Interest in literature on wisdom derived from Israel and ancient Middle Eastern cultures has increased considerably in recent decades. Research findings from archaeological, theological, and cultural studies illustrate how sages decisively shaped the literature and language of a culture. Their influence extended to the arts, social and religious institutions, as well as the sciences. In ancient Israel and Judah, the Middle East and in the Greco-Roman Empire, sages made up their own social class, in a similar way to priests, prophets and kings. The essays in this volume examine this particular group of wise men within the context of their time. Unlike other studies, the focus here lies in the social aspect of this caste of sages.