Most scholars take Prov 31 to contain two distinct, or at most loosely connected literary units - Lemuel's instructions (v. 1-9) and the Woman of Valor hymn (WV; v. 10-31). Building upon M. Lichtenstein's study (CBQ 44  202-211), this article demonstrates deep and strong links between these two parts. WV contains a chain of eleven words and phrases repeated in reverse order, overlapping the entire hymn. Another chain of eight repeated terms runs through the entire chapter, overlapping v. 1-9 and then the second half of WV (v. 20-31). Finally, two themes arranged chiastically overlap the entire chapter (women-wine//wine-women). Undoubtedly the units were intentionally molded into a tightly knit composition, either by an author or a thorough editor. Unified ch. 31 constitutes the seventh major unit of the Book of Proverbs, balancing chs. 1-9 in theme, and deserving the title »the Seventh Pillar of Wisdom's House« (Prov 9.1).
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Zeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft|
|State||Published - 1 Aug 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Religious studies