Dating of proverbs
Purpose of Writing: Knowledge is nothing more than an accumulation of raw facts, but wisdom is the ability to see people, events, and situations as God sees them.
In the Book of Proverbs, Solomon reveals the mind of God in matters high and lofty and in common, ordinary, everyday situations, too.
16, xxv.-xxvii., and xxviii.-xxix., from which later editors formed the two booklets, x.-xxii. 17-xxiv., and, toward the middle of the third century, the sustained discourses of i.-ix.
The latest section, probably, is xxx.-xxxi., and the whole may have been edited not long before the year 200.
Moreover, as is pointed out below, the thought of the Book of Proverbs is as alien to the Hezekian as to the Solomonic age. Doubtless the authors, pious men, observed the national sacrificial laws (xv. 10-15 is of the ideal king, who is controlled by the human law of right (in contrast with the delineations in Isa. The instruction in such schools would naturally be of the practical ethical sort that is found in Proverbs (on the "mashal" form here adopted see Proverbs).
In Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3), we find the answer to our search for wisdom, the remedy for our fear of God, and the “righteousness, holiness and redemption” that we so desperately need (1 Corinthians ).
The wisdom that is found only in Christ is in contrast to the foolishness of the world which encourages us to be wise in our own eyes.
One of the Ketubim, or Hagiographa, belonging to the group of "Ḥokmah," or "Wisdom" books. V.) the book is entitled simply "Proverbs" ("Mishle"). It is uncertain whether or not the name "Wisdom" (or "All-Virtuous Wisdom"), common in early Christian writings (Clement of Rome, "Corinth," i. The following divisions of the book are indicated in the text: (1) A group of discourses on the conduct of life (i.-ix.), comprising the praise of wisdom as the guide of life (i.-iv.); warnings against unchaste women (v.-vii.; with three misplaced paragraphs, vi. (3) Two small groups of aphoristic quatrains (xxii. Hezekiah'stime may have been chosen by the author of this heading because he regarded the collection xxv.-xxix. 16, and therefore to be referred to the Augustan age of Hezekiah, which followed the golden age of David and Solomon. The frequent form of address, "my son," indicates the relation of a teacher to his pupils.
The Masoretic superscription to the first and twenty-fifth chapters is "Proverbs of Solomon" ("Mishle Shelomoh"; and so in the subscription to the book in the Alexandrian and Sinaitic Greek MSS.); but in the Greek and in later Jewish usage (and in the A. The longer title belonged originally to the central collection of aphorisms, x. 16, and to xxv.-xxix., and may have been extended early to the whole work, but the shorter form became the predominant one, as, indeed, there are other titles to certain sections (xxii. 1-19, against certain social faults); the description of wisdom as the controller of life and as 's companion in the creation of the world (viii.); and a contrast between wisdom and folly (ix.; with a misplaced collection of aphorisms, ix. (2) A collection, or book, of aphoristic couplets (x. But there is no proof that the age of Hezekiah was Augustan; on the contrary, it was a period of conflict, and the work of editing and combining did not begin till a century or two later. There is no information regarding regular academies before the second century (from Antigonus of Soko onward), but it is probable that those that are known did not spring into existence without forerunners.
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The religious atmosphere of the book is wholly different from that which characterizes Jewish thought down to the end of the fifth century. In no point is the change more noticeable than in the attitude toward wisdom. While the contents of the book are various, parts of it dealing with simple, every-day matters, the prevailing tone is broadly religious: God is the ruler of the world, and wisdom is the expression (through human conscience) of His will. Reward and punishment belong to the present life; the conception of the underworld is the same as in the body of Old Testament writings; there is no reference to ethical immortality (on xi. In this higher sense the utilitarian view approaches the idea of a life devoted to humanity, though this idea is not definitely expressed in Proverbs. The characteristics described above point to the post-Ezran period as the time of origination of the book; to this period alone can be referred the tacit recognition of monotheism and monogamy, the absence of a national tone, and the marks of a developed city life.