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issue of conflict: how it arose, what were its conse- quences, and how it was resolved.

The fact that this irenic spirit appears in the patri- archal narratives and the wisdom literature ought not be taken as evidence of "wisdom influence." Although the patriarchal narratives still reveal some of the kinds of conflict which beset Israelite families and communities (e.g., rivalry between wives and concubines, sibling rivalries, disputes over water and grazing rights, marriage outside the clan), they do not intend to handle these issues didactically. Their intention is rather to present the way of the promise in the lives of the fathers. Disputes and their resolutions are simply obstacles to the fulfillment of the promise.

The appearance of non-aggression toward personal enemies in such diverse complexes as the patriarchal nar- ratives and the wisdom literature more probably indicates that it was a broadly based Israelite attitude. The wisdom literature, however, articulates and recommends this typically Israelite attitude most often and most explicitly. Its relative absence from other bodies of Old Testament literature compared with its frequent appearance in the wisdom writings is to be explained in terms of their respec- tive intentions.

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