beneficent treatment of the enemy, was characteristic of the
responses counseled in the wisdom literature.
The investigation revealed that the sages were aware of
the enemies encountered in the Psalms. The responses coun-
seled by the wise were frequently concerned to achieve peace
and reconciliation between themselves and their enemies.
Counsel appeared which ruled out involvement in a cycle of
The suggestion was made that this attitude was not the
sole possession of the wisdom tradition, but rather the
common inheritance of Israel. Nevertheless, some of the
particular concerns of wisdom predisposed the sages to trace
out its implications in some detail while other circles in
Israel were predisposed to deal with other problems.
The key to the conciliatory responses of the wise was
suggested to be their religious life. They believed in the
effectiveness of the laments and, therefore, had no need to
seek vengeance. They were liberated to set about the task
of finding ways of getting along with enemies which would
secure life until Yahweh acted.