111 The whole work was originally written in Greek and used many Hellenistic rhetorical devices;253 so many, in fact, that Jerome commented that its style was "redolent of Greek eloquence."254
Where the simplest unit in previous wisdom writings was the two line sentence, the author of the Wisdom of Solomon uses "the classical Greek period, which he ordinarily rounds off with an inclusion."255 These are the building blocks of the composition which has been formed into a unity by the author.256 This unity has been accomplished by two primary devices: "flashback" and thematic coherence.257 Therefore, characters mentioned explicitly in one passage may well be implicit in others.
253 254 255 256 Winston, pp. 14-18; see Chapter 1, n. 71. Winston, pc 15. Reese, p. 123. The unity of the book has been questioned by some commentators; cf. F. Feldmann, "Zur Einheit des Buches der Weisheit," Biblische Zeitschrift 7 (1909), 140-150; P. Beauchamp, "Le salut corporal des justes et la conclusion du livre de la Sagesse," Biblica 45 (1964), 491-526, especially p. 500. The arguments of Reese, pp. 122-145, and Winston, pp. 12-14, however, that the book was written by a single person albeit over a long period of time (cf. P. Skehan, "The Text and Structure of the Book of Wisdom," Traditio 3 , 1-12) seem convincing.
257 Reese, p. 123; by "flashback" Reese means "the frequent repetition of significant ideas in similar phrasing" (e.g., Wisd. 10:6-7 and 4:4-6). He compiles 45 examples of the device in pp. 125-140.