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293

tragically correct:

For our allotted time is the passing of a

shadow, and there is no return from our death, because it is sealed up and no one turns back.

Wisdom of Solomon 2:5

A similar response to enemies is attributed to Israel on its way out of Egypt. Speaking of the night of Israel's exit, the Wisdom of Solomon remarks,

Their enemies heard their voices but did not see their forms, and counted them happy (emakarizon) for not having suffered, and were thankful (huxaristoun) that thy holy ones, though previously wronged, were doing them no injury; and they begged their pardon (xarin edeonto) for having been at variance with them. Wisdom of Solomon 18:1b-2

Once again, a passive, non-aggressive response185 to enemies

(in this case the Egyptians) elicits a modicum of repentance. The Egyptians' begging Israel's pardon, of course, effected nothing toward their redemption. Scripture answered that problem for the writer of the Wisdom of Solomon.

Motives behind Responses to the Enemy The motives which undergird these responses to enemies are not essentially different from those noticed in earlier

wisdom literature. Wisdom still secures life,186 as does

185 The motif of the plundering of the Egyptians (Exod. 3:21-22; 11:2-3; 12:35-36) is conveniently overlooked.

186

Wisd. 10:1-21.

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