Christian Scholars Recognise Egyptian Influence on Old Testament Writings
Christian Scholars Recognise Egyptian Influence on Old Testament Writings

Writing about Hebrew Wisdom Literature, Professor EJ Bicknall DD, quondam Professor of New Testament Exegesis in King's College, The University of London, author of 'The Function of Literary and Historical Criticism,' 'Introduction to the Wisdom Literature,' and 'The Acts of the Apostles,' in 'A New Commentary on Holy Scripture,' The Society for the Promulgation of Christian Knowledge, states:

  
"Except for the use of the Divine name, Proverbs night have originated among any Semitic people who had attained to monotheism and a high morality.

By more than one commentator the wise men have been styled the 'humanists' of Israel.

Further, in spite of their hostility to Gentile culture, its influence on our present [Bible] writings cannot be disputed.  Few would deny the influence of Greek ideas in Proverbs and even in Ecclesiasticus.

Recent discoveries have proved that the section Proverbs 22:17 - 24:22 comes directly from an Egyptian source, the proverbs of an Egyptian sage, Amen-em-ope (about 900 BC).  Indeed, some modern scholars wish to elucidate an obscure reading in the Hebrew text by reference to an Egyptian original.

Thus, the Jewish author was not only familiar with Egyptian proverbs, which had long been suspected, but with the actual source.

He, indeed, adjusted his material not only to Hebrew metre, but to Jewish beliefs.  He omitted what he thought fit, but the significance of his borrowings is great.  Unfortunately, the discovery affords no clue to the date of the present Book of Proverbs.

Not only was there a tendency to recopy ancient compositions, but Egyptian influence in Palestine is possible at almost any date." [Emphasis added]