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false accusation. Such are worse than death, only to be surpassed by a wife "envious of a rival" (26:6).

Two other ambiguous characters could be revealed as enemies: the "helper" (bohqwn) and the "counselor"

(sumbouloj). The helper might be one who loaned to

another in need (29:4) or one to whom a petitioner looked to no avail in a time of distress (51:7). They could, however, as easily be one's enemy who was merely feigning the helping role (wj bohqwn, 12:17). Some counselors

give counsel "in their own interest" only to cast a lot against another. Therefore, one has to be cautious in choosing such a person (37:7-9). A counselor should be "one in a thousand" (6:6). The danger of counselors cannot be completely avoided for it is only God who has no need of one at all (42:21). Humans are always vulnerable to this necessity.

The Friends and Kinfolk Group

Every friend will say, "I too am a friend"; but some friends are friends only in name. Is it not a grief to the death when a companion and friend turns to enmity? Sirach 37:1-2

The phenomenon of enemy-friends is oft noted in Fair weather friends are quite dangerous because Sirach.237

237 The designations of these characters are filoj at 5:15; 6:6, 9, 10, 13; 12:9; 13:21; 19:13, 14, 15; 20:23; 22:20, 21, 22(2x); 36(33):6; 37:1, 2, 4, 5, 6; plhsion at

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