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Would that Job were tried to the end, because of answers like146 wicked men. For he adds rebellion upon his sin, among us he claps (his hands), and multiplies his words to God. Job 34:35-37

Job is accused by Elihu of being a wicked man because of his foolish speaking. Unlike the material in Proverbs, Elihu here hints at an identification of the wicked with char- acteristics which normally apply to the "fool."

Thus the book of Job presents substantially the same picture of the wicked as is found in Proverbs. The identi- fication of the wicked as those who oppress the lower classes in society seems to be a change. This alteration, however, is due entirely to the traditional forms used in the composition of the speeches; it is not a specifically wisdom theme but a theme of psalmody used by a wisdom

writer. The parallelism between a term of the byvx-group

and the wicked is a new note in the wisdom tradition, but it occurs only once in an assurance which could be quite at home in the Psalter. The most significant new dimension is the implicit identification of the wicked with the fool which Elihu introduced.

The Neutral Group Only two times does the term rz ("stranger") appear

In the book of Job. The first appearance (19:15) refers to

146

Reading ywnxk instead of ywnxb; see BHS.

72

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