This volume considers a major shift among Jewish sages during the Second Temple period, as certain authors moved from an earthly focus to a belief in individual immortality. Egyptian instructions and the book of Proverbs are examined for necessary background. The colorful responses of Qoheleth and Ben Sira to an emergent belief in the afterlife are also discussed. 4QInstruction, the largest Wisdom text from the Dead Sea Scrolls corpus, demonstrates this shift to an eschatological understanding. This book considers the diverse reasons for the changes that one finds in 4QInstruction, especially the issue of social context. It will prove useful to those interested in Wisdom literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, apocalypticism, and the development of beliefs in the afterlife.
Samuel L. Adams, Ph.D. (2006) at Yale University, is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia. His research interests include Wisdom literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Egyptology.
All those interested in Wisdom literature, Second Temple Judaism, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Egyptology, and the development of beliefs in the afterlife.