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elsewhere.69 In Proverbs 6:24 the parallel designation is "evil woman" (fr twx).70

The issue may, of course, be complicated if verses 20- 35 are not unitary but composite.71 On literary grounds, however, few good reasons can be produced for excluding any verse from the passage. The instruction genre is char- acterized by imperatives and jussives as in verses 20, 21 and 25, and reasons why such advice should be followed as in verses 22-24 and 26-35.72 It seems much more likely,

69 70 Prov. 2:16; 5:20; 7:5. BHS proposes to emend f Ar ("evil") to af er ("neigh- bor") on the basis of the Greek reading of upandrou (cf. also v. 29, MT reading vhfr twx and Greek reading gunaika upandron); another suggestion by BHS is to emend fr twx to hrz hwx, on the basis of

Prov. 7:5. The latter suggestion has no textual support while the former represents only a different vocalization of the same consonantal text. MT should probably be read since, as McKane, p. 328, notes, "the expression would have to be ‘eset re’aka."

71 R. Whybray, Wisdom in Proverbs: The Concept of Wisdom in Proverbs 1-9 (Naperville, Ill.: Alec. R. Allenson, 1965), pp. 48-49, excludes vv. 23, 26-31 and 33-35 on (unconvincing) literary critical grounds. Bostrom, pp. 143f., cited by McKane, p. 328, argues that vv. 20-26 should be dealt with separately from vv. 27-35. His reasons are evidently ideological, at least to Judge from McKane's observation on p. 329: "Bostrom would perhaps not have argued the lack of unity in vv, 20-35 so rigidly if he had no had the special concern of advancing his theory of the ‘issa zara. She is promiscuous in a context of cultic devo- tion (this is his theory), but the description of adultery in vv. 27-35 cannot be fitted into such a framework, and so it must be separated cleanly from the ‘issa zara passages."

72 See McKane, p. 3; cf. J. Crenshaw, Old Testament Wisdom: An Introduction (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1781), p. 21, who argues concerning this passage, "when he wants

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