Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Thomas Caldwell

Second Advisor

Antonio Gaboury

Third Advisor

Noël Lazure

Fourth Advisor

John F. X. Sheehan

Fifth Advisor

J. Coert Rylaarsdam


Why is wisdom literature part of the Scriptures? Wisdom sayings often have a very earthy character. In those cases, they are the type of practical advice which people frequently pass on to each other. How did those practical maxims come to be regarded as part of the divine revelation? There is a possibility for a new answer to this question because of advances in kingship studies. Through the work of Mowinckel and others, it has become apparent that the king had a role in the cultic sphere. This opens up the possibility that wisdom had a connection with the king's cultic role. If the king was wise by virtue of his anointing in the cult, what relevance does this royal wisdom have for the later wisdom movement? The wisdom movement resulted from the work of the professional class of wise men, who pursued their interest in wisdom during the monarchic and post-exilic periods of Israel's history. Were the products of the wisdom movement more easily accepted as revelation because the king's earlier involvement with wisdom has already prepared people to think of wisdom as revelation? The studies reflected in this paper indicate that this is the case. It will be demonstrated that the Judean king, like other Near Eastern kings, was regarded as a channel for divine wisdom. The king was filled with the spirit of Yahweh, and as such, he was supremely wise. The king renewed this type of divine ability through ritual acts.



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