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Rather, Sirach seems to harbor some anxiety over these figures and their attacks.129 This anxiety is perhaps sur- prising in view of the fact that the knowledge of the enemies' self-destructive nature is still affirmed.130 It is also somewhat surprising from one whose God is as pre- dictably orthodox as Sirach's131 Surely, such an orthodox

God would protect him from attack.

Four responses appear in Sirach which are either new in the wisdom literature, or represent some significant development compared with earlier literature. These four include caution, reconciliation, hostility and piety. The first two, of course, are in continuity with the earlier responses of avoidance and love while the latter two seem to be departures.

Hostility One woe-saying (2:12) gives expression to Sirach’s hostility toward "timid hearts," "slack hands," and the

"sinner who walks along two ways."132 Woes are often

129 130 9:18; 26:5, 28; 27:14-15. 3:20, 26-28; 5:13; 6:2, 4; 12:3; 13:3-10; 19:2, 4-6; 20:4, 8, 18; 21:4, 8-10, 27-28; 23:8, 10-11, 15; 26:29; 27:3, 10, 25-29; 31(34):1, 7; 34(31):5-10; 40:13-15.

131 132 See above Chapter 3, pp. 179-183. Vv. 13-14 utter woes against the "faint heart" and those who have "lost endurance."

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