The Book of Wisdom, also known as Solomon’s Wisdom, was probably written at the onset of the Christian era by a Jew of the diaspora of Alexandria in Egypt. The text reflects the intercultural and interreligious dialogue between the Jewish and Hellenistic worlds. On the one hand, in fact, it is an intellectual meditation that draws on classic Greek thinkers and contexts, even in surprising ways; on the other hand, it is firmly anchored in the Bible and Jewish theology, including personalities, narratives, and symbols which are typical of the Hebrew faith. This book focuses on three main themes that unfolded under the patronage of Solomon, the royal sage par excellence: the blessed immortality of the righteous; the divine gift of wisdom that pervades the faithful and guides them in their lives; the biblical account of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. Following a pathway bathed in light, this text instils hope and inner trust and carries the reader back to the presence of God, notwithstanding the indignities of history.
Gianfranco Ravasi, an expert in Bible and Jewish studies, is the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology.