(cf. Sir 24.1–34
Wisdom publicly addresses all people, but especially the simple in need of instruction (
Wisdom's value is incomparable (See 2.4n.; cf. Job 28.15–19
Her authority is that by which kings reign (Sir 4.15
Wisdom's blessings begin with returning the love of those who love her (v. 17; Sir 4.14; Wis 6.12–13
Wisdom recounts her divine origin, before anything was created (Sir 1.4; 24.9
). She was with God as a master worker (v. 30
), and thus had a role in creation (Sir 1.9–10; Wis 7.22; 9.9
). Wisdom is seen delighting in God's human creatures (v. 31; Sir 1.15; 24.7–12
Created, the proper translation of the Heb word (“qanah”) is debated, but “acquired” (see 4.5,7
) or even “engendered, conceived” (see Gen 4.1
) are also possible.
See Gen 1; Job 38.4–11; Ps 104.5–9
The speech concludes with an offer of lifein place of death.
Proverbs of Solomon, see the Introduction (
Addressed to the simple and the young, as well as the wise, Proverbs teaches discernment and ethical responsibility. A highly practical discipline, wisdom entails living in accord with
righteousness, justice, and equity.
Figure, an allusive saying or an extended metaphor, as in
. Riddle, a comparison or analogy that provokes reflection and requires readers to decide the meaning (e.g., 30.15–16, 18–19
Reverence toward God is the prerequisite to knowledge (
9.10; 15.33; 31.30b; Job 28.28; Ps 111.10; Sir 1.14
). Fools are not simply unintelligent, but unethical in their conduct.
These chapters contain mostly long poems, in contrast to the short proverbial sayings of chs 10–29
against the temptations of the wicked.
My child (lit. “my son”), a typical usage of the sages when referring to the teacher‐student relationship (vv. 10,15; 2.1; 4.10; Sir 2.1; 3.12,17
). The pairing of the father's instruction and the mother's teaching alludes to the family as the place where wisdom instruction first takes place (see 6.20; 23.22; 31.1
). The term teaching (Heb “torah”) is used elsewhere in the Bible as a term for covenant law. In Proverbs, however, it refers primarily to wisdom
instruction. But See Sir 24
, which identifies the two.
Sheol … the Pit, common expressions for death and the place and state of the dead.
An editorial quotation of Isa 59.7
The sage cites a popular proverb to affirm that the consequences of crime ought to be obvious.
She speaks publicly in the city streets and gates. In language that echoes the prophets (for v. 22 see Jer 4.14,21; v. 24 see Isa 65.2,12; 66.4; Jer 7.13,24–27
), Wisdom pronounces dire threats against those who will not listen to her (vv. 26–32
The simple (see 1.4
) are considered teachable, but scoffers and fools are generally represented as (fatally) resistant to instruction (see 1.7; 15.12; 26.3
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