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

  • KIVATSI JONATHAN KAVUSA UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA
Keywords: Cisterns, wells, water management, ecological hermeneutics, fountains, springs

Abstract

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

KIVATSI JONATHAN KAVUSA, UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA

DEPARTMENT OF OLD TESTAMENT STUDIES

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER

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Published
2017-12-20