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Wisdom and Yahweh as Enemies

The speech of Wisdom noted earlier (1:20-33) portrays not only the foolish characters as potential enemies, but also Wisdom. In one of her threats she announces,

I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when panic comes upon you, when panic comes upon you like a storm, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Proverbs 1:26-27

When Wisdom threatens to laugh and mock at the coming misfortune of the simple she does so to get their attention and to persuade them to hearken to her call. Therefore, this hostile behavior promised in her threat should not be regarded as simple enmity. Still, however, it must be taken seriously. She really does threaten to treat those who reject her in a very hostile fashion. Indeed, she threatens to treat them in a way that would destroy all hope.

Otherwise, Wisdom claims hostile attitudes for herself only one other time in Proverbs. She claims to hate "pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech" (8:13b). Indeed, "the fear of Yahweh is hatred of evil" (8:13a).28 Such language of hostility, therefore, is not

28 It has been suggested that this line is a gloss; cf. McKane, p. 348; Scott, pp. 67, 72 who admit this possibility; Oesterley, p. 59; Toy, pp. 164f.; and Gemser, p. 36, favor deleting the whole verse since it is out of place here. Nevertheless, the verse stands uncontested in all the ancient versions so the "gloss" is very old. It represents no striking development in the wisdom tradition preserved in Proverbs as, for example, in 3:7 and 16:6; cf. Job 28:28.

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