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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Die aramäischen Achikar-Sprüche aus Elephantine und die alttestamentliche Weisheitsliteratur
Weigl, Michael

Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010 pp. xvi + 880. $210.00

Series Information
Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 399


Description: The monograph provides a literary, form critical and genre historical examination of the most extensive body of wise sayings recorded in the Ancient Aramaic language. The papyri upon which the collection has been preserved in its oldest traditional form, was discovered in connection with a Jewish-Aramaic military colony on Elephantine Island in the Nile, southern Egypt, at the beginning of the 20th century and dated at around the middle of the fifth century BC. The proverbs of Achikar were one of the most popular and, in terms of their historical impact and influence, most significant subjects of late Antique Oriental wisdom literature. On these papyri they are connected to a wisdom narrative with a later date of origin. Despite their outstanding form critical and literary historical significance, previous study of this collection of proverbs has dealt almost exclusively with aspects of their dialect geography and grammar, but has not examined them from a comparative literary perspective. With this monograph, the author attempts to remedy this research deficit and particularly to illustrate important formal and literary interconnections with Old Testament Wisdom Literature against the backdrop of related traditions. The results are far reaching insights into the interregional and intercultural characteristics of the (early Jewish?) discourse on wisdom and into possible formal and literary connections to central Old Testament Wisdom Literature.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Wisdom Literature, Literature, Methods, Linguistics, Aramaic

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Review by Mark W. Hamilton
Published 5/28/2012
Citation: Mark W. Hamilton, review of Michael Weigl, Die aramäischen Achikar-Sprüche aus Elephantine und die alttestamentliche Weisheitsliteratur, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).


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