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14 What is man that he should be pure,
or one born of woman, that he should be righteous?
15 If God[a] places no trust in his holy ones,[b]
if even the heavens[c] are not pure in his eyes,
16 how much less man, who is abominable and corrupt,[d]
who drinks in evil like water![e]

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  1. Job 15:15 tn Heb “he.”
  2. Job 15:15 tn Eliphaz here reiterates the point made in Job 4:18.
  3. Job 15:15 sn The question here is whether the reference is to material “heavens” (as in Exod 24:10 and Job 25:5), or to heavenly beings. The latter seems preferable in this context.
  4. Job 15:16 tn The two descriptions here used are “abominable,” meaning “disgusting” (a Niphal participle with the value of a Latin participle [see GKC 356-57 §116.e]), and “corrupt” (a Niphal participle which occurs only in Pss 14:3 and 53:4), always in a moral sense. On the significance of the first description, see P. Humbert, “Le substantif toʾēbā et le verbe tʾb dans l’Ancien Testament,” ZAW 72 [1960]: 217-37). On the second word, G. R. Driver suggests from Arabic, “debauched with luxury, corrupt” (“Some Hebrew Words,” JTS 29 [1927/28]: 390-96).
  5. Job 15:16 sn Man commits evil with the same ease and facility as he drinks in water—freely and in large quantities.