The seventh pillar - Reconsidering the literary structure and unity of Proverbs 31

Victor Avigdor Hurowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 [1982] 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).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalZeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
Volume113
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies

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