Poverty is referred to in Proverbs, as well as Sirach and
4QInstruction. These books do show some mutual tendencies,
shared elements and a similar mode of literature, but are also part
of a dynamic process. Reference to poverty in these books is
therefore linked to the changing provenance of each of these books.
The use of wisdom language to refer to this phenomenon, was in
flux, dynamically moving from one era to a next, from one scenario
to another. This paper proposes that the literal as well as
metaphorical use of poverty in the book of Proverbs was followed
by a more literal use in Ben Sirach and a more metaphorical
meaning in 4QInstructions.