Creation, History, and the Ethics of the Book of Proverbs

Ronald W. Duty

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 7/1/1987

Issue: Wisdom (Vol. 7, No 3, Summer, 1987)

It is now commonplace to hold that the practical knowledge and conduct discussed in the wisdom literature of the Old Testament is grounded in a theology emphasizing the orderliness of creation, even if it does not refer specifically to the creation accounts in the Pentateuch, which make creation the first historical event. Wisdom is a prime example, of course, of the weakness of the salvation history view of the Bible, for there are no references to the mighty acts of God in wisdom literature until rather late in the tradition, when historic events and figures and the Law begin to be mentioned. This anomaly invites reconsideration of what the faith of the Hebrews was all about. This will not result in the exclusion of history, but it will reorder the relationship of history to creation in our understandings of the Bible.

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