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Extra info for Proverbs-Ecclesiastes (Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary)
Haran, ed. M. V. Fox et al. (Winona Lake IN: Eisenbrauns, 1996), 227-39. 8 See Richard J. Clifford, Proverbs (OTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999), 3-6, for an excellent and brief discussion of dating and various criteria for dating. 9 Joseph Blenkinsopp, Sage, Priest, Prophet (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995) 32-41. 10 Clifford, “Observation on the Texts and Versions of Proverbs,” 4. 11 Claus Westermann, Roots of Wisdom, trans. J. Daryl Charles (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995).
The examples are extensive, and we will consider the remainder as they arise in the text. Such conventions of creating artistic expression are further accompanied by the proverbs’ refined application of metaphor. For instance, some of the proverbs are mere observations that do not purport to have meaning at any level other than the literal. In 18:16-17, for instance, the statements “A gift opens doors; it gives access to the great” or “The one who first states a case seems right, until the other comes and cross-examines” have meaning at only the literal level.
The instructions opening with “my child” in Proverbs 1–9 certainly betray that familial ethos. , Prov 10:1; 15:20; 20:20; 23:22; 30:11, 17). , 5:10; 6:31; 24:27; 28:19) indicate the concern with continuity and security. , 12:4; 14:1; 18:22). 12 However, it is not difficult to infer the need for schools due to the existence of institutions that needed to pass knowledge on to succeeding generations. The existence of the ancient monarchy, with its need for a scribal community to maintain record-keeping and to teach writing, allows the inference of such educational endeavors.