• Bursting the Banks: Matthew's Use of Israel's Wisdom Tradition

      Keesmaat, Sylvia C.; VanManen, Richard P.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2008)
      One especially contentious issue for Matthew's predominantly Jewish-Christian audience is how to relate to Gentiles, who are also followers of Jesus and desire to be incorporated into their community. To address this issue, Matthew appeals to Israel's wisdom tradition, and particularly to the pilgrimage of Woman Wisdom. In this journey, Woman Wisdom is commanded to dwell in Israel. She makes her home there and calls all people to come to her for wisdom and life. Ultimately, Wisdom is rejected by Israel and she returns to God. This thesis proposes that it is this pilgrimage of Woman Wisdom that is an underlying metaphor for Matthew's gospel. Like Wisdom, Jesus arrives in Israel, calls Israel to follow him, and is ultimately rejected. Woman Wisdom's cry to come to her to receive life is echoed in Jesus' call for all to enter the kingdom of God. The inclusion of the Gentiles in the community therefore demonstrates the presence of the kingdom of God.