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The of Proverbs - Book Report/Review Example

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Of the twenty-four books of the Old Testament, the Book of Proverbs is the one most related to practical advice on day-to day activities, for a wise, peaceful and virtuous life.This book is a collection of wise sayings in different sentences and longer, coherent poems, which are either catalysts to intelligent thought processes or statements for acceptable standards of behavior…
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The Book of Proverbs
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Download file to see previous pages Most of those credited to him are found in the Book of Proverbs, in the following parts: 1:1-9:18,10:1-22:16 , and his authorship is specifically mentioned in the first chapter: " The parables of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel."(New Revised Standard Version Bible, Proverbs 1:1)
But it was not Solomon alone that is thought to have written the entire book. Mention of other authors includes the Wise men, who had perhaps attended to baby Jesus, for the portions 22:17-24:22 and 24:23-34, Agur son of Jakeh, an unknown entity, for chapter 30 and King Lemuel, a non-Israelite, for 31:1-9 and perhaps 31:10-31.
Non-catholic scholars, however, believe that the headings of these portions ascribing them to different authors are not reliable because the general tone of the content and indicates a late post-exilic date.There is no admonishment against idolatry, monogamy is always presumed, there is no specific mention of Israel, there is a definite relationship to the Ecclesiasticus which should be within two centuries of the Book of Proverbs, and lastly, wisdom is personified, which coincides with later Jewish metaphysics.According to Catholic scholars, these references mention significant and actual disparate entities as this is in line with ancient Christian and Jewish tradition.The titles in the Book of Proverbs differentiate clearly with respect to authorship, and define the credit to each entity in unequivocal terms, for instance "These also are Mishle Shelomoh, which the men of Ezechias, King of Juda, copied out" (25:1)
This wide variety of authorship makes it difficult to ascertain the dates attached to this book, and there are ongoing scholastic debates on this as well. This is also in part due to the evidence of Egyptian qualities in the Proverbs 22-24, which were probably a source for the Egyptian work, "The Wisdom of Amenemope" dated 1000 B.C. from which one is likely to project its origin in pre-exilic times.The date veers between fourth Century B.C. to 350 B.C. or later, to sixth or seventh centuries. But based on a few factors it can be fairly approximated between the tenth and six centuries B.C: a major part of the book was written during the time of Solomon, some of his writings were collected together during the reign of king Hezekiah (726-698 B.C.) and it is also not possible to establish when some of the material was written (30-31):
"Nothing is known of Agur and Lemuel of Massa. It seems likely they were members of the northern Arabian tribe of Massa, one of the sons of Ishmael (Gen.25:14; 1 Chron. 1:30). The records of their 'counsel' are furtherexamples of the universality of wisdom traditions in the ancientworld. They also give evidence of the international character of Israelite wisdom. 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)"
( Hill& Walton, 287).
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