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WISDOM LITERATURE


Wisdom not valued much in modern society, so wisdom literature not popular in our culture; In the past, Aesop's fables--which are amazing--used to be a common resource for popular wisdom. But in the ancient near east, wisdom literature abounded.


Shortly before Solomon, an Egyptian named Amenemope was famed for his wisdom. Let me read the introduction to the Proverbs of Amenemope:


The beginning of the instruction about life,

The guide for well-being,

All the principles of official procedure,

The duties of the courtiers;

To know how to refute the accusation of one who made it,

And to send back a reply to the one who wrote,

To set one straight on the paths of life,

And make him prosper on earth;

To let his heart settle down in its chapel,

As one who steers him clear of evil;

To save him from the talk of others,

As one who is respected in the speech of men.

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