Do I not hate them that hate thee, 0 Yahweh? And do I not loathe them that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred. Psalm 139:21-22a
Verse 22b, however, shifts to third person (although RSV retains the first person) and reads, "They have become enemies to me" (yl vyh Mybyvxl). The only exception
to this linguistic usage is found in Exodus 23:22 where Yahweh promises, "I will be an enemy to your enemies" (jybyvx-tx ytbyx).113
Thus, the unique character of Job's situation with Yahweh is pointed up by his peculiar linguistic usage. He sees himself as a "reckoned" (bwH) enemy of God, reckoned
by God and thereby factually an enemy. Yet, he is not the one who is behaving as an enemy; God behaves as an enemy. Job's situation is that of (innocent) victim while God's behavior toward Job is that of an enemy. Linguistically, Job cannot bring himself to say, "I am an enemy of God."114 He can only ask, "Will you reckon me for your enemy?" (13:24), or make the outrageous claim, "He has reckoned me for himself as his enemies" (19:11).
113 The exceptional character of this usage is further pointed up by the fact that this is the only appearance of
the root byx as a finite verb. lxl byvx ynx or lxl byvx ytyyh or lx-tx ytbyx. 114