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The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just. Proverbs 21:7

A fourth saying also probably reflects a legal setting when it observes that the wicked "brings shame and reproach."35

The most dangerous social position for the wicked is clearly in the circles of high authority. Such wicked

authorities are named as "ruler" (lwvm)36 and "ministers"

(Mytrwm).37 Again, it is interesting that expressions

such as "counselor" (Cfvy) and "wise men" (MymkH) do

not appear. The danger posed by wicked rulers and ministers is that they are responsible for the administration of justice,38 and it is noted that

A righteous man knows the rights, of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge. Proverbs 29:7

Thus the wicked may be characterized generally as those who stand outside a valid relationship to Yahweh. Their

35 13:5; on wyxby as "to bring shame" see P. Ackroyd, "A Note on the Hebrew Roots wxb and wvb," JTS 43 (1942), 160; cf. 27:11 where JrH reflects a legal

36

28:15; 29:12; cf. 29:2, 16.

37

29:12.

setting.

38 H. Boecker, Law and the Administration of Justice in the Old Testament and Ancient East, trans. by J. Moiser Minneapolis:. Augsburg Publishing House, 1980), pp. 40-49.

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