Chapter

Proverbs and Israel's Early Oral-Written Curriculum

David M. Carr

in The Formation of the Hebrew Bible

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199742608
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918737 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199742608.003.0015
Proverbs and Israel's Early Oral-Written Curriculum

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Though most recent scholars have limited pre-exilic material in Proverbs to portions of Proverbs 10-23, this chapter argues that the bulk of the rest of Proverbs likely dates to the pre-exilic period as well. The materials of Proverbs show unambivalent links to non-Israelite literary traditions in a manner not typical of demonstrably later biblical texts. They lack linkage to broader themes important in later periods, such as prophecy and Torah. Moreover, where texts in Proverbs are specifically related to other biblical texts, the texts in Proverbs show signs of being the source of those texts rather than being dependent on them. These and other indicators are used to argue that the distinctive characteristics of Proverbs are best explained by its relatively early origins, not by the idea that its disparate parts were created in a “sapiential”-wisdom tradition stream (conserved by a separate class of “sages”).

Keywords: Proverbs; wisdom; sages; literary dependence; prophecy; Torah

Chapter.  16094 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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