An eco-theological interpretation of Proverbs 5:15-20 in the light of water crises experienced in present-day Africa

Keywords: Cisterns, wells, water management, ecological hermeneutics, fountains, springs


Proverbs 5:15-20 is not about ecological issues such as water management. However, the biblical author employed water-related metaphors as a way of speaking about faithfulness in marriage. The young man is instructed to drink water from his own cistern/well and to restrain himself from wasting this precious resource on the public areas (vv. 15-16). The article explores attitudes or assumptions towards water that might have informed the author's use of water-related metaphors in an attempt to promote fidelity in marriage. The water management metaphors in Proverbs 5:15-20 are relevant in contemporary Africa, where water crises have developed not necessarily because of a lack of resources, but often because of issues related to poor water management. The investigation is enabled by a hermeneutics of suspicion and retrieval or trust. Two of the six eco-justice principles associated with the Earth Bible Project are applied, namely the principles of intrinsic worth and interconnectedness.

Author Biography





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