When Edom is renowned for wisdom and a small Judaean family boasts of sages whose names have south Palestinian affinity (1 Chron.
II) which seems to be meant as a commendation of the teaching of the sages in general: their words are said to be like goads (inciting to action) and like nails driven in a building (giving firmness to character); they issue from masters of assemblies,3 heads of academies (but not of the Sanhedrin).
The class of sages to whom we owe the Wisdom Books did not arise till a change had come over the national fortunes and life.
The extant writings of the Jewish sages are contained in the books of Job, Proverbs, Psalms, Ben-Sira, Tobit, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom of Solomon, 4th Maccabees, to which may be added the first chapter of Pirke Aboth (a Talmudic tract giving, probably, pre-Christian material).
Though the intellectual world of the sages is different from that of the prophetic and legal Hebraism, they do not break with the fundamental Jewish theistic and ethical creeds.
How would you define sages? Add your definition here.