Being wise betwixt order and mystery : keeping the commandments and fearing the Lord
CITATION: Bosman, H. 2012. Being wise betwixt order and mystery : keeping the commandments and fearing the Lord. Scriptura, 111(3):433-439, doi:10.7833/111-0-25.
The original publication is available at http://scriptura.journals.ac.za
Any attempt to come to grips with ‘the fear of the Lord’ as a key concept for the interpretation of Old Testament wisdom, must appreciate that it is rooted in texts that presuppose an encounter with God that can cause a variety of responses: a feeling of horror or terror; as well as reverent awe that forms the basis of the pious veneration of the Lord in the form of obedience and praise. Although statistical analysis reveals a concentration of occurrences in Deuteronomy (and the so-called Deuteronomistic History), the Psalms and Wisdom literature, it does not presuppose a clear linear development. The theological interpretation of Old Testament wisdom literature must be aware of the ongoing creative tension between order (keeping the commandments) and mystery (fearing the Lord) – as summarized in the conclusion of the Book of Ecclesiastes (12:13).