friends had come to comfort Job (2:11), but their words of consolation misfired. They could only offer disputation which finally leads to outright indictment (Job 22).158 This is why Job is so confounded that he cries out to his friends to have pity on him (19:21) and asks how they would comfort him with nothings (21:31). Rather than playing the proper role of comforters, Job's three friends have moved toward a legal role. They have become Job's accusers.159
The Animals Group Eliphaz uses the "lion" (hyrx), the "fierce lion"
(lHw), the "young lions" (Myxybl), the "strong lion"
(wyl) and the "whelps of the lioness" (xybl-ynb)160
as metaphors for those who "plow iniquity" and "sow trouble.161 Otherwise in Job the animals mentioned refer to real animals with no metaphorical significance intended.162
158 Westermann, The Structure of the Book of Job, pp. 9ff. On the legal forms in the book of Job see L. Kohler, "Justice in the Gate," postscript to Hebrew Man, trans. by P. Ackroyd (London: SCM Press, 1956), pp. 158-163. 4:10-11, 4:8. 30:1; 38:39. 159 160 161 162