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they are seldom recognized until one is in some kind of dis- tress and a true friend is needed. These "friends" would not "stand by [one] in the day of trouble" (6:8).238 They may be compared to a stallion which "neighs under everyone who sits on him" (36[33]:6). Therefore, friends must be acquired through testing. Once acquired, a person has to be on guard toward them (6:7, 13).

The blame for the shift from friendship to enmity might rest on either party or on social circumstances, for friend- ship is a reciprocal relationship within a concrete social setting. If a friend, becomes an enemy it could be one's own fault.

A man may for shame make promises to a friend, and needlessly make him an enemy. Sirach 20:23

A person might simply act ignorantly and thereby become an enemy (5:15), or a friendship might be destroyed (just as an enemy destroyed people) by acts of duplicity such as reviling, arrogance, revealing confidences and a treacherous blow.239 Of course, a "fool" (mwroj) has only himself to

blame when "those who eat his bread" (oi esqonej ton arton autou) speak unkindly of him (20:17).

10:6; 19:14, 17; 27:18, 19; 28:2; 31(34):22; etairoj at 37:2, 4, 5; and oi esqontej ton arton autou at 20:17.

238

Cf. vv. 9-12,

239

22:19-22; 27:16-21.

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