Teaching Children in the Instruction of Amenemope and Deuteronomy

in Vetus Testamentum
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The Instruction of Amenemope and the book of Deuteronomy share a common conviction about the nature and intent of parental teaching. This commonality is marked by basic lexical analogues, as well as three conceptual analogues from the broader contexts of the two compositions. Consequently, this study provides further evidence for the claim that Deuteronomy evinces wisdom influence.

Teaching Children in the Instruction of Amenemope and Deuteronomy

in Vetus Testamentum



M. Weinfeld“The Origin of the Humanism in Deuteronomy,” JBL80 (1961) pp. 241-47; ibid. Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford 1972; repr. Winona Lake 1992).


J. R. Boston“The Wisdom Influence upon the Song of Moses,” JBL 87 (1968) pp. 198-202 quotation from p. 202.


LaisneyAménémopé p. 70; so also Römheld Weisheit pp. 162-64.


Proverbs 20:7 states“The righteous person walks in his integrity; happy are his children after him.” Such a person would be compatible with one who observes instruction, but the connotation here is, instead, one who is innocent or just (“צַדִּיק,” HALOT 3:1001-1003) and morally complete that is pure or upright (“תֹּם” HALOT 4:1752-1754). Furthermore his children may experience euphoria and material blessings even if they do not walk with integrity like their father. As for Ecclesiastes Qohelet himself inclines his heart toward wisdom but with no mention of how this would have affected his children if he had any (cp. children in Eccl 6:3; 9:3). As for the book of Job Job’s “friends” expound a retribution theology by which children suffer from the sins of their parents (20:10; 21:19; 24:5; 27:13-14). A similar theology is found in Amenemope and Deuteronomy: if the parent acts corruptly he incurs adversity sometimes explicitly from Re or Yhwh for himself and his children (Amen 8:7; 12:13-14; 17:9-14; Deut 4:25-27; 5:9; 28:18 32 41 46 50 53-57). From this theology in Job however one can not infer that righteous parents will engender obedient children not least because Job was said to be “blameless and upright one who feared God and turned away from evil” but his children were never given this epithet. Instead Job as priest of his patriarchal household offered sacrifices on their behalf in case they had “sinned and cursed God in their hearts” (Job 1:1 5 18-19; cf. Job’s wife’s suggestion and Job’s response in 2:9-10); see N. C. Habel The Book of Job (OTL; Philadelphia 1985) p. 88.


W. L. Moran“The Ancient Near Eastern Background of the Love of God in Deuteronomy,” CBQ 25 (1963) pp. 77-87 esp. 83 n. 35; U. Rüterswörden “Die Liebe zu Gott im Deuteronomium” in M. Witte K. Schmid D. Prechel and J. C. Gertz (eds.) Die Deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerke(BZAW 365; Berlin 2006) pp. 229-38; J. E. Lapsley “Feeling Our Way: Love for God in Deuteronomy” CBQ 65 (2003) pp. 350-69 esp. 351-52 364; B. T. Arnold “The Love-Fear Antinomy in Deuteronomy 5-11” VT 61 (2011) pp. 551-69 esp. 554 557 566.


CollinsHebrew Bible p. 172.

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