140 It is too much to say that the righteous are outright enemies of the wicked. In the first instance they are
hostile toward "falsehood" (rqw-rbd), a thing rather
than a person. In the latter case, however, the righteous ("those who keep the law") actively engage in strife
(vrgty) against the wicked. This is more than an
attitude; it is a specific hostile action against other people. The relation between the righteous and wicked, however, is carefully nuanced: the wicked are enemies while the righteous sometimes behave as enemies toward the wicked.27
more frequent. If the latter option is chosen then the hrvt ybzvf would belong to the category of the fool
while the hrvt yrmvw would belong to the category of
the wise. For Proverbs, this would be a unique correlation between the wicked-fool and righteous-wise. Such a corre- lation is not to be seen in Proverbs (see Chapter 2 above).
On the other hand, if the hrvt ybzvf and the hrvt yrmvw refer to those who forsake or keep the
law of Yahweh then they belong to the categories of the wicked and righteous respectively who are continually opposed to one another. Hence, the translation "law" is here preferred.
It should perhaps be noted in this connection that this
ambiguity of the Hebrew hrvt was surely a contributing
factor in the development towards the identification between Torah and Wisdom which is seen in later wisdom such as Sirach. The Greek text translates here, not surprisingly, nomon rather than paideian.
27 Prov. 29:10, "Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blame- less, and the righteous seek his life" (MT) is textually
suspect, or, if MT is in order, then wpn wqb has come
to have the opposite of its normal meaning. Normally it signifies hostile behavior; here it would have to signify solicitous behavior. Cf. Toy, pp. 509f.; McKane, pp. 257, 637; Scott, p. 168; Oesterley, v. 261; Gemser, p. 78; Ringgren, p. 111.