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length allows for more development of thought and expres- sion. They allow for more connections between various terms to be drawn or for greater description of individual terms to be developed.4 With these fundamental distinctions in mind, attention may be directed to the enemy designations within the book of Proverbs.

The byvx-Group

Of the five references to personal enemies (byvx, xnvW) in the book of Proverbs, one is a simple

saying,5 two are admonitions with motive clauses,6 and two are observations.7 The saying and admonitions are inter- esting insofar as they provide an insight into the sages'

4 Of course, a longer composition may have developed by expanding a simple mashal, but McKane's analysis of the instruction genre seems more likely (cf. W. McKane, Proverbs: A New Approach [Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1970] pp.51-182, 262-412). Even if the older form critical explanation is followed, however, the fact remains that they cannot be broken up into so many independent sayings as can the collections in 10:1-22:16 and 24:23-31:9.

5 6 16:7. 24:17-18; 25:21-22. Of course, 24:17-18 might be designated as part of the larger instruction comprising 22:17-24:22; cf. McKane, pp. 369-406. Interest is here focused on the immediate passage rather than the whole instruction so it is more appropriate to consider it an admonition.


26:24-26; 27:6. In view of the negative jussive

construction of 26:25 (Nmxt-lx ), 26:24-26 is arguably

an admonition rather than an observation. The jussive is subordinated to the thrust of the observation so it is best taken as observation with an admonitory motif.


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