Wisdom

Within and outside the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) we find literary works concerned to collect and evaluate advice for living and attempting to classify and understand the world. We refer to these works as "Wisdom Literature". In some ways these books mix what we call Philosophy and Science (but remember that in Europe for centuries "Science" was thought of as "Natural Philosophy").

The Wisdom Literature of other cultures of the Ancient Near East is very similar in both style and content to biblical wisdom.

In the Bible these books are classified as "Wisdom Literature":

  Ecclesiasticus (Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira)
  Wisdom of Solomon.

The "Wise" who collected this material were the scribes who ran the royal administration. They were also responsible for schooling (to train new officials and probably also to prepare the sons of the rich and powerful). There are suggestions among scholars that Amos shows signs of their traditions and ways of speech.


This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,

© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.