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165

against Job, the narrator simply notes that, "then Satan went out from the presence of Yahweh" (1:12b), which is followed by the fourfold disasters from the Sabeans (1:13- 15), the fire of God (1:16), the Chaldean (1:17) and the great wind (1:18-19). Who is responsible for these attacks, Satan or Yahweh?

The second exchange between Satan and Yahweh is similar to the first in that Satan once again urges Yahweh to act as an enemy (2:5) while Yahweh this time gives Job into the power of Satan, prohibiting only the taking of his life (2:6). Following this exchange, however, the narrator clarifies the problem by relating that "then Satan went out from the presence of Yahweh and struck Job" (2:7).

Hence, it appears that the attacks against Job come in fact from Satan,67 explicitly in chapter 2 and, on that basis, implicitly in chapter 1. Nevertheless, Yahweh is the one who gives Job into the power of Satan (1:12; 2:6), even after he has called him one who is blameless and upright, fearing God and turning away from evil (1:8; 2:3). Yahweh then is the final enemy behind all the attacks on Job. In this conviction the Job who speaks in the poetic dialogues

67 Of course, neither Job nor his friends ever know this; they all argue that Job's misery is an attack coming from God.

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