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The Disputation Between the Hoe and the Plow (1.181)
(2,075 words)

Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Canonical Compositions; Individual Focus; Disputations


This piece is undoubtedly the finest example of the genre. It has long been recognized as one of the first poetic, if heavily rhetorical, statements of the case of the common man against the rich and mighty.1 But its most striking qualities are the sheer excellence of the argumentation (plow is deftly hoist with its own petard),2 the heavy satire on the pretenses of the mighty, the earthy but …

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Vanstiphout, H. L. J., “The Disputation Between the Hoe and the Plow (1.181)”, in: Context of Scripture Online, Editor in Chief: W. Hallo. Consulted online on 06 December 2021 <>

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