What Is The Book of Ahikar?
This is an original retelling (paraphrase) of the Wisdom of Ahikar, originally posted on Steemit.com about four years ago. This is updated and reposted content for a new audience and for a new platform (HIVE).
The Wisdom of Ahikar is one of the most ancient sources of human thought and wisdom. There are elements of this story within the scriptures, both the Torah and the Gospels and Epistles.
The date of this story has been a subject of lively discussion. Scholars finally put it down about the First Century when they were proved in error by the original story turning up in an Aramaic papyrus of 500 B. C. among the ruins of Elephantine.
The book of Ahikar is not in the Biblical canon, but has some credentials that lend it some biblical authority. The story of Ahikar fits within the Biblical story of the Assyrian conquest of Israel. One story, preserved in the Catholic canon, is the Book of Tobit. This man Tobit was of the tribe of Naphtali, a Hebrew
This book tells the story of Tobit, son of Tobiel, son of Hananiel, son of Aduel, son of Gabael, son of Raphael, son of Raguel, of the family of Asiel and the tribe of Naphtali. Tobit 1:1
The book of Tobit mentions Ahikar and his son Nadan by name and even includes elements of this story. Clearly the author of Tobit was familiar with the story of Ahikar, since the text of Tobit lists Ahikar as being the nephew of Tobit.
Ahikar the son of my brother Anael, was appointed chancellor of the exchequer for the kingdom and given the main ordering of affairs. Ahikar then interceded for me and I was allowed to return to Nineveh, since Ahikar had been chief cupbearer, keeper of the signet, administrator and treasurer under Sennacherib king of Assyria, and Esarhaddon had kept him in office. He was a relation of mine; he was my nephew. Tobit 1:21-22
Previously in the Story of Ahikar
Ahikar is back in the service of Sennacherib. He's taking a break to get some color to his skin and get tidied up. And probably think of a way of answering Pharaoh's riddles. Let's see what he comes up with. How does one build a castle between Heaven and earth?
Here resumes the story of Ahikar.
Ahikar is Back in Business
The people of Ahikar's household rejoiced with him and his friends and everyone who heard that he was alive rejoiced also. And Ahikar did as the king commanded him and took a rest for forty days. Then he dressed himself in his best dress and went riding to the king with his servants behind him and before him, rejoicing and delighted.
But when Nadan (his sister's son) saw what was happening, fear and terror took hold of him. He was perplexed and didn't know what to do.
After Ahikar saw that Nadan was terrorized, he entered into the king's presence and greeted him. The king returned the greeting and made Ahikar sit down at his right side. The king said to him:
"My wonderful Ahikar, behold these letters which the king of Egypt sent to us after he heard that you were slain. They have provoked us and overcome us. Many of the people of our country have fled to Egypt, fearing the taxes that the king of Egypt has sent to demand from us."
Then Ahikar took the letter and read it:
My beloved brother, King Sennacherib, may I remind you of the peace and the health and the might and the honor which we wish especially for you. I have been desiring to build a castle between the heavens and the earth and I want you to send me a wise, clever man from yourself to build it for me and to answer all my questions for me and that I may have the taxes and the custom duties of Assyria for three years.
And Ahikar understood all of it's contents. Then he said to the king:
"Do not be angry, my master. I will go to Egypt and I will return the answers to Pharaoh and I will display this letter to him and I will reply to him about the taxes. For the happiness of your kingdom, I will send back all those who have run away and I will put your enemies to shame - all with the help of the Most High God."
And when the king heard this speech from Ahikar, he rejoiced with a great joy and his heart was expanded and he showed him great favor. And Ahikar said to the king:
"Grant me a delay of forty days that I may consider this question and manage it." And the king permitted this.
This concludes this portion of the Story of Ahikar.
Ahikar Has a Plan
This wise man Ahikar is about to do the impossible - build a castle between Heaven and earth. How will he impress Pharaoh with his wisdom? How will he answer his riddles? Let's find out as the story unfolds!
Bless the Name of the Most High in fear and reverence, that He may receive glory among the nations.
Bless the Most High!
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