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Proverb’s Understanding of God and Sacredness

Han, Dong-Gu 1

1평택대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The present article studies how the early texts of Proverbs(10:1-22:16) worked out its communication with the world. As a result, it argues that Proverbs understands the world-view and social demands of the Davidic-Solomonic era with a view to yield consequential theological discourses. Besides, the present article will examine the texts in order to demonstrate that the sacredness of God is revealed in the social order and justice. The study begins with the historical background and world-view of the early texts of Proverbs. Then it investigates the causal relation and the understanding of God, the notable characteristics of Proverbs, and also compares the traditional values with the novel ones as represented in the book. Consequently the study will show how the early texts of the book considered the social and religious ideas as well as the reverence of God in the book. By doing so we will find out the sacredness which is imbedded in the social ethics, particularly characterized in the texts. (The early part of) Proverbs employed the social demand requested in the time of David and Solomon that ‘the diversity of nations and social classes should be conformed to the norm’, establishing the principles of justice to set up a social order. In the book the principle that ‘the work of his hands rewards him’ is found; wealth is a reward of labor. Surely the book claims justice of fairness, principle of retribution, and causal relations to form the order of the empire. Furthermore, Proverbs declares the universal values such as wisdom, justice and order, which were novel and made possible to break down the barriers of ethnic and regional identity. Proverbs communicated with the social demands and spirit of Davidic and Solomonic era, and as a result, accommodated particular theological discourses in it. In a way it can be said that the sapient theologians of Proverbs made the real communication with the society possible. They made use of the certain measures of ‘diligence-indolence, wise-folly, and justice-injustice’ to innovate particular social value and code; they also contemplated to prevent unjust accumulation of wealth through the social regulation. They saw that divine values and codes were reflected in daily life. In other words in the social and ethical deeds divine will is to be found. Daily life is to be just and sacred. The theologians of Proverbs argue that YHWH judges and observes human beings as omniscient and omnipotent Creator. Thus God manages to correspond appropriately to all the deeds of human beings, regardless of their plans. The theologians of Proverbs found God’s sacred will in daily life as well as the social and ethical regulations, thus requested the Israelites to fear YHWH.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.