Deuteronomy reflects influence from ancient Wisdom traditions, such as those in the book of Proverbs and in other ancient Near Eastern literature. Yet Deuteronomy presents Torah as Israel’s own Wisdom teaching. This serves both to elevate Torah and to insist that it be in dialogue with the broader, non-Israelite world.
Qohelet says that simḥah (joy) is the best thing in life, but also that it is profitless and absurd. This essay will explore this fundamental contradiction.
Michael V. Fox