Yahweh's intention was to bring precisely this response from the one he had "counted as his adversary."77
Yahweh's real enemies, however, are the three friends who perjure themselves in their argument with Job. They had
not spoken of God what is "right" (hnvkn).78 mately, it appears that
Job's courageous and honorable challenge to God is more acceptable to Him than conventional defenses of God's justice that rest upon distortions of reality. 79
Yahweh's response is to provide a cultic means for their reclamation. They are to offer up for themselves a
burnt offering (hlvf) of seven bulls and seven rams.
Job will pray (llpth) for them. Then Yahweh will hear
Job's prayer and forgive them (42:7-9). The goal of Yahweh's response to these false witnesses against him is their repentance and reclamation.
Job has two categories of enemies to whom he responds: Yahweh and the friends. His responses to his friends are customarily disputatious and accusing.80 Occasionally they
77 78 79 80 19:21; cf. 13:24; 33:10. 42:7, 8. Gordis, p. 494. Cf. 6:14-27; 12:2-6 (7-25); 13:1-17; 16:1-5; 19:2-5; 21:2-3, 27-34.