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A bad messenger plunges men into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing. Proverbs 13:17

A man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good. Proverbs 16:29

The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes. Proverbs 21:109

If a "bad messenger" (fwr-jxlm), a "man of violence"

(smH-wyx) and a "wicked man" (fwr) are indeed this

dangerous, then it is the better part of wisdom to avoid them altogether whenever possible. Surely a person could learn by others' experience and avoid "bread gained by

deceit" (rqw-MHl).10 Who in their right mind would

attempt to "correct" (rsy) or "argue with" (Hky, hi.)

a "scoffer" (Cl) if it brings "abuse" (Nvlq) and

"hatred" (xnW)?11

Two figures in particular pose hazards which, it would seem, are best avoided: the king and the stranger. The

"wrath of a king" (jlm-tmH) is best appeased (rpk,

pi.), for it customarily brings death (16:14). If it cannot be appeased one surely ought to avoid him until it passes.

9 Cf. 9.7 8; 11.15; 19:12; 20:2; 20:16; 23:13 20:17. 9:7-8. 10 11

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