Solomon, Wisdom of


Solomon, Wisdom of

      an example of the “wisdom” genre of religious literature, which commends a life of introspection and reflection on human existence, especially from an ethical perspective. It is an apocryphal work (noncanonical for Jews and Protestants) but is included in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) and was accepted into the Roman canon.

      In the book, Wisdom is depicted as a feminine personification of an attribute of God; she is “a breath of the power of God, and a clear effluence of the glory of the Almighty.” (From this concept was developed the Logos theology of the Christian Church Fathers to explain Jesus Christ's relationship to God.) Written by a Jew in Alexandria sometime during the 1st century BC, the book was in effect a defense of Judaism, for, in describing Jewish doctrines in terms of Hellenistic philosophy, it showed that philosophical truths were applicable to the Jewish concept of God. Its argument was perhaps directed both to Jews who, responding to their non-Jewish environment, had apostatized and adopted pagan gods and to rigorist Jews who in the same environment advocated complete religious and social isolation.

      The first of the book's three sections is written in poetic form and is concerned with fostering enthusiasm for religious belief and practice, with emphasis on the superiority of belief over impiety. The second, mixing poetry and prose, praises Wisdom. The third, likewise a mixture of poetic and prose styles, attempts to prove that Wisdom has guided all of Israelite history. This section also condemns idol worship.

      The original text was most probably written in Greek; fragments were discovered in the Essene library, at Qumrān, in Palestine.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SOLOMON, WISDOM OF — (Gr. Σοφία Σαλωμῶνος (or Σ. Σαλωμῶντος) or, ή Σοφία; ή πανάρετος Σοφία, the wisdom of all the good precepts – a title sometimes given also to Proverbs and Ben Sira), an apocryphal work. The ascription of the book to Solomon is mentioned… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • wisdom book — noun any of the biblical books (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus) that are considered to contain wisdom • Syn: ↑sapiential book, ↑wisdom literature • Hypernym …   Useful english dictionary

  • wisdom literature — noun any of the biblical books (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus) that are considered to contain wisdom • Syn: ↑sapiential book, ↑wisdom book • Hypernyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • SOLOMON — (Heb. שְׁלֹמֹה; tenth century B.C.E.), son of david , king of Israel. Born of Bath Sheba, Solomon was so named by David (II Sam. 12:24; according to the keri, Targ. Jon., and according to the Pesh., by his mother), while Nathan called him… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Wisdom literature — is the genre of literature common in the Ancient Near East. This genre is characterized by sayings of wisdom intended to teach about divinity and about virtue. The key principle of wisdom literature is that whilst techniques of traditional story… …   Wikipedia

  • Solomon — • The second son of David by his wife Bathsheba, and the acknowledged favourite of his father Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Solomon     Solomon      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Solomon ibn Gabirol — Solomon ibn Gabirol, also Solomon ben Judah ( he. שלמה בן יהודה אבן גבירול, Shelomo ben Yehuda ibn Gevirol ; ar. أبو أيوب سليمان بن يحيى بن جبيرول, Abu Ayyūb Suleiman ibn Yahya ibn Jabirūl ; la. Avicebron, a corruption of Ibn Gabirol ) was an… …   Wikipedia

  • Wisdom — is a concept of personal gaining of knowledge, understanding, experience, discretion, and intuitive understanding, along with a capacity to apply these qualities well towards finding solutions to problems. It is the judicious and purposeful… …   Wikipedia

  • Solomon — m Biblical: name (Hebrew Shlomo, derived from shalom peace) of a king of Israel, son of David and Bathsheba, who was legendary for his wisdom (2 Samuel 12–24; 1 Kings 1–11; 2 Chronicles 1–9). The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes were ascribed… …   First names dictionary

  • Wisdom of Solomon — or Wisdom n. a book of the Apocrypha: abbrev. Wis, Wisd of Sol, or WS …   English World dictionary


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