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Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,

a curse that is causeless (MnH tllq)

does not alight. Proverbs 26:2

Such a “rationalistic” estimate of curses without cause must have been revolutionary among the ancients.

Avoidance of the Enemy

In spite of the insight that anxiety is not necessary in the face of enemies, counsel to avoid associating with them is still valid. They are, after all, dangerous. Some- times this is very explicit.

Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; he who guards himself will keep far from them. Proverbs 22:5

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. Proverbs 22:24-258

Because enemies are fundamentally duplicitous, they are not to be trusted (26:24-26).

Most often, however, this response of avoidance is not explicitly advised. Rather, it would be a wholly logical course of action after a bit of reflection upon various observations of the enemies.

8 Cf. 23:6-7 and 26:24-26 where the theme of avoidance is also voiced.

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