Conceptual stratification in LXX Prov 26,11: Toward identifying the tradents behind the aphorism

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This study is concerned with tracing the ideational development of the aphorism in Prov 26,11: »As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly,« which is expanded in the Septuagint counterpart to, »As when a dog goes to his own vomit and becomes abominable, so is a fool who returns in his wickedness to his own sin. [26, 11a] There is a sense of shame laden with guilt and a shame that merits honor and respect.« The additional clause of LXX-Prov 26,11a finds a verbal parallel in the declaration of two kinds of bōšœt 〉shame〈 in Sir 4,20-21. We wish to demonstrate that the ideational transformation of the biblical aphorism in the Greek version stemmed from its different conception of the 〉fool〈 as ασεβης 〉ungodly〈 (cf. Prov 1,22.32; 3,35; 13,19). This in turn attracted the appended declaration about two types of bōšœt 〉shame〈 attested to in Sir 4,20-21. The literary affinities between LXX-Proverbs 26,11 and the Ben Sira passage reflect the imprint of schools of sages who contributed to the conceptual stratification and moralizing tendency of the wisdom teachings of Proverbs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-258
Number of pages18
JournalZeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies


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