kings" is to "search things out" (25:2b).
Just as the glory of God resides in the con- cealment of meaning, the glory of the king is lodged in his capacity and ability to disclose truth hidden in the created order. The locus of revelation is not with the person of God but that of the king. It is the king who has access to the divine secrets. By his special relationship to the deity the king is privi- leged to inquire into that which is hidden from ordinary mortals. The discernment of the king is itself a matter for wonder and awe. It too is something mysterious and inscrutable.13
This high degree of ambiguity in the king (he is both dangerous and attractive14) explains why the wise can
glory (v. 2) - honey (v. 16) - honey (v. 27a) - glory
27b). Therefore, the 3rd, masculine plural suffix in
27b (Mdbk) refers to kings (and perhaps God). Bryce
previously argued for the presence of this "wisdom book" in "Another Wisdom-'Book' in Proverbs," JBL 91 (1972), 145-157. Responses to Bryce's proposal, are instructive in the problem of scholarly subjectivity. R. Murphy, Wisdom Literature: Job Proverbs, Ruth, Canticles Ecclesiastes, Esther (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), p. 77, remarks."This evidence is too fragile to support the existence of an original wisdom book in this chapter." On the opposite side, W. Humphreys, "The Motif of the Wise Courtier in the Book of Proverbs," in Israelite Wisdom: Theological and Literary Essays in Honor of Samuel Terrien, ed. Gammie, W. Brueggemann,
Humphreys, and J. Ward (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1978),
185, says, "His arguments . . . are, on the whole, com-
pelling, and his suggestion is attractive." The present writer is convinced by Bryce's proposal.
13 14 Bryce, The Legacy of Wisdom, p. 160. This danger-attraction character of the king is, of course, reminiscent of the mysterium tremendum et fascinans explicated by R. Otto, The Idea of the Holy: An Inquiry into the Non-Rational Factor in the Idea of the Divine and its Relation to the Rational, trans. by J. Harvey (rev. ed., London: Oxford University Press, 1929), pp. 12-41.