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Admonitions aiming at reconciliation between people and their enemies, or at least aiming at repentance in the enemy appear time and again. Even such apparently negative responses as simple rejection of enemy behavior and avoid- ance of enemies issue in conciliatory responses. The cycle of hostility meeting hostility is precluded. Avoidance of enemies may yield time and space for healing to occur.

Never does a sage appear to seek vengeance against enemies. Vengeance lies with Yahweh. The sages seek rather to restore health to their social setting. They are well-- aware that two self-destructive people can never be an improvement on one healthy, peaceful person and one self- destructive person. The goal of wisdom is nothing short of life. Actions which tend always toward death and away from life strike at the heart of any authentic wisdom. There- fore, when the wisdom literature is most true to its own goals, only loving, forgiving and life-securing responses to enemies are appropriate.

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