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comparison, Sirach's God is tame and predictable. In a quite orthodox fashion

the Most High also hates sinners and will inflict punishment on the ungodly. Sirach 12:1091

Moreover, the Lord God is pro-righteous. He will fight for one who agonizes unto death on account of truth (4:28).92

Sirach's orthodoxy enables him to pray very sincerely for God to "Have mercy upon us”93 while the obverse side of that prayer is that God act as an, enemy toward the (obvi- ously wicked) foreign nations who are Israel's enemies. The central section of the prayer urges this divine enmity most comprehensively.

Rouse thy anger and pour out thy wrath; destroy the adversary and wipe out the enemy. Hasten the day, and remember the appointed time, and let people recount thy mighty deeds. Let him who survives be consumed in the fiery wrath, and may those who harm thy people meet destruction. Crush the heads of the rulers of the enemy, who say, "There is no one but ourselves." Sirach 33(36):7-10

91 Also Sir. 1:30; 3:16; 5:3, 6; 10:13; 26:28; 27:24; 32(35):18-20. Cf. also 4:5-6. 33(36):1; the prayer continues through v. 17. V. 12 makes clear that the "us" of v. 1 is Israel. 92 93

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