Biblical Wisdom Literature and Eschatology: The Wise Davidic King to Come

Though not as explicitly concerned with covenantal and eschatological themes as other biblical literature, the wisdom literature is not unconcerned with them. Its concern, however, is indirect and implicit. Keith Mathison’s has some nicely put thoughts on this subject in his book, From Age to Age: The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology:

The canonical books that are normally classed as wisdom literature are Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. A few individual Psalms also fall under this classification (e.g., Pss. 1, 49, 73). Outside of the biblical canon, books such as Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus) and the Wisdom of Solomon are also considered notable examples of this genre. The contribution of the canonical wisdom books to an understanding of biblical eschatology is difficult to discern because these books do not focus on redemptive history per se. They simply presuppose it. The wisdom literature is however, generally associated with Solomon, the son of David. It seems possible, then, that the wisdom described in these books does prefigure in some ways certain attributes of the Messiah, the eschatological Son of David. In the New Testament, Jesus does identify himself as “the way,” a common theme in wisdom literature (John 14:6; Ps. 1:6; Prov. 2:8; 4:11; 8:20; 10:29; 15:10). Jesus is also specifically identified with the Wisdom of God several times in the New Testament (Luke 11:49; 1 Cor. 1:24, 30). In other words, Jesus does not merely exhibit biblical wisdom; he is the very incarnation of God’s wisdom. This appears to lend support to an understanding of the wisdom literature that sees it as providing veiled glimpses of the coming Davidic King.

Pgs. 135-36.

R. Andrew Compton
Christ Reformed Church (URCNA)
Anaheim, CA

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