"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
In the Wisdom literature of the Bible we first hear the cool voice of a teacher calling us to think--to think hard and humbly. "How long will fools hate knowledge?" cries Wisdom in the book of Proverbs. Then in Job comes the anguished voice of the questioner, earnest enough to seek answers, honest enough to doubt easy ones. In Ecclesiastes the chastened tone of the Preacher warns of the vanity of all life under the sun.
Sensitive to both literary form and theological content, Derek Kidner introduces Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes, explaining their basic character and internal structure. He also summarizes and evaluates the wealth of modern criticism focused on each book. Looking at all three books together, Kidner shows how their many voices compare, contrast and ultimately give a unified view of life.
Kidner extends his analysis to include Ecclesiasticus and The Wisdom of Solomon from the Apocrapha, and he reprints excerpts from non-Israelite works that parallel the three major books treated.
1. A meeting of minds
2. The book of Proverbs: a life well managed
3. Proverbs and modern study
4. The book of Job: a world well managed?
5. Job in academic discussion
6. Ecclesiastes: a life worth living?
7. Ecclesiastes--a sample of opinions
8. Voices in counterpoint: the three books compared, contrasted and integrated
A. Some international reflections on life
B. Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach
C. The Wisdom of Solomon
A short bibliography
Index of Scripture references
Index of authors