In the second essay, Fox argues that the foundational axiom of Proverbs' ethics is analogous to the Socratic principle that virtue is knowledge. Emphasis on human intellect enables Proverbs to function as a guide to human flourishing without invoking the Torah, prophetic revelation, or other divine communication. The third essay then explores this absence of divine revelation in the book and how ancient authors wrestled with the relative status of wisdom and Torah until Ben Sira identified the two with each other; subsequently, Wisdom of Solomon elevated wisdom over Torah while the rabbis essentially subsumed wisdom in Torah e.
And in the final essay, Fox argues that wisdom's epistemology is not empiricism, as the majority of scholars assume, but a coherence theory of truth whereby a proverb is reliable if it coheres with an underlying and integrated system of assumptions. I expect this essay in particular will generate significant and fruitful debate.
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Fox's commentary on Proverbs is a remarkable achievement. Readers will find plenty to contemplate about the nature and worldview of wisdom, the complexities of proverbs, and how processes integral to them and to the book train readers to think like sages. With regard to this last point, I would welcome from Fox further consideration as to how the arrangement of the major units of the book may also participate in the formation of its readers. Fox's introductions to the major units are relatively brief and tend principally to matters of genre. Thematic continuities and discontinuities between the main units must be gleaned from Fox's discussion of particular proverbs therein.
The synonyms used in the book itself for "wisdom" are "knowledge" and "understanding. Yet another kind of wisdom is the kind young people need as they approach adulthood. These are not small children but young men on the verge of adulthood, like the "young man" so vividly described in Proverbs All nations have wisdom—all nations need it! However, there is a subtle philosophical difference between the wisdom of the Hezekiah Edition of Proverbs and the wisdom of the other nations and perhaps the older Solomon Edition of Proverbs. This difference is complex but important.
Wisdom NABRE - II. Praise of Wisdom by Solomon - Bible Gateway
This is just the exact opposite of what Agur says. Agur is not a scholar of wisdom as are Ithiel and Ucal to whom his "oracle" is addressed b. Agur is a fervent believer in the God of Israel. The watchword of the Hezekiah Edition of Proverbs is similar to a watchword that might have stood at the beginning of the older Solomon Edition of this book.
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This other watchword is in a poem which Solomon composed. Therefore, an attempt was made throughout the Hezekiah Edition of Proverbs to insert the wise Yahweh-centered teachings of Moses into the empirical poems of Solomon. We can take these references to the superiority of Moses' and Solomon's wisdom as clues to why the greatly expanded Hezekiah Edition of Proverbs was created.
Those who created this enlarged scroll were attempting to fashion a book that could be shared with the world. The compilers hoped that eventually the whole world might come to live in accord with these values and thereby find a way out of the misery and wars that now ravage it cf. Winston, David. Anchor Yale Bible Commentary.
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- Song of Solomon 1 – “Rightly Do They Love You”.
Grabbe, Lester. Wisdom of Solomon. Bloomsbury, Clifford, Richard. New Collegeville Bible Commentary, vol. Liturgical Press, The Book of Wisdom.
The Wisdom of Solomon Short List
Oxford: Clarendon, Full view online access Goodrick A. Oxford Church Bible Commentary. Full view online access Kolarick, Michael.