the verb rHb ("choose").6 The most interesting parallel
with this prohibition against "envying" the enemy, however, is the antithesis posed by Proverbs 23:17.
Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of Yahweh all the day. Proverbs 23:17
This abiding in the fear of Yahweh is a clue to the question of why the wise respond to enemies as they do. How could anyone be anxious over a wicked when Yahweh would be
their "confidence" (lsk)?7
Although explicit admonition against being anxious over traditional enemies is limited to the instructional materials in the book of Proverbs, evidence of this attitude also appears in the sentence literature. One saying in particular is a very striking example of this lack of anxiety over the attacks which enemy figures might launch.
6 3:31; McKane, pp. 215, 300 emends rHbt to rHtt on the basis of the Greek reading of zhlws^j, "emulate" and the parallelism between xnq pi. and hrH, hith. in
Prov. 24:19 and Psalm 37:1.
7 Prov. 3:26; M. Dahood, Proverbs and Northwest Semitic Philology (Roma: Pontificum Iilstitutum Biblicum713), p. 10, translates "For the Lord will be at your side," on the basis of "[t]he Ugar. balance between p’n (=Hebr. regel) and ksl" and the absence of the beth essentiae construction
in Proverbs which is required to translate jlskb,
"(as) your confidence." Dahood's suggestion "counsels a return to St Jerome's Dominus enim erit in latere tuo." This suggestion by Dahood has merit, but does not really change the sense of the verse.