Thursday, 11 March 2010


Leithart on the wisdom books:

What is wisdom? Follow the canonical progression of wisdom books.

Proverbs: There are two women. Choose Lady Wisdom and reject Lady Folly.

Ecclesiastes: All is hebel. Death looms. Therefore, eat, drink, rejoice in the wife of your youth. Joy in your wife is the way to Lady Wisdom.

Song of Songs: A man rejoices in his bride, eating and drinking a feast of love.


Wisdom is about sex: Proverbs says, Choose the right woman; Ecclesiastes says, Cling to her in defiance of decay; the Song says, Love brings you back to the garden.

Or: Fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. Joy in defiance of death is wisdom coming to maturity. Fulfilled wisdom is knowing that love is as strong as death.

Or: Proverbs is priestly wisdom, distinguishing wisdom and folly. Ecclesiastes is kingly wisdom, rendering judgments in the midst of darkness. The Song is prophetic wisdom, the hope of future harmony.

Or: Proverbs is past; Ecclesiastes is present; the Song is future.

Or: Proverbs is the Father; Ecclesiastes the Son; the Song is the Song of the Spirit.


J and C @ Q1NGHA1 said...

Proverbs is the Son's reliance on the Spirit as Wisdom, like a marriage

Ecclesiastes is chaos vs. order, the raging waters of day 2 vs. the order of the new King Jesus

Song of Songs as Christ and Church

So different portrayals of the Trinitarian relationship

Proverbs = Trinitarian relationship PRE-CREATION, the prayer for the bride (church) to be born of the excellent wife (the Spirit hovering over the waters)

Ecclesiastes = CREATION of the world (chaos, all under the sun) but from death comes life - hence the King focus in final chapter(s)

Song of Songs = prophetic final marriage of Christ and the church in NEW CREATION


i'm rambling

yemsee said...

what about the other wisdom books then? =)

J and C @ Q1NGHA1 said...

hmm.. let me continue to ramble..

since proverbs/ecclesiastes/song of songs takes on a different 'narrative'/writing style than, say, job and psalms, i'd say job and psalms are the 'gateway' to wisdom literature

job = oldest book of the Bible - starts with edenic blessing (of his household) but ends with even better new creation-type blessing (post-sevenfold sacrifice of the lamb)

psalms = reflection on OT events in the five books of Moses

so basically job and psalms are the 'narrative' wisdom literature books

and proverbs/eccl/songs are the.. hm.. 'mystical' wisdom literature books which explains the historical events in Job/Psalms?

i dunno..