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DOI 10.12887/34-2021-1-133-05

Piotr BRIKS, Foolish, More Foolish… Godless: On the Understanding of Stupidity, as seen in the Hebrew Bible

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Stupidity, or folly, as seen in the Hebrew Bible, is a diverse, multi-aspect phenomenon. It embraces concepts pertaining to ethics, law, social relations, and religion (broadly understood). Stupidity is also conceived, albeit rarely, as a lack of knowledge. A variety of kinds of stupidity is reflected in, among others, numerous terms applied to describe it. The article discusses the terms most frequently used in the Tanakh: ᵓĕwîl (ᵓĕwīlî, ᵓiwweleṯ), nāḇāl (neḇālāh), and kesîl (kesîlûṯ, kislāh), as well as the derivatives of the stem sḵl (verbal forms, nouns sāḵāl, siḵlûṯ). The common denominator among these terms and concepts related to stupidity is acting against a certain Order, Harmony or Good which, for Israelites, not only come from God, but were his emanation. Thus, according to the Hebrew Bible, stupidity is not limited to negative behavior causing destruction, but constitutes an infringement of what is most important for man and for Israel as a whole: their relationship with YHWH.

Keywords: stupidity, folly, fool, Bible, Old Testament, Tanakh, wisdom

Contact: Instytut Historyczny, Wydział Humanistyczny, Uniwersytet Szczeciński, ul. Krakowska 71-79, 71-017 Szczecin, Poland
E-mail: piotr.briks@usz.edu.pl

Pliki do pobrania:

» Briks.pdf

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887