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falsity is complained of, xxvi. 23–28; dishonesty in reference to parents' property, xxviii. 24; it is necessary to exhort to the prosecution of husbandry, xxvii. 23—27. The proverbs of this section refer more frequently to small and special circumstances of every-day life.
In the portions i.-ix., xxii, 17—xxiv. 34, a still more troubled political, social and religious condition of the people is apparent. It is needful to exhort to stand aloof from political agitators, xxiv. 21 f.; to interpose with personal risk for the rescue of innocent persons about to be put to death, xxiv. 11 f. Bands of robbers and loose persons ranged about, robbing and murdering the defenceless; and so common was this wild life that it was needful to guard the youth against its fascination, i. 11– 19; ii. 114-15; iv. 14-17; xxiv. 15. Religious men were troubled and perplexed by the prosperity of the wicked, iii. 31; xxiii. 17; xxiv. 1, 19.
The poetic form, the language, and the subject-matter of the first four portions of this book alike point to various authors and dates of composition. This is one of the most certain conclusions of modern criticism. But Ewald arrives at further conclusions by means of the combination of the above facts with other considerations. He ascertains the dates of the different sections, and of their formation into the present book.
The poetic form, the language, and the subject matter of the main section, X.-xxii. 16, all point to its Solomonian origin. The proverbs of this section are in the oldest and most perfect form and language. They describe a state of regal splendour and national prosperity. All this points to Solomon or his immediate successors' time. Then philosophy arose in Israel Then the poetic art was in its full vigour. Then arose the schools of sceptics, and scoptics, so often referred to in this section, xiii. 1; xiv. 6; xv. 12, &c. Still, several of these proverbs probably arose somewhat later than Solomon's reign. They speak of the city as the centre and essence of the state, xi. 10, 11; x. 15; xviii. 11. But till the division of the kingdom, the people in their strength and unity, left no room for the city to acquire so great importance. After the division, Jerusalem became the great centre of Judæa. It is, therefore, probabie that the proverbs that refer to the city were not written before the days of Asa and Jehoshaphat. All things considered, it is most probable that the proverbs of this chief division of the book were written in the tenth century, some in Solomon's time, some immediately afterwards.
In accordance with the above facts, the section XXV.--xxix., is the next oldest part of the book. Nothing is opposed to the truth of the historical notes of the heading xxv.1, that Hezekiah's men
collected the proverbs of this book. The good king's men, learned men and poets of his court, might collect the good proverbs that were in existence, many of them old enough, as going back into the ninth or the beginning of the eighth century, to be called Solomonian proverbs, and the more modern ones might be included in the same collection, since they were of a similar stamp and origin. Chapters xxviii.- xxix. have marks of a greater age than chapters xxv.—xxvii.
The divisions i.-ix.; xxii. 17–xxiv. 34, are later than the above. The language, the poetry, and the contents are much more modern. This, together with another fact to be mentioned, points to the seventh century as the date of these sections. The other fact referred to is the similarities between this section and the book of Job. The similarity of thought in one respect has been mentioned above, p. 460. Further similarities are :First, the highest thought and final result of the book of Job, that God's love must be seen in His chastisements, appears in chapter iii. as a well-known, common truth, although the former sections of this book contain no such proverb. Second, the idea of wisdom as the planner of the world, iii. 8 ff., is an extension of Job xxviii. Third, though the author of this section has not appropriated the words but only the spirit of the book of Job, several words and images in this section are re-echoed from that book, as viii. 25 2017 from Job xxxviii. 6; ii. 4; iii. 14; viii. 11, 19, from Job xxviii. 12-19; vii. 23, from Job xvi. 13; xx. 25 ; iii. 23 ff., from Job v. 22 ff. The section, therefore, must have been written as late as the beginning of the seventh century. There is no reason for assigning a later date.
The section xxii. 17–xxiv. 34 is probably an appendix to the section x.-xxii. 16, added some time after the above
34 is probabate
introduction :=xxii. 16,
The most probable history of our present book, and therefore of Hebrew didactic poetry during four centuries, is accordingly this.
The reign of Solomon was well adapted for the foundation of the proverbial poetry of Israel. National peace and prosperity gave the opportunity for the cultivation of philosophy and poetry. The King himself was specially endowed with wisdom, and devoted to its pursuits. In his days Israel was engaged in noble rivalry with the surrounding nations in the pursuit of wisdom. Then schools of philosophy were formed; and from these issued numerous books of proverbs. Solomon may therefore be considered as the founder of this species of philosophy, and the originator of the literary form in which it was adorned. Many of the proverbs of that bright dawn of philosophy have perished, but happily a large number has been preserved in the largest section of our book, X.-xxii. 16, as well as a considerable
ith the surrohilosophy were Solomon may
his bones, hand of the of the writer loquent oratbe
number bearing more or less the same character from the ninth and the beginning of the eighth centuries in the section xxv.xxix.
In the eighth century this species of poetry underwent a great change. Two influences produced it—the one prophetic, the other philosophic. The prophet as an inspired, eloquent orator is in many respects the antithesis of the writer of proverbs. The prophet feels the hand of the Lord upon him, the fire burning in his bones. The writer of proverbs, gathering up the experience of the past, calmly embodies it in a carefully rounded sentence, and enshrines it in fixed, artistic verse. The prophet cannot endure the restrictions of this most restricted form of poetry. In the eighth century the prophetic spirit had impregnated all earnest writers. The didactic poets, the old proverb writers, break out of the narrow limitations of the Solomonian proverb, and use the freedom of the prophet. While, on the other hand, the prophet, the dramatist, and the lyrist employ the force and beauty of the old proverb whenever they need it.
The philosophic influence combined with the prophetic to transform proverbial poetry. Proverbs, as we have seen, arise in the dawn of philosophy. They are precepts, brief summaries of practical wisdom. When philosophy strives to attain deeper wisdom, to understand the work of God, the order of the world, and solve the riddles that perplex the man who begins to account for things, the slight, brief form of the proverb is found to be unsuitable both to express and to commend her teaching. The various wealth of philosophy and the warm earnestness of prophecy cannot be confined within the scanty proverbial form. The later portions of the book of Proverbs are subsequent to the eighth century, and are illustrations of the above change.
The section i.-ix. written probably about the commencement of the seventh century, is an introduction to the Proverbs of Solomon, x,-xxii. 16, and is written with philosophic fulness and prophetic warmth and earnestness. The sections xxi. 17xxix. 27, are appendices to the preceding book, i.-xxii. 16. Their collector found two books of proverbs, xxii, 17—xxiv. 22 and xxiv. 23–34, of which there were many bearing the name of Words of the Wise, and, probably about the middle or towards the end of the seventh century, appended them in an abbreviated form to the above book. The same collector added, as a third appendix, the section xxv.-xxix. The remaining pieces xxx.xxxi. were subjoined still later. The first three xxx. 1-14; v.15– 33; xxxi. 1-9, are the productions of an unknown Agúr son of Jakeh ; the last, xxxi. 10-30, the praise of the virtuous wife, is an alphabetic poem.
The whole book as it exists in Hebrew may have been completed in the sixth century. It gives therefore the clearest illustration of the history of Hebrew proverbial writing, containing as it does the choicest fruit of several centuries' growth,
" It does not claim to belong in its entirety to Solomon; and it is clearly the product of different ages. Yet its prime cause was Solomon; and the later parts in various ways cling round this royal stem, while the most important parts are the oldest Solomonian.”
J. F. SMITH.
I REMEMBER something about Padua with a sort of romantic pleasure. There was a certain charm which I can dimly recall, in sauntering along the top of the old wall of the city, and looking down upon the plumy crests of the Indian corn that flourished up so mightily from the dry bed of the moat. At such times I could not help figuring to myself the many sieges that the wall had known, with the fierce assault by day, the secret attack by night, the swarming foe upon the plains below, the bristling arms of the besieged upon the wall, the boom of the great mortars made of ropes and leather, and throwing mighty balls of stone, the stormy flight of arrows, the ladders planted against the defences and staggering headlong into the moat, enriched for future agriculture not only by its sluggish waters, but by the blood of many men. I suppose that most of these visions were old stage spectacles furbished up anew, and that my armies were chiefly equipped with their obsolete implements of warfare from museums of armour and from cabinets of antiquities; but they were very vivid, for all that.
I was never able, in passing a certain one of the city gates, to divest myself of an historic interest in the great loads of hay waiting admission on the outside. For an instant they masked again the Venetian troops that, in the war of the league of Cambray, entered the city in the hay-carts, shot down the landsknechts at the gates, and, uniting with the citizens, cut the German garrison to pieces. But it was a thing long past. The German garrison was here again; and the heirs of the landsknechts went clanking through the gate to the parade ground, with that fierce clamour of their kettle-drums which is so much
fiercer because unmingled with the noise of fifes. Once more now the Germans are gone, and, let us trust, for ever ; but when I saw them, there seemed little hope of their going. They had a great Biergarten on the top of the wall, and they had set up the altars of their heavy Bacchus in many parts of the city.
I please myself with thinking that, if I walked on such a spring day as this in the arcaded Paduan streets, I should catch glimpses, through the gateways of the palaces, of gardens full of vivid bloom, and of fountains that tinkle there for ever. If it were autumn, and I were in the great market-place before the Palazzo della Ragione, I should hear the baskets of amber-hued and honeyed grapes humming with the murmur of multitudinous bees, and making a music as if the wine itself were already singing in their gentle hearts. It is a great field of succulent verdure, that wide old market-place; and fancy loves to browse among its gay stores of fruits and vegetables, brought thither by the world-old peasant women who have been bringing fruits and vegetables to the Paduan market for so many centuries. They sit upon the ground before their great panniers, and knit and doze, and wake up with a drowsy “Comandala ?” as you linger to look at their grapes. They have each a pair of scales,—the emblem of Injustice—and will weigh you out a scant measure of the fruit if you like. Their faces are yellow as parchment, and Time has written them so full of wrinkles that there is not room for another line. Doubtless these old parchment visages are palimpsests, and would tell the whole history of Padua if you could get at each successive inscription. Among their primal records there must be some account of the Roman city, as each little contadinella remembered it on market-days; and one might read of the terror of Attila's sack, a little later, with the peasant maid's personal recollections of the bold Hunnish trooper who ate up the grapes in her basket, and kissed her hard, round red cheeks,- for in that time she was a blooming girl,—and paid nothing for either privilege. What wild and confused reminiscences on the wrinkled visage we should find thereafter of the fierce republican times of Ecelino, of the Carraras, of the Venetian rule! And is it not sad to think of systems and peoples all passing away, and these ancient women lasting still, and still selling grapes in front of the Palazzo della Ragione? What a long mortality!
The youngest of their number is a thousand years older than the palace, which was begun in the twelfth century, and which is much the same now as it was when first completed. I know that if I entered it, I should be sure of finding the great hall of the palace—the vastest hall in the world-dim and dull and dusty and delightful, with nothing in it except at one end
it count of the Among thedua if youre palim