friends. One of the things which "gladdens"139 Sirach's
heart is to observe "a man who lives to see the downfall of his foes" (25:7d). This is in striking contrast to earlier
Finally the communal lament in Sirach 33(36):1-17 virtually revels in hostility toward Israel's foreign foes. Although earlier wisdom scarcely ever mentioned foreigners, they seem not to have elicited any particular hostility. Indeed, earlier wisdom, appears to have been very open to insight from any source. With this prayer, however,
the reader stands before a new stage in sapiential thinking, one in, which the earlier universalism [has surrendered] to particularistic con- cerns. , . . Sirach [makes] distinctions solely
on the basis of nationality.141
A wise man is cautious (eulabhqhsetai) in everything and in days of sin he guards against wrongdoing. Sirach 18:27
139 The verb makarizw, here translated "gladdened" is interesting. It is the usual LXX translation of yrwx The Hebrew text (Levi) has a lacuna at this point.
140 0f course, Sirach knows and gives such advice himself (see the references in n. 126 above), but he never- theless finds personal satisfaction in seeing the enemy's discomfiture and downfall.
141 Crenshaw, Old Testament Wisdom, p. 165, tenses changed for stylistic reasons. Cf. also the praise of Israel's holy war heroes in the "Hymn to the Fathers" (44:1-50:24).