The word wisdom (חכם) is mentioned 222 times in the Hebrew Bible. It was regarded as one of the highest virtues among the Israelites along with kindness (חסד) and justice (צדק). Both the books of Proverbs and Psalms urge readers to obtain and to increase in wisdom.

The Old Testament conceptions of wisdom come mainly from Proverbs and from the less optimistic view of Providence in Job and Ecclesiastes. In the post-canonical writings, Ben Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon follow each respectively. Wisdom’s complexity leads to 12 types of aphorisms in Proverbs, including the gnomic, educational and metaphorical.

 

 

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Torah Wisdom from the Jewish Sages

Torah Wisdom from the Jewish Sages Rabbi Simcha Bunam of Pshis’cha – People are not to blame for the fact that they sin. Indeed, they withstand great temptation though their strength is negligible. They are, however to blame for the fact that they do not repent their evil ways, because...

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Wisdom From The Old Testament

Wisdom From The Old Testament Exhortation to Righteousness, the Key to Life 1 Love righteousness,* you who judge the earth;a think of the LORD in goodness, and seek him in integrity of heart;b 2 Because he is found by those who do not test him, and manifests himself to those who...

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Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom In the spirit of Kohelet, which is a feature of Sukkot, I share with you some of my favorite words of Halachic and Talmudic wisdom. For a daily dose of Torah wisdom be sure to check out (and ‘Like’!) the “Torah Wisdom” page on Facebook.  The walls...

Wisdom/Hokhmah/Sophia

Wisdom/Hokhmah/Sophia: Feminine Images of the Divine in Second Temple Judaism Rabbinic Source About Wisdom and Proverbs The Canonicity of Proverbs Shabbat 30b The Book of Proverbs too they desired to hide, because its statements are self-contradictory. Yet why did they not hide it? They said, “Did we not examine Qohelet...

Female Aspects of Deity: Searching for Lady Wisdom

Female Aspects of Deity: Searching for Lady Wisdom

Female Aspects of Deity: Searching for Lady Wisdom Title and structure: Who is the biblical Wisdom- Hochma, Sophia?: weaving the threads together. i Wisdom in the Hebrew Bible ii Wisdom and her sisters in the Hellenistic world iii in New Testament iv in “Gnostic Gospels”. v Wisdom goddesses of the...

The Character of Wisdom

The Character of Wisdom An Introduction to Old Testament Wisdom Literature Wisdom Literature is a term applied to the Old Testament canonical books of Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, and sometimes to the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon).  It also includes the Apocryphal books of Sirach (The Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira or Ecclesiasticus)...

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Wisdom Literature: Ben Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon

Wisdom Literature: Ben Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon Jewish Literature of the Greco-Roman Period Wisdom literature is a genre that has roots deep in ancient Near Eastern culture. There are exemplars of wisdom literature from Egypt of the 2nd millennium B.C.E., and from not too much later written in Mesopotamia....

Psalms

Psalms The Book of Psalms (תְּהִלִּים‬, Tehillim, “praises”), commonly referred to simply as Psalms or “the Psalms”, is the first book of the Ketuvim (“Writings”), the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and thus a book of the Christian Old Testament.[1] The title is derived from the Greek translation, ψαλμοί, psalmoi, meaning “instrumental music” and, by extension, “the words accompanying...

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Chokhmah

What Is Chokhmah? Chokmâh (חָכְמָה ,חכמה, ḥoḵmah or khok-maw’) is the Biblical Hebrew word rendered as “wisdom” in English Bible versions (LXX σοφία sophia, Vulgate sapientia). The word occurs 149 times in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible The Talmud (Shabbat 31a) describes knowledge of the Talmudic order of Kodshim as a high level of wisdom, chokhmah. It is cognate with...

Yeshua, Torah and the Tree of Life

Yeshua, Torah and the Tree of Life Torah is also called the “Tree of Life,” as it points us to God as He reveals Himself in the Sephirot, and thus His salvation. Going back to the time of Moses, God Himself states that His Torah is the way of “life.”...

Judaism

“Finding Wisdom, Faith and Comfort in the Tanach”

“Finding Wisdom, Faith and Comfort in the Tanach” The following is one in a series of columns in which local community members write about their favorite Jewish books. This week’s column is by Larry Hurwitz, M.D., a senior editor for Torah Productions, Inc. My favorite book is the Tanach, the...

Old Testament Wisdom

Old Testament Wisdom The didactic books constitute the third group of writings in the Old Testament. They teach man to organize his personal, earthly life in such a way that it will be blessed by God and by men, and may give him prosperity and peace of soul. The wisdom...

The Wisdom of the Talmud

The Wisdom of the Talmud A Thousand Years of Jewish Thought By Rabbi BEN ZION BOKSER New York: Philosophical Library [1951] TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION THE TALMUD AS LITERATURE The Bible Requires Supplementation; The Sanctions for Biblical Supplementation; The Method of Midrash Halakah; The Method of Midrash Haggadah; The Midrash as Literature; The...

A full set of the Babylonian Talmud

The Wisdom of Israel

The Wisdom of Israel by Edwin Collins, [1910] Title Page Contents Editorial Note Introduction Why God Permits Idolatry The Lamp that Goes Out when its Light is Done, and the Figs that are Gathered in their Due Season The Labourers in the Vineyard The Likeness of a Palm-Tree The Tutor and...

Wisdom In Judaism

WISDOM  Practical intelligence; the mental grasp which observes and penetrates into the nature of things, and also the ability skilfully to perform difficult tasks. The former faculty is intuitive, the latter creative. Hence the word connotes both deep understanding and artistic skill. Wisdom is at once a human and a...

Jewish Wisdom and Apocalyptic in Gnostic Apocalypses

Jewish Wisdom and Apocalyptic in Gnostic Apocalypses “Jewish wisdom and apocalypticism cannot be cleanly separated from one another.” This statement by George Nickelsburg inaugurating the SBL section on “Jewish Wisdom and Apocalypticism in Early Judaism and Early Christianity”1 has certainly been borne out by the work of that section since...

Dead Sea Scrolls

Book Of Proverbs

Book of Proverbs The Book of Proverbs (מִשְלֵי, Míshlê (Shlomoh), “Proverbs (of Solomon)”) is the second book of the third section (called Writings) of the Hebrew Bible and a book of the Christian Old Testament.[1] When translated into Greek and Latin, the title took on different forms: in the Greek Septuagint (LXX) it became Παροιμίαι Paroimiai (“Proverbs”); in the Latin Vulgate the title was Proverbia, from which...

Personal Morality in the Talmud

Personal Morality in the Talmud The Talmud is concerned with man himself, and not only with the social consequences of his actions. Scattered throughout Talmudic literature, we have therefore a description of the ideal in human character. It is inspired by the religious and moral values which are taught in...

Wisdom From The Talmud

Wisdom From The Talmud Talmud is short for ‘Talmud Torah,’ which means “study of the Torah” in Hebrew. The Torah is the Hebrew term for the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.) The Talmud is composed of several volumes of rabbinical discussions...

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