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Gentleness

The figure of the oppressed righteous man in the Wisdom of Solomon 2:12-20 is surely to be taken as an exemplar in the face of enemies.

Let us lie in wait for the righteous man because he is inconvenient to us and

opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training. He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us because his manner of life is unlike that

of others, and his ways are strange. We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father. Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end

of his life; for if the righteous man is God's son, he

will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his

adversaries. Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will

be protected.

This speech of the wicked presents a portrait of the righteous man who is faithful to the law and is deeply pious (vv. 12-13). His piety makes him something of an alien in his milieu (vv. 14-15). He avoids the conduct of his enemies and affirms that ultimately the righteous are "happy" (makarizei, v. 16). Therefore, the wicked proceed

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