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17 Listen carefully[a] to my words;
let your ears be attentive to my explanation.[b]
18 See now,[c] I have prepared[d] my[e] case;[f]
I know that I am right.[g]
19 Who[h] will contend with me?
If anyone can, I will be silent and die.[i]

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  1. Job 13:17 tn The infinitive absolute intensifies the imperative, which serves here with the force of an immediate call to attention. In accordance with GKC 342 §113.n, the construction could be translated, “Keep listening” (so ESV).
  2. Job 13:17 tn The verb has to be supplied in this line, for the MT has “and my explanation in your ears.” In the verse, both “word” and “explanation” are Aramaisms (the latter appearing in Dan 5:12 for the explanation of riddles).
  3. Job 13:18 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) functions almost as an imperative here, calling attention to what follows: “look” (archaic: behold).
  4. Job 13:18 tn The verb עָרַךְ (ʿarakh) means “to set in order, set in array [as a battle], prepare” in the sense here of arrange and organize a lawsuit.
  5. Job 13:18 tn The pronoun is added because this is what the verse means.
  6. Job 13:18 tn The word מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat) usually means “judgment; decision.” Here it means “lawsuit” (and so a metonymy of effect gave rise to this usage; see Num 27:5; 2 Sam 15:4).
  7. Job 13:18 tn The pronoun is emphatic before the verb: “I know that it is I who am right.” The verb means “to be right; to be righteous.” Some have translated it “vindicated,” looking at the outcome of the suit.
  8. Job 13:19 tn The interrogative is joined with the emphatic pronoun, stressing “who is he [who] will contend,” or more emphatically, “who in the world will contend.” Job is confident that no one can bring charges against him. He is certain of success.
  9. Job 13:19 sn Job is confident that he will be vindicated. But if someone were to show up and have proof of sin against him, he would be silent and die (literally “keep silent and expire”).

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