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Catholic Dictionary




Book of the Septuagint Old Testament placed in the Vulgate and the Church's biblical canon. It is called deuterocanonical because, found in the Greek but not the Hebrew, it was not included in the Jewish canon of the Bible, drawn up by the Pharisees at the close of the first century of the Christian era. In Syriac it is called "The Book of the Great Wisdom of Solomon," but the author was more likely an Alexandrian Jew, living toward the beginning of the third century B.C. The book can be divided into two main parts, separated by the famous prayer for wisdom (chapter 19). Part One is an exhortation to rulers to observe justice and wisdom (chapters 1-8). Part Two extols the advantages of wisdom, as seen in the way God dealt with his own people compared with the unwisdom of the idolatrous nations. Wisdom means knowledge that is so perfect it directs the will to obey God's commands. In God wisdom is identified with his Word, a foreshadowing of the revelation of the Trinity.