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Bibil Identifier bibil:210018
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) “The Tallest Man Cannot Reach Heaven; the Broadest Man Cannot Cover Earth” – Reconsidering the Proverb and its Biblical Parallels
Author Samet, Nili
Journal Journal of Hebrew Scriptures (Volume: 10, Issue: 18)
Year (Publication) 2010
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2010
Year (Copyright) 2010
Year (Reference) 2010
Language English
Pages 1-13 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract An ancient Mesopotamian proverb states: "even the tallest man cannot reach heaven; even the broadest man cannot cover earth". This proverb, occurring in different contexts, periods and versions, expresses the limitedness of the human ability, physically as well as mentally. The proverb seems to stand at the background of several biblical passages, especially Deut 30:11–13; Amos 9:2–3; Job 11:8–9; Job 28:12–22; and Ps 139:8–10. This article seeks to re-examine the different manifestations of the proverb, and to trace the development of the topoi reflected in it, with a focus on their adaptation in the Hebrew Bible.
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Near East : Mesopotamia (Elam, Mari, Sumer, Babylon, Assyria) : Mesopotamia (in general) : Literature : Wisdom Texts : Proverbs (Collections of)
Pericopes Deuteronomy 30,11-30,13
Amos 9,2-9,3
Job 11,8-11,9
Job 28,12-28,22
Psalms 139,8-139,10
Last modification 2017-10-27