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go, hasten, and importune your neighbor. Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler. Proverbs 6:1-5

Two final sayings urge avoidance of potential enemies: the "neighbor" (fr) and the "brother" (Hx). Although

a neighbor who is near (bvrq) is better than a brother

who is distant (qvHr),16 there are times when one should avoid the neighbor.

Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, lest he become weary of you and hate you. Proverbs 25:17

Even a brother is best avoided "in the day of your calamity" (27:10b).

Securing Actions in the Face of Enemies

Up to this point the responses to enemies which have been discussed have been primarily negative. They have involved instructions like, "DO not act as an enemy," especially, "Do not seek vengeance," "Do not envy them," and "Do not get too close to them."17 The following responses may be characterized as positive. They are steps which the wise may in order to acquire a measure of security.

16 17 27:10c. The king is only a partial exception to this response. He is fascinating and attractive, but the sayings still indicate that one should keep a prudent distance from him. He is certainly not a "buddy" with whom one may be casual or familiar.

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