Introduction
This book honors King Solomon as a respected ruler who was granted great wisdom by God. Written originally in Greek, it clearly draws on earlier Hebrew Wisdom sources and features excellent poetry composed in the style of classical Hebrew Wisdom poetry. The book is written as though Solomon himself were addressing the reader, but it is most likely the work of a Jewish sage from Alexandria writing at some point in the late first century b.c., which he produced for the large Jewish community there. The author is familiar with the Hebrew scriptures, the traditional Jewish Wisdom teachings, and Greek philosophy. The aims of the author are to help restore the faith of wavering contemporaries, to encourage faithful living according to God's teachings in Torah, and to show that God's Wisdom is far superior to what may be found in other religions or philosophies. Just as in the book of Proverbs there is much emphasis placed on the importance of acquiring and living by Wisdom. As in Proverbs 8, divine Wisdom is here personified as a woman, an astute and creative agent of God for good.
In the model Solomonic prayer for Wisdom found in chapter 9 (based on 1 Kings 3), we are introduced to the logos, Greek for “word,” as a personified attribute of God. The opening line of this prayer, addresses God “who hast made all things with thy word” (9.1). That word (logos) is then equated with Wisdom in the next verse (9.2), the active personification of the divine creative power and wisdom (cf. Prov 8.22-31; Ecclus 24; Bar 3.9-37). This book is a very important source for understanding the background and development of the logos concept which would come to express itself a century and a half later in the New Testament in a highly developed form and applied to the Christ in John 1.1-4.
Outline
God Blesses All Who Seek Wisdom (1.1—8.21)
Praying for Wisdom (9.1—19.22)
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