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are designated as allotrioi (45:18). In relation to the wise, the allotrioi are likewise those who do not share

the discretionary, prudential ethic which is so charac- teristic of wisdom. These "strangers-outsiders" are tantamount to fools (21:22-25).

The "powers that be" are also ambiguous figures to Sirach. They may be either dangerous or beneficent.

An undisciplined king will ruin his people, but a city will grow through the under- standing of rulers. Sirach 10:3

Any arrogant ruler is hated by both God and humanity, and it is for their very injustice, insolence and wealth that "sovereignty passes from nation to nation." Indeed, "The Lord has cast down the thrones of rulers and has seated the lowly in their place."232 It hardly need be said, of course, that the rulers of any people who are anti-Israel are to be deemed enemies.233

Because such ambiguous people are in fact powerful, Sirach advises against becoming involved in controversy with them; one might fall into their power (8:1). The "rich" (plousioj) are to be avoided for similar reasons; their

232

10:7, 8, 14.

233

33(36):10; 46:18,

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