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Job 14:11-13 New English Translation (NET Bible)

11 As[a] water disappears from the sea,[b]
or a river drains away and dries up,
12 so man lies down and does not rise;
until the heavens are no more,[c]
they[d] will not awake
nor arise from their sleep.

The Possibility of Another Life

13 “O that[e] you would hide me in Sheol,[f]
and conceal me till your anger has passed![g]
O that you would set me a time[h]
and then remember me![i]

Footnotes:

  1. Job 14:11 tn The comparative clause may be signaled simply by the context, especially when facts of a moral nature are compared with the physical world (see GKC 499 §161.a).
  2. Job 14:11 tn The Hebrew word יָם (yam) can mean “sea” or “lake.”
  3. Job 14:12 tc The Hebrew construction is “until not,” which is unusual if not impossible; it is found in only one other type of context. In its six other occurrences (Num 21:35; Deut 3:3; Josh 8:22; 10:33; 11:8; 2 Kgs 10:11) the context refers to the absence of survivors. Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, Syriac, and Vulgate all have “till the heavens wear out.” Most would emend the text just slightly from עַד־בִּלְתִּי (ʿad bilti, “are no more”) to עַד בְּלוֹת (ʿad belot, “until the wearing out of,” see Ps 102:26 [27]; Isa 51:6). Gray rejects emendation here, finding the unusual form of the MT in its favor. Orlinsky (p. 57) finds a cognate Arabic word meaning “will not awake” and translates it “so long as the heavens are not rent asunder” (H. M. Orlinsky, “The Hebrew and Greek Texts of Job 14:12, ” JQR 28 [1937/38]: 57-68). He then deletes the last line of the verse as a later gloss.
  4. Job 14:12 tn The verb is plural because the subject, אִישׁ (ʾish), is viewed as a collective: “mankind.” The verb means “to wake up; to awake”; another root, קוּץ (quts, “to split open”) cognate to Arabic qada and Akkadian kasu, was put forward by H. M. Orlinsky (“The Hebrew and Greek Texts of Job 14:12, ” JQR 28 [1937-38]: 57-68) and G. R. Driver (“Problems in the Hebrew Text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 72-93).
  5. Job 14:13 tn The optative mood is introduced here again with מִי יִתֵּן (mi yitten), literally, “who will give?” sn After arguing that man will die without hope, Job expresses his desire that there be a resurrection, and what that would mean. The ancients all knew that death did not bring existence to an end; rather, they passed into another place, but they continued to exist. Job thinks that death would at least give him some respite from the wrath of God, but this wrath would eventually be appeased, and then God would remember the one he had hidden in Sheol just as he remembered Noah. Once that happened, it would be possible that Job might live again.
  6. Job 14:13 sn Sheol in the Bible refers to the place where the dead go. But it can have different categories of meaning: death in general, the grave, or the realm of the departed spirits [hell]. A. Heidel shows that in the Bible when hell is in view the righteous are not there—it is the realm of the departed spirits of the wicked. When the righteous go to Sheol, the meaning is usually the grave or death. See chapter 3 in A. Heidel, The Gilgamesh Epic and the Old Testament Parallels.
  7. Job 14:13 tn The construction used here is the preposition followed by the infinitive construct followed by the subjective genitive, forming an adverbial clause of time.
  8. Job 14:13 tn This is the same word used in v. 5 for “limit.”
  9. Job 14:13 tn The verb זָכַר (zakhar) means more than simply “to remember.” In many cases, including this one, it means “to act on what is remembered,” i.e., deliver or rescue (see Gen 8:1, “and God remembered Noah”). In this sense, a prayer “remember me” is a prayer for God to act upon his covenant promises.
New English Translation (NET)

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