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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

hostility.

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.

362

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