Original Research

Ancient Israelite and African proverbs as advice, reproach, warning, encouragement and explanation

David T. Adamo
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 3 | a2972 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.2972 | © 2015 David T. Adamo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 March 2015 | Published: 16 November 2015

About the author(s)

David T. Adamo, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa, Nigeria


With few exceptions, the majority of biblical scholars (Euroamericans and Africans) concentrate on comparing ancient Israelite proverbs with the so-called ancient Near Eastern proverbs. Despite the importance of proverbs in Sub-Saharan Africa it is doubly unfortunate that the majority of African biblical scholars did not think it wise to compare proverbs from ancient Israel with Sub-Saharan African proverbs. It is also a double tragedy that young people in Sub-Saharan Africa are ignorant of proverbs because they have refused to learn them because they think them archaic. Proverbs in both ancient Israel and in Africa are similar in function and classification. Thus, they serve as advice, reproach, warning, encouragement and further explanation of some facts. They have great value and importance, such as giving a sense of identity, community, culture, respect for authority and elders, sacredness of everything under the sun and a sense of hospitality and others.


Proverbs; Old Testament; Africa; Yoruba; Origin; Wisdom


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