) from the two perimeters of natural order and God’s word C. To receive teaching in wise dealing, righteousness, justice and equity (1:3) E. Archer writes, Whereas Greek philosophy tended toward dialectical deduction from first principles arrived at by purely intellectual induction, Hebrew philosophy was more intuitive and analogical, endeavoring to interpret the moral order in the light of a personal, omniscient, and omnipotent God, who had revealed His will for ethical living (Gleason L. There can be no question that wisdom literature had a very early origin in the history of Egypt, going back at least to Ipuwer in the Sixth Dynasty (ca. The Hebrew sage and scribe sought pleasing and truthful words of practical instruction, whether of Hebrew, Edomite (e.g., Job), or Arabian origin (e.g., Agur and Lemuel) (Andrew E. Hebrew wisdom was interested in the revealed will of God (the Law) and the observable order which God placed into the universe. Proverbs was the product of a professional group of wise men who also put together Ecclesiastes, the Wisdom of Solomon, and Ecclesiasticus But there must have been an earlier, classical model of written proverbial literature before a professional group of wise men could have arisen B. To enable the readers to learn and apply the fear of the Lord to their lives B. Archer writes, Compare Jeremiah , which speaks of the wise men as a class of experts on a par with priests and prophets in the preexilic generation. It is also evident from 1 Kings that there was a long tradition of pre-Solomonic sages in Israel, and it is quite unwarranted to hold that the tenth century was to early for this kind of literature to have arisen among the Hebrew people (Gleason L. It seems likely they were members of the northern Arabian tribe of Massa, one of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. They also give evidence of the international character of Israelite wisdom. In Wisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East, ed.
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25:1-- (these were selected by a committee appointed under king Hezekiah (726-698 B. Wisemen: Perhaps these were the ones who attended Solomon (cf.
Essentially the book of Proverbs is a collection of comparisons based on observation and reflection that seeks to instruct people in 'right behavior' (Andrew E.
These are clever sayings using similes and comparisons--proverbs A.
Solomon: Solomon, the son of David, was said to have written over three thousand proverbs (1 Ki ).
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Greek wisdom was concerned with speculation and cosmogony which was behind principles of the universe. Proverbs 30--31 could have been added at a later time (the time of the exile? Albright wrote, “In a nutshell, my opinion with regard to the provenience and date of Proverbs is that its entire contents is probably pre-Exilic, but that much of the book was handed down orally until the fifth century B. when we know from Elephantine that Jews were interested in literature of a different kind.” A. Hill and Walton write, Nothing is known of Agur and Lemuel of Massa. The records of their 'counsel' are further examples of the universality of wisdom traditions in the ancient world.
The emphasis upon knowledge as a source for resolving problems is a Hellenistic approach to moral philosophy This is a basic misunderstanding between Greek and Hebrew wisdom. The material ascribed to Solomon is identified with a later period of time: a. 10--22 may have Solomonic roots, but reached its present form in the seventh century B. C.)Perhaps the placement of the two sections of anonymous sayings by the wisemen (--; and -34) suggests that they came from period between Solomon’s reign and the collection of Hezekiah’s scribes 3.
But the lack of national references is a part of the genre of literature known as wisdom literature and the multi-cultural nature setting of Israel. Social customs and vices are from the time after the exile But there is nothing in the customs or vices which require that they be limited to one particular time or another 6. The units attributed to the wisemen (--) are identified with the postexilic period 4. Some of Proverbs was probably compiled as a canonical book at a later time (at least during the time of Hezekiah (726-698 B.