By Ellen F. Davis
A statement on 3 publication of the Bible - Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and The music of Songs. Ellen Davis emphasizes that those 3 books are usually not in simple terms poetry but additionally functional reflections at the nature of fact that talk to us on a number of degrees. From the convinced, "wise dealing" directions in Proverbs to the realm weariness of Ecclesiastes to the exuberance of The track of Songs, those books take the reader in the course of the variety of human emotion and event. The phrases are rigorously crafted to generate mirrored image on either the main usual and the main far-reaching studies of existence: start and loss of life, poverty and wealth, schooling and paintings, grief and pleasure, human love and the affection of God.
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Extra info for Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs (Westminster Bible Companion)
The proverbs are spiritual guides for ordinary people, on an ordinary day, when water does not pour forth from rocks and angels do not come to lunch. And maybe just that is their value to us in the present generation. In a secular age, when many people, and especially the young, cannot accept the claims of revelation, pondering the proverbs may open a pathto use the sages' own frequent imageinto the life of biblical faith. Therefore they can serve as a starting point for Christian teaching, not only with the young but also with the disaffected.
But at the same time, the woman was active in a variety of roles that influenced the common life of Israel, even if most of her work was done at home. She was a counselor to her husband, so her wisdom also figured in deliberations "at the gate" (see Prov. 31:31). She and her husband were the primary teachers for their children, in religious as well as "practical" Page 18 matters (although the book of Proverbs as a whole brings that distinction seriously into question). As domestic manager, she was an important economic producer in a society where the household was the primary unit of production.
24:3034). Conversely, there are sayings that express the peasants' experience of losing their land to the royal tax collectors: The field of the poor may yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice. (13:23) There are those whose teeth are swords, whose teeth are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mortals. (30:14) Proverbs such as these are a form of protest literature. It is likely that the rise of kingship in Israel gave impetus to the collection of proverbs in part to preserve a way of life that was endangered.