a wealth of enemy designations, but they are just as stereotypical and imprecise as those encountered in the Psalms.185
The identification of the enemies, however, is quite clear in at least one section of Sirach: the "Hymn to the Fathers" (44:1-50:24). In every case a particular histori- cal enemy of Israel (or the hero being praised) is intended. The historical figures named are Moses' enemies (45:2), Joshua's enemies (46:1-6), the congregation who opposed Caleb and Joshua (46:7), Samuel's enemies (46:16), David's enemies and the Philistines (47:7) and God's enemies in the days of Ezekiel (49:9). Their enmity consisted solely in hostility to Israel, Israel's leader of the day and Israel's God.
Otherwise, "friends" appear who are, or soon will be enemies.186 Occasion to discuss these "friends" will arise somewhat later within the context of further remarks from Sirach on the topic of friendship. For now, however, it is sufficient to note that these passages make explicit the identification between friends and enemies. Proverbs
185 For example, "my foes" ( yrc) in Psalm 3:2; "those who speak a lie" (bzk-yrbvd) in Psalm 5:7; "lying lips" (rqw-ytpW) in Psalm 31:19; and "those who seek my life" (yyH-ywqbm) in Psalm 35:4.
186 5:15; 6:9; 12:8, 9, 10, 16; 20:23; 22:20; 27:18; 37:2.