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vacillation (v. 32).17 In fact, their very vacillation kills them; they are their own worst enemies. This char- acterization of the Mytp fits with the common explanation

that they are "young, inexperienced, blindly gullible."18 Although the "stupid fellows" (Mylysk) are best

seen as obstinate and complacent in this speech (and there- fore not as enemies), they can easily be portrayed as enemies. In other places the Mylysk are made the sub-

ject of virtually the whole range of enemy behavior. In addition to the hateful behavior described here,19 they are also guilty of uttering slander (10:18),20 taking no pleasure in understanding (18:2), but nevertheless fancying

17 M. Dahood, Proverbs and Northwest Semitic Philology (Roma: Pontificum Institum Biblicum, 1963), pp. 6f., takes

hbvwm to be a derivation of bwy, "to sit," and translates "idleness." His reasons for rejecting the more obvious derivaton from bvw are threefold: the paral-

lelism with hvlw the context, and modern ignorance of Hebrew morphology (i.e., who says hbvwm could not derive from bwy rather than bvw). The argument is

unconvincing.

18 S. Mandry, There Is No God! A Study of the Fool in the Old Testament Particularly in Proverbs over an Qoheleth (Rome: Catholic Book Agency, 1972), p. 71; cf.. J. Crenshaw, Old Testament Wisdom: An Introduction (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1981), p. 81; Oesterley, pp. lxxxv-lxxxvi.

19

Cf. also 10:23 where it is observed that wrongdoing

is "like sport" (qvHwk) and 15:20 where the lysk "despises" (hzvb) his mother.

Cf . 15:2 where he "pours out folly" (tlvx fyby) which 14:8 notes is "deceptive" (hmrm Mylysk tlvxv). 20

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