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(4:3). At another point, the writer of Wisdom demonstrates the exceptional propriety of God's acts of judgment by pointing out that God could have sent upon the Egyptians a "multitude of bears" instead of the "multitude of irrational creatures" so akin to the irrational serpents and other worthless animals which they worshiped (11:1517).

The "powers that be," "king" (basileuj), "mighty"

(krataioj) and "those who exercise power" (katadunasteu- santej), are generally portrayed as beneficent or, at

least, not harmful.292 This is, of course, entirely in keeping with the book's "wise king"-ideal adapted from the Hellenistic milieu with its many tracts "On Kingship" which customarily treated universal ethical ideals.293 Twice, however, the king is an enemy whom Moses confronted (10:16) or the one whom God punished just as he did all Egyptians (18:11). Similarly, those who exercise power are once the enemies of God's people (15:14), and the mighty are liable to greater responsibilities than their subjects. There is a strict inquiry in store for them (6:8).

The Friends and Kinfolk Group Only once does the "friend" (filoj) characterize an enemy in the Wisdom of Solomon. Mentioned is the one whom

14:17.

292

Cf. basileuj in 6:1, 24; 7:5; 9:7; 11:10; 12:14;

293

Reese, pp. 71-37.

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