The Pillar Function of the Speeches of Wisdom
This work examines the relationship of the speeches of Wisdom to one another and with the rest of Proverbs 1–9. This rapport between the speeches is expounded in the close reading chapters and is also scrutinized from the perspective of their genre definition. In turn, it is suggested that the affinities between the speeches and parental instructions of Proverbs 1–9, point towards viewing the speeches as a component genre, called instruction by Wisdom within the framing genre parental wisdom instruction. Furthermore, it is proposed that the path, house and treasure imageries function as cohesive and unifying elements in the structure of Proverbs 1–9. All these features offer the conclusion that the speeches, in relation to each other and the rest of the material, exhibit the emphatic signs of a successful literary composition, even if stages of redaction are accepted in their editing. Therefore, they function as framing pillars in the structure of Proverbs 1–9. In terms of their overall focus and message, the speeches reflect careful and meaningful designing, notably considering the tripartite formula of temptation, enticement and desirability.