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Hebrew Bible, and it is translated twice by threw ("keep")161 and once by fulakissan ("guard").162 It is

quite possible that the words diathrei mhnin ("he main- tains wrath") in Sirach 28:5 translate an original Hebrew reading of rFn. This possibility is doubly strong since

mhnin is the cognate noun of a verb (mhniw) used to trans- late II rFn and diathrei is a compound (dia + threw)

formed from a verb used to translate I rFn. The link

with Sirach 28:3 is weakest, for it depends upon the possi- bility that the compound sunthrei (sun+threw) translates

I rFn.

On the basis of these connections, therefore, Sirach 27:30 through 28:7 may be described as a "midrash" of Leviticus 19:18. That Sirach 28:7 urges remembrance of the commandments is no accident; specifically, remembrance of Leviticus 19:18 is urged. This passage (Sir. 27:30-28:7) stands as a witness to what Sirach means when he says that a wise man will "devote himself to the study of the law of the Most High" (39:1). His study of Leviticus 19:18 leads him to draw out (ecagw) several implications.

First, whoever seeks vengeance, which the law forbids, may expect vengeance (27:30-28:1), Secondly, whoever

161

Cant. 8:11, 12.

162

Cant. 1:6.

272

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