The Path Metaphor and the Construction of a Schicksalwirkende Tatsphäre in Proverbs 10:1-22:16

In: Vetus Testamentum
Suzanna R. Millar University of Edinburgh

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Klaus Koch influentially argued that in Proverbs, the world is understood as a schicksalwirkende Tatsphäre—a sphere of activity effecting one’s fate. Act and consequence are intrinsically and organically bound together. Recent scholarship has cast doubt on these views. Some of Proverbs’ imagery, however, does seem to suggest such an act-consequence connection. The ‘path’, for example, is at once moral and salvific, or immoral and destructive. I suggest that through imagery of the path, the sage constructs a metaphorical schicksalwirkende Tatsphäre. It is not intended as an explanation of causality, but as a motivational model to affect the student’s behaviour.

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