Book of wisdom

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Textbooks or wisdom books of
the Old Testament

Names after the ÖVBE . Pseudepigraphs of
the Septuagint are in italics .

Old Testament books
History books


"Little" ( Book of the Twelve Prophets )

The Book of Wisdom or Solomon's Wisdom (abbreviated Weish , Latin Liber Sapientiae ) is a deuterocanonical or apocryphal book of the Old Testament , which was published around 50 BC. . BC on Greek in the Egyptian Diaspora (probably in Alexandria ) by a Greek-speaking, Hellenistic influenced Jews was written. The internal attribution to Solomon (Weish 7.1-9.19) is therefore literary fiction .

In terms of its shape, it is a typical example of wisdom literature . Wisdom of Solomon corresponds to the Greek title of the book in the Septuagint (Σοφία Σαλωμῶνος), Book of Wisdom corresponds to the Latin title in the Vulgate (Liber Sapientiae). Hieronymus had chosen this title because he was already convinced that Solomon could not be the author.

As a book originally written in Greek, it is part of the Septuagint , but was therefore not included in the Jewish Tanakh . On the question of whether the Book of Wisdom is canonical, i.e. H. The Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church follow the tradition of the Septuagint, while Protestantism follows the Masoretic tradition.

Many church fathers appreciated the book and often quoted it, mostly with the introduction “Wisdom says:…” This phrase indicates that they also assumed that the book was not written by Solomon himself.


According to the content, three parts can be distinguished in the Book of Wisdom:

  • From chap. 1–5, living in faith is recommended because of the benefits it brings to people. The reward for virtue is wisdom, chap. 1; this raises the righteous above the persecutions which wicked people, who only see the present earthly reality, out of arrogance bring upon him, chap. 2. How much happier than the sinner the righteous is in spite of earthly sufferings is shown by the final fate of both, namely their death and the eternal judgment, chap. 3 u. 4. Too late the wicked will see their delusion, chap. 5.
  • In the second part of this a special application is made to those in power. Because of their great responsibility, they face a tougher court, 6.1–10 EU ; therefore they should strive for the wisdom that is marked in detail, vv. 6: 11-27 EU . An example of this endeavor is Solomon, 7.1–12 EU , in whom wisdom was so gloriously revealed, vv. 7.13–21 EU ; for this reason he is also able to best describe their nature and their effects, 7, 22 to 8, 20 and gives 8, 21 to 9, 19 prayer as the way on which wisdom is attained.
  • In the third part, Salomon subjects the story of the Revelation, from Adam onwards, to a detailed examination, in which the earlier teachings and exhortations are confirmed. In terms of form, this consideration is the continuation of what is described in Chap. 9 and is dressed in an address to God. In terms of content, it focuses on the history of Adam, Noas, Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, chap. 10, then extends to the different fates of Israel and Egypt when they exited Egypt, chap. 11, refers to the lot of the Canaanites, chapter 12, and on this occasion to the folly and reprehensibility of idolatry in general, chap. 13–15, and then return to the story of the Israelites in the desert, chap. 16. It then turns again to the consideration of the Egyptian plagues, first of all darkness, chap. 17, during which the Israelites had daylight, 18.1–9 EU , then the killing of the firstborn, 18.10–25 EU , finally the passage through the Red Sea and the destruction of the Egyptian army, chap. 19. The result of this whole study of history is the confirmation of what Solomon had put forward about the recommendation of wisdom:
“In everything you, Lord, have made your people great and glorified; you did not let it down, but stood by it always and everywhere. "(19.22 EU )


  • Felix Albrecht: The wisdom of Solomon translated and introduced. (Small library of ancient Jewish and Christian literature), Göttingen 2015, ISBN 978-3-525-53464-9 .
  • Helmut Engel : The Book of Wisdom. (New Stuttgart Comment 16), Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-460-07161-3 .
  • Hans Huebner: The wisdom of Solomon. (ATD. Apokryphen 4), Göttingen 1999, ISBN 3-525-51404-2 .
  • Hermann Spieckermann : The righteous souls are in God's hands. The book of Sapientia Salomonis. In: ders. (Ed.): Art of living and praise of God in Israel. Suggestions from Psalter and Wisdom for Theology. (FAT 91), Tübingen 2014, 141-64.

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