By Katharine J. Dell
The publication of Proverbs is the place to begin of the biblical knowledge culture. yet how did person proverbs, directions and poems come jointly to shape a few of the collections we've this present day? Katharine Dell explores the potential social contexts for this various fabric within the royal courtroom, knowledge colleges and pop culture. She attracts shrewdly on fabrics from the knowledge traditions of the traditional close to East, particularly Egypt, with the intention to bolster and increase her theories. She argues that Proverbs had a theological goal from its perception, with God's creativity being an essential topic of the textual content instead of one further in later redactions. Dell additionally indicates that echoes of different previous testomony genres reminiscent of prophecy, legislations and cult are available in Proverbs, significantly in chapters 1-9, and that its social and theological context is far broader than students have regarded some time past.
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Extra info for The Book of Proverbs in Social and Theological Context
It contains more of a description of certain ‘types’ and a statement of what is the case rather than having an exhortatory teaching tone or being full of ethical injunctions. Therefore an educational context is not obvious, aside from its broader place in the midst of the instruction texts. The section is concerned with avoiding standing surety for someone outside the family, a major concern of Proverbs 10–31 (with references in 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26 and 27:13). In verses 6–11 we meet a well-known ‘type’ of Proverbs, the sluggard (cf.
The production of literature such as Proverbs would be beyond family learning. It is known that Egyptian schools taught hieroglyphic script, whereas the Hebrew alphabet was much more quickly mastered. Demsky (1971) gives this as his reason for being cautious of using extrabiblical parallels. He stresses the importance of alphabetic writing for the history of education: ‘It ushered in a break with the traditional scribal cultures of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and secondmillennium Canaan. To be literate was no longer the identifying and exclusive characteristic of a class of professional scribes and priests, versed in the abstruse cuneiform and hieroglyphic scripts’ (1971, c.
I. Davies (1995) cautiously affirms the evidence for schools, but not on such a widespread basis as Lemaire, and probably to be restricted to capital cities and administrative centres. He notes that this activity may have been on a more limited scale until the eighth century. He finds evidence of Egyptian influence on Israelite education. 7 There have, then, been some scholarly attempts to move away from positing court schools for the training of administrators as the only possibility for the promulgation of education in Israel.