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The narrator of the tale is hardly so kind in his treatment of Yahweh. Indeed, he explicitly alleges conduct, of him which would be entirely appropriate to an enemy. Satan's exhortation to Yahweh to "Stretch out your hand now and touch all that he has!" (1:11)54 does, of course, have Yahweh for its grammatical subject. This admonition implies a potential enmity on Yahweh's part for he is certainly capable of such behavior or the admonition would be point- less. At the same time, however, the implication is present that Yahweh has not yet assumed this role.

More explicitly, the narrator portrays Yahweh confessing to Satan,

Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast to his integrity, although you instigated me against him to destroy him without cause.

Job 2:3

Certainly it is arguable that Satan is here presented as an enemy, but even when that possibility is granted Yahweh is not thereby absolved. A "devil made me do it" confession is inevitably disingenuous, and scandalously so when Yahweh voices it. One wonders if this is indeed the same inscru- table, unapproachable Yahweh found in the speeches of Job 38-41. There Yahweh is overwhelming; here, he appears sub- ject to the whim of Satan, one of the sons of God.

54

Cf. 2:5.

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