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worship is inauthentic and their bravado false. They over- turn normal values of neighborliness and common decency, and they wreak havoc in the judicial life of the community by their malevolent speech and outright distortion of the legal system. They are able to do such things because they func- tion at the highest levels of government and society.

The allies of the wicked. Of course, the wicked have much in common with others who stand as obstacles to the system of justice. The mashal literature mentions several kinds of undesirable witnesses: "lying" (Mybzk),39

"worthless" (lfylb) "gratuitous" (MnH),41 and

"false witnesses" (Myrqw-df).42 Such witnesses are

deceptive,43 they breathe out lies ,44 and others are often enticed by their lips.45 Some "violent folk" (smH wyx) appear who seek to

"entice" (htpy) their friends into "a way that is not good."46 Another passage speaks expansively of sinners

42

6:19; 12:17; 14:5; 19:5, 9; 25:19.

43

12:17.

39 40 41

21:28. 19:28. 24:28.

44 45 46

6:19; 14:5; 19:5, 9. 24:28. 16:29.

41

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