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rather the various phantoms and delusions in their own minds. These internal enemies were inescapable.

Idolatry and creation also emerged as enemies in the Wisdom of Solomon. Creation is said to join together with God and fight against the Egyptians. A specially potent and tragic manifestation of this enmity issuing from creation was idolatry. The many gods of the heathen were, at best, beautiful parts of God's good creation. Nevertheless, they became a trap for much of humanity. The blame for this state of affairs cannot be placed on the creation, however, but must rest squarely on people who misconstrued these good things. Following from the fundamental mistake with regard to God there was then a false estimate of God's creation which itself became an enemy of ungodly humanity.

Throughout all the wisdom literature examined, God appeared acting like enemies act. There were, however, differences in these appearances. With Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon this enemy behavior on God's part had become quite orthodox and predictable: God acts like an enemy toward his enemies and like a friend toward his friends. To the audiences of these two works, this kind of divine enmity presented little threat since they counted themselves

among God's friends.116

116 Of course, they would have confessed to some sin (cf. Sir. 8:5; Wisd. 15:2), but that would not change their basic posture as friends of God.

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