Job The literary character of the book of Job makes it very difficult to reach any sure answers concerning "wise responses to the enemy." Certainly, Job claims that he had refused to rejoice over his enemy's misfortune, or even to "ask for his life with a curse" (Job 31:29-30). This response to the enemy is, of course, classic in the wisdom tradition. Indeed,
It is easy to establish that the transgressions which Job denies . . . play a substantial role in the 0ld Testament only in the Wisdom teaching. 65
Undoubtedly, the writer of the book intended to recommend the ethic of chapter 31.
Apart from this notice, however, the responses to the enemy must be inferred from the responses of the various characters.66 The difficulty with this inferential
65 G. Fohrer, "The Righteous Man in Job 31," in Essays in Old Testament Ethics ( J. Philip Hyatt In Memoriam)--- ed. by J. Crenshaw and I. Willis (New York: KTAV, 1974). p. 13.
66 Job 27:7 ("let my enemy (ybyvx) be as the wicked, and let him that rises up against me (ymmvqtm) be as
the unrighteous") is a wish for the destruction of the enemy. But, to whom does this sentiment belong? MT presents it in a speech of Job, but there is surely some textual confusion in the transmission of the "third cycle" of speeches. If this belongs to Job, then he is somewhat less than truthful in 31:29-30. Cf. R. Gordis, The Book of Job: Commentary, New Translation, and Special Studies (New York: The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1978); M. Pope, Job: Introduction, Translation, and Notes (3rd ed., Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Co., 1973.