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brief statements. (1) The enemies are not unique historical figures or groups, but are stereotypical and multivalent.

  • (2)

    They are sometimes, but by no means always, gentiles.

  • (3)

    Israelites evidently did have personal enemies whom they

described as the individual psalms describe the enemies.

A Methodology for Investigating "Enemies" in Wisdom Literature Note has already been taken above of the fact that personal enemies seem to play a relatively minor role in wisdom literature, as well as other complexes of Israelite tradition. Yet, they are prolific in the Psalms; indeed, at times the impression may emerge that the psalmists suffered from paranoia. Were the sages oblivious to such folk as the enemies and their attacks? How could they notice such varied phenomena as trade,49 sexual promiscuity,50 etiquette,51 legal procedure,52 wealth and poverty,53

49 50 51 52 53 Prov. 20:10; 14, 23; Sir. 26:29-27:3. Prov. 7:1-27; 23:26-28; 30:20. Prov. 25:6-7; Sir. 30; 31-32:13. Prov. 18:17; 25:7c-10. Prov. 10:15; 11:4, 24, 28; 13:7, 8; 14:21; 16:19; 18:11; 19:4, 17; 22:1, 9; 23:4; 28:6; 30:7-9; Qoh. 5:9-10; Sir. 4:8-10; 13:24; 14:3-10; 30:16.

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