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That Job's friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar are enemy- friends has already been noticed in the previous chapter. Job charges them with mocking, tormenting and shattering him with words, and triumphing over him.41 They are further charged with scheming to work violence against him (21:27). Once he claims they "would even cast lots over the father- less, and bargain over [their] friend" (6:26).

The most damning indictments against the friends fall in the realm, of their oppression and perversion of law. Job accuses them of "whitewashing with lies" (13:4). He asks rhetorically how long they intend to speak falsely and deceptively for God (13:7). He calls them "comforters of trouble" (16:2) and postulates that they would use his reproach as a basis to cross-examine him (19:5). The indictments of the friends for perversion of law come, however, not only from Job. The narrator summarizes their speeches with the note that not only had they failed to find

any answer to Job, they had gone on to condemn (vfywry) God.42 The final verdict is reserved to Yahweh who says

41

19:2, 5; 21:3.

42

32:3 MT reads bvyx-tx vfywry, but bvyx is

a tiqqune sopherim for Myhlxh. Cf. R. Gordis, The Book

of Job: Commentary New Translation and Special Studies (New York: Jewish .eological Seminary of America, 1978), PP. 360, 366f.; M. Pope, Job: Introduction, Translation and Notes (3rd ed., Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Co., 1977), pp. 240, 242; G. Holscher, Das Buch Hiob (Tlabingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1937), p. 76; G. Fohrer, Das Buch

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