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The problem with the times,74 which are indeed fitting for certain kinds of activities, is that they take one unaware. The times and eternity are a work of God, that which is done (under the sun),75 but they are opaque to human perception. Qoheleth's God, who structures the world and life in such an inscrutable fashion, is his greatest enemy.

Sirach By far the majority of traditional enemies, both derivative and otherwise, encountered in the book of Sirach are quite unremarkable. They fall within the parameters set out earlier. Often, derivative but traditional enemies appear in parallelism with non-derivative enemy designations. Their usage in parallelism with designations found in the Psalms together with their appearance as subjects of char- acteristic enemy behavior is confirmation that they are, in fact, enemy designations.

74

3:1-11.

75

(wmwh tHt) hWfn, "what is done (under the

sun)," is set forth as Qoheleth's topic for investigation in 1:13. His conclusion is that it is "vanity and a striving after wind" (1:14). This is substantiated by the observations that "what is done" is unchanging (1:9), evil (2:17; 4:3) and oppressive (4:1). "What is done under the sun" is the "work of God" which no one can ever find out (8:16-17).

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