involve a plea for help and comfort.81 In the epilogue, of course, Job obediently prays for his friends (42:9, 10) who had maligned him. Then, "Yahweh gave Job twice as much as he had before" (42:10).
Job's responses to Yahweh are more variegated than those to his friends. To begin with, Job responds to the disasters which strike his property and family with praise
of Yahweh who "gives" (Ntn) and "takes" (hql); he
pronounces a blessing upon the name of Yahweh (1:21). When afflicted with "loathsome sores" he "sat among the ashes" (2:8) which must be a sign of mourning,82 as well as his social alienation. Once again, however, Job affirms his faith in God, although this time with a rhetorical question, and without a blessing (2:10).
Job's responses to God within the poetic dialogue are two-fold: he laments, and he accuses. His opening (Job 3) and closing speeches (Job 29-31) are laments.83 Within the
81 82 Cf. 6:28-30; 19:21-22. So Fohrer, Das Buch Hiob, pp. 101-102; Tur-Sinai, pp. 25-26 Rowley, p. 8; Pope, p. 21; contra Gordis, p. 21.
83 Murphy, Wisdom Literature, pp. 38-39, classifies Job 29-31 as a "soliloquy," but Job is not really "talking to himself" here. God is supposed to hear this description of past righteousness, present distress and purificatory oath. Alternatively, chaps. 3 and 29-31 could be described as "curses" as J. Crenshaw, Old Testament Wisdom: An Intro- duction (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1981), pp. 105-106, does. Even Crenshaw, however, writes, "Job's powerful lament begins and ends with a curse (p. 105, emphasis his).