Proverbs, The

also called  The Book Of Proverbs, 

      an Old Testament book of “wisdom” writing found in the third section of the Jewish canon, known as the Ketuvim, or Writings. The book's superscription, “The proverbs of Solomon. . . ,” is not to say that it as a whole or even individual proverbs should be credited to King Solomon, for scholarly examination discloses that it contains seven collections of wisdom materials (mostly short sayings) from a wide variety of periods, all after Solomon's time.

      The earliest collection (25:1–29:27), titled “proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied,” came into being about 700 BC; the latest (1:1–9:18) dates from the 4th century BC. There also is an untitled acrostic poem about the virtuous wife (31:10–31).

      The third collection (22:17–24:22) has attracted much attention because of its close affinity to the Egyptian “Wisdom of Amenemope,” variously dated between the 10th and 6th centuries BC. This likeness suggests that Israel's wisdom movement, whatever its origins, was influenced by the wisdom literature of other ancient Middle Eastern cultures.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • the man who has once been bitten by the snake fears every piece of rope — Chinese proverb, also found in Japan. 1937 H. H. HART 700 Chinese Proverbs (1960) no. 527 One year bitten by a snake, for three years afraid of a grass rope. 1981 DALAI LAMA quoted in Observer 5 Apr. (online) Frankly speaking, it is difficult to… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • the higher the monkey climbs the more he shows his tail — The further an unsuitable person is promoted, the more obvious his inadequacies become. In various more or less polite forms. c 1395 WYCLIF Bible (1850) Proverbs iii. 35 (gloss) The filthe of her foli aperith more, as the filthe of the hynd… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • the dog returns to its vomit — The expression is frequently found in various metaphorical and allusive forms, such as to return like a dog to his vomit, as illustrated below. Before 1534 (see quot.), the proverb is used in more or less similar forms in earlier versions of, and …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • the early bird catches the worm — The corollary in quot. 2001, it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese, is attributed to US comedian Steven Wright; it may be used independently to counsel caution. 1636 W. CAMDEN Remains concerning Britain (ed. 5) 307 The early bird catcheth… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • the grey mare is the better horse — The wife rules, or is more competent than, the husband. Cf. 1529 MORE Dialogue of Images III. v. Here were we fallen in a grete questyon of the law, whyther the gray mare be the better horse..or whither he haue a wyse face or not that loketh as… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • the devil can quote Scripture for his own ends — The proverb alludes to the temptation of Christ by the Devil (MATTHEW iv) when the latter quotes a passage from Psalm xci. 1596 SHAKESPEARE Merchant of Venice I. iii. 93 The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul producing holy… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • the rotten apple injures its neighbour — The proverb is also found in a number of variant forms, some of which are illustrated below. Cf. L. pomum compunctum cito corrumpit sibi junctum, a rotten apple quickly infects its neighbour. 1340 Ayenbite of Inwit (EETS) 205 A roted eppel amang… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • the best defense is a good offense — The usual US version of attack is the best form of defence. Also as a good offense is the best defense. 1989 Washington Times 13 Sept. C9 The reigning corporate strategy these days is that the best defense is a good offense. 1992 MIEDER Dict. of… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • the bleating of the kid excites the tiger — The victim’s cries of distress stir up the predator; Kipling took the idea, in a story about schoolboys giving bullies a taste of their own medicine, from Francis Galton’s The Art of Travel (1855; ‘one of the forms had been studying that pleasant …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church — The Church has thrived on persecution. Cf. TERTULLIAN Apologeticus I. semen est sanguis Christianorum, the blood of Christians is seed. 1560 J. PILKINGTON Aggeus the Prophet U4v Cipriane wrytes that the bloud of Martirs is the seede of the Church …   Proverbs new dictionary

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