responses to them include rejection and avoidance. The goal of wisdom is nothing short of life.50
This perception of the self-destructive nature of the enemy occasionally appears in motive clauses of the instruc- tions. Thus in the opening instruction, the young person is counseled,
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent (hbx). Proverbs 1:10
After an extended quotation of the invitation these "sinners" (MyxFH) offer (vv. 11-14), the teacher gives
the young man reasons for rejecting it. Their way is plainly immoral since they are in a hurry to do "evil"
(fr) and to "shed blood" (Md-jpw, v. 16). Ultimately, however,
these men lie in wait for their own blood, they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of all who get gain by violence; it takes away the life of its possessors Proverbs 1:18-1951
50 R. Murphy, "The Kerygma of the Book of Proverbs," Interpretation 20 (1966), 3-14.
51 The proverb in v. 17, "For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird," is rather obscure. Does it mean that if a bird is watching the net will be ineffective? If so, it is equally foolish to follow people like these "sinners." Or, should Winton Thomas' translation, "For it is to no effect that the net is strewn (with seed for bait) in the sight of any winged fowl," (cf. "Textual and Philo- logical Notes on Some Passages in the Book of Proverbs," VTS 3 01955], 281-282)? "The bird has been given every reason to exercise prudence and caution; . . . but it is so