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Chapter 5

CONCLUSION

This investigation has demonstrated that the sages of Israel were in fact aware of the folk designated and described as enemies in the Psalms. Chapters 2 and 3 located a host of enemy designations and, descriptions from the Psalter which also appear in the wisdom literature of Israel. Clearly, the sages had some concern to deal with the problems posed by the traditional enemies.,

Chapter 4 revealed that the responses to these enemies counseled by the sages were frequently concerned to achieve a measure of peace and reconciliation between themselves and their enemies. To be sure, not every response had this for its goal; not every response of the sages to their enemies can be harmonized with the beneficent, loving response urged by Proverbs 25:21-22. Overwhelmingly, how- ever, their responses were certainly not contradictory to such an aim.

Time and again counsel appeared which would rule out involvement in a cycle of hostility. Room was left open for repentance and eventual restoration of relationships. The wise evidently judged their best interests to be in fos- tering neighborliness rather than insisting upon their

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