Wise King, Royal Fool (Journal For The Study Of The Old Testament Supplement Series)
This study focuses on a reading of Proverbs 1-9 as satire via semiotics, which empowers a heightened, poetic sensitivity to multivalent textual signs. These include allusion to two points of critique against Solomon* (1) his political policy of socio-economic injustice...
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This study focuses on a reading of Proverbs 1-9 as satire via semiotics, which empowers a heightened, poetic sensitivity to multivalent textual signs. These include allusion to two points of critique against Solomon* (1) his political policy of socio-economic injustice and (2) his numerous sexual (in)discretions. That Solomon abandoned his divinely proscribed duty only evinces his lack of 'fear of Yahweh'. First, Solomon demonstrates his lack of discernment by an inability to rule with righteousness, justice and equity because of administrative policies that bled the innocent dry of their resources for his own self-aggrandizement. Second, Solomon's sexual behaviour reflects his need of Wisdom as the personification of eroticism. The absence of the 'fear of Yahweh' in Solomon prompts the poet's reproof in Proverbs 1-9 (itself a poetic torah) that he should resume his proper role of Torah meditation. How the 'son' responds to the decision posed to him remains decidedly open-ended, since satire generally offers no denouement to its plot. Nevertheless, the signs of this satiric poetry intimate the wise king as a royal fool. This is volume 399 in the Journal for the Study of the Old Tes
Johnny E. Miles received his doctorate in Religion with specialization in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible studies from Baylor University in May 2001. He is teaching at Texas Christian University as an adjunct instructor. A
- Introduction; This Preface Briefly Orients The Reader Both To The Philosophical Perspective Driving This Study And The Labyrinthine World Of Proverbs 1-9. Chapter One: Prolegomenon This Chapter Briefly Surveys The Landscape Of Biblical Scholarship On Proverbs 1-9 While Making The Case For An Alternative Perspective. Chapter Two: A Theoretical Framework For A 'postmodern' Semiotic Reading Of Proverbs 1-9 This Chapter Constructs The Theoretical Framework For The Reader-response Semiotic Theory Employed To Navigate The Poetic World Of Proverbs 1-9. Chapter Three: Prologue: A C(i)ue To (read) Proverbs 1-9 As Satire This Chapter Briefly Introduces The Phenomenon Of Satire Prior To Reading The Prologue As A Cue To The Reader To Intuit What Is Not Said At The Surface Level Of Expression. Chapter Four: The 'wisdom' Of Solomon This Chapter Develops Further The First Subjacent Point Of Critique Against Solomon Within The Prologue. Its Aim Is To Determine The True Nature Of Solomon's 'wisdom' Via Close Analyses Of The 1 Kings 1-11 Intertext And Two Poems, Proverbs 1.8-19 And 3.1-12. Chapter Five: The (in)discretions Of Solomon This Chapter Develops Further The Second Subjacent Point Of Critique Against Solomon Within The Prologue. Its Aim Is To Emphasize The Sexual (in)discretions Of Solomon Via Close Analyses Of The Erotic Context Of The Poems In Proverbs 5 And 7. Chapter Six: Banquets, Wine And Women: An Eroticism Of Life Or Death This Chapter Builds Upon The Erotic Trope Through A Close Analysis Of The Contrastive Banquet Scenes Of Woman Wisdom And Woman Folly In Proverbs 9. Although Revealing The Various Metaphorical Dimensions To This Poem, This Chapter Underscores This Poem's Allegorical Function As A Decision Of Life Or Death For The 'son'. Chapter Seven: Epilogue: Beginning The Ending, Ending The Beginning This Chapter Summarizes The Observations And Conclusions Gleaned From The Reading Analyses Of Previous Chapters.