rights to redress of grievances. Wise consideration, of the other was in one's own best interest.
Does this attitude on the part of the sages of Israel represent a departure from the dominant Old Testament attitude toward enemies? Certainly the examples of Joseph and his brothers and David and Saul mentioned in Chapter One cohere with the attitude found in the wisdom literature. The law of Exodus 23:4-5 evidences a similar coherence with this attitude. Does this phenomenon appear elsewhere in the Old Testament?
The irenic spirit of the patriarchs also coheres with the attitude found in the wisdom literature. Apart from Abraham's response to the four kings of the east in Genesis 14:1-16, the impression of the patriarchal narratives is that the patriarchs went out of their way to avoid conflict and to mitigate it when it arose. Even Jacob the trickster displays this attitude. He avoids open conflict with Esau by leaving home in obedience to his mother (Gen. 27:41-45). He tolerates (and outwits) Laban for years, and then leaves stealthily (Gen. 29:30; 30:25-31:21). He seeks to assuage Esau's anger with a multitude of gifts and a "soft answer" (Gen. 32:14-22; 33:1-11; cf. Prov. 15:1). He rebukes Simeon and Levi for their attack on Shechem (Gen. 34:30). It seems that many of the patriarchal episodes turn on the