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Wisdom Literature 

The wisdom literature of the OT consists of the books of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth). Among the books of the Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus (The Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach) and the Wisdom of Solomon also belong to this wisdom category. In contrast to other parts of the OT, such as the Pentateuch and the former and latter prophets, which stress God's initiative in revealing the divine nature and will for his people, Israel's earliest wisdom literature stressed the human search for order in society and nature. In Israel the main roots of the wisdom movement were 1) the family and clan, as suggested by many of the Proverbs where the parent admonishes the child; and 2) the royal court in Jerusalem where Solomon reigned and is said to have been a source of wisdom (1 Kgs 4:29-34). It was presumably for this reason that the authorship of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are attributed to him. The wisdom movement continued through the intertestamental period when God was clearly identified as the author of order, termed wisdom. According to Ecclesiasticus (1:4), wisdom (a feminine noun) was God's first creation. Eventually wisdom was personified, attributed a heavenly status and even viewed as God's first-born. St. Paul identifies Christ with the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24). 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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