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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Proverbs in Jewish Thought

THE HEBREW WORD TORAH MEANS “instruction.” In Proverbs, this torah is human wisdom, the wise man's teachings. Likewise ḥokhmah (“wisdom”) is human wisdom. Later Jewish sages would understand torah as the Torah of Moses and equate “wisdom” with this Torah. All that is said about “torah” and “wisdom” in Proverbs was understood in this way. For example, Proverbs 8.22 was read to mean that Torah was created before the rest of the world, and 3.17–18 , which refer to wisdom, became incorporated in the Torah service in the synagogue.

Proverbs is widely quoted in the midrash and in subsequent homiletic literature, such as medieval sermons. It was a foundational text of the Musar movement, a pietistic movement among European Jews in the 18th to 19th centuries.

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