In the book of Wisdom, we find the literary voice of Solomon, the model king and seeker of wisdom sharing his meditations. Concepts from Greek philosophy are integrated into Jewish tradition to present new insights into how wisdom can be both a quality of God and a human characteristic. Three affirmations in this lyrical book especially resonate for modern Christians: the kingdom of God means that God's justice actually rules the world; God is Lord of the universe, not just the God of heaven; and God is engaged in human history and dwells with the human race.
Richard J. Clifford, SJ, is professor of Old Testament at Boston College School of Theology. He taught biblical studies at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge from 1970 to 2008. His doctorate is from Harvard University. He was general editor of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly and is a former president of the Catholic Biblical Association. As well as teaching and lecturing in scholarly circles, he is active in adult education in various New England dioceses.
Richard Clifford SJ, is an experienced and authoritative commentator on biblical wisdom. His commentary on Wisdom reads it in its Hellenistic context but also draws out its implications for life in the modern world. An excellent, reliable guide.
John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale Divinity School
Richard Clifford carefully leads the reader through the Book of Wisdom, one of Hellenistic Judaism's great accomplishments. Pointing out the influences of Hellenistic philosophy, he underscores three interlocking themes that continue to be on importance to believers, both Jewish and Christian today. They are: the kingdom or sovereignty of God; a sovereignty that encompasses nature and history; God's involvement in history through divine wisdom. Clifford has made a book steeped in philosophy understandable to the average reader.
Dianne Bergant, CSA, Professor of Old Testament Studies, Catholic Theological Union
This new commentary has all the signs of what we expect from its distinguished author-deep learning, a keen sensitivity to the theological message of the material he interprets, a fine ear for intertextual resonances, and a rare gift for clear and accessible communication. The book of Wisdom is a fascinating but under-appreciated product of Hellenistic Judaism. In this concise commentary, it has acquired an ideal commentator. I recommend it highly.
Jon D. Levenson, Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies, Harvard University