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He who is kind to the poor lends to Yahweh, and he will complete (Mlw, pi.) his

deed for him. Proverbs 19:17

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire upon his head,

and Yahweh will complete (Mlw, Pi.)

for you. Proverbs 25:21-2258

Three caveats are in order regarding these expressions of Yahweh's "midwifery" as well as the "immanent order" which he preserves. The first is terminological:

. . . it would be misleading if one thought one had to understand these and other sentences theologically, as if they were stating a 'doctrine of retribution'. These sentences are not con- cerned with a divine, juridical act which subse- quently deals out to mex blessing or punishment.59

58 59 Cf. 10:3, 29; 12:2; 15:25, 29; 22:22-23; 24:17-18. von Rad, Wisdom in Israel, p. 129; later (p, 133, n. 25 he remarks concerning-73722, "The translation given here ('Yahweh will complete it for you') sounds unusual. But the Hebrew verb should not be translated 'requite', as if Yahweb--from his pocket, as it were--added something to the human action. The verb sillem is to be understood here on the basis of the correspondence— between an act and its consequence and, means 'make complete', 'finish', in the sense that it is Yahweh, in the case of the good deed, for example, who completes the act-consequence relationship. Elsewhere this is described as if it were the functioning of a neutral order. . . There is nothing surprising in the fact that the act-consequence relationship is conceived sometimes as the operating of a rule, at other times as an occurrence directly caused by Yahweh."


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