New English Translation
Satan’s Additional Charge
2 Again the day came when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also arrived among them to present himself before the Lord.[a] 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord,[b] “From roving about on the earth, and from walking back and forth across it.”[c] 3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil. And he still holds firmly[d] to his integrity,[e] so that[f] you stirred me up to destroy him[g] without reason.”[h]
4 But[i] Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for[j] skin![k] Indeed, a man will give up[l] all that he has to save his life.[m] 5 But extend your hand and strike his bone and his flesh,[n] and he will no doubt[o] curse you to your face!”
Job’s Integrity in Suffering
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and he afflicted[t] Job with a malignant ulcer[u] from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.[v] 8 Job took a shard of broken pottery to scrape[w] himself[x] with while he was sitting[y] among the ashes.[z]
9 Then[aa] his wife said to him, “Are you still holding firmly to your integrity?[ab] Curse[ac] God, and die!”[ad] 10 But he replied,[ae] “You’re talking like one of the godless women[af] would do! Should we receive[ag] what is good from God, and not also[ah] receive[ai] what is evil?”[aj] In all this Job did not sin by what he said.[ak]
The Visit of Job’s Friends[al]
11 When Job’s three friends heard about all this calamity that had happened to him, each of them came from his own country[am]—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite.[an] They met together[ao] to come to show sympathy[ap] for him and to console[aq] him. 12 But when they gazed intently[ar] from a distance but did not recognize[as] him, they began to weep loudly. Each of them tore his robes, and they threw dust into the air over their heads.[at] 13 Then they sat down with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, yet no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain[au] was very great.[av]
Job Regrets His Birth
3 “Let the day on which[bb] I was born[bc] perish,
and the night that said,[bd]
‘A man[be] has been conceived!’[bf]
4 That day[bg]—let it be darkness;[bh]
let not God on high regard[bi] it,
nor let light shine[bj] on it!
5 Let darkness and the deepest shadow[bk] claim it;[bl]
let a cloud settle on it;
let whatever blackens the day[bm] terrify it.
6 That night—let darkness seize[bn] it;
let it not be included[bo] among the days of the year;
let it not enter among the number of the months![bp]
7 Indeed,[bq] let that night be barren;[br]
let no shout of joy[bs] penetrate[bt] it!
8 Let those who curse the day[bu] curse it[bv]—
those who are prepared to rouse[bw] Leviathan.[bx]
9 Let its morning stars[by] be darkened;
let it wait[bz] for daylight but find none,[ca]
nor let it see the first rays[cb] of dawn,
10 because it[cc] did not shut the doors[cd] of my mother’s womb on me,[ce]
nor did it hide trouble[cf] from my eyes.
Job Wishes He Had Died at Birth[cg]
11 “Why did I not[ch] die[ci] at birth,[cj]
and why did I not expire
as[ck] I came out of the womb?
12 Why did the knees welcome me,[cl]
and why were there[cm] two breasts[cn]
that I might nurse at them?[co]
13 For now[cp] I would be lying down
and[cq] would be quiet,[cr]
I would be asleep and then at peace[cs]
14 with kings and counselors of the earth
who built for themselves places now desolate,[ct]
15 or with princes who possessed gold,[cu]
who filled their palaces[cv] with silver.
16 Or why[cw] was[cx] I not buried[cy]
like a stillborn infant,[cz]
like infants[da] who have never seen the light?[db]
17 There[dc] the wicked[dd] cease[de] from turmoil,[df]
and there the weary[dg] are at rest.
18 There[dh] the prisoners[di] relax[dj] together;[dk]
they do not hear the voice of the oppressor.[dl]
19 Small and great are[dm] there,
and the slave is free[dn] from his master.[do]
Longing for Death[dp]
20 “Why does God[dq] give[dr] light to one who is in misery,[ds]
and life to those[dt] whose soul is bitter,
21 to[du] those who wait[dv] for death that[dw] does not come,
and search for it[dx]
more than for hidden treasures,
22 who rejoice[dy] even to jubilation,[dz]
and are exultant[ea] when[eb] they find the grave?[ec]
23 Why is light given[ed] to a man[ee]
whose way is hidden,[ef]
and whom God has hedged in?[eg]
24 For my sighing comes in place of[eh] my food,[ei]
and my groanings[ej] flow forth like water.[ek]
25 For the very thing I dreaded[el] has happened[em] to me,
and what I feared has come upon me.[en]
26 I have no ease,[eo] I have no quietness;
I cannot rest;[ep] turmoil has come upon me.”[eq]
Eliphaz Begins to Speak[er]
4 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:[es]
2 “If someone[et] should attempt[eu] a word with you,
will you be impatient?[ev]
But who can refrain from speaking?[ew]
3 Look,[ex] you have instructed[ey] many;
you have strengthened[ez] feeble hands.[fa]
4 Your words have supported[fb] those
and you have strengthened the knees
that gave way.[fd]
5 But now the same thing[fe] comes to you,
and you are discouraged;[ff]
it strikes you,
and you are terrified.[fg]
6 Is not your piety[fh] your confidence,[fi]
and your blameless ways your hope?[fj]
7 Call to mind now:[fk]
Who,[fl] being innocent, ever perished?[fm]
And where were upright people[fn] ever destroyed?[fo]
8 Even as I have seen,[fp] those who plow[fq] iniquity[fr]
and those who sow trouble reap the same.[fs]
9 By the breath[ft] of God they perish,[fu]
and by the blast[fv] of his anger they are consumed.
10 There is[fw] the roaring of the lion[fx]
and the growling[fy] of the young lion,
but the teeth of the young lions are broken.[fz]
11 The mighty lion[ga] perishes[gb] for lack of prey,
and the cubs of the lioness[gc] are scattered.
Ungodly Complainers Provoke God’s Wrath
12 “Now a word[gd] was stealthily brought[ge] to me,
and my ear caught[gf] a whisper[gg] of it.
13 In the troubling thoughts[gh] of the dreams[gi] in the night
when a deep sleep[gj] falls on men,
14 dread[gk] gripped me and trembling,
which made all my bones shake.[gl]
15 Then a breath of air[gm] passes[gn] by my face;
it makes[go] the hair of my flesh stand up.
16 It stands still,[gp]
but I cannot recognize[gq] its appearance;
an image is before my eyes,
and I hear a murmuring voice:[gr]
17 ‘Is[gs] a mortal man[gt] righteous[gu] before[gv] God?
Or a man pure[gw] before his Creator?[gx]
18 If[gy] God[gz] puts no trust in[ha] his servants[hb]
and attributes[hc] folly[hd] to his angels,
19 how much more to those who live in houses of clay,[he]
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed[hf] like[hg] a moth?
20 They are destroyed[hh] between morning and evening;[hi]
they perish forever[hj] without anyone regarding it.[hk]
21 Is not their excess wealth[hl] taken away from them?[hm]
They die,[hn] yet without attaining wisdom.’[ho]
5 “Call now![hp] Is there anyone who will answer you?[hq]
To which of the holy ones[hr] will you turn?[hs]
2 For[ht] wrath kills the foolish person,[hu]
and anger[hv] slays the silly one.
3 I myself[hw] have seen the fool[hx] taking root,
but suddenly I cursed his place of residence.[hy]
4 His children are far[hz] from safety,
and they are crushed[ia] at the place where judgment is rendered,[ib]
nor is there anyone to deliver them.[ic]
5 The hungry[id] eat up his harvest,[ie]
and take it even from behind the thorns,[if]
and the thirsty[ig] pant for[ih] their wealth.[ii]
6 For evil does not come up from the dust,[ij]
nor does trouble spring up from the ground,
7 but people[ik] are born[il] to trouble,
as surely as the sparks[im] fly[in] upward.[io]
Blessings for the One Who Seeks God[ip]
8 “But[iq] as for me,[ir] I would seek[is] God,[it]
and to God[iu] I would set forth my case.[iv]
9 He does[iw] great and unsearchable[ix] things,
marvelous things without[iy] number;[iz]
10 he gives[ja] rain on the earth,[jb]
and sends[jc] water on the fields;[jd]
11 he sets[je] the lowly[jf] on high,
that those who mourn[jg] are raised[jh] to safety.
12 He frustrates[ji] the plans[jj] of the crafty[jk]
so that[jl] their hands cannot accomplish
what they had planned.[jm]
13 He catches[jn] the wise in their own craftiness,[jo]
and the counsel of the cunning[jp] is brought to a quick end.[jq]
14 They meet with darkness in the daytime,[jr]
and grope about[js] in the noontime as if it were night.[jt]
15 So he saves[ju] from the sword that comes from their mouth,[jv]
even[jw] the poor from the hand of the powerful.
16 Thus the poor have hope,
and iniquity[jx] shuts its mouth.[jy]
17 “Therefore,[jz] blessed[ka] is the man whom God corrects,[kb]
so do not despise the discipline[kc] of the Almighty.[kd]
18 For[ke] he[kf] wounds,[kg] but he also bandages;
he strikes, but his hands also heal.
19 He will deliver you[kh] from six calamities;
yes, in seven[ki] no evil will touch you.
20 In time of famine[kj] he will redeem you from death,
and in time of war from the power of the sword.[kk]
21 You will be protected[kl] from malicious gossip,[km]
and will not be afraid of the destruction[kn] when it comes.
22 You will laugh at destruction and famine[ko]
and need not[kp] be afraid of the beasts of the earth.
23 For you will have a pact with the stones[kq] of the field,
and the wild animals[kr] will be at peace[ks] with you.
24 And[kt] you will know[ku] that your home[kv] will be secure,[kw]
and when you inspect[kx] your domains,
you will not be missing[ky] anything.
25 You will also know that your children[kz] will be numerous,
and your descendants[la] like the grass of the earth.
26 You will come to your grave in a full age,[lb]
As stacks of grain are harvested in their season.
27 Look, we have investigated this, so it is true.
Hear it,[lc] and apply it for your own[ld] good.”[le]
Job Replies to Eliphaz
6 Then Job responded:[lf]
2 “Oh, if only[lg] my grief[lh] could be weighed,[li]
and my misfortune laid[lj] on the scales too![lk]
3 But because it is heavier[ll] than the sand[lm] of the sea,
that is why my words have been wild.[ln]
4 For the arrows[lo] of the Almighty[lp] are within me;
my spirit[lq] drinks their poison;[lr]
God’s sudden terrors[ls] are arrayed against[lt] me.
Complaints Reflect Suffering
5 “Does the wild donkey[lu] bray[lv] when it is near grass?[lw]
Or[lx] does the ox bellow[ly] over its fodder?[lz]
6 Can food that is tasteless[ma] be eaten without salt?
Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?[mb]
7 I[mc] have refused[md] to touch such things;[me]
they are like loathsome food to me.[mf]
A Cry for Death
8 “Oh that[mg] my request would be realized,[mh]
and that God would grant me what I long for![mi]
9 And that God would be willing[mj] to crush me,
that he would let loose[mk] his hand
and[ml] kill me.[mm]
10 Then I would yet have my comfort,[mn]
then[mo] I would rejoice,[mp]
in spite of pitiless pain,[mq]
for[mr] I have not concealed the words[ms] of the Holy One.[mt]
11 What is my strength, that I should wait?[mu]
And what is my end,[mv]
that I should prolong my life?
12 Is my strength like that of stones?[mw]
Or is my flesh made of bronze?
13 Is not[mx] my power to help myself nothing,
and has not every resource[my] been driven from me?
14 “To the one in despair, kindness[mz] should come from his friend[na]
even if[nb] he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
15 My brothers[nc] have been as treacherous[nd] as a seasonal stream,[ne]
and as the riverbeds of the intermittent streams[nf]
that flow away.[ng]
16 They[nh] are dark[ni] because of ice;
snow is piled up[nj] over them.[nk]
17 When they are scorched,[nl] they dry up,
when it is hot, they vanish[nm] from their place.
18 Caravans[nn] turn aside from their routes;
they go[no] into the wasteland[np] and perish.[nq]
19 The caravans of Tema[nr] looked intently[ns] for these streams;[nt]
the traveling merchants[nu] of Sheba hoped for them.
20 They were distressed,[nv]
because each one had been[nw] so confident;
they arrived there,[nx] but were disappointed.
21 For now[ny] you have become like these streams that are no help;[nz]
you see a terror,[oa] and are afraid.
22 “Have I[ob] ever said,[oc] ‘Give me something,
and from your fortune[od] make gifts[oe] in my favor’?
23 Or, ‘Deliver me[of] from the enemy’s power,[og]
and from the hand of tyrants[oh] ransom[oi] me’?
No Sin Discovered
24 “Teach[oj] me and I, for my part,[ok] will be silent;
explain to me[ol] how I have been mistaken.[om]
25 How painful are[on] honest words!
But[oo] what does your reproof[op] prove?[oq]
26 Do you intend to criticize mere words,
and treat[or] the words of a despairing man as wind?
27 Yes, you would gamble[os] for the fatherless,
and auction off[ot] your friend.
28 “Now then, be good enough to look[ou] at me;[ov]
and I will not[ow] lie to your face!
29 Relent,[ox] let there be no falsehood;[oy]
reconsider,[oz] for my righteousness is intact![pa]
30 Is there any falsehood[pb] on my lips?
Can my mouth[pc] not discern evil things?[pd]
The Brevity of Life
7 “Does not humanity have hard service[pe] on earth?
Are not their days also like the days of a hired man?[pf]
2 Like a servant[pg] longing for the evening shadow,[ph]
and like a hired man looking for[pi] his wages,[pj]
3 thus[pk] I have been made to inherit[pl]
months of futility,[pm]
and nights of sorrow[pn]
have been appointed[po] to me.
4 If I lie down, I say,[pp] ‘When will I arise?’
And the night stretches on[pq]
and I toss and turn restlessly[pr]
until the day dawns.
5 My body[ps] is clothed with[pt] worms[pu] and dirty scabs;[pv]
my skin is broken[pw] and festering.
6 My days[px] are swifter[py] than a weaver’s shuttle[pz]
and they come to an end without hope.[qa]
7 Remember[qb] that my life is but a breath,
that[qc] my eyes will never again[qd] see happiness.
8 The eye of him who sees me now will see me no more;[qe]
your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone.[qf]
9 As[qg] a cloud is dispersed and then disappears,[qh]
so the one who goes down to the grave[qi]
does not come up again.[qj]
10 He returns no more to his house,
nor does his place of residence[qk] know him[ql] anymore.
Job Remonstrates with God
11 “Therefore,[qm] I will not refrain my mouth;[qn]
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain[qo] in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or the creature of the deep,[qp]
that you must put[qq] me under guard?[qr]
13 If[qs] I say,[qt] ‘My bed will comfort me,[qu]
my couch will ease[qv] my complaint,’
14 then you scare me[qw] with dreams
and terrify[qx] me with[qy] visions,
15 so that I[qz] would prefer[ra] strangling,[rb]
and[rc] death[rd] more[re] than life.[rf]
16 I loathe[rg] it;[rh] I do not want to live forever;
leave me alone,[ri] for my days are a vapor![rj]
Insignificance of Humans
17 “What is mankind[rk] that you make so much of them,[rl]
and that you pay attention[rm] to them?
18 And that you visit[rn] them every morning,
and try[ro] them every moment?[rp]
19 Will you never[rq] look away from me,[rr]
will you not let me alone[rs]
long enough to swallow my spittle?
20 If[rt] I have sinned—what have I done to you,[ru]
O watcher of men?[rv]
Why have you set me as your target?[rw]
Have I become a burden to you?[rx]
21 And why do you not pardon my transgression,
and take away my iniquity?
For now I will lie down in the dust,[ry]
and you will seek me diligently,[rz]
but I will be gone.”
Bildad’s First Speech to Job[sa]
8 Then Bildad the Shuhite spoke up and said:
2 “How long will you speak these things,[sb]
seeing[sc] that the words of your mouth
are like a great[sd] wind?[se]
3 Does God pervert[sf] justice?[sg]
Or does the Almighty pervert[sh] what is right?
4 If[si] your children sinned against him,
he gave them over[sj] to the penalty[sk] of their sin.
5 But[sl] if you will look[sm] to God,
and make your supplication[sn] to the Almighty,
6 if you become[so] pure[sp] and upright,[sq]
even now he will rouse himself[sr] for you,
and will restore[ss] your righteous home.[st]
7 Your beginning[su] will seem so small,
since your future will flourish.[sv]
8 “For inquire now of the former[sw] generation,
and pay attention[sx] to the findings[sy]
of their ancestors;[sz]
9 For we were born yesterday[ta] and do not have knowledge,
since our days on earth are but a shadow.[tb]
10 Will they not[tc] instruct you and[td] speak to you,
and bring forth words[te]
from their understanding?[tf]
11 Can the papyrus plant grow tall[tg] where there is no marsh?
Can reeds flourish[th] without water?
12 While they are still beginning to flower[ti]
and not ripe for cutting,[tj]
they can wither away[tk]
faster than[tl] any grass.[tm]
13 Such is the destiny[tn] of all who forget God;
the hope of the godless[to] perishes,
14 whose[tp] trust[tq] is in something futile,[tr]
whose security is a spider’s web.[ts]
15 He leans against his house but it does not hold up,[tt]
he takes hold[tu] of it but it does not stand.
16 He is a well-watered plant[tv] in[tw] the sun,
its shoots spread[tx] over its garden.[ty]
17 It wraps its roots around a heap of stones[tz]
and it looks[ua] for a place among stones.[ub]
18 If he is uprooted[uc] from his place,
then that place[ud] will disown him, saying,[ue]
‘I have never seen you!’
19 Indeed, this is the joy of his way,[uf]
and out of the earth[ug] others spring up.[uh]
20 “Surely, God does not reject a blameless man,[ui]
nor does he grasp the hand[uj]
of the evildoers.
21 He will yet[uk] fill your mouth with laughter,[ul]
and your lips with gladness.
22 Those who hate you[um] will be clothed with shame,[un]
and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”
Job’s Reply to Bildad[uo]
9 Then Job answered:
2 “Truly,[up] I know that this is so.
But how[uq] can a human[ur] be just before[us] God?[ut]
3 If someone wishes[uu] to contend[uv] with him,
he cannot answer[uw] him one time in a thousand.
4 He is wise in heart[ux] and mighty[uy] in strength[uz]—
who has resisted[va] him and remained safe?[vb]
5 He who removes mountains suddenly,[vc]
who overturns them in his anger,[vd]
6 he who shakes the earth out of its place[ve]
so that its pillars tremble,[vf]
7 he who commands the sun, and[vg] it does not shine[vh]
and seals up[vi] the stars,
8 he alone spreads out the heavens,
and treads[vj] on the waves of the sea.[vk]
9 He makes the Bear,[vl] Orion,[vm] and the Pleiades,[vn]
and the constellations of the southern sky;[vo]
10 he does great and unsearchable things,[vp]
and wonderful things without number.
11 If[vq] he passes by me, I cannot see[vr] him,[vs]
if he goes by, I cannot perceive him.[vt]
12 If he snatches away,[vu] who can turn him back?[vv]
Who dares to say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 God does not restrain his anger;[vw]
under him the helpers of Rahab[vx] lie crushed.[vy]
The Impossibility of Facing God in Court
14 “How much less,[vz] then, can I answer him[wa]
and choose my words[wb] to argue[wc] with[wd] him.[we]
15 Although[wf] I am innocent,[wg]
I could not answer him;[wh]
I could only plead[wi] with my judge[wj] for mercy.
16 If I summoned him, and he answered me,[wk]
I would not believe[wl]
that he would be listening to my voice—
17 he who[wm] crushes[wn] me with a tempest,
and multiplies my wounds for no reason.[wo]
18 He does not allow[wp] me to recover[wq] my breath,
for he fills[wr] me with bitterness.
19 If it is a matter of strength,[ws]
most certainly[wt] he is the strong one!
And if it is a matter of justice,
he will say, ‘Who will summon me?’[wu]
20 Although I am innocent,[wv]
my mouth[ww] would condemn me,[wx]
although I am blameless,
it would declare me perverse.[wy]
21 I am blameless.[wz] I do not know myself.[xa]
I despise my life.
Accusation of God’s Justice
22 “It is all one![xb] That is why I say,[xc]
‘He destroys the blameless and the guilty.’
23 If a scourge brings sudden death,[xd]
he mocks[xe] at the despair[xf] of the innocent.[xg]
24 If a land[xh] has been given
into the hand of a wicked man,[xi]
he covers[xj] the faces of its judges;[xk]
if it is not he, then who is it?[xl]
25 “My days[xm] are swifter than a runner,[xn]
they speed by without seeing happiness.
26 They glide by[xo] like reed[xp] boats,
like an eagle that swoops[xq] down on its prey.[xr]
27 If I say,[xs] ‘I will[xt] forget my complaint,
I will change my expression[xu] and be cheerful,’[xv]
28 I dread[xw] all my sufferings,[xx]
for[xy] I know that you do not hold me blameless.[xz]
29 If I am guilty,[ya]
why then[yb] weary myself[yc] in vain?[yd]
30 If I wash myself with snow-melt water,[ye]
and make my hands clean with lye,[yf]
31 then you plunge me into a slimy pit[yg]
and my own clothes abhor me.
32 For he[yh] is not a human being like I am,
that[yi] I might answer him,
that we might come[yj] together in judgment.
33 Nor is there an arbiter[yk] between us,
who[yl] might lay[ym] his hand on us both,[yn]
34 who[yo] would take his[yp] rod[yq] away from me
so that his terror[yr] would not make me afraid.
35 Then[ys] would I speak and not fear him,
but it is not so with me.[yt]
An Appeal for Revelation
10 “I[yu] am weary[yv] of my life;
I will complain freely without restraint;[yw]
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2 I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn[yx] me;
tell me[yy] why you are contending[yz] with me.’
3 Is it good for you[za] to oppress,[zb]
to[zc] despise the work of your hands,
while[zd] you smile[ze]
on the schemes of the wicked?
Motivations of God
4 “Do you have eyes of flesh,[zf]
or do you see[zg] as a human being sees?[zh]
5 Are your days like the days of a mortal,
or your years like the years[zi] of a mortal,
6 that[zj] you must search out[zk] my iniquity,
and inquire about my sin,
7 although you know[zl] that I am not guilty,
and that there is no one who can deliver[zm]
out of your hand?
Contradictions in God’s Dealings
8 “Your hands have shaped[zn] me and made me,
but[zo] now you destroy me completely.[zp]
9 Remember that you have made me as with[zq] the clay;
will[zr] you return me to dust?
10 Did you not pour[zs] me out like milk,
and curdle[zt] me like cheese?[zu]
11 You clothed[zv] me with skin and flesh
and knit me together[zw] with bones and sinews.
12 You gave me[zx] life and favor,[zy]
and your intervention[zz] watched over my spirit.
13 “But these things[aaa] you have concealed in your heart;
I know that this[aab] is with you:[aac]
14 If I sinned, then you would watch me
and you would not acquit me of my iniquity.
15 If I am guilty,[aad] woe[aae] to me,
and if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head;[aaf]
I am full of shame,[aag]
and satiated with my affliction.[aah]
16 If I lift myself up,[aai]
you hunt me as a fierce lion,[aaj]
and again[aak] you display your power[aal] against me.
17 You bring new witnesses[aam] against me,
and increase your anger against me;
relief troops[aan] come against me.
An Appeal for Relief
18 “Why then did you bring me out from the womb?
I should have died[aao]
and no eye would have seen me!
19 I should have been as though I had never existed;[aap]
I should have been carried
right from the womb to the grave!
20 Are not my days few?[aaq]
Cease,[aar] then, and leave[aas] me alone[aat]
that I may find a little comfort,[aau]
21 before I depart, never to return,[aav]
to the land of darkness
and the deepest shadow,[aaw]
22 to the land of utter darkness,
like the deepest darkness,
and the deepest shadow and disorder,[aax]
where even the light[aay] is like darkness.”[aaz]
Zophar’s First Speech to Job[aba]
11 Then Zophar the Naamathite spoke up and said:
2 “Should not this[abb] abundance of words be answered,[abc]
or should this[abd] talkative man[abe]
3 Should people remain silent[abg] at your idle talk,[abh]
and should no one rebuke[abi] you when you mock?[abj]
4 For you have said, ‘My teaching[abk] is flawless,
and I am pure in your sight.’
5 But if only God would speak,[abl]
if only he would open his lips against you,[abm]
6 and reveal to you the secrets of wisdom—
for true wisdom has two sides[abn]—
so that you would know[abo]
that God has forgiven some of your sins.[abp]
7 “Can you discover[abq] the essence[abr] of God?
Can you find out[abs] the perfection of the Almighty?[abt]
8 It is higher[abu] than the heavens—what can you do?
It is deeper than Sheol[abv]—what can you know?
9 Its measure is longer than the earth,
and broader than the sea.
10 If he comes by[abw] and confines[abx] you[aby]
and convenes a court,[abz]
then who can prevent[aca] him?
11 For he[acb] knows deceitful[acc] men;
when he sees evil, will he not[acd] consider it?[ace]
12 But an empty man will become wise,
when a wild donkey’s colt is born a human being.[acf]
13 “As for you,[acg] if you prove faithful,[ach]
and if[aci] you stretch out your hands toward him,[acj]
14 if[ack] iniquity is in your hand—put it far away,[acl]
and do not let evil reside in your tents.
15 For[acm] then you will lift up your face
you will be securely established[acp]
and will not fear.
16 For you[acq] will forget your trouble;[acr]
you will remember it
like water that[acs] has flowed away.
17 And life[act] will be brighter[acu] than the noonday;
though there be darkness,[acv]
it will be like the morning.
18 And you will be secure, because there is hope;
you will be protected[acw]
and will take your rest in safety.
19 You will lie down with[acx] no one to make you afraid,
and many will seek your favor.[acy]
20 But the eyes of the wicked fail,[acz]
and escape[ada] eludes them;
their one hope[adb] is to breathe their last.”[adc]
Job’s Reply to Zophar[add]
12 Then Job answered:
2 “Without a doubt you are the people,[ade]
and wisdom will die with you.[adf]
3 I also have understanding[adg] as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.[adh]
Who does not know such things as these?[adi]
4 I am[adj] a laughingstock[adk] to my friends,[adl]
I, who called on God and whom he answered[adm]—
a righteous and blameless[adn] man
is a laughingstock!
5 For calamity,[ado] there is derision
(according to the ideas of the fortunate[adp])—
a fate[adq] for those whose feet slip.
6 But[adr] the tents of robbers are peaceful,
and those who provoke God are confident[ads]—
who carry their god in their hands.[adt]
Knowledge of God’s Wisdom[adu]
7 “But now, ask the animals and they[adv] will teach you,
or the birds of the sky and they will tell you.
8 Or speak[adw] to the earth[adx] and it will teach you,
or let the fish of the sea declare to you.
9 Which of all these[ady] does not know
that the hand of the Lord[adz] has done[aea] this?
10 In his hand[aeb] is the life[aec] of every creature
and the breath of all the human race.[aed]
11 Does not the ear test words,
as[aee] the tongue[aef] tastes food?[aeg]
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?[aeh]
Does not long life bring understanding?
13 “With God[aei] are wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.[aej]
14 If[aek] he tears down, it cannot be rebuilt;
if he imprisons a person, there is no escape.[ael]
15 If he holds back the waters, then they dry up;[aem]
if he releases them,[aen] they destroy[aeo] the land.
16 With him are strength and prudence;[aep]
both the one who goes astray[aeq]
and the one who misleads are his.
17 He[aer] leads[aes] counselors away stripped[aet]
and makes judges[aeu] into fools.[aev]
18 He loosens[aew] the bonds[aex] of kings
and binds a loincloth[aey] around their waist.
19 He leads priests away stripped[aez]
and overthrows[afa] the potentates.[afb]
20 He deprives the trusted advisers[afc] of speech[afd]
and takes away the discernment[afe] of elders.
21 He pours contempt on noblemen
and disarms[aff] the powerful.[afg]
22 He reveals the deep things of darkness,
and brings deep shadows[afh] into the light.
23 He makes nations great,[afi] and destroys them;
he extends the boundaries of nations
and disperses[afj] them.[afk]
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth[afl]
of their understanding;[afm]
he makes them wander
in a trackless desert waste.[afn]
25 They grope about in darkness[afo] without light;
he makes them stagger[afp] like drunkards.
Job Pleads His Cause to God[afq]
13 “Indeed, my eyes have seen all this,[afr]
my ears have heard and understood it.
2 What you know,[afs] I[aft] know also;
I am not inferior[afu] to you!
3 But I wish to speak[afv] to the Almighty,[afw]
and I desire to argue[afx] my case[afy] with God.
4 But you, however, are inventors of lies;[afz]
all of you are worthless physicians![aga]
5 If only you would keep completely silent![agb]
For you, that would be wisdom.[agc]
6 “Listen now to my argument,[agd]
and be attentive to my lips’ contentions.[age]
7 Will you speak wickedly[agf] on God’s behalf?[agg]
Will you speak deceitfully for him?
8 Will you show him partiality?[agh]
Will you argue the case[agi] for God?
9 Would it turn out well if he would examine[agj] you?
Or as one deceives[agk] a man would you deceive him?
10 He would certainly rebuke[agl] you
if you secretly[agm] showed partiality.
11 Would not his splendor[agn] terrify[ago] you
and the fear he inspires[agp] fall on you?
12 Your maxims[agq] are proverbs of ashes;[agr]
your defenses[ags] are defenses of clay.[agt]
13 “Refrain from talking[agu] with me so that[agv] I may speak;
then let come to me[agw] what may.[agx]
14 Why[agy] do I put myself in peril,[agz]
and take my life in my hands?
15 Even if he slays me, I will hope in him;[aha]
I will surely[ahb] defend[ahc] my ways to his face.
16 Moreover, this will become my deliverance,
for no godless person would come before him.[ahd]
17 Listen carefully[ahe] to my words;
let your ears be attentive to my explanation.[ahf]
18 See now,[ahg] I have prepared[ahh] my[ahi] case;[ahj]
I know that I am right.[ahk]
19 Who[ahl] will contend with me?
If anyone can, I will be silent and die.[ahm]
20 Only in two things spare me,[ahn] O God,[aho]
and then I will not hide from your face:
21 Remove[ahp] your hand[ahq] far from me
and stop making me afraid with your terror.[ahr]
22 Then call,[ahs] and I will answer,
or I will speak, and you respond to me.
23 How many are my[aht] iniquities and sins?
Show me my transgression and my sin.[ahu]
24 Why do you hide your face[ahv]
and regard me as your enemy?
25 Do you wish to torment[ahw] a windblown[ahx] leaf
and chase after dry chaff?[ahy]
26 For you write down[ahz] bitter things against me
and cause me to inherit the sins of my youth.[aia]
27 And you put my feet in the stocks[aib]
and you watch all my movements;[aic]
you put marks[aid] on the soles of my feet.
28 So I[aie] waste away like something rotten,[aif]
like a garment eaten by moths.
The Brevity of Life
14 “Man, born of woman,[aig]
lives but a few days,[aih] and they are full of trouble.[aii]
2 He grows up[aij] like a flower and then withers away;[aik]
he flees like a shadow, and does not remain.[ail]
3 Do you fix your eye[aim] on such a one?[ain]
And do you bring me[aio] before you for judgment?
4 Who can make[aip] a clean thing come from an unclean?[aiq]
5 Since man’s days[air] are determined,[ais]
the number of his months is under your control;[ait]
you have set his limit[aiu] and he cannot pass it.
6 Look away from him and let him desist,[aiv]
until he fulfills[aiw] his time like a hired man.
The Inevitability of Death
7 “But there is hope for[aix] a tree:[aiy]
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not fail.
8 Although its roots may grow old[aiz] in the ground
and its stump begins to die[aja] in the soil,[ajb]
9 at the scent[ajc] of water it will flourish[ajd]
and put forth[aje] shoots like a new plant.
10 But man[ajf] dies and is powerless;[ajg]
he expires—and where is he?[ajh]
11 As[aji] water disappears from the sea,[ajj]
or a river drains away and dries up,
12 so man lies down and does not rise;
until the heavens are no more,[ajk]
they[ajl] will not awake
nor arise from their sleep.
The Possibility of Another Life
13 “O that[ajm] you would hide me in Sheol,[ajn]
and conceal me till your anger has passed![ajo]
O that you would set me a time[ajp]
and then remember me![ajq]
14 If a man dies, will he live again?[ajr]
All the days of my hard service[ajs] I will wait[ajt]
until my release comes.[aju]
15 You will call[ajv] and I[ajw]—I will answer you;
you will long for[ajx] the creature you have made.[ajy]
The Present Condition[ajz]
16 “Surely now you count my steps;[aka]
then you would not mark[akb] my sin.[akc]
17 My offenses would be sealed up[akd] in a bag;[ake]
you would cover over[akf] my sin.
18 But as[akg] a mountain falls away and crumbles,[akh]
and as a rock will be removed from its place,
19 as water wears away stones,
and torrents[aki] wash away the soil,[akj]
so you destroy man’s hope.[akk]
20 You overpower him once for all,[akl]
and he departs;
you change[akm] his appearance
and send him away.
21 If[akn] his sons are honored,[ako]
he does not know it;[akp]
if they are brought low,
he does not see[akq] it.
22 His flesh only has pain for him,[akr]
and he mourns for himself.”[aks]
Eliphaz’s Second Speech[akt]
15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2 “Does a wise man answer with blustery knowledge,[aku]
or fill his belly[akv] with the east wind?[akw]
3 Does he argue[akx] with useless[aky] talk,
with words that have no value in them?
4 But you even break off[akz] piety,[ala]
and hinder[alb] meditation[alc] before God.
5 Your sin inspires[ald] your mouth;
you choose the language[ale] of the crafty.[alf]
6 Your own mouth condemns[alg] you, not I;
your own lips testify against[alh] you.
7 “Were you the first man ever born?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
8 Do you listen in on God’s secret council?[ali]
Do you limit[alj] wisdom to yourself?
9 What do you know that we don’t know?
What do you understand that we don’t understand?[alk]
10 The gray-haired[all] and the aged are on our side,[alm]
men far older than your father.[aln]
11 Are God’s consolations[alo] too trivial for you,[alp]
or a word spoken[alq] in gentleness to you?
12 Why[alr] has your heart carried you away,[als]
and why do your eyes flash,[alt]
13 when you turn your rage[alu] against God
and allow such words to escape[alv] from your mouth?
14 What is man that he should be pure,
or one born of woman, that he should be righteous?
15 If God[alw] places no trust in his holy ones,[alx]
if even the heavens[aly] are not pure in his eyes,
16 how much less man, who is abominable and corrupt,[alz]
who drinks in evil like water![ama]
17 “I will explain to you;
listen to me,
and what[amb] I have seen, I will declare,[amc]
18 what wise men declare,
from the tradition of[amd] their ancestors,[ame]
19 to whom alone the land was given
when no foreigner passed among them.[amf]
20 All his days[amg] the wicked man suffers torment,[amh]
throughout the number of the years
that[ami] are stored up for the tyrant.[amj]
21 Terrifying sounds fill[amk] his ears;
in a time of peace marauders[aml] attack him.
22 He does not expect[amm] to escape from darkness;[amn]
he is marked for the sword;[amo]
23 he wanders about—food for vultures[amp]—
he knows that the day of darkness is at hand.[amq]
24 Distress and anguish[amr] terrify him;
they prevail against him
like a king ready to launch an attack,[ams]
25 for he stretches out his hand against God,[amt]
and vaunts himself[amu] against the Almighty,
26 defiantly charging against him[amv]
with a thick, strong shield![amw]
27 Because he covered his face with fat,[amx]
and made[amy] his hips bulge with fat,[amz]
28 he lived in ruined towns[ana]
and in houses where[anb] no one lives,
where they are ready to crumble into heaps.[anc]
29 He will not grow rich,
and his wealth will not endure,
nor will his possessions[and] spread over the land.
30 He will not escape the darkness;[ane]
a flame will wither his shoots
and he will depart
by the breath of God’s mouth.[anf]
31 Let him not trust in what is worthless,[ang]
for worthlessness will be his reward.[anh]
32 Before his time[ani] he will be paid in full,[anj]
and his branches will not flourish.[ank]
33 Like a vine he will let his sour grapes fall,[anl]
and like an olive tree
he will shed his blossoms.[anm]
34 For the company of the godless is barren,[ann]
and fire[ano] consumes the tents of those who accept bribes.[anp]
35 They conceive[anq] trouble and bring forth evil;
their belly[anr] prepares deception.”
Job’s Reply to Eliphaz[ans]
16 Then Job replied:
2 “I have heard many things like these before.
What miserable comforters[ant] are you all!
3 Will[anu] there be an end to your[anv] windy words?[anw]
Or what provokes[anx] you that you answer?[any]
4 I also could speak[anz] like you,
if[aoa] you were in my place;
I could pile up[aob] words against you
and I could shake my head at you.[aoc]
5 But[aod] I would strengthen[aoe] you with my words;[aof]
comfort from my lips would bring[aog] you relief.
Abandonment by God and Man
6 “But[aoh] if I speak, my pain is not relieved,[aoi]
and if I refrain from speaking,
how much[aoj] of it goes away?
7 Surely now he[aok] has worn me out,
you have devastated my entire household.
8 You have seized me,[aol]
and it[aom] has become a witness;
my leanness[aon] has risen up against me
and testifies against me.
9 His[aoo] anger has torn me[aop] and persecuted[aoq] me;
he has gnashed at me with his teeth;
my adversary locks[aor] his eyes on me.
10 People[aos] have opened their mouths against me,
they have struck my cheek in scorn;[aot]
they unite[aou] together against me.
11 God abandons me to evil men,[aov]
and throws[aow] me into the hands of wicked men.
12 I was in peace, and he has shattered me.[aox]
He has seized me by the neck and crushed me.[aoy]
He has made me his target;
13 his archers[aoz] surround me.
Without pity[apa] he pierces[apb] my kidneys
and pours out my gall[apc] on the ground.
14 He breaks through against me, time and time again;[apd]
he rushes[ape] against me like a warrior.
15 I have sewed sackcloth on my skin,[apf]
and buried[apg] my horn[aph] in the dust;
16 my face is reddened[api] because of weeping,[apj]
and on my eyelids there is a deep darkness,[apk]
17 although[apl] there is no violence in my hands
and my prayer is pure.
An Appeal to God as Witness
18 “O earth, do not cover my blood,[apm]
nor let there be a secret[apn] place for my cry.
19 Even now my witness[apo] is in heaven;
my advocate[app] is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend[apq]
as my eyes pour out tears[apr] to God;
21 and[aps] he contends with God on behalf of man
as a man[apt] pleads[apu] for his friend.
22 For the years that lie ahead are few,[apv]
and then I will go on the way of no return.[apw]
17 My spirit is broken,[apx]
my days have faded out,[apy]
the grave[apz] awaits me.
2 Surely mockery[aqa] is with me;[aqb]
my eyes must dwell on their hostility.[aqc]
3 Set my pledge[aqd] beside you.
Who else will put up security for me?[aqe]
4 Because[aqf] you have closed their[aqg] minds to understanding,
therefore you will not exalt them.[aqh]
5 If a man denounces his friends for personal gain,[aqi]
the eyes of his children will fail.
6 He has made me[aqj] a byword[aqk] to people,
I am the one in whose face they spit.[aql]
7 My eyes have grown dim[aqm] with grief;
my whole frame[aqn] is but a shadow.
8 Upright men are appalled[aqo] at this;
the innocent man is troubled[aqp] with the godless.
9 But the righteous man holds to his way,
and the one with clean hands grows stronger.[aqq]
Anticipation of Death
10 “But turn, all of you,[aqr] and come[aqs] now![aqt]
I will not find a wise man among you.
11 My days have passed, my plans[aqu] are shattered,
even[aqv] the desires[aqw] of my heart.
12 These men[aqx] change[aqy] night into day;
they say,[aqz] ‘The light is near
in the face of darkness.’[ara]
13 If[arb] I hope for the grave to be my home,
if I spread out my bed in darkness,
14 if I cry out[arc] to corruption,[ard] ‘You are my father,’
and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
15 where then[are] is my hope?
And my hope,[arf] who sees it?
16 Will[arg] it[arh] go down to the barred gates[ari] of death?
Will[arj] we descend[ark] together into the dust?”
Bildad’s Second Speech[arl]
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
2 “How long until you[arm] make an end of words?[arn]
You must consider,[aro] and then[arp] we can talk.
3 Why should we be regarded as beasts,
and considered stupid[arq] in your sight?
4 You who tear yourself[arr] to pieces in your anger,
will the earth be abandoned[ars] for your sake?
Or will a rock be moved from its place?[art]
5 “Yes,[aru] the lamp[arv] of the wicked is extinguished;
his flame of fire[arw] does not shine.
6 The light in his tent grows dark;
his lamp above him is extinguished.[arx]
7 His vigorous steps[ary] are restricted,[arz]
and his own counsel throws him down.[asa]
8 For he has been thrown into a net by his feet[asb]
and he wanders into a mesh.[asc]
9 A trap[asd] seizes him by the heel;
a snare[ase] grips him.
10 A rope is hidden for him[asf] on the ground
and a trap for him[asg] lies on the path.
11 Terrors[ash] frighten him on all sides
and dog[asi] his every step.
12 Calamity is[asj] hungry for him,[ask]
and misfortune is ready at his side.[asl]
13 It eats away parts of his skin;[asm]
the most terrible death[asn] devours his limbs.
14 He is dragged from the security of his tent,[aso]
and marched off[asp] to the king of terrors.[asq]
15 Fire resides in his tent;[asr]
over his residence burning sulfur is scattered.
16 Below his roots dry up,
and his branches wither above.
17 His memory perishes from the earth,
he has no name in the land.[ass]
18 He is driven[ast] from light into darkness
and is banished from the world.
19 He has neither children nor descendants[asu] among his people,
no survivor in those places he once stayed.[asv]
20 People of the west[asw] are appalled at his fate;[asx]
people of the east are seized with horror,[asy] saying,[asz]
21 ‘Surely such is the residence[ata] of an evil man;
and this is the place of one who has not known God.’”[atb]
Job’s Reply to Bildad[atc]
19 Then Job answered:
2 “How long will you torment me[atd]
and crush[ate] me with your words?[atf]
3 These ten times[atg] you have been reproaching me;[ath]
you are not ashamed to attack me.[ati]
4 But even if it were[atj] true that I have erred,[atk]
my error[atl] remains solely my concern!
5 If indeed[atm] you would exalt yourselves[atn] above me
and plead my disgrace against me,[ato]
6 know[atp] then that God has wronged me[atq]
and encircled[atr] me with his net.[ats]
Job’s Abandonment and Affliction
7 “If[att] I cry out,[atu] ‘Violence!’[atv]
I receive no answer;[atw]
I cry for help,
but there is no justice.
8 He has blocked[atx] my way so I cannot pass,
and has set darkness[aty] over my paths.
9 He has stripped me of my honor
and has taken the crown off my head.[atz]
10 He tears me down[aua] on every side until I perish;[aub]
he uproots[auc] my hope[aud] like an uprooted[aue] tree.
11 Thus[auf] his anger burns against me,
and he considers me among his enemies.[aug]
12 His troops[auh] advance together;
they throw up[aui] a siege ramp against me,
and they camp around my tent.
Job’s Forsaken State
13 “He has put my relatives[auj] far from me;
my acquaintances only[auk] turn away from me.
14 My kinsmen have failed me;
my friends[aul] have forgotten me.[aum]
15 My guests[aun] and my servant girls
consider[auo] me a stranger;
I am a foreigner[aup] in their eyes.
16 I summon[auq] my servant, but he does not respond,
even though I implore[aur] him with my own mouth.
17 My breath is repulsive[aus] to my wife;
I am loathsome[aut] to my brothers.[auu]
18 Even youngsters have scorned me;
when I get up,[auv] they scoff at me.[auw]
19 All my closest friends[aux] detest me;
and those whom[auy] I love have turned against me.[auz]
20 My bones stick to my skin and my flesh;[ava]
I have escaped[avb] alive[avc] with only the skin of my teeth.
21 Have pity on me, my friends, have pity on me,
for the hand of God has struck me.
22 Why do you pursue me like God does?[avd]
Will you never be satiated with my flesh?[ave]
Job’s Assurance of Vindication
23 “O that[avf] my words were written down!
O that they were written on a scroll![avg]
24 O that with an iron chisel and with lead[avh]
they were engraved in a rock forever!
25 As for me, I know that my Redeemer[avi] lives,
and that as the last[avj]
he will stand upon the earth.[avk]
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,[avl]
yet in my flesh[avm] I will see God,[avn]
27 whom I will see for myself,[avo]
and whom my own eyes will behold,
and not another.[avp]
My heart[avq] grows faint within me.[avr]
28 If you say, ‘How we will pursue him,
since the root of the trouble is found in him!’[avs]
29 Fear the sword yourselves,
for wrath[avt] brings the punishment[avu] by the sword,
so that you may know
that there is judgment.”[avv]
Zophar’s Second Speech[avw]
20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
2 “This is why[avx] my troubled thoughts bring me back[avy]—
because of my feelings[avz] within me.
3 When[awa] I hear a reproof that dishonors[awb] me,
then my understanding[awc] prompts me to answer.[awd]
4 “Surely you know[awe] that it has been from old,
ever since humankind was placed[awf] on the earth,
5 that the elation of the wicked is brief,[awg]
the joy of the godless[awh] lasts but a moment.[awi]
6 Even though his stature[awj] reaches to the heavens
and his head touches the clouds,
7 he will perish forever, like his own excrement;[awk]
those who used to see him will say, ‘Where is he?’
8 Like a dream he flies away, never again to be found,[awl]
and like a vision of the night he is put to flight.
9 People[awm] who had seen him will not see him again,
and the place where he was
will recognize him no longer.
10 His sons must recompense[awn] the poor;
his own hands[awo] must return his wealth.
11 His bones[awp] were full of his youthful vigor,[awq]
but that vigor will lie down with him in the dust.
12 “If[awr] evil is sweet in his mouth
and he hides it under his tongue,[aws]
13 if he retains it for himself
and does not let it go,
and holds it fast in his mouth,[awt]
14 his food is turned sour[awu] in his stomach;[awv]
it becomes the venom of serpents[aww] within him.
15 The wealth that he consumed[awx] he vomits up,
God will make him throw it out[awy] of his stomach.
16 He sucks the poison[awz] of serpents;[axa]
the fangs[axb] of a viper[axc] kill him.
17 He will not look on the streams,[axd]
the rivers that are the torrents[axe]
of honey and butter.[axf]
18 He gives back the ill-gotten gain[axg]
without assimilating it;[axh]
he will not enjoy the wealth from his commerce.[axi]
19 For he has oppressed the poor and abandoned them;[axj]
he has seized a house which he did not build.[axk]
20 For he knows no satisfaction in his appetite;[axl]
he does not let anything he desires[axm] escape.[axn]
21 “Nothing is left for him to devour;[axo]
that is why his prosperity does not last.[axp]
22 In the fullness of his sufficiency,[axq]
distress overtakes[axr] him.
The full force of misery will come upon him.[axs]
23 “While he is[axt] filling his belly,
God[axu] sends his burning anger[axv] against him,
and rains down his blows upon him.[axw]
24 If he flees from an iron weapon,
then an arrow[axx] from a bronze bow pierces him.
25 When he pulls it out[axy] and it comes out of his back,
the gleaming point[axz] out of his liver,
terrors come over him.
26 Total darkness waits to receive his treasures;[aya]
a fire that has not been kindled[ayb]
will consume him and devour what is left in his tent.
27 The heavens reveal his iniquity;
the earth rises up against him.
28 A flood will carry off his house,
rushing waters on the day of God’s wrath.
29 Such is the lot God allots the wicked,
and the heritage of his appointment[ayc] from God.”
Job’s Reply to Zophar[ayd]
21 Then Job answered:
2 “Listen carefully[aye] to my words;
let this be[ayf] the consolation you offer me.[ayg]
3 Bear with me[ayh] and I[ayi] will speak,
and after I have spoken[ayj] you may mock.[ayk]
4 Is my[ayl] complaint against a man?[aym]
If so,[ayn] why should I not be impatient?[ayo]
5 Look[ayp] at me and be appalled;
put your hands over your mouths.[ayq]
6 For, when I think about[ayr] this, I am terrified[ays]
and my body feels a shudder.[ayt]
The Wicked Prosper
7 “Why do the wicked go on living,[ayu]
grow old,[ayv] even increase in power?
8 Their children[ayw] are firmly established in their presence,[ayx]
their offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe[ayy] and without fear;[ayz]
and no rod of punishment[aza] from God is upon them.[azb]
10 Their bulls[azc] breed[azd] without fail;[aze]
their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11 They allow their children to run[azf] like a flock;
their little ones dance about.
12 They sing[azg] to the accompaniment of tambourine and harp,
and make merry to the sound of the flute.
13 They live out[azh] their years in prosperity
and go down[azi] to the grave[azj] in peace.
14 So they say to God, ‘Turn away from us!
We do not want to know your ways.[azk]
15 Who is the Almighty, that[azl] we should serve him?
What would we gain
if we were to pray[azm] to him?’[azn]
16 But their prosperity is not their own doing.[azo]
The counsel of the wicked is far from me![azp]
How Often Do the Wicked Suffer?
17 “How often[azq] is the lamp of the wicked extinguished?
How often does their[azr] misfortune come upon them?
How often does God apportion pain[azs] to them[azt] in his anger?
18 How often[azu] are they like straw before the wind,
and like chaff swept away[azv] by a whirlwind?
19 You may say,[azw] ‘God stores up a man’s[azx] punishment for his children!’[azy]
Instead let him repay[azz] the man himself[baa]
so that[bab] he may be humbled![bac]
20 Let his own eyes see his destruction;[bad]
let him drink of the anger of the Almighty.
21 For what is his interest[bae] in his home
after his death,[baf]
when the number of his months
has been broken off?[bag]
22 Can anyone teach[bah] God knowledge,
since[bai] he judges those that are on high?[baj]
Death Levels Everything
23 “One man dies in his full vigor,[bak]
completely secure and prosperous,
24 his body[bal] well nourished,[bam]
and the marrow of his bones moist.[ban]
25 And another man[bao] dies in bitterness of soul,[bap]
never having tasted[baq] anything good.
26 Together they lie down in the dust,
and worms cover over them both.
Futile Words, Deceptive Answers
27 “Yes, I know what you are thinking,[bar]
the schemes[bas] by which you would wrong me.[bat]
28 For you say,
‘Where now is the nobleman’s house,[bau]
and where are the tents in which the wicked lived?’[bav]
29 Have you never questioned those who travel the roads?
Do you not recognize their accounts[baw]—
30 that the evil man is spared
from the day of his misfortune,
that he is delivered[bax]
from the day of God’s wrath?
31 No one denounces his conduct to his face;
no one repays him for what[bay] he has done.[baz]
32 And when he is carried to the tombs,
and watch is kept[bba] over the funeral mound,[bbb]
33 The clods of the torrent valley[bbc] are sweet to him;
behind him everybody follows in procession,
and before him goes a countless throng.
34 So how can you console me with your futile words?
Nothing is left of your answers but deception!”[bbd]
Eliphaz’s Third Speech[bbe]
22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2 “Is it to God that a strong man is of benefit?
Is it to him that even a wise man is profitable?[bbf]
- Job 2:1 tc This last purpose clause has been omitted in some Greek versions.
- Job 2:2 tn Heb “answered the Lord and said” (also in v. 4). The words “and said” here and in v. 9 have not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Job 2:2 tn See the note on this phrase in 1:7.
- Job 2:3 tn The form is the Hiphil participle, “make strong, seize, hold fast.” It is the verbal use here; joined with עֹדֶנּוּ (ʿodennu, “yet he”) it emphasizes that “he still holds firmly.” The testing has simply strengthened Job in his integrity.
- Job 2:3 tn This is the same word used to describe Job as “blameless, pure.” Here it carries the idea of “integrity”; Job remained blameless, perfect.
- Job 2:3 tn The vav (ו) with the preterite is used here to express the logical conclusion or consequence of what was stated previously. God is saying that Job has maintained his integrity, so that now it is clear that Satan moved against him groundlessly (GKC 328 §111.l).
- Job 2:3 tn The verb literally means “to swallow”; it forms an implied comparison in the line, indicating the desire of Satan to ruin him completely. See A Guillaume, “A Note on the Root bala`,” JTS 13 (1962): 320-23; and N. M. Sarna, “Epic Substratum in the Prose of Job,”JBL 76 (1957): 13-25, for a discussion of the Ugaritic deity Mot swallowing up the enemy.
- Job 2:3 sn Once again the adverb חִנָּם (khinnam, “gratis”) is used. It means “graciously, gratis, free, without cause, for no reason.” Here the sense has to be gratuitously, for no reason.” The point of the verb חָנַן (khanan, “to be gracious”) and its derivatives is that the action is undeserved. In fact, they would deserve the opposite. Sinners seeking grace deserve punishment. Here, Job deserves reward, not suffering.
- Job 2:4 tn The form is the simple preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive. However, the speech of Satan is in contrast to what God said, even though in narrative sequence.
- Job 2:4 tn The preposition בְּעַד (beʿad) designates interest or advantage arising from the idea of protection for (“for the benefit of”); see IBHS 201-2 §11.2.7a.
- Job 2:4 sn The meaning of the expression is obscure. It may come from the idea of sacrificing an animal or another person in order to go free, suggesting the expression that one type of skin that was worth less was surrendered to save the more important life. Satan would then be saying that Job was willing for others to die for him to go free, but not himself. “Skin” would be a synecdoche of the part for the whole (like the idiomatic use of skin today for a person in a narrow escape). The second clause indicates that God has not even scratched the surface because Job has been protected. His “skin” might have been scratched, but not his flesh and bone! But if his life had been put in danger, he would have responded differently.
- Job 2:4 tc The LXX has “make full payment, pay a full price” (LSJ 522 s.v. ἐκτίνω).
- Job 2:4 tn Heb “Indeed, all that a man has he will give for his life.”
- Job 2:5 sn The “bones and flesh” are idiomatic for the whole person, his physical and his psychical/spiritual being (see further H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament, 26-28).
- Job 2:5 sn This is the same oath formula found in 1:11; see the note there.
- Job 2:6 tn The particle הִנּוֹ (hinno) is literally, “here he is!” God presents Job to Satan, with the restriction on preserving Job’s life.
- Job 2:6 tn The LXX has “I deliver him up to you.”
- Job 2:6 tn Heb “hand.”
- Job 2:6 sn The irony of the passage comes through with this choice of words. The verb שָׁמַר (shamar) means “to keep; to guard; to preserve.” The exceptive clause casts Satan in the role of a savior—he cannot destroy this life but must protect it.
- Job 2:7 tn The verb is נָכָה (nakhah, “struck, smote”); it can be rendered in this context as “afflicted.”
- Job 2:7 sn The general consensus is that Job was afflicted with a leprosy known as elephantiasis, named because the rough skin and the swollen limbs are animal-like. The Hebrew word שְׁחִין (shekhin, “boil”) can indicate an ulcer as well. Leprosy begins with such, but so do other diseases. Leprosy normally begins in the limbs and spreads, but Job was afflicted everywhere at once. It may be some other disease also characterized by such a malignant ulcer. D. J. A. Clines has a thorough bibliography on all the possible diseases linked to this description (Job [WBC], 48). See also HALOT 1460 s.v. שְׁחִין.
- Job 2:7 tn Heb “crown.”
- Job 2:8 tn The verb גָּרַד (garad) is a hapax legomenon (only occurring here). Modern Hebrew has retained a meaning “to scrape,” which is what the cognate Syriac and Arabic indicate. In the Hitpael it would mean “scrape himself.”
- Job 2:8 sn The disease required constant attention. The infection and pus had to be scraped away with a piece of broken pottery in order to prevent the spread of the infection. The skin was so disfigured that even his friends did not recognize him (2:12). The book will add that the disease afflicted him inwardly, giving him a foul breath and a loathsome smell (19:17, 20). The sores bred worms; they opened and ran, and closed and tightened (16:8). He was tormented with dreams (7:14). He felt like he was choking (7:14). His bones were racked with burning pain (30:30). And he was not able to rise from his place (19:18). The disease was incurable, but it would last for years, leaving the patient longing for death.
- Job 2:8 tn The construction uses the disjunctive vav (ו) with the independent pronoun with the active participle. The construction connects this clause with what has just been said, making this a circumstantial clause.
- Job 2:8 sn Among the ashes. It is likely that the “ashes” refers to the place outside the city where the rubbish was collected and burnt, i.e., the ash-heap (cf. CEV). This is the understanding of the LXX, which reads “dung-hill outside the city.”
- Job 2:9 tn The versions have some information here that is interesting, albeit fanciful. The Targum calls her “Dinah.” The LXX has “when a long time had passed.” But the whole rendering of the LXX is paraphrastic: “How long will you hold out, saying, ‘Behold, I wait yet a little while, expecting the hope of my deliverance?’ for behold, your memorial is abolished from the earth, even your sons and daughters, the pangs and pains of my womb which I bore in vain with sorrows, and you yourself sit down to spend the night in the open air among the corruption of worms, and I am a wanderer and a servant from place to place and house to house, waiting for the setting sun, that I may rest from my labors and pains that now beset me, but say some word against the Lord and die.”
- Job 2:9 sn See R. D. Moore, “The Integrity of Job,” CBQ 45 (1983): 17-31. The reference of Job’s wife to his “integrity” could be a precursor of the conclusion reached by Elihu in 32:2 where he charged Job with justifying himself rather than God.
- Job 2:9 tn The verb is literally בָּרַךְ, (barakh, “bless”). As in the earlier uses, the meaning probably has more to do with renouncing God than of speaking a curse. The actual word may be taken as a theological euphemism for the verb קִלֵּל (qillel, “curse”). If Job’s wife had meant that he was trying to justify himself rather than God, “bless God” might be translated “speak well of God,” the resolution accepted by God in 42:7-8 following Job’s double confession of having spoken wrongly of God (40:3-5; 42:1-6). sn The church fathers were quick to see here again the role of the wife in the temptation—she acts as the intermediary between Satan and Job, pressing the cause for him. However, Job’s wife has been demonized falsely. Job did not say that she was a foolish woman, only that she was speaking like one of them (2:10). Also, Job did not exclude her from sharing in his suffering (“should we receive”). He evidently recognized that her words were the result of her personal loss and pain as well as the desire to see her husband’s suffering ended. When God gave instructions for the restoration of Job’s friends because of their foolish words (42:7-9), no mention is made of any need for Job’s wife to be restored.
- Job 2:9 tn The imperative with the conjunction in this expression serves to express the certainty that will follow as the result or consequence of the previous imperative (GKC 324-25 §110.f).
- Job 2:10 tn Heb “he said to her.”
- Job 2:10 tn The word “foolish” (נָבָל, naval) has to do with godlessness more than silliness (Ps 14:1). To be foolish in this sense is to deny the nature and the work of God in life its proper place. See A. Phillips, “NEBALA—A Term for Serious Disorderly Unruly Conduct,” VT 25 (1975): 237-41; and W. M. W. Roth, “NBL,” VT 10 (1960): 394-409.
- Job 2:10 tn The verb קִבֵּל (qibbel) means “to accept, receive.” It is attested in the Amarna letters with the meaning “receive meekly, patiently.”
- Job 2:10 tn The adverb גָּם (gam, “also, even”) is placed here before the first clause, but belongs with the second. It intensifies the idea (see GKC 483 §153). See also C. J. Labuschagne, “The Emphasizing Particle GAM and Its Connotations,” Studia Biblica et Semitica, 193-203.
- Job 2:10 tn The two verbs in this sentence, Piel imperfects, are deliberative imperfects; they express the reasoning or deliberating in the interrogative sentences.
- Job 2:10 tn A question need not be introduced by an interrogative particle or adverb. The natural emphasis on the words is enough to indicate it is a question (GKC 473 §150.a).sn The Hebrew words טוֹב (tov, “good”) and רַע (raʿ, “evil”) have to do with what affects life. That which is good benefits people because it produces, promotes and protects life; that which is evil brings calamity and disaster, it harms, pains, or destroys life.
- Job 2:10 tn Heb “sin with his lips,” an idiom meaning he did not sin by what he said.
- Job 2:11 sn See N. C. Habel, “‘Only the Jackal is My Friend,’ On Friends and Redeemers in Job,” Int 31 (1977): 227-36.
- Job 2:11 tn Heb “a man from his place”; this is the distributive use, meaning “each man came from his place.”
- Job 2:11 sn Commentators have tried to analyze the meanings of the names of the friends and their locations. Not only has this proven to be difficult (Teman is the only place that is known), it is not necessary for the study of the book. The names are probably not symbolic of the things they say.
- Job 2:11 tn The verb can mean that they “agreed together,” but it also (and more likely) means that they came together at a meeting point to go visit Job together.
- Job 2:11 tn The verb “to show grief” is נוּד (nud), and literally signifies “to shake the head.” It may be that his friends came to show the proper sympathy and express the appropriate feelings. They were not ready for what they found.
- Job 2:11 tn The second infinitive is from נָחָם (nakham, “to comfort, console” in the Piel). This word may be derived from a word with a meaning of sighing deeply.
- Job 2:12 tn Heb “they lifted up their eyes.” The idiom “to lift up the eyes” (or “to lift up the voice”) is intended to show a special intensity in the effort. Here it would indicate that they were trying to see Job from a great distance away.
- Job 2:12 tn The Hiphil perfect here should take the nuance of potential perfect—they were not able to recognize him. In other words, this does not mean that they did not know it was Job, only that he did not look anything like the Job they knew.
- Job 2:12 tn Heb “they tossed dust skyward over their heads.”
- Job 2:13 tn The word כְּאֵב (keʾev) means “pain”—both mental and physical pain. The translation of “grief” captures only part of its emphasis.
- Job 2:13 sn The three friends went into a more severe form of mourning, one that is usually reserved for a death. E. Dhorme says it is a display of grief in its most intense form (Job, 23); for one of them to speak before the sufferer spoke would have been wrong.
- Job 3:1 sn The previous chapters (1-2) were prose narrative, this chapter, however, commences the poetic section of the book (chs. 3-41) containing the cycles of speeches.
- Job 3:1 sn The detailed introduction to the speech with “he opened his mouth” draws the readers attention to what was going to be said. As the introduction to the poetic speech that follows (3:3-26), vv. 1-2 continue the prose style of chapters 1-2. Each of the subsequent speeches is introduced by such a prose heading.
- Job 3:1 tn The verb “cursed” is the Piel preterite from the verb קָלַל (qalal); this means “to be light” in the Qal stem, but here “to treat lightly, with contempt, curse.” See in general H. C. Brichto, The Problem of “Curse” in the Hebrew Bible (JBLMS); and A. C. Thiselton, “The Supposed Power of Words in the Biblical Writings,” JTS 25 (1974): 283-99.
- Job 3:1 tn Heb “his day” (so KJV, ASV, NAB). The Syriac has “the day on which he was born.” The context makes it clear that Job meant the day of his birth. But some have tried to offer a different interpretation, such as his destiny or his predicament. For this reason the Syriac clarified the meaning for their readers in much the same way as the present translation does by rendering “his day” as “the day he was born.” On the Syriac translation of the book of Job, see Heidi M. Szpek, Translation Technique in the Peshitta to Job (SBLDS).
- Job 3:2 tc The text has וַיַּעַן (vayyaʿan), literally, “and he answered.” The LXX simply has “saying” for the entire verse. The Syriac, Targum, and Greek A agree with the MT. “[Someone] answered and said” is phraseology characteristic of all the speeches in Job beginning with Satan in 1:9. No other portion of the OT employs this phraseology as often or as consistently.
- Job 3:3 tn The relative clause is carried by the preposition with the resumptive pronoun: “the day [which] I was born in it” meaning “the day on which I was born” (see GKC 486-88 §155.f, i).
- Job 3:3 tn The verb is the Niphal imperfect. It may be interpreted in this dependent clause (1) as representing a future event from some point of time in the past—“the day on which I was born” or “would be born” (see GKC 316 §107.k). Or (2) it may simply serve as a preterite indicating action that is in the past.
- Job 3:3 tn The MT simply has “and the night—it said….” By simple juxtaposition with the parallel construction (“on which I was born”) the verb “it said” must be a relative clause explaining “the night.” Rather than supply “in which” and make the verb passive (which is possible since no specific subject is provided, but leaves open the question of who said it), it is preferable to take the verse as a personification. First Job cursed the day; now he cursed the night that spoke about what it witnessed. See A. Ehrman, “A Note on the Verb ʾamar,” JQR 55 (1964/65): 166-67.
- Job 3:3 tn The word is גֶּבֶר (gever, “a man”). The word usually distinguishes a man as strong, distinct from children and women. Translations which render this as “boy” (to remove the apparent contradiction of an adult being “conceived” in the womb) miss this point.
- Job 3:3 sn The announcement at birth is to the fact that a male was conceived. The same parallelism between “brought forth/born” and “conceived” may be found in Ps 51:7 HT (51:5 ET). The motifs of the night of conception and the day of birth will be developed by Job. For the entire verse, which is more a wish or malediction than a curse, see S. H. Blank, “‘Perish the Day!’ A Misdirected Curse (Job 3:3),” Prophetic Thought, 61-63.
- Job 3:4 tn The first two words should be treated as a casus pendens (see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 69), referred to as an extraposition in recent grammarians.
- Job 3:4 sn This expression by Job is the negation of the divine decree at creation—“Let there be light,” and that was the first day. Job wishes that his first day be darkness: “As for that day, let there be darkness.” Since only God has this prerogative, Job adds the wish that God on high would not regard that day.
- Job 3:4 tn The verb דָּרַשׁ (darash) means “to seek, inquire,” and “to address someone, be concerned about something” (cf. Deut 11:12; Jer 30:14, 17). Job wants the day to perish from the mind of God.
- Job 3:4 tn The verb is the Hiphil of יָפַע (yafaʿ), which means here “cause to shine.” The subject is the term נְהָרָה (neharah, “light”), a hapax legomenon which is from the verb נָהַר (nahar, “to gleam” [see Isa 60:5]).
- Job 3:5 sn The translation of צַלְמָוֶת (tsalmavet, “shadow of death”) has been traditionally understood to indicate a dark, death shadow (supported in the LXX), but many scholars think it may not represent the best etymological analysis of the word. The word may be connected to an Arabic word which means “to be dark,” and an Akkadian word meaning “black.” It would then have to be repointed throughout its uses to צַלְמוּת (tsalmut) forming an abstract ending. It would then simply mean “darkness” rather than “shadow of death.” Or the word can be understood as an idiomatic expression meaning “gloom” that is deeper than חֹשֶׁךְ (khoshekh; see HALOT 1029 s.v. צַלְמָוֶת). Since “darkness” has already been used in the line, the two together could possibly form a nominal hendiadys: “Let the deepest darkness….” There is a significant amount of literature on this; one may begin with W. L. Michel, “SLMWT, ‘Deep Darkness’ or ‘Shadow of Death’?” BR 29 (1984): 5-20.
- Job 3:5 tn The verb is גָּאַל (gaʾal, “redeem, claim”). Some have suggested that the verb is actually the homonym “pollute.” This is the reading in the Targum, Syriac, Vulgate, and Rashi, who quotes from Mal 1:7, 12. See A. R. Johnson, “The Primary Meaning of ga’al,” VTSup 1 (1953): 67-77.
- Job 3:5 tn The expression “the blackness of the day” (כִּמְרִירֵי יוֹם, kimrire yom) probably means everything that makes the day black, such as events like eclipses. Job wishes that all ominous darknesses would terrify that day. It comes from the word כָּמַר (kamar, “to be black”), related to Akkadian kamaru (“to overshadow, darken”). The versions seem to have ignored the first letter and connected the word to מָרַר (marar, “be bitter”).
- Job 3:6 tn The verb is simply לָקַח (laqakh, “to take”). Here it conveys a strong sense of seizing something and not letting it go.
- Job 3:6 tn The pointing of the verb is meant to connect it with the root חָדָה (khadah, “rejoice”). But the letters in the text were correctly understood by the versions to be from יָחַד (yakhad, “to be combined, added”). See G. Rendsburg, “Double Polysemy in Genesis 49:6 and Job 3:6, ” CBQ 44 (1982): 48-51.
- Job 3:6 sn The choice of this word for “moons,” יְרָחִים (yerakhim) instead of חֳדָשִׁים (khodashim) is due to the fact that “month” here is not a reference for which an exact calendar date is essential (in which case חֹדֶשׁ [khodesh] would have been preferred). See J. Segal, “‘yrh’ in the Gezer ‘Calendar,’” JSS 7 (1962): 220, n. 4. Twelve times in the OT יֶרַח (yerakh) means “month” (Exod 2:2; Deut 21:13; 33:14; 1 Kgs 6:37, 38; 8:2; 2 Kgs 15:13; Zech 11:8; Job 3:6; 7:3; 29:2; 39:2).
- Job 3:7 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “behold”) in this sentence focuses the reader’s attention on the statement to follow.
- Job 3:7 tn The word גַּלְמוּד (galmud) probably has here the idea of “barren” rather than “solitary.” See the parallelism in Isa 49:21. In Job it seems to carry the idea of “barren” in 15:34, and “gloomy” in 30:3. Barrenness can lead to gloom.
- Job 3:7 tn The word is from רָנַן (ranan, “to give a ringing cry” or “shout of joy”). The sound is loud and shrill.
- Job 3:7 tn The verb is simply בּוֹא (boʾ, “to enter”). The NIV translates interpretively “be heard in it.” A shout of joy, such as at a birth, that “enters” a day is certainly heard on that day.
- Job 3:8 tn Not everyone is satisfied with the reading of the MT. Gordis thought “day” should be “sea,” and “cursers” should be “rousers” (changing ʾalef to ʿayin; cf. NRSV). This is an unnecessary change, for there is no textual problem in the line (D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 71). Others have taken the reading “sea” as a personification and accepted the rest of the text, gaining the sense of “those whose magic binds even the sea monster of the deep” (e.g., NEB).sn Those who curse the day are probably the professional enchanters and magicians who were thought to cast spells on days and overwhelm them with darkness and misfortune. The myths explained eclipses as the dragon throwing its folds around the sun and the moon, thus engulfing or swallowing the day and the night. This interpretation matches the parallelism better than the interpretation that says these are merely professional mourners.
- Job 3:8 tn The verb is probably “execrate, curse,” from קָבַב (qavav). But E. Ullendorff took it from נָקַב (naqav, “pierce”) and gained a reading “Let the light rays of day pierce it (i.e., the night) apt even to rouse Leviathan” (“Job 3:8, ” VT 11 : 350-51).
- Job 3:8 tn The verbal adjective עָתִיד (ʿatid) means “ready, prepared.” Here it has a substantival use similar to that of participles. It is followed by the Polel infinitive construct עֹרֵר (ʿorer). The infinitive without the preposition serves as the object of the preceding verbal adjective (GKC 350 §114.m).
- Job 3:8 sn Job employs here the mythological figure Leviathan, the monster of the deep or chaos. Job wishes that such a creation of chaos could be summoned by the mourners to swallow up that day. See E. Ullendorff, “Job 3:8, ” VT 11 (1961): 350-51.
- Job 3:9 tn Heb “the stars of its dawn.” The word נֶשֶׁף (neshef) can mean “twilight” or “dawn.” In this context the morning stars are in mind. Job wishes that the morning stars—that should announce the day—go out.
- Job 3:9 tn The verb “wait, hope” has the idea of eager expectation and preparation. It is used elsewhere of waiting on the Lord with anticipation.
- Job 3:9 tn The absolute state אַיִן (ʾayin, “there is none”) is here used as a verbal predicate (see GKC 480 §152.k). The concise expression literally says “and none.”
- Job 3:9 sn The expression is literally “the eyelids of the morning.” This means the very first rays of dawn (see also Job 41:18). There is some debate whether it refers to “eyelids” or “eyelashes” or “eyeballs.” If the last, it would signify the flashing eyes of a person. See for the Ugaritic background H. L. Ginsberg, The Legend of King Keret (BASORSup), 39; see also J. M. Steadman, “‘Eyelids of Morn’: A Biblical Convention,” HTR 56 (1963): 159-67.
- Job 3:10 tn The subject is still “that night.” Here, at the end of this first section, Job finally expresses the crime of that night—it did not hinder his birth.
- Job 3:10 sn This use of doors for the womb forms an implied comparison; the night should have hindered conception (see Gen 20:18 and 1 Sam 1:5).
- Job 3:10 tn The Hebrew has simply “my belly [= womb].” The suffix on the noun must be objective—it was the womb of Job’s mother in which he lay before his birth. See however N. C. Habel, “The Dative Suffix in Job 33:13, ” Bib 63 (1982): 258-59, who thinks it is deliberately ambiguous.
- Job 3:10 tn The word עָמָל (ʿamal) means “work, heavy labor, agonizing labor, struggle” with the idea of fatigue and pain.
- Job 3:11 sn Job follows his initial cry with a series of rhetorical questions. His argument runs along these lines: since he was born (v. 10), the next chance he had of escaping this life of misery would have been to be still born (vv. 11-12, 16). In vv. 13-19 Job considers death as falling into a peaceful sleep in a place where there is no trouble. The high frequency of rhetorical questions in series is a characteristic of the book of Job that sets it off from all other portions of the OT. The effect is primarily dramatic, creating a tension that requires resolution. See W. Watson, Classical Hebrew Poetry, 340-41.
- Job 3:11 tn The negative only occurs with the first clause, but it extends its influence to the parallel second clause (GKC 483 §152.z).
- Job 3:11 tn The two verbs in this verse are both prefix conjugations; they are clearly referring to the past and should be classified as preterites. E. Dhorme (Job, 32) notes that the verb “I came out” is in the perfect to mark its priority in time in relation to the other verbs.
- Job 3:11 tn The translation “at birth” is very smooth, but catches the meaning and avoids the tautology in the verse. The line literally reads “from the womb.” The second half of the verse has the verb “I came out/forth” which does double duty for both parallel lines. The second half uses “belly” for the womb.
- Job 3:11 tn The two halves of the verse use the prepositional phrases (“from the womb” and “from the belly I went out”) in the temporal sense of “on emerging from the womb.”
- Job 3:12 tn The verb קִדְּמוּנִי (qiddemuni) is the Piel from קָדַם (qadam), meaning “to come before; to meet; to prevent.” Here it has the idea of going to meet or welcome someone. In spite of various attempts to connect the idea to the father or to adoption rites, it probably simply means the mother’s knees that welcome the child for nursing. See R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 42.sn The sufferer is looking back over all the possible chances of death, including when he was brought forth, placed on the knees or lap, and breastfed.
- Job 3:12 tn There is no verb in the second half of the verse. The idea simply has, “and why breasts that I might suck?”
- Job 3:12 sn The commentaries mention the parallel construction in the writings of Ashurbanipal: “You were weak, Ashurbanipal, you who sat on the knees of the goddess, queen of Nineveh; of the four teats that were placed near to your mouth, you sucked two and you hid your face in the others” (M. Streck, Assurbanipal [VAB], 348).
- Job 3:12 tn Heb “that I might suckle.” The verb is the Qal imperfect of יָנַק (yanaq, “suckle”). Here the clause is subordinated to the preceding question and so functions as a final imperfect.
- Job 3:13 tn The word עַתָּה (ʿattah, “now”) may have a logical nuance here, almost with the idea of “if that had been the case…” (IBHS 667-68 §39.3.4f). However, the temporal “now” is retained in translation since the imperfect verb following two perfects “suggests what Job’s present state would be if he had had the quiet of a still birth” (J. E. Hartley, Job [NICOT], 95, n. 23). Cf. GKC 313 §106.p.
- Job 3:13 tn The copula on the verb indicates a sequence for the imperfect: “and then I would….” In the second half of the verse it is paralleled by “then.”
- Job 3:13 tn The text uses a combination of the perfect (lie down/sleep) and imperfect (quiet/rest). The particle עַתָּה (ʿattah, “now”) gives to the perfect verb its conditional nuance. It presents actions in the past that are not actually accomplished but seen as possible (GKC 313 §106.p).
- Job 3:13 tn The last part uses the impersonal verb “it would be at rest for me.”
- Job 3:14 tn The difficult term חֳרָבוֹת (khoravot) is translated “desolate [places]”. The LXX confused the word and translated it “who gloried in their swords.” One would expect a word for monuments, or tombs (T. K. Cheyne emended it to “everlasting tombs” [“More Critical Gleanings in Job,” ExpTim 10 (1898/99): 380-83]). But this difficult word is of uncertain etymology and therefore cannot simply be made to mean “royal tombs.” The verb means “be desolate, solitary.” In Isa 48:21 there is the clear sense of a desert. That is the meaning of Assyrian huribtu. It may be that like the pyramids of Egypt these tombs would have been built in the desert regions. Or it may describe how they rebuilt ruins for themselves. He would be saying then that instead of lying here in pain and shame if he had died he would be with the great ones of the earth. Otherwise, the word could be interpreted as a metonymy of effect, indicating that the once glorious tomb now is desolate. But this does not fit the context—the verse is talking about the state of the great ones after their death.
- Job 3:15 tn The expression simply has “or with princes gold to them.” The noun is defined by the noun clause serving as a relative clause (GKC 486 §155.e).
- Job 3:15 tn Heb “filled their houses.” There is no reason here to take “houses” to mean tombs; the “houses” refer to the places the princes lived (i.e., palaces). The reference is not to the practice of burying treasures with the dead. It is simply saying that if Job had died he would have been with the rich and famous in death.
- Job 3:16 tn The verb is governed by the interrogative of v. 12 that introduces this series of rhetorical questions.
- Job 3:16 tn The verb is again the prefix conjugation, but the narrative requires a past tense, or preterite.
- Job 3:16 tn Heb “hidden.” The LXX paraphrases: “an untimely birth, proceeding from his mother’s womb.”
- Job 3:16 tn The noun נֵפֶל (nefel, “miscarriage”) is the abortive thing that falls (hence the verb) from the womb before the time is ripe (Ps 58:9). The idiom using the verb “to fall” from the womb means to come into the world (Isa 26:18). The epithet טָמוּן (tamun, “hidden”) is appropriate to the verse. The child comes in vain, and disappears into the darkness—it is hidden forever.
- Job 3:16 tn The word עֹלְלִים (ʿolelim) normally refers to “nurslings.” Here it must refer to infants in general since it refers to a stillborn child.
- Job 3:16 tn The relative clause does not have the relative pronoun; the simple juxtaposition of words indicates that it is modifying the infants.
- Job 3:17 sn The reference seems to be death, or Sheol, the place where the infant who is stillborn is either buried (the grave) or resides (the place of departed spirits) and thus does not see the light of the sun.
- Job 3:17 sn The wicked are the ungodly, those who are not members of the covenant (normally) and in this context especially those who oppress and torment other people.
- Job 3:17 tn The parallelism uses the perfect verb in the first parallel part, and the imperfect opposite it in the second. Since the verse projects to the grave or Sheol (“there”) where the action is perceived as still continuing or just taking place, both receive an English present tense translation (GKC 312 §106.l).
- Job 3:17 tn Here the noun רֹגז (rogez) refers to the agitation of living as opposed to the peaceful rest of dying. The associated verb רָגַז (ragaz) means “to be agitated, excited.” The expression indicates that they cease from troubling, meaning all the agitation of their own lives.
- Job 3:17 tn The word יָגִיעַ (yagiaʿ) means “exhausted, wearied”; it is clarified as a physical exhaustion by the genitive of specification (“with regard to their strength”).
- Job 3:18 tn “There” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied from the context.
- Job 3:18 tn The LXX omits the verb and translates the noun not as prisoners but as “old men” or “men of old time.”
- Job 3:18 tn The verb שַׁאֲנָנוּ (shaʾananu) is the Palel of שָׁאַן (shaʾan) which means “to rest.” It refers to the normal rest or refreshment of individuals; here it is contrasted with the harsh treatment normally put on prisoners.
- Job 3:18 sn See further J. C. de Moor, “Lexical Remarks Concerning yahad and yahdaw,” VT 7 (1957): 350-55.
- Job 3:18 tn Or “taskmaster.” The same Hebrew word is used for the taskmasters in Exod 3:7.
- Job 3:19 tn The versions have taken the pronoun in the sense of the verb “to be.” Others give it the sense of “the same thing,” rendering the verse as “small and great, there is no difference there.” GKC 437 §135.a, n. 1, follows this idea with a meaning of “the same.”
- Job 3:19 tn The LXX renders this as “unafraid,” although the negative has disappeared in some mss to give the reading “and the servant that feared his master.” See I. Mendelsohn, “The Canaanite Term for ‘Free Proletarian’,” BASOR 83 (1941): 36-39; idem, “New Light on hupsu,” BASOR 139 (1955): 9-11.
- Job 3:19 tn The plural “masters” could be taken here as a plural of majesty rather than as referring to numerous masters.
- Job 3:20 sn Since he has survived birth, Job wonders why he could not have died a premature death. He wonders why God gives light and life to those who are in misery. His own condition throws gloom over life, and so he poses the question first generally, for many would prefer death to misery (20-22); then he comes to the individual, himself, who would prefer death (23). He closes his initial complaint with some depictions of his suffering that afflicts him and gives him no rest (24-26).
- Job 3:20 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Job 3:20 tn The verb is the simple imperfect, expressing the progressive imperfect nuance. But there is no formal subject to the verb, prompting some translations to make it passive in view of the indefinite subject (so, e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV). Such a passive could be taken as a so-called “divine passive” by which God is the implied agent. Job clearly means God here, but he stops short of naming him (see also the note on “God” earlier in this verse).sn In vv. 11, 12, and 16 there was the first series of questions in which Job himself was in question. Now the questions are more general for all mankind—why should the sufferers in general have been afflicted with life?
- Job 3:20 sn In v. 10 the word was used to describe the labor and sorrow that comes from it; here the one in such misery is called the עָמֵל (ʿamel, “laborer, sufferer”).
- Job 3:20 tn The second colon now refers to people in general because of the plural construct מָרֵי נָפֶשׁ (mare nafesh, “those bitter of soul/life”). One may recall the use of מָרָה (marah, “bitter”) by Naomi to describe her pained experience as a poor widow in Ruth 1:20, or the use of the word to describe the bitter oppression inflicted on Israel by the Egyptians (Exod 1:14). Those who are “bitter of soul” are those whose life is overwhelmed with painful experiences and suffering.
- Job 3:21 tn The verse simply begins with the participle in apposition to the expressions in the previous verse describing those who are bitter. The preposition is added from the context.
- Job 3:21 tn The verb is the Piel participle of חָכָה (khakhah, “to wait for” someone; Yahweh is the object in Isa 8:17; 64:3; Ps 33:20). Here death is the supreme hope of the miserable and the suffering.
- Job 3:21 tn The verse simply has the form אֵין (ʾen, “there is not”) with a pronominal suffix and a conjunction—“and there is not it” or “and it is not.” The LXX and the Vulgate add a verb to explain this form: “and obtain it not.”
- Job 3:21 tn The parallel verb is now a preterite with a vav (ו) consecutive; it therefore has the nuance of a characteristic perfect or gnomic perfect—the English present tense.sn The verb חָפַר (khafar) means “to dig; to excavate.” It may have the accusative of the thing that is being sought (Exod 7:24), but here it is followed by a comparative min (מִן). The verse therefore describes the sufferers who excavate or dig the ground to find death, more than others who seek for treasure.
- Job 3:22 tn Here too the form is the participle in apposition “to him who is in misery” in v. 20. It continues the description of those who are destitute and would be delighted to die.
- Job 3:22 tn The Syriac has “and gather themselves together,” possibly reading גִּיל (gil, “rejoicing”) as גַּל (gal, “heap”). Some have tried to emend the text to make the word mean “heap” or “mound,” as in a funerary mound. While one could argue for a heap of stones as a funerary mound, the passage has already spoken of digging a grave, which would be quite different. And while such a change would make a neater parallelism in the verse, there is no reason to force such; the idea of “jubilation” fits the tenor of the whole verse easily enough and there is no reason to change it. A similar expression is found in Hos 9:1, which says, “rejoice not, O Israel, with jubilation.” Here the idea then is that these sufferers would rejoice “to the point of jubilation” at death.
- Job 3:22 tn This sentence also parallels an imperfect verb with the substantival participle of the first colon. It is translated as an English present tense.
- Job 3:22 tn The particle could be “when” or “because” in this verse.
- Job 3:22 sn The expression “when they find a grave” means when they finally die. The verse describes the relief and rest that the sufferer will obtain when the long-awaited death is reached.
- Job 3:23 tn This first part of the verse, “Why is light given,” is supplied from the context. In the Hebrew text the verse simply begins with “to a man….” It is also in apposition to the construction in v. 20. But after so many qualifying clauses and phrases, a restatement of the subject (light, from v. 20) is required.
- Job 3:23 sn After speaking of people in general (in the plural in vv. 21 and 22), Job returns to himself specifically (in the singular, using the same word גֶּבֶר [gever, “a man”] that he employed of himself in v. 3). He is the man whose way is hidden. The clear path of his former life has been broken off, or as the next clause says, hedged in so that he is confined to a life of suffering. The statement includes the spiritual perplexities that this involves. It is like saying that God is leading him in darkness and he can no longer see where he is going.
- Job 3:23 tn The LXX translated “to a man whose way is hidden” with the vague paraphrase “death is rest to [such] a man.” The translators apparently combined the reference to “the grave” in the previous verse with “hidden”
- Job 3:23 tn The verb is the Hiphil of סָכַךְ (sakhakh, “to hedge in”). The key parallel passage is Job 19:8, which says, “He has blocked [גָּדַר, gadar] my way so I cannot pass, and has set darkness over my paths.” To be hedged in is an implied metaphor, indicating that the pathway is concealed and enclosed. There is an irony in Job’s choice of words in light of Satan’s accusation in 1:10. It is heightened further when the same verb is employed by God in 38:8 (see F. I. Andersen, Job [TOTC], 109).
- Job 3:24 tn For the prepositional לִפְנֵי (lifne), the temporal meaning “before” (“my sighing comes before I eat”) makes very little sense here (as the versions have it). The meaning “in place of, for” fits better (see 1 Sam 1:16, “count not your handmaid for a daughter of Belial”).
- Job 3:24 sn The line means that Job’s sighing, which results from the suffering (metonymy of effect) is his constant, daily food. Parallels like Ps 42:3 which says “my tears have been my bread/food” show a similar figure.
- Job 3:24 tn The word normally describes the “roaring” of a lion (Job 4:10), but it is used for the loud groaning or cries of those in distress (Pss 22:1; 32:3).
- Job 3:24 tn This second colon is paraphrased in the LXX to say, “I weep being beset with terror.” The idea of “pouring forth water” while groaning can be represented by “I weep.” The word “fear, terror” anticipates the next verse.
- Job 3:25 tn The construction uses the cognate accusative with the verb: “the fear I feared,” or “the dread thing I dreaded” (פַחַד פָּחַדְתִּי, fakhad pakhadti). The verb פָּחַד (pakhad) has the sense of “dread” and the noun the meaning “thing dreaded.” The structure of the sentence with the perfect verb followed by the preterite indicates that the first action preceded the second—he feared something but then it happened. Some commentaries suggest reading this as a conditional clause followed by the present tense translation: “If I fear a thing it happens to me” (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 24). The reason for this change is that it is hard for some to think that in his prime Job had such fears. He did have a pure trust and confidence in the Lord (16:19; 29:18ff). But on the other hand, he did make sacrifices for his sons because he thought they might sin. There is evidence to suggest that he was aware that calamity could strike, and this is not necessarily incompatible with trust.
- Job 3:25 tn The verb אָתָה (ʾatah) is Aramaic and is equivalent to the Hebrew verb בּוֹא (boʾ, “come, happen”).
- Job 3:25 tn The final verb is יָבֹא (yavoʾ, “has come”). It appears to be an imperfect, but since it is parallel to the preterite of the first colon it should be given that nuance here. Of course, if the other view of the verse is taken, then this would simply be translated as “comes,” and the preceding preterite also given an English present tense translation.
- Job 3:26 tn The LXX “peace” bases its rendering on שָׁלַם (shalam) and not שָׁלָה (shalah), which retains the original vav (ו). The verb means “to be quiet, to be at ease.”
- Job 3:26 tn The verb is literally “and I do/can not rest.” A potential perfect nuance fits this passage well. The word נוּחַ (nuakh, “rest”) implies “rest” in every sense, especially in contrast to רֹגֶז (rogez, “turmoil, agitation” [vv. 26 and 17]).
- Job 3:26 tn The last clause simply has “and trouble came.” Job is essentially saying that since the trouble has come upon him there is not a moment of rest and relief.
- Job 4:1 sn The speech of Eliphaz can be broken down into three main sections. In 4:1-11 he wonders that Job who had comforted so many people in trouble, and who was so pious, should fall into such despair, forgetting the great truth that the righteous never perish under affliction—calamity only destroys the wicked. Then in 4:12-5:7 Eliphaz tries to warn Job about complaining against God because only the ungodly resent the dealings of God and by their impatience bring down his wrath upon them. Finally in 5:8-27 Eliphaz appeals to Job to follow a different course, to seek after God, for God only smites to heal or to correct, to draw people to himself and away from evil. See K. Fullerton, “Double Entendre in the First Speech of Eliphaz,” JBL 49 (1930): 320-74; J. C. L. Gibson, “Eliphaz the Temanite: A Portrait of a Hebrew Philosopher,” SJT 28 (1975): 259-72; and J. Lust, “A Stormy Vision: Some Remarks on Job 4:12-16,” Bijdr 36 (1975): 308-11.
- Job 4:1 tn Heb “answered and said.”
- Job 4:2 tn The verb has no expressed subject, and so may be translated with “one” or “someone.”
- Job 4:2 tn The Piel perfect is difficult here. It would normally be translated “has one tried (words with you)?” Most commentaries posit a conditional clause, however.
- Job 4:2 tn The verb means “to be weary.” But it can have the extended sense of being either exhausted or impatient (see v. 5). A. B. Davidson (Job, 29) takes it in the sense of “will it be too much for you?” There is nothing in the sentence that indicates this should be an interrogative clause; it is simply an imperfect. But in view of the juxtaposition of the first part, this seems to make good sense. E. Dhorme (Job, 42) has “Shall we address you? You are dejected.”
- Job 4:2 tn The construction uses a noun with the preposition: “and to refrain with words—who is able?” The Aramaic plural of “words” (מִלִּין, millin) occurs 13 times in Job, with the Hebrew plural ten times. The commentaries show that Eliphaz’s speech had a distinctly Aramaic coloring to it.
- Job 4:3 tn The deictic particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “behold”) summons attention; it has the sense of “consider, look.”
- Job 4:3 tn The verb יָסַר (yasar) in the Piel means “to correct,” whether by words with the sense of teach, or by chastening with the sense of punish, discipline. The double meaning of “teach” and “discipline” is also found with the noun מוּסָר (musar).
- Job 4:3 tn The parallelism again uses a perfect verb in the first colon and an imperfect in the second, but since the sense of the line is clearly what Job has done in the past, the second verb may be treated as a preterite, or a customary imperfect—what Job repeatedly did in the past (GKC 315 §107.e). The words in this verse may have double meanings. The word יָסַר (yasar, “teach, discipline”) may have the idea of instruction and correction, but also the connotation of strength (see Y. Hoffmann, “The Use of Equivocal Words in the First Speech of Eliphaz [Job IV–V],” VT 30 : 114-19).
- Job 4:3 tn The “feeble hands” are literally “hands hanging down.” This is a sign of weakness, helplessness, or despondency (see 2 Sam 4:1; Isa 13:7).
- Job 4:4 tn Both verbs in this line are imperfects, and probably carry the same nuance as the last verb in v. 3, namely, either customary imperfect or preterite. The customary has the aspect of stressing that this was what Job used to do.
- Job 4:4 tn The form is the singular active participle, interpreted here collectively. The verb is used of knees that give way (Isa 35:3; Ps 109:24).
- Job 4:4 tn The expression is often translated as “feeble knees,” but it literally says “the bowing [or “tottering”] knees.” The figure is one who may be under a heavy load whose knees begin to shake and buckle (see also Heb 12:12).sn Job had been successful at helping others not be crushed by the weight of trouble and misfortune. It is easier to help others than to preserve a proper perspective when one’s self is afflicted (E. Dhorme, Job, 44).
- Job 4:5 tn The sentence has no subject, but the context demands that the subject be the same kind of trouble that has come upon people that Job has helped.
- Job 4:5 tn This is the same verb used in v. 2, meaning “to be exhausted” or “impatient.” Here with the vav (ו) consecutive the verb describes Job’s state of mind that is a consequence of the trouble coming on him. In this sentence the form is given a present tense translation (see GKC 329 §111.t).
- Job 4:5 tn This final verb in the verse is vivid; it means “to terrify, dismay” (here the Niphal preterite). Job will go on to speak about all the terrors that come on him.
- Job 4:6 tn The word יִרְאָה (yirʾah, “fear”) in this passage refers to Job’s fear of the Lord, his reverential devotion to God. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 46) says that on the lips of Eliphaz the word almost means “your religion.” He refers to Moffatt’s translation, “Let your religion reassure you.”
- Job 4:6 tn The word כִּסְלָתֶךָ (kislatekha, “your confidence”) is rendered in the LXX by “founded in folly.” The word כֶּסֶל (kesel) is “confidence” (see 8:14) and elsewhere “folly.” Since it is parallel to “your hope” it must mean confidence here.
- Job 4:6 tn This second half of the verse simply has “your hope and the integrity of your ways.” The expression “the perfection of your ways” is parallel to “your fear,” and “your hope” is parallel to “your confidence.” This sentence is an example of casus pendens or extraposition: “as for your hope, it is the integrity of your ways” (see GKC 458 §143.d).sn Eliphaz is not being sarcastic to Job. He knows that Job is a God-fearing man who lives out his faith in life. But he also knows that Job should apply to himself the same things he tells others.
- Job 4:7 sn Eliphaz will put his thesis forward first negatively and then positively (vv. 8ff). He will argue that the suffering of the righteous is disciplinary and not for their destruction. He next will argue that it is the wicked who deserve judgment.
- Job 4:7 tn The use of the independent personal pronoun is emphatic, almost as an enclitic to emphasize interrogatives: “who indeed….” (GKC 442 §136.c).
- Job 4:7 tn The perfect verb in this line has the nuance of the past tense to express the unique past—the uniqueness of the action is expressed with “ever” (“who has ever perished”).
- Job 4:7 tn The adjective is used here substantivally. Without the article the word stresses the meaning of “uprightness.” Job will use “innocent” and “upright” together in 17:8.
- Job 4:7 tn The Niphal means “to be hidden” (see the Piel in 6:10; 15:18; and 27:11); the connotation here is “destroyed” or “annihilated.”
- Job 4:8 tn The perfect verb here represents the indefinite past. It has no specific sighting in mind, but refers to each time he has seen the wicked do this.
- Job 4:8 sn The figure is an implied metaphor. Plowing suggests the idea of deliberately preparing (or cultivating) life for evil. This describes those who are fundamentally wicked.
- Job 4:8 tn The LXX renders this with a plural “barren places.”
- Job 4:8 tn Heb “reap it.”
- Job 4:9 tn The LXX in the place of “breath” has “word” or “command,” probably to limit the anthropomorphism. The word is מִנִּשְׁמַת (minnishmat) comprising מִן (min) + נִשְׁמַת (nishmat, the construct of נְשָׁמָה [neshamah]): “from/at the breath of.” The “breath of God” occurs frequently in Scripture. In Gen 2:7 it imparts life, but here it destroys it. The figure probably does indicate a divine decree from God (e.g., “depart from me”)—so the LXX may have been simply interpreting.
- Job 4:9 sn The statement is saying that if some die by misfortune it is because divine retribution or anger has come upon them. This is not necessarily the case, as the NT declares (see Luke 13:1-5).
- Job 4:9 tn The word רוּחַ (ruakh) is now parallel to נְשָׁמָה (neshamah); both can mean “breath” or “wind.” To avoid using “breath” for both lines, “blast” has been employed here. The word is followed by אַפּוֹ (ʾappo) which could be translated “his anger” or “his nostril.” If “nostril” is retained, then it is a very bold anthropomorphism to indicate the fuming wrath of God. It is close to the picture of the hot wind coming off the desert to scorch the plants (see Hos 13:15).
- Job 4:10 tn “There is” has been supplied to make a smoother translation out of the clauses.
- Job 4:10 sn Eliphaz takes up a new image here to make the point that the wicked are destroyed—the breaking up and scattering of a den of lions. There are several words for “lion” used in this section. D. J. A. Clines observes that it is probably impossible to distinguish them (Job [WBC], 109, 110, which records some bibliography of those who have tried to work on the etymologies and meanings). The first is אַרְיֵה (ʾaryeh) the generic term for “lion.” It is followed by שַׁחַל (shakhal) which, like כְּפִיר (kefir), is a “young lion.” Some have thought that the שַׁחַל (shakhal) is a lion-like animal, perhaps a panther or leopard. KBL takes it by metathesis from Arabic “young one.” The LXX for this verse has “the strength of the lion, and the voice of the lioness and the exulting cry of serpents are quenched.”
- Job 4:10 tn Heb “voice.”
- Job 4:10 tn The verb belongs to the subject “teeth” in this last colon, but it is used by zeugma (a figure of speech in which one word is made to refer to two or more other words, but has to be understood differently in the different contexts) of the three subjects (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 46-47).
- Job 4:11 tn The word לַיִשׁ (layish) traditionally rendered “strong lion,” occurs only here and in Prov 30:30 and Isa 30:6. It has cognates in several of the Semitic languages, and so seems to indicate lion as king of the beasts.
- Job 4:11 tn The form of the verb is the Qal active participle; it stresses the characteristic action of the verb as if a standard universal truth.
- Job 4:11 tn The text literally has “sons of the lioness.”
- Job 4:12 tn The LXX of this verse offers special problems. It reads, “But if there had been any truth in your words, none of these evils would have fallen upon you; shall not my ear receive excellent [information] from him?” The major error involves a dittography from the word for “secret,” yielding “truth.”
- Job 4:12 tn The verb גָּנַב (ganav) means “to steal.” The Pual form in this verse is probably to be taken as a preterite since it requires a past tense translation: “it was stolen for me” meaning it was brought to me stealthily (see 2 Sam 19:3).
- Job 4:12 tn Heb “received.”
- Job 4:12 tn The word שֵׁמֶץ (shemets, “whisper”) is found only here and in Job 26:14. A cognate form שִׁמְצָה (shimtsah) is found in Exod 32:25 with the sense of “a whisper.” In postbiblical Hebrew the word comes to mean “a little.” The point is that Eliphaz caught just a bit, just a whisper of it, and will recount it to Job.
- Job 4:13 tn Here too the word is rare. The form שְׂעִפִּים (seʾippim, “disquietings”) occurs only here and in 20:2. The form שַׂרְעַפִּים (sarʿappim, “disquieting thoughts”), possibly related by dissimilation, occurs in Pss 94:19 and 139:23. There seems to be a connection with סְעִפִּים (seʿippim) in 1 Kgs 18:21 with the meaning “divided opinion”; this is related to the idea of סְעִפָּה (seʿippah, “bough”). H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 47) concludes that the point is that like branches the thoughts lead off into different and bewildering places. E. Dhorme (Job, 50) links the word to an Arabic root (“to be passionately smitten”) for the idea of “intimate thoughts.” The idea here and in Ps 139 has more to do with anxious, troubling, disquieting thoughts, as in a nightmare.
- Job 4:13 tn Heb “visions” of the night.
- Job 4:13 tn The word תַּרְדֵּמָה (tardemah) is a “deep sleep.” It is used in the creation account when the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam; and it is used in the story of Jonah when the prophet was asleep during the storm. The LXX interprets it to mean “fear,” rendering the whole verse “but terror falls upon men with dread and a sound in the night.”
- Job 4:14 tn The two words פַּחַד (pakhad, “dread”) and רְעָדָה (reʿadah, “trembling”) strengthen each other as synonyms (see also Ps 55:6).
- Job 4:14 tn The subject of the Hiphil verb הִפְחִיד (hifkhid, “dread”) is פַּחַד (pakhad, “trembling”), which is why it is in the singular. The cognate verb intensifies and applies the meaning of the noun. BDB 808 s.v. פַּחַד Hiph translates it “fill my bones with dread.” In that sense “bones” would have to be a metonymy of subject representing the framework of the body, so that the meaning is that his whole being was filled with trembling.
- Job 4:15 tn The word רוּחַ (ruakh) can be “spirit” or “breath.” The implication here is that it was something that Eliphaz felt—what he saw follows in v. 16. The commentators are divided on whether this is an apparition, a spirit, or a breath. The word can be used in either the masculine or the feminine, and so the gender of the verb does not favor the meaning “spirit.” In fact, in Isa 21:1 the same verb חָלַף (khalaf, “pass on, through”) is used with the subject being a strong wind or hurricane “blowing across.” It may be that such a wind has caused Eliphaz’s hair to stand on end here. D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 111) also concludes it means “wind,” noting that in Job a spirit or spirits would be called רְפָאִים (refaʾim), אֶלֹהִים (ʾelohim) or אוֹב (ʾov).
- Job 4:15 tn The verbs in this verse are imperfects. In the last verse the verbs were perfects when Eliphaz reported the fear that seized him. In this continuation of the report the description becomes vivid with the change in verbs, as if the experience were in progress.
- Job 4:15 tn The subject of this verb is also רוּחַ (ruakh, “spirit”), since it can assume either gender. The “hair of my flesh” is the complement and not the subject; therefore the Piel is to be retained and not changed to a Qal as some suggest (and compare with Ps 119:120).
- Job 4:16 tc The LXX has the first person of the verb: “I arose and perceived it not, I looked and there was no form before my eyes, but I only heard a breath and a voice.”
- Job 4:16 tn The imperfect verb is to be classified as potential imperfect. Eliphaz is unable to recognize the figure standing before him.
- Job 4:16 sn The colon reads “a silence and a voice I hear.” Some have rendered it “there is a silence, and then I hear.” The verb דָּמַם (damam) does mean “remain silent” (Job 29:21; 31:34) and then also “cease.” The noun דְּמָמָה (demamah, “calm”) refers to the calm after the storm in Ps 107:29. Joined with the true object of the verb, “voice,” it probably means something like stillness or murmuring or whispering here. It is joined to “voice” with a conjunction, indicating that it is a hendiadys, “murmur and a voice” or a “murmuring voice.”
- Job 4:17 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse express obvious truths known at all times (GKC 315 §107.f).
- Job 4:17 tn The word for man here is first אֱנוֹשׁ (ʾenosh), stressing man in all his frailty, his mortality. This is paralleled with גֶּבֶר (gever), a word that would stress more of the strength or might of man. The verse is not making a great contrast between the two, but it is rhetorical question merely stating that no human being of any kind is righteous or pure before God the Creator. See H. Kosmala, “The Term geber in the OT and in the Scrolls,” VTSup 17 (1969): 159-69; and E. Jacob, Theology of the Old Testament, 156-57.
- Job 4:17 tn The imperfect verb in this interrogative sentence could also be interpreted with a potential nuance: “Can a man be righteous?”
- Job 4:17 tn The classification of מִן (min) as a comparative in this verse (NIV, “more righteous than God”; cf. also KJV, ASV, NCV) does not seem the most probable. The idea of someone being more righteous than God is too strong to be reasonable. Job will not do that—but he will imply that God is unjust. In addition, Eliphaz had this vision before hearing of Job’s trouble and so is not addressing the idea that Job is making himself more righteous than God. He is stating that no man is righteous before God. Verses 18-21 will show that no one can claim righteousness before God. In 9:2 and 25:4 the preposition “with” is used. See also Jer 51:5 where the preposition should be rendered “before” [the Holy One].
- Job 4:17 sn In Job 15:14 and 25:4 the verb יִזְכֶּה (yizkeh, from זָכָה [zakhah, “be clean”]) is paralleled with יִצְדַּק (yitsdaq, from צָדֵק [tsadeq, “be righteous”).
- Job 4:17 tn The double question here merely repeats the same question with different words (see GKC 475 §150.h). The second member could just as well have been connected with ו (vav).
- Job 4:18 tn The particle הֵן (hen) introduces a conditional clause here, although the older translations used “behold.” The clause forms the foundation for the point made in the next verse, an argument by analogy—if this be true, then how much more/less the other.
- Job 4:18 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Job 4:18 tn The verb יַאֲמִין (yaʾamin), a Hiphil imperfect from אָמַן (ʾaman) followed by the preposition ב (bet), means “trust in.”
- Job 4:18 sn The servants here must be angels in view of the parallelism. The Targum to Job interpreted them to be the prophets. In the book we have already read about the “sons of God” who take their stand as servants before the Lord (1:6; 2:1), and Ps 104:4 identifies the angels as attendants (using שָׁרַת, sharat).
- Job 4:18 tn The verb שִׂים (sim, “set”) with the preposition ב (bet) has the sense of “impute” or “attribute something to someone.”
- Job 4:18 tn The word תָּהֳלָה (toholah) is a hapax legomenon, and so has created some confusion in the various translations. It seems to mean “error; folly.” The word is translated “perverseness” in the LXX, but Symmachus connects it with the word for “madness.” Some commentators have repointed the word to תְּהִלָּה (tehillah, “praise”) making the line read: “he finds no [cause for] praise in his angels.” Others suggest תִּפְלָה (tiflah, “offensiveness, silliness”) a bigger change; this matches the idiom in Job 24:12. But if the etymology of the word is הָלַל (halal, “to be mad”) then that change is not necessary. The feminine noun “madness” still leaves the meaning of the line a little uncertain: “[if] he does not impute madness to his angels.” The point of the verse is that God finds flaws in his angels and does not put his trust in them.
- Job 4:19 sn Those who live in houses of clay are human beings, for the human body was made of clay (Job 10:9; 33:6; and Isa 64:7). In 2 Cor 4:7 the body is an “earthen vessel”—a clay pot. The verse continues the analogy: houses have foundations, and the house of clay is founded on dust, and will return to dust (Gen 3:19; Ps 103:14). The reasoning is that if God finds defects in angels, he will surely find them in humans who are inferior to the angels because they are but dust. In fact, they are easily crushed like the moth.
- Job 4:19 tn The imperfect verb is in the plural, suggesting “they crush.” But since there is no subject expressed, the verb may be given an impersonal subject, or more simply, treated as a passive (see GKC 460 §144.g).
- Job 4:19 tn The prepositional compound לִפְנֵי (lifne) normally has the sense of “before,” but it has been used already in 3:24 in the sense of “like.” That is the most natural meaning of this line. Otherwise, the interpretation must offer some explanation of a comparison between how quickly a moth and a human can be crushed. There are suggestions for different readings here; see for example G. R. Driver, “Linguistic and Textual Problems: Jeremiah,” JQR 28 (1937/38): 97-129 for a change to “bird’s nest”; and J. A. Rimbach, “‘Crushed before the Moth’ (Job 4:19),” JBL 100 (1981): 244-46, for a change of the verb to “they are pure before their Maker.” However, these are unnecessary emendations.
- Job 4:20 tn The form יֻכַּתּוּ (yukkattu) is the Hophal imperfect of the root כָּתַת (katat, “to be pounded, pulverized, reduced to ashes” [Jer 46:5; Mic 1:7]). It follows the Aramaic formation (see GKC 182 §67.y). This line appears to form a parallelism with “they are crushed like a moth,” the third unit of the last verse, but it has its own parallel idea in this verse. See D. J. A. Clines, “Verb Modality and the Interpretation of Job 4:20, 21, ” VT 30 (1980): 354-57.
- Job 4:20 tn Or “from morning to evening.” The expression “from morning to evening” is probably not a merism, but rather describes the time between the morning and the evening, as in Isa 38:12: “from day to night you make an end of me.”
- Job 4:20 sn The second colon expresses the consequence of this day-long reducing to ashes—they perish forever! (see 20:7 and 14:20).
- Job 4:20 tn This rendering is based on the interpretation that מִבְּלִי מֵשִׂים (mibbeli mesim) uses the Hiphil participle of שִׂים (sim, “set”) with an understood object “heart” to gain the idiom of “taking to heart, considering, regarding it”—hence, “without anyone regarding it.” Some commentators have attempted to resolve the difficulty by emending the text, a procedure that has no more support than positing the ellipses. One suggested emendation does have the LXX in its favor, namely, a reading of מֹשִׁיעַ (moshiaʿ, “one who saves”) in place of מֵשִׂים (mesim, “one who sets”). This would lead to “without one who saves they perish forever” (E. Dhorme, Job, 55).
- Job 4:21 tn The word יֶתֶר (yeter, here with the suffix, יִתְרָם [yitram]) can mean “what remains” or “rope.” Of the variety of translations, the most frequently used idea seems to be “their rope,” meaning their tent cord. This would indicate that their life was compared to a tent—perfectly reasonable in a passage that has already used the image “houses of clay.” The difficulty is that the verb נָסַע (nasaʿ) means more properly “to tear up; to uproot” and not “to cut off.” A similar idea is found in Isa 38:12, but there the image is explicitly that of cutting the life off from the loom. Some have posited that the original must have said “their tent peg was pulled up” as in Isa 33:20 (A. B. Davidson, Job, 34; cf. NAB). But perhaps the idea of “what remains” would be easier to defend here. Besides, it is used in 22:20. The wealth of an individual is what has been acquired and usually is left over when he dies. Here it would mean that the superfluous wealth would be snatched away. The preposition ב (bet) would carry the meaning “from” with this verb.
- Job 4:21 tc The text of the LXX does not seem to be connected to the Hebrew of v. 21a. It reads something like “for he blows on them and they are withered” (see Isa 40:24b). The Targum to Job has “Is it not by their lack of righteousness that they have been deprived of all support?”tn On the interpretation of the preposition in this construction, see N. Sarna, “The Interchange of the Preposition bet and min in Biblical Hebrew,” JBL 78 (1959): 310-16.
- Job 4:21 sn They die. This clear verb interprets all the images in these verses—they die. When the house of clay collapses, or when their excess perishes—their life is over.
- Job 4:21 tn Heb “and without wisdom.” The word “attaining” is supplied in the translation as a clarification.sn The expression without attaining wisdom is parallel to the previous without anyone regarding it. Both verses describe how easily humans perish: there is no concern for it, nor any sense to it. Humans die without attaining wisdom which can solve the mystery of human life.
- Job 5:1 tn Some commentators transpose this verse with the following paragraph, placing it after v. 7 (see E. Dhorme, Job, 62). But the reasons for this are based on the perceived development of the argument and are not that compelling.sn The imperative is here a challenge for Job. If he makes his appeal against God, who is there who will listen? The rhetorical questions are intended to indicate that no one will respond, not even the angels. Job would do better to realize that he is guilty and his only hope is in God.
- Job 5:1 tn The participle with the suffix could be given a more immediate translation to accompany the imperative: “Call now! Is anyone listening to you?”
- Job 5:1 tn The LXX has rendered “holy ones” as “holy angels” (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT). The LXX has interpreted the verb in the colon too freely: “if you will see.”
- Job 5:1 sn The point being made is that the angels do not represent the cries of people to God as if mediating for them. But if Job appealed to any of them to take his case against God, there would be no response whatsoever for that.
- Job 5:2 tn One of the reasons that commentators transpose v. 1 is that the כִּי (ki, “for”) here seems to follow 4:21 better. If people die without wisdom, it is folly that kills them. But the verse also makes sense after 5:1. He is saying that complaining against God will not bring deliverance (v. 1), but rather, by such impatience the fool will bring greater calamity on himself.
- Job 5:2 tn The two words for “foolish person” are common in wisdom literature. The first, אֱוִיל (ʾevil), is the fool who is a senseless person; the פֹּתֶה (poteh) is the naive and silly person, the simpleton, the one who is easily led astray. The direct object is introduced with the preposition ל (lamed) in this verse (see GKC 366 §117.n).
- Job 5:2 tn The two parallel nouns are similar; their related verbs are also paralleled in Deut 32:16 with the idea of “vex” and “irritate.” The first word כַּעַשׂ (kaʿas) refers to the inner irritation and anger one feels, whereas the second word קִנְאָה (qinʾah) refers to the outward expression of the anger. In Job 6:2, Job will respond “O that my impatience (כַּעַשׂ) were weighed….”
- Job 5:3 tn The use of the pronoun here adds emphasis to the subject of the sentence (see GKC 437 §135.a).
- Job 5:3 tn This word is אֱוִיל (ʾevil), the same word for the “senseless man” in the preceding verse. Eliphaz is citing an example of his principle just given—he saw such a fool for a brief while appearing to prosper (i.e., taking root).
- Job 5:3 tn A. B. Davidson argues that the verse does not mean that Eliphaz cursed his place during his prosperity. This line is metonymical (giving the effect). God judged the fool and his place was ruined; consequently, Eliphaz pronounced it accursed of God (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 36). Many emend the verb slightly to read “and it was suddenly cursed” (וַיֻּכַב [vayyukhav] instead of וָאֶקּוֹב [vaʾeqqov]; see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 51).
- Job 5:4 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse describe the condition of the accursed situation. Some commentators follow the LXX and take these as jussives, making this verse the curse that the man pronounced upon the fool. Rashi adds “This is the malediction with which I have cursed him.” That would make the speaker the one calling down the judgment on the fool rather than responding by observation how God destroyed the habitation of the fool.
- Job 5:4 tn The verb יִדַּכְּאוּ (yiddakkeʾu) could be taken as the passive voice, or in the reciprocal sense (“crush one another”) or reflexive (“crush themselves”). The context favors the idea that the children of the foolish person will be destroyed because there is no one who will deliver them.
- Job 5:4 tn Heb “in the gate.” The city gate was the place of both business and justice. The sense here seems to fit the usage of gates as the place of legal disputes, so the phrase “at the place of judgment” has been used in the translation.
- Job 5:4 tn The text simply says “and there is no deliverer.” The entire clause could be subordinated to the preceding clause, and rendered simply “without a deliverer.”
- Job 5:5 sn The hungry are other people, possibly the hungry poor to whom the wealthy have refused to give bread (22:7). The sons are so helpless that even the poor take their property.
- Job 5:5 tn The MT reads “whose harvest the hungry eat up.” Some commentators want to follow the LXX and repoint קְצִירוֹ (qetsiro, “his harvest”) to קָצְרוּ (qatseru, “[what] they have reaped”; cf. NAB). The reference as it stands in the MT seems to be to the image of taking root in v. 3; whatever took root—the prosperity of his life—will not belong to him or his sons to enjoy. If the emendation is accepted, then the reference would be immediately to the “sons” in the preceding verse.
- Job 5:5 tn The line is difficult; the Hebrew text reads literally “and unto from thorns he takes it.” The idea seems to be that even from within an enclosed hedge of thorns other people will take the harvest. Many commentators either delete the line altogether or try to repoint it to make more sense out of it. G. R. Driver had taken the preposition אֶל (ʾel, “towards”) as the noun אֵל (ʾel, “strong man”) and the noun צִנִּים (tsinnim, “thorns”) connected to Aramaic צִנָּה (tsinnah, “basket”); he read it as “a strong man snatches it from the baskets” (G. R. Driver, “on Job 5:5, ” TZ 12 : 485-86). E. Dhorme (Job, 60) changed the word slightly to מַצְפֻּנִים (matspunim, “hiding places”), instead of מִצִּנִּים (mitsinnim, “out of the thorns”), to get the translation “and unto hiding places he carries it.” This fits the use of the verb לָקַח (laqakh, “to take”) with the preposition אֶל (ʾel, “towards”) meaning “carry to” someplace. There seems to be no easy solution to the difficulty of the line.
- Job 5:5 tn The word צַמִּים (tsammim) has been traditionally rendered “robbers.” But it has been connected by some of the ancient versions to the word for “thirst,” making a nice parallel with “hungry.” This would likely be pointed צְמֵאִים (tsemeʾim).
- Job 5:5 tn The verb has been given many different renderings, some more radical than others: “pant,” “engulf,” “draws,” “gather,” “swallow” (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 53). The idea of “swallowing” wealth is found in Job 20:15 though with a different verb. The general sense of the line is clear, in spite of the difficulties of determining the exact meaning of the verb.
- Job 5:5 tn The LXX has several variations for the line. It reads something like the following: “for what they have collected the just shall eat, but they shall not be delivered out of calamities; let their strength be utterly exhausted.” The LXX may have gotten the idea of the “righteous” as those who suffer from hunger. Instead of “thorns” the LXX has the idea of “trouble.” The Targum to Job interprets it with “shield” and adds “warriors” as the subject.
- Job 5:6 sn The previous discussion shows how trouble rises, namely, from the rebelliousness of the fool. Here Eliphaz simply summarizes the points made with this general principle—trouble does not come from outside man, nor does it come as a part of the natural order, but rather it comes from the evil nature of man.
- Job 5:7 tn Heb “man [is].” Because “man” is used in a generic sense for humanity here, the generic “people” has been used in the translation.
- Job 5:7 tn There is a slight difficulty here in that vv. 6 and 7 seem to be saying the opposite thing. Many commentators, therefore, emend the Niphal יוּלָּד (yullad, “is born”) to an active participle יוֹלֵד (yoled, “begets”) to place the source of trouble in man himself. But the LXX seems to retain the passive idea: “man is born to trouble.” The contrast between the two verses does not seem too difficult, for it still could imply that trouble’s source is within the man.
- Job 5:7 tn For the Hebrew בְנֵי־רֶשֶׁף (vene reshef, “sons of the flame”) the present translation has the rendering “sparks.” E. Dhorme (Job, 62) thinks it refers to some kind of bird, but renders it “sons of the lightning” because the eagle was associated with lightning in ancient interpretations. Sparks, he argues, do not soar high above the earth. Other suggestions include Resheph, the Phoenician god of lightning (Pope), the fire of passion (Buttenwieser), angels (Peake), or demons (Targum Job). None of these are convincing; the idea of sparks flying upward fits the translation well and makes clear sense in the passage.
- Job 5:7 tn The simple translation of the last two words is “fly high” or “soar aloft” which would suit the idea of an eagle. But, as H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 53) concludes, the argument to identify the expression preceding this with eagles is far-fetched.
- Job 5:7 tn The LXX has the name of a bird here: “the vulture’s young seek the high places.” The Targum to Job has “sons of demons” or “the sparks which shoot from coals of fire.”
- Job 5:8 sn Eliphaz affirms that if he were in Job’s place he would take refuge in God, but Job has to acknowledge that he has offended God and accept this suffering as his chastisement. Job eventually will submit to God in the end, but not in the way that Eliphaz advises here, for Job does not agree that the sufferings are judgments from God.
- Job 5:8 tn The word אוּלָם (ʾulam) is a strong adversative “but.” This forms the contrast with what has been said previously and so marks a new section.
- Job 5:8 tn The independent personal pronoun here adds emphasis to the subject of the verb, again strengthening the contrast with what Job is doing (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 22, §106).
- Job 5:8 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse express not so much what Eliphaz does as what he would do if he were in Job’s place (even though in 13:3 we have the affirmation). The use fits the category of the imperfect used in conditional clauses (see GKC 319 §107.x).
- Job 5:8 tn The verb דָּרַשׁ (darash, “to seek”) followed by the preposition אֶל (ʾel, “towards”) has the meaning of addressing oneself to (God). See 8:19 and 40:10.
- Job 5:8 tn The Hebrew employs אֵל (ʾel) in the first line and אֱלֹהִים (ʾelohim) in the second for “God,” but the LXX uses κύριος (kurios, “Lord”) in both places in this verse. However, in the second colon it also has “Lord of all.” This is replaced in the Greek version of Aquila by παντοκράτωρ (pantokratōr, traditionally translated “Almighty”). On the basis of this information, H. M. Orlinsky suggests that the second name for God in the verse should be “Shaddai” (JQR 25 [1934/35]: 271).
- Job 5:8 tn The Hebrew simply has “my word,” but in this expression that uses שִׂים (sim) with the meaning of “lay before” or “expound a cause” in a legal sense, “case” or “cause” would be a better translation.
- Job 5:9 tn Heb “who does.” It is common for such doxologies to begin with participles; they follow the pattern of the psalms in this style. Because of the length of the sentence in Hebrew and the conventions of English style, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Job 5:9 tn The Hebrew has וְאֵין חֵקֶר (veʾen kheqer), literally, “and no investigation.” The use of the conjunction on the expression follows a form of the circumstantial clause construction, and so the entire expression describes the great works as “unsearchable.”
- Job 5:9 tn The preposition in עַד־אֵין (ʿad ʾen, “until there was no”) is stereotypical; it conveys the sense of having no number (see Job 9:10; Ps 40:13).
- Job 5:9 sn H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 54) notes that the verse fits Eliphaz’s approach very well, for he has good understanding of the truth, but has difficulty in making the correct conclusions from it.
- Job 5:10 tn Heb “who gives.” The participle continues the doxology here. But the article is necessary because of the distance between this verse and the reference to God.sn He gives rain. The use of the verb “gives” underscores the idea that rain is a gift from God. This would be more keenly felt in the Middle East where water is scarce.
- Job 5:10 tn In both halves of the verse the literal rendering would be “upon the face of the earth” and “upon the face of the fields.”
- Job 5:10 tn The second participle is simply coordinated to the first and therefore does not need the definite article repeated (see GKC 404 §126.b).
- Job 5:10 tn The Hebrew term חוּצוֹת (khutsot) basically means “outside,” or what is outside. It could refer to streets if what is meant is outside the house, but it refers to fields here (parallel to the more general word) because it is outside the village. See Ps 144:13 for the use of the expression for “countryside.” The LXX gives a much wider interpretation: “what is under heaven.”
- Job 5:11 tn Heb “setting.” The infinitive construct clause is here taken as explaining the nature of God, and so parallel to the preceding descriptions. If read simply as a purpose clause after the previous verse, it would suggest that the purpose of watering the earth was to raise the humble (cf. NASB, “And sends water on the fields, // So that He sets on high those who are lowly”). A. B. Davidson (Job, 39) makes a case for this interpretation, saying that God’s gifts in nature have the wider purpose of blessing man, but he prefers to see the line as another benevolence, parallel to v. 10, and so suggests a translation “setting up” rather than “to set up.”
- Job 5:11 tn The word שְׁפָלִים (shefalim) refers to “those who are down.” This refers to the lowly and despised of the earth. They are the opposite of the “proud” (see Ps 138:6). Here there is a deliberate contrast between “lowly” and “on high.”
- Job 5:11 tn The meaning of the word is “to be dark, dirty”; therefore, it refers to the ash-sprinkled head of the mourner (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 54). The custom was to darken one’s face in sorrow (see Job 2:12; Pss 35:14; 38:7).
- Job 5:11 tn The perfect verb may be translated “be set on high; be raised up.” E. Dhorme (Job, 64) notes that the perfect is parallel to the infinitive of the first colon, and so he renders it in the same way as the infinitive, comparing the construction to that of 28:25.
- Job 5:12 tn The Hiphil form מֵפֵר (mefer) is the participle from פָּרַר (parar, “to annul; to frustrate; to break”). It continues the doxological descriptions of God, but because of the numerous verses in this section, it may be clearer to start a new sentence with this form (rather than translating it “who…”).
- Job 5:12 tn The word is related to the verb “to think; to plan; to devise,” and so can mean “thoughts; plans; imagination.” Here it refers to the plan of the crafty that must be frustrated (see also Isa 44:25 for the contrast).
- Job 5:12 tn The word עֲרוּמִים (ʿarumim) means “crafty” or “shrewd.” It describes the shrewdness of some to achieve their ends (see Gen 3:1, where the serpent is more cunning than all the creatures, that is, he knows where the dangers are and will attempt to bring down the innocent). In the next verse it describes the clever plans of the wise—those who are wise in their own sight.
- Job 5:12 tn The consecutive clause showing result or purpose is simply introduced with the vav and the imperfect/jussive (see GKC 504-5 §166.a).
- Job 5:12 tn The word תּוּשִׁיָּה (tushiyyah) is a technical word from wisdom literature. It has either the idea of the faculty of foresight, or of prudence in general (see 12:6; 26:3). It can be parallel in the texts to “wisdom,” “counsel,” “help,” or “strength.” Here it refers to what has been planned ahead of time.
- Job 5:13 tn The participles continue the description of God. Here he captures or ensnares the wise in their wickedly clever plans. See also Ps 7:16, where the wicked are caught in the pit they have dug—they are only wise in their own eyes.
- Job 5:13 sn This is the only quotation from the book of Job in the NT (although Rom 11:35 seems to reflect 41:11, and Phil 1:19 is similar to 13:6). Paul cites it in 1 Cor 3:19.
- Job 5:13 tn The etymology of נִפְתָּלִים (niftalim) suggests a meaning of “twisted” (see Prov 8:8) in the sense of tortuous. See Gen 30:8; Ps 18:26 .
- Job 5:13 tn The Niphal of מָהַר (mahar) means “to be hasty; to be irresponsible.” The meaning in the line may be understood in this sense: The counsel of the wily is hastened, that is, precipitated before it is ripe, i.e., frustrated (A. B. Davidson, Job, 39).
- Job 5:14 sn God so confuses the crafty that they are unable to fulfill their plans—it is as if they encounter darkness in broad daylight. This is like the Syrians in 2 Kgs 6:18-23.
- Job 5:14 tn The verb מָשַׁשׁ (mashash) expresses the idea of groping about in the darkness. This is part of the fulfillment of Deut 28:29, which says, “and you shall grope at noonday as the blind grope in darkness.” This image is also in Isa 59:10.
- Job 5:14 sn The verse provides a picture of the frustration and bewilderment in the crafty who cannot accomplish their ends because God thwarts them.
- Job 5:15 tn The verb, the Hiphil preterite of יָשַׁע (yashaʿ, “and he saves”) indicates that by frustrating the plans of the wicked God saves the poor. So the vav (ו) consecutive shows the result in the sequence of the verses.
- Job 5:15 tn The juxtaposition of “from the sword from their mouth” poses translation difficulties. Some mss do not have the preposition on “their mouth,” but render the expression as a construct: “from the sword of their mouth.” This would mean their tongue, and by metonymy, what they say. The expression “from their mouth” corresponds well with “from the hand” in the next colon. And as E. Dhorme (Job, 67) notes, what is missing is a parallel in the first part with “the poor” in the second. So he follows Cappel in repointing “from the sword” as a Hophal participle, מֹחֳרָב (mokhorav), meaning “the ruined.” If a change is required, this has the benefit of only changing the pointing. The difficulty with this is that the word “desolate, ruined” is not used for people, but only to cities, lands, or mountains. The sense of the verse can be supported from the present pointing: “from the sword [which comes] from their mouth”; the second phrase could also be in apposition, meaning, “from the sword, i.e., from their mouth.”
- Job 5:15 tn If the word “poor” is to do double duty, i.e., serving as the object of the verb “saves” in the first colon as well as the second, then the conjunction should be explanatory.
- Job 5:16 tn Other translations render this “injustice” (NIV, NRSV, CEV) or “unrighteousness” (NASB).
- Job 5:16 tn The verse summarizes the result of God’s intervention in human affairs, according to Eliphaz’ idea that even-handed justice prevails. Ps 107:42 parallels v. 16b.
- Job 5:17 tn The particle “therefore” links this section to the preceding; it points this out as the logical consequence of the previous discussion, and more generally, as the essence of Job’s suffering.
- Job 5:17 tn The word אַשְׁרֵי (ʾashre, “blessed”) is often rendered “happy.” But “happy” relates to what happens. “Blessed” is a reference to the heavenly bliss of the one who is right with God.
- Job 5:17 tn The construction is an implied relative clause. The literal rendering would simply be “the man God corrects him.” The suffix on the verb is a resumptive pronoun, completing the use of the relative clause. The verb יָכַח (yakhakh) is a legal term; it always has some sense of a charge, dispute, or conflict. Its usages show that it may describe a strife breaking out, a charge or quarrel in progress, or the settling of a dispute (Isa 1:18). The derived noun can mean “reproach; recrimination; charge” (13:6; 23:4). Here the emphasis is on the consequence of the charge brought, namely, the correction.
- Job 5:17 tn The noun מוּסַר (musar) is parallel to the idea of the first colon. It means “discipline, correction” (from יָסַר, yasar). Prov 3:11 says almost the same thing as this line.
- Job 5:17 sn The name Shaddai occurs 31 times in the book. This is its first occurrence. It is often rendered “Almighty” because of the LXX and some of the early fathers. The etymology and meaning of the word otherwise remains uncertain, in spite of attempts to connect it to “mountains” or “breasts.”
- Job 5:18 sn Verses 18-23 give the reasons why someone should accept the chastening of God—the hand that wounds is the same hand that heals. But, of course, the lines do not apply to Job because his suffering is not due to divine chastening.
- Job 5:18 tn The addition of the independent pronoun here makes the subject emphatic, as if to say, “For it is he who makes….”
- Job 5:18 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse describe the characteristic activities of God; the classification as habitual imperfect fits the idea and is to be rendered with the English present tense.
- Job 5:19 tn The verb is the Hiphil imperfect of נָצַל (natsal, “deliver”). These verbs might have been treated as habitual imperfects if it were not for the use of the numerical images—“six calamities…in seven.” So the nuance is specific future instead.
- Job 5:19 tn The use of a numerical ladder as we have here—“six // seven” is frequent in wisdom literature to show completeness. See Prov 6:16; Amos 1:3, Mic 5:5. A number that seems to be sufficient for the point is increased by one, as if to say there is always one more. By using this Eliphaz simply means “in all troubles” (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 56).
- Job 5:20 sn Targum Job here sees an allusion to the famine of Egypt and the war with Amalek.
- Job 5:20 tn Heb “from the hand of the sword.” This is idiomatic for “the power of the sword.” The expression is also metonymical, meaning from the effect of the sword, which is death.
- Job 5:21 tn The Hebrew verb essentially means “you will be hidden.” In the Niphal the verb means “to be hidden, to be in a hiding place,” and protected (Ps 31:20).
- Job 5:21 tn Heb “from the lash [i.e., whip] of the tongue.” Sir 26:9 and 51:2 show usages of these kinds of expressions: “the lash of the tongue” or “the blow of the tongue.” The expression indicates that a malicious gossip is more painful than a blow.sn The Targum saw here a reference to Balaam and the devastation brought on by the Midianites.
- Job 5:21 tn The word here is שׁוֹד (shod); it means “destruction,” but some commentators conjecture alternate readings: שׁוֹאָה (shoʾah, “desolation”); or שֵׁד (shed, “demon”). One argument for maintaining שׁוֹד (shod) is that it fits the assonance within the verse שׁוֹד…לָשׁוֹן…שׁוֹט (shot…lashon…shod).
- Job 5:22 tc The repetition of “destruction” and “famine” here has prompted some scholars to delete the whole verse. Others try to emend the text. The LXX renders them as “the unrighteous and the lawless.” But there is no difficulty in having the repetition of the words as found in the MT.tn The word for “famine” is an Aramaic word found again in 30:3. The book of Job has a number of Aramaisms that are used to form an alternative parallel expression (see notes on “witness” in 16:19).
- Job 5:22 tn The verb is a negated jussive. According to GKC it is used here to express the conviction that something cannot or should not happen (GKC 322 §109.e). The examples in GKC are generally not compelling, faltering in the Psalms by not accounting for changes in speaking voices, and especially concerning the idea that something cannot happen. However, the notion that something should (not) happen is the sort of deontic modality typical of the jussive generally, here sounding like advice (GKC 321 §109.b).
- Job 5:23 tn Heb “your covenant is with the stones of the field.” The line has been variously interpreted and translated. It is omitted in the LXX. It seems to mean there is a deep sympathy between man and nature. Some think it means that the boundaries will not be violated by enemies; Rashi thought it represented some species of beings, like genii of the field, and so read אֲדֹנֵי (ʾadone, “lords”) for אַבְנֵי (ʾavne, “stones”). Ball takes the word as בְּנֵי (bene, “sons”), as in “sons of the field,” to get the idea that the reference is to the beasts. E. Dhorme (Job, 71) rejects these ideas as too contrived; he says to have a pact with the stones of the field simply means the stones will not come and spoil the ground, making it less fertile.
- Job 5:23 tn Heb “the beasts of the field.”
- Job 5:23 tn This is the only occurrence of the Hophal of the verb שָׁלֵם (shalem, “to make or have peace” with someone). Cf. Isa 11:6-9 and Ps 91:13. The verb form is the perfect; here it is the perfect consecutive following a noun clause (see GKC 494 §159.g).
- Job 5:24 sn Verses 19-23 described the immunity from evil and trouble that Job would enjoy—if he were restored to peace with God. Now, v. 24 describes the safety and peace of the homestead and his possessions if he were right with God.
- Job 5:24 tn The verb is again the perfect, but in sequence to the previous structure so that it is rendered as a future. This would be the case if Job were right with God.
- Job 5:24 tn Heb “tent.”
- Job 5:24 tn The word שָׁלוֹם (shalom) means “peace; safety; security; wholeness.” The same use appears in 1 Sam 25:6; 2 Sam 20:9.
- Job 5:24 tn The verb is פָּקַד (paqad, “to visit”). The idea here is “to gather together; to look over; to investigate,” or possibly even “to number” as it is used in the book of Numbers. The verb is the perfect with the vav consecutive; it may be subordinated to the imperfect verb that follows to form a temporal clause.
- Job 5:24 tn The verb is usually rendered “to sin,” but in this context the more specific primary meaning of “to miss the mark” or “to fail to find something.” Neither Job’s tent nor his possessions will be lost.
- Job 5:25 tn Heb “your seed.”
- Job 5:25 tn The word means “your shoots” and is parallel to “your seed” in the first colon. It refers here (as in Isa 34:1 and 42:5) to the produce of the earth. Some commentators suggest that Eliphaz seems to have forgotten or was insensitive to Job’s loss of his children; H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 57) says his conventional theology is untouched by human feeling.
- Job 5:26 tn The word translated “in a full age” has been given an array of meanings: “health; integrity”; “like a new blade of corn”; “in your strength [or vigor].” The numerical value of the letters in the word בְכֶלָח (vekhelakh, “in old age”) was 2, 20, 30, and 8, or 60. This led some of the commentators to say that at 60 one would enter the ripe old age (E. Dhorme, Job, 73).
- Job 5:27 tn To make a better parallelism, some commentators have replaced the imperative with another finite verb, “we have found it.”
- Job 5:27 tn The preposition with the suffix (referred to as the ethical dative) strengthens the imperative. An emphatic personal pronoun also precedes the imperative. The resulting force would be something like “and you had better apply it for your own good!”
- Job 5:27 sn With this the speech by Eliphaz comes to a close. His two mistakes with it are: (1) that the tone was too cold and (2) the argument did not fit Job’s case (see further, A. B. Davidson, Job, 42).
- Job 6:1 tn Heb “answered and said.”
- Job 6:2 tn The conjunction לוּ (lu, “if, if only”) introduces the wish—an unrealizable wish—with the Niphal imperfect.
- Job 6:2 tn Job pairs כַּעְסִי (kaʿsi, “my grief”) and הַיָּתִי (hayyati, “my misfortune”). The first word, used in Job 4:2, refers to Job’s whole demeanor that he shows his friends—the impatient and vexed expression of his grief. The second word expresses his misfortune, the cause of his grief. Job wants these placed together in the balances so that his friends could see the misfortune is greater than the grief. The word for “misfortune” is a Kethib-Qere reading. The two words have essentially the same meaning; they derive from the verb הָוַה (havah, “to fall”) and so mean a misfortune.
- Job 6:2 tn The Qal infinitive absolute is here used to intensify the Niphal imperfect (see GKC 344-45 §113.w). The infinitive absolute intensifies the wish as well as the idea of weighing.
- Job 6:2 tn The third person plural verb is used here; it expresses an indefinite subject and is treated as a passive (see GKC 460 §144.g).
- Job 6:2 tn The adverb normally means “together,” but it can also mean “similarly, too.” In this verse it may not mean that the two things are to be weighed together, but that the whole calamity should be put on the scales (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 43).
- Job 6:3 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 76) notes that כִּי־עַתָּה (ki ʿattah) has no more force than “but”; and that the construction is the same as in 17:4; 20:19-21; 23:14-15. The initial clause is causative, and the second half of the verse gives the consequence (“because”…“that is why”). Others take 3a as the apodosis of v. 2, and translate it “for now it would be heavier…” (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 43).
- Job 6:3 sn The point of the comparison with the sand of the sea is that the sand is immeasurable. So the grief of Job cannot be measured.
- Job 6:3 tn The verb לָעוּ (laʿu) is traced by E. Dhorme (Job, 76) to a root לָעָה (laʿah), cognate to an Arabic root meaning “to chatter.” He shows how modern Hebrew has a meaning for the word “to stammer out.” But that does not really fit Job’s outbursts. The idea in the context is rather that of speaking wildly, rashly, or charged with grief. This would trace the word to a hollow or geminate word and link it to Arabic “talk wildly” (see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 158). In the older works the verb was taken from a geminate root meaning “to suck” or “to swallow” (cf. KJV), but that yields a very difficult sense to the line.
- Job 6:4 sn Job uses an implied comparison here to describe his misfortune—it is as if God had shot poisoned arrows into him (see E. Dhorme, Job, 76-77 for a treatment of poisoned arrows in the ancient world).
- Job 6:4 sn Job here clearly states that his problems have come from the Almighty, which is what Eliphaz said. But whereas Eliphaz said Job provoked the trouble by his sin, Job is perplexed because he does not think he did.
- Job 6:4 tn Most commentators take “my spirit” as the subject of the participle “drinks.” The NEB does not; it follows the older versions to say that the poison “drinks up (or “soaks in”) the spirit.” The image of the poisoned arrow represents the calamity or misfortune from God, which is taken in by Job’s spirit and enervates him.
- Job 6:4 tn The LXX translators knew that a liquid should be used with the verb “drink,” but they took the line to be “whose violence drinks up my blood.” For the rest of the verse they came up with, “whenever I am going to speak they pierce me.”
- Job 6:4 tn The word translated “sudden terrors” is found only here and in Ps 88:16 . G. R. Driver notes that the idea of suddenness is present in the root, and so renders this word as “sudden assaults” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 : 73).
- Job 6:4 tn The verb עָרַךְ (ʿarakh) means “to set in battle array.” The suffix on the verb is dative (see GKC 369 §117.x). Many suggestions have been made for changing this word. These seem unnecessary since the MT pointing yields a good meaning: but for the references to these suggestions, see D. J. A. Clines, Job (WBC), 158. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 59), nonetheless, follows the suggestion of Driver that connects it to a root meaning “wear me down.” This change of meaning requires no change in the Hebrew text. The image is of a beleaguering army; the host is made up of all the terrors from God. The reference is to the terrifying and perplexing thoughts that assail Job (A. B. Davidson, Job, 44).
- Job 6:5 tn There have been suggestions to identify this animal as something other than a wild donkey, but the traditional interpretation has been confirmed (see P. Humbert, “En marge du dictionnaire hébraïque,” ZAW 62 : 199-207).
- Job 6:5 tn The verb נָהַק (nahaq, “bray”) occurs in Arabic and Aramaic and only in Job 30:7 in Hebrew, where it refers to unfortunate people in the wilderness who utter cries like the hungry wild donkey.
- Job 6:5 sn In this brief section Job indicates that it would be wiser to seek the reason for the crying than to complain of the cry. The wild donkey will bray when it finds no food (see Jer 14:6).
- Job 6:5 tn The construction forms a double question (אִם…הֲ, ha…ʾim) but not to express mutually exclusive questions in this instance. Instead, it is used to repeat the same question in different words (see GKC 475 §150.h).
- Job 6:5 tn Most translations have “low” (ASV, ESV, Holman, KJV, NASB); a few have “bellow” ( CEB, NIV, NLV). The verb is rare but cognate languages suggest a loud sound (e.g. Syriac “to scream” Ugaritic “to roar,” see HALOT 199). The rhetorical question expects a “no” answer and context suggests that the (unexpected) sound would convey discontent or complaint.
- Job 6:5 tn Rather than grass or hay, this is mixed grain fodder prepared for domesticated animals (cf. also Akkadian ballu; CAD B 63-64).
- Job 6:6 tn Heb “a tasteless thing”; the word “food” is supplied from the context.
- Job 6:6 tn The point is in giving an example of something tasteless although the specifics are uncertain. Several meanings have been proposed for the word חַלָּמוּת (khallamut), which occurs only here. The root of the word may be connected to “dream,” “healthy,” “egg” (via Aramaic cognate), or “soft cheese” (via Arabic cognate). It has also been connected with various plants: the marsh mallow (althaea), bugloss, milkweed, and purslane. The term רִיר (rir, “spittle, mucus, slime”) occurs only here and in 1 Sam 21:13, where it means saliva, a meaning in agreement with Aramaic and Arabic cognates. The phrase tends to be taken as the gelatinous juice of plants or the white of an egg, both of which would parallel the idea of being tasteless or insipid in the A line. Dhorme says the phrase refers to “the glair which surrounds the yolk of an egg,” drawing support from the Targum and Saadia (E. Dhorme, Job 79). He also offers an explanation for how the LXX produced the reading “in empty words” as an example of interpretation more than translation. “[The LXX] renders בריר חלמות by ἐν ῥήμασιν κενοῖς, which has caused some critics to believe there was a reading דבר [davar, “word”] instead of ריר. It seems more likely that [the LXX] interprets ריר חלמות by connecting the second word with חלם ‘dream’ (cf. inf.), i.e., the saliva of dreams, what one says while sleeping, empty words, baseless dreams” (E. Dhorme, Job 78).
- Job 6:7 tn The traditional rendering of נַפְשִׁי (nafshi) is “my soul.” But since נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) means the whole person, body and soul, it is best to translate it with its suffix simply as an emphatic pronoun.
- Job 6:7 tn For the explanation of the perfect verb with its completed action in the past and its remaining effects, see GKC 311 §106.g.
- Job 6:7 tn The phrase “such things” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied.
- Job 6:7 tn The second colon of the verse is difficult. The word דְּוֵי (deve) means “sickness of” and yields a meaning “like the sickness of my food.” This could take the derived sense of דָּוָה (davah) and mean “impure” or “corrupt” food. The LXX has “for I loathe my food as the smell of a lion” and so some commentators emend “they” (which has no clear antecedent) to mean “I loathe it [like the sickness of my food].” Others have more freely emended the text to “my palate loathes my food” (McNeile) or “my bowels resound with suffering” (I. Eitan, “An unknown meaning of RAHAMIÝM,” JBL 53 : 271). Pope has “they are putrid as my flesh [= my meat].” D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 159) prefers the suggestion in BHS, “it [my soul] loathes them as my food.” E. Dhorme (Job, 80) repoints the second word of the colon to get כְּבֹדִי (kevodi, “my glory”): “my heart [glory] loathes/is sickened by my bread.”
- Job 6:8 tn The Hebrew expresses the desire (desiderative clause) with “who will give?” (see GKC 477 §151.d).
- Job 6:8 tn The verb בּוֹא (boʾ, “go”) has the sense of “to be realized; to come to pass; to be fulfilled.” The optative “Who will give [that] my request be realized?” is “O that my request would be realized.”
- Job 6:8 tn The text has תִקְוָתִי (tiqvati, “hope”). There is no reason to change the text to “my desire” (as Driver and others do) if the word is interpreted metonymically—it means “what I hope for.” What Job hopes for and asks for is death.sn See further W. Riggans, “Job 6:8-10: Short Comments,” ExpTim 99 (1987): 45-46.
- Job 6:9 tn The verb יָאַל (yaʾal) in the Hiphil means “to be willing, to consent, to decide.” It is here the jussive followed by the dependent verb with a (ו) vav: “that God would be willing and would crush me” means “to crush me.” Gesenius, however, says that the conjunction introduces coordination rather than subordination; he says the principal idea is introduced in the second verb, the first verb containing the definition of the manner of the action (see GKC 386 §120.d).
- Job 6:9 tn The verb is used for loosening shoe straps in Isa 58:6, and of setting prisoners free in Pss 105:20 and 146:7. Job thinks that God’s hand has been restrained for some reason, and so desires that God be free to destroy him.
- Job 6:9 tn The final verb is an imperfect (or jussive) following the jussive (of נָתַר, natar); it thus expresses the result (“and then” or “so that”) or the purpose (“in order that”). Job longs for death, but it must come from God.
- Job 6:9 tn Heb “and cut me off.” The LXX reads this verse as “Let the Lord begin and wound me, but let him not utterly destroy me.” E. Dhorme (Job, 81) says the LXX is a paraphrase based on a pun with “free hand.” Targum Job has, “God has begun to make me poor; may he free his hand and make me rich,” apparently basing the reading on a metaphorical interpretation.
- Job 6:10 tn Heb “and it will/may be yet my comfort.” The comfort or consolation that he seeks, that he wishes for, is death. The next colon in the verse simply intensifies this thought, for he affirms if that should happen he would rejoice, in spite of what death involves. The LXX, apparently confusing letters (reading עִיר [ʿir, “city”] instead of עוֹד [ʿod, “yet”], which then led to the mistake in the next colon, חֵילָה [khelah, “its wall”] for חִילָה [khilah, “suffering”]), has “Let the grave be my city, upon the walls of which I have leaped.”
- Job 6:10 tn In the apodosis of conditional clauses (which must be supplied from the context preceding), the cohortative expresses the consequence (see GKC 320 §108.d).
- Job 6:10 tn The Piel verb סִלֵּד (silled) is a hapax legomenon. BDB 698 s.v. סָלַד gives the meaning “to spring [i.e., jump] for joy,” which would certainly fit the passage. Others have emended the text, but unnecessarily. The LXX “I jumped” and Targum Job’s “exult” support the sense in the dictionaries, although the jumping is for joy and not over a wall (as the LXX has). D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 159) follows Driver in thinking this is untenable, choosing a meaning “recoiled in pain” for the line.
- Job 6:10 tn The word חִילָה (khilah) also occurs only here, but is connected to the verb חִיל / חוּל (khil / khul, “to writhe in pain”). E. Dhorme says that by extension the meaning denotes the cause of this trembling or writhing—terrifying pain. The final clause, לֹא יַחְמוֹל (loʾ yakhmol, “it has no pity”), serves as a kind of epithet, modifying “pain” in general. If that pain has no pity or compassion, it is a ruthless pain (E. Dhorme, Job, 82).
- Job 6:10 tn The כִּי (ki, “for”) functions here to explain “my comfort” in the first colon; the second colon simply strengthens the first.
- Job 6:10 sn The “words” are the divine decrees of God’s providence, the decisions that he makes in his dealings with people. Job cannot conceal these—he knows what they are. What Job seems to mean by this clause in this verse is that there is nothing that would hinder his joy of dying for he has not denied or disobeyed God’s plan.
- Job 6:10 tn Several commentators delete the colon as having no meaning in the verse, and because (in their view) it is probably the addition of an interpolator who wants to make Job sound more pious. But Job is at least consoling himself that he is innocent, and at the most anticipating a worth-while afterlife (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 60).
- Job 6:11 sn Now, in vv. 11-13, Job proceeds to describe his hopeless condition. In so doing, he is continuing his defense of his despair and lament. The section begins with these rhetorical questions in which Job affirms that he does not have the strength to wait for the blessings that Eliphaz is talking about.
- Job 6:11 tn The word translated “my end” is קִצִּי (qitsi). It refers to the termination of his life. In Ps 39:5 it is parallel to “the measure of my days.” In a sense, Job is asking what future he has. To him, the “end” of his affliction can only be death.
- Job 6:12 sn The questions imply negative answers. Job is saying that it would take great strength to hold up under these afflictions, but he is only flesh and bone. The sufferings have almost completely overwhelmed him. To endure all of this to the end he would need a strength he does not have.
- Job 6:13 tn For the use of the particle אִם (ʾim) in this kind of interrogative clause, see GKC 475 §150.g, note.
- Job 6:13 tn The word means something like “recovery,” or the powers of recovery; it was used in Job 5:12. In 11:6 it applies to a condition of the mind, such as mental resource. Job is thinking not so much of relief or rescue from his troubles, but of strength to bear them.
- Job 6:14 tn In this context חֶסֶד (khesed) could be taken as “loyalty” (“loyalty should be shown by his friend”).
- Job 6:14 tn The Hebrew of this verse is extremely difficult, and while there are many suggestions, none of them has gained a consensus. The first colon simply has “to the despairing // from his friend // kindness.” Several commentators prefer to change the first word לַמָּס (lammas, “to the one in despair”) to some sort of verb; several adopt the reading “the one who withholds/he withholds mercy from his friend forsakes….” The point of the first half of the verse seems to be that one should expect kindness (or loyalty) from a friend in times of suffering.
- Job 6:14 tn The relationship of the second colon to the first is difficult. The line just reads literally “and the fear of the Almighty he forsakes.” The ו (vav) could be interpreted in several different ways: “else he will forsake…,” “although he forsakes…,” “even the one who forsakes…,” or “even if he forsakes…”—the reading adopted here. If the first colon receives the reading “His friend has scorned compassion,” then this clause would be simply coordinated with “and forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” The sense of the verse seems to say that kindness/loyalty should be shown to the despairing, even to the one who is forsaking the fear of the Lord, meaning, saying outrageous things, like Job has been doing.
- Job 6:15 sn Here the brothers are all his relatives as well as these intimate friends of Job. In contrast to what a friend should do (show kindness/loyalty), these friends have provided no support whatsoever.
- Job 6:15 tn The verb בָּגְדוּ (bagedu, “dealt treacherously) has been translated “dealt deceitfully,” but it is a very strong word. It means “to act treacherously [or deceitfully].” The deception is the treachery, because the deception is not innocent—it is in the place of a great need. The imagery will compare it to the brook that may or may not have water. If one finds no water when one expected it and needed it, there is deception and treachery. The LXX softens it considerably: “have not regarded me.”
- Job 6:15 tn The Hebrew term used here is נָחַל (nakhal); this word differs from words for rivers or streams in that it describes a brook with an intermittent flow of water. A brook where the waters are not flowing is called a deceitful brook (Jer 15:18; Mic 1:14); one where the waters flow is called faithful (Isa 33:16).
- Job 6:15 tn Heb “and as a stream bed of brooks/torrents.” The word אָפִיק (ʾafiq) is the river bed or stream bed where the water flows. What is more disconcerting than finding a well-known torrent whose bed is dry when one expects it to be gushing with water (E. Dhorme, Job, 86)?
- Job 6:15 tn The verb is rather simple—יַעֲבֹרוּ (yaʿavoru). But some translate it “pass away” or “flow away,” and others “overflow.” In the rainy season they are deep and flowing, or “overflow” their banks. This is a natural sense to the verb, and since the next verse focuses on this, some follow this interpretation (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 15). But this idea does not parallel the first part of v. 15. So it makes better sense to render it “flow away” and see the reference to the summer dry spells when one wants the water but is disappointed.
- Job 6:16 tn The article on the participle joins this statement to the preceding noun; it can have the sense of “they” or “which.” The parallel sense then can be continued with a finite verb (see GKC 404 §126.b).
- Job 6:16 tn The participle הַקֹּדְרים (haqqoderim), often rendered “which are black,” would better be translated “dark,” for it refers to the turbid waters filled with melting ice or melting snow, or to the frozen surface of the water, but not waters that are muddied. The versions failed to note that this referred to the waters introduced in v. 15.
- Job 6:16 tn The verb יִתְעַלֶּם (yitʿallem) has been translated “is hid” or “hides itself.” But this does not work easily in the sentence with the preposition “upon them.” Torczyner suggested “pile up” from an Aramaic root עֲלַם (ʿalam), and E. Dhorme (Job, 87) defends it without changing the text, contending that the form we have was chosen for alliterative value with the prepositional phrase before it.
- Job 6:16 tn The LXX paraphrases the whole verse: “They who used to reverence me now come against me like snow or congealed ice.”
- Job 6:17 tn The verb יְזֹרְבוּ (yezorevu, “burnt, scorched”) occurs only here. A good number of interpretations take the root as a by-form of צָרַב (tsarav) which means in the Niphal “to be burnt” (Ezek 21:3). The expression then would mean “in the time they are burnt,” a reference to the scorching heat of the summer (“when the great heat comes”) and the rivers dry up. Qimchi connected it to the Arabic “canal,” and this has led to the suggestion by E. Dhorme (Job, 88) that the root זָרַב (zarav) would mean “to flow.” In the Piel it would be “to cause to flow,” and in the passive “to be made to flow,” or “melt.” This is attractive, but it does require the understanding (or supplying) of “ice/snow” as the subject. G. R. Driver took the same meaning but translated it “when they (the streams) pour down in torrents, they (straightway) die down” (ZAW 65 : 216-17). Both interpretations capture the sense of the brooks drying up.
- Job 6:17 tn The verb נִדְעֲכוּ (nidʿakhu) literally means “they are extinguished” or “they vanish” (cf. 18:5-6; 21:17). The LXX, perhaps confusing the word with the verb יָדַע (yadaʿ, “to know”) has “and it is not known what it was.”
- Job 6:18 tn This is the usual rendering of the Hebrew אָרְחוֹת (ʾorkhot, “way, path”). It would mean that the course of the wadi would wind down and be lost in the sand. Many commentators either repoint the text to אֹרְחוֹת (ʾorekhot) when in construct (as in Isa 21:13), or simply redefine the existing word to mean “caravans” as in the next verse, and translate something like “caravans deviate from their route.” D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 160-61) allows that “caravans” will be introduced in the next verse, but urges retention of the usual sense here. The two verses together will yield the same idea in either case—the river dries up and caravans looking for the water deviate from their course looking for it.
- Job 6:18 tn The verb literally means “to go up,” but here no real ascent is intended for the wasteland. It means that they go inland looking for the water. The streams wind out into the desert and dry up in the sand and the heat. A. B. Davidson (Job, 47) notes the difficulty with the interpretation of this verse as a reference to caravans is that Ibn Ezra says that it is not usual for caravans to leave their path and wander inland in search of water.
- Job 6:18 tn The word תֹּהוּ (tohu) was used in Genesis for “waste,” meaning without shape or structure. Here the term refers to the trackless, unending wilderness (cf. 12:24).
- Job 6:18 sn If the term “paths” (referring to the brook) is the subject, then this verb would mean it dies in the desert; if caravaneers are intended, then when they find no water they perish. The point in the argument would be the same in either case. Job is saying that his friends are like this water, and he like the caravaneer was looking for refreshment, but found only that the brook had dried up.
- Job 6:19 sn Tema is the area of the oasis SE of the head of the Gulf of Aqaba; Sheba is in South Arabia. In Job 1:15 the Sabeans were raiders; here they are traveling merchants.
- Job 6:19 tn The verb נָבַט (navat) means “to gaze intently”; the looking is more intentional, more of a close scrutiny. It forms a fine parallel to the idea of “hope” in the second part. The NIV translates the second verb קִוּוּ (qivvu) as “look in hope.” In the previous verbs the imperfect form was used, expressing what generally happens (so the English present tense was used). Here the verb usage changes to the perfect form. It seems that Job is narrating a typical incident now—they looked, but were disappointed.
- Job 6:19 tn The words “for these streams” are supplied from context to complete the thought and make the connection with the preceding context.
- Job 6:19 tn In Ps 68:24 this word has the meaning of “processions”; here that procession is of traveling merchants forming convoys or caravans.
- Job 6:20 tn The verb בּוֹשׁ (bosh) basically means “to be ashamed”; however, it has a wider range of meaning such as “disappointed” or “distressed.” The feeling of shame or distress is because of their confidence that they knew what they were doing. The verb is strengthened here with the parallel חָפַר (khafar, “to be confounded, disappointed”).
- Job 6:20 tn The perfect verb has the nuance of past perfect here, for their confidence preceded their disappointment. Note the contrast, using these verbs, in Ps 22:6: “they trusted in you and they were not put to shame [i.e., disappointed].”
- Job 6:20 tn The LXX misread the prepositional phrase as the noun “their cities”; it gives the line as “They too that trust in cities and riches shall come to shame.”
- Job 6:21 tn There is a textual problem in this line, an issue of Kethib-Qere. Some read the form with the Qere as the preposition with a suffix referring to “the river,” with the idea “you are like it.” Others would read the form with the Kethib as the negative “not,” meaning “for now you are nothing.” The LXX and the Syriac read the word as “to me.” RSV follows this and changes כִּי (ki, “for”) to כֵּן (ken, “thus”). However, such an emendation is unnecessary since כִּי (ki) itself can be legitimately employed as an emphatic particle. In that case the translation would be, “Indeed, now you are” in the sense of “At this time you certainly are behaving like those streams.” The simplest reading is “for now you have become [like] it.” The meaning seems clear enough in the context that the friends, like the river, proved to be of no use. But D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 161) points out that the difficulty with this is that all references so far to the rivers have been in the plural.
- Job 6:21 tn The perfect of הָיָה (hayah) could be translated as either “are” or “have been” rather than “have become” (cf. Joüon 2:373 §113.p with regard to stative verbs). “Like it” refers to the intermittent stream which promises water but does not deliver. The LXX has a paraphrase: “But you also have come to me without pity.”
- Job 6:21 tn The word חֲתַת (khatat) is a hapax legomenon. The word חַת (khat) means “terror” in 41:25. The construct form חִתַּת (khittat) is found in Gen 35:5; and חִתִּית (khittit) is found in Ezek 26:17; 32:23). The Akkadian cognate means “terror.” It probably means that in Job’s suffering they recognized some dreaded thing from God and were afraid to speak any sympathy toward him.
- Job 6:22 tn The Hebrew הֲכִי (hakhi) literally says “Is it because….”
- Job 6:22 sn For the next two verses Job lashes out in sarcasm against his friends. If he had asked for charity, for their wealth, he might have expected their cold response. But all he wanted was sympathy and understanding (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 63).
- Job 6:22 tn The word כֹּחַ (koakh) basically means “strength, force,” but like the synonym חַיִל (khayil), it can also mean “wealth, fortune.” E. Dhorme notes that to the Semitic mind, riches bring power (Job, 90).
- Job 6:22 tn Or “bribes.” The verb שִׁחֲדוּ (shikhadu) means “give a שֹׁחַד (shokhad, “bribe”).” The significance is simply “make a gift” (especially in the sense of corrupting an official [Ezek 16:33]). For the spelling of the form in view of the guttural, see GKC 169 §64.a.
- Job 6:23 tn The verse now gives the ultimate reason why Job might have urged his friends to make a gift—if it were possible. The LXX, avoiding the direct speech in the preceding verse and this, does make this verse the purpose statement—“to deliver from enemies….”
- Job 6:23 tn Heb “hand,” as in the second half of the verse.
- Job 6:23 tn The עָרִיצִים (ʿaritsim) are tyrants, the people who inspire fear (Job 15:20; 27:13); the root verb עָרַץ (ʿarats) means “to terrify” (Job 13:25).
- Job 6:23 tn The verb now is the imperfect; since it is parallel to the imperative in the first half of the verse it is imperfect of instruction, much like English uses the future for instruction. The verb פָּדָה (padah) means “to ransom, redeem,” often in contexts where payment is made.
- Job 6:24 tn The verb “teach” or “instruct” is the Hiphil הוֹרוּנִי (horuni), from the verb יָרָה (yarah); the basic idea of “point, direct” lies behind this meaning. The verb is cognate to the noun תּוֹרָה (torah, “instruction, teaching, law”).
- Job 6:24 tn The independent personal pronoun makes the subject of the verb emphatic: “and I will be silent.”
- Job 6:24 tn The verb is הָבִינוּ (havinu, “to cause someone to understand”); with the ל (lamed) following, it has the sense of “explain to me.”
- Job 6:24 tn The verb שָׁגָה (shagah) has the sense of “wandering, getting lost, being mistaken.”
- Job 6:25 tn The word נִּמְרְצוּ (nimretsu, “[they] painful are”) may be connected to מָרַץ (marats, “to be ill”). This would give the idea of “how distressing,” or “painful” in this stem. G. R. Driver (JTS 29 [1927/28]: 390-96) connected it to an Akkadian cognate “to be ill” and rendered it “bitter.” It has also been linked with מָרַס (maras), meaning “to be hard, strong,” giving the idea of “how persuasive” (see N. S. Doniach and W. E. Barnes, “Job vi 25. √מרץ,” JTS [1929/30]: 291-92). There seems more support for the meaning “to be ill” (cf. Mal 2:10). Others follow Targum Job “how pleasant [to my palate are your words]”; E. Dhorme (Job, 92) follows this without changing the text but noting that the word has an interchange of letter with מָלַץ (malats) for מָרַץ (marats).
- Job 6:25 tn The וּ (vav) here introduces the antithesis (GKC 484-85 §154.a).
- Job 6:25 tn The infinitive הוֹכֵחַ (hokheakh, “reproof,” from יָכַח [yakhakh, “prove”]) becomes the subject of the verb from the same root, יוֹכִיהַ (yokhiakh), and so serves as a noun (see GKC 340 §113.b). This verb means “to dispute, quarrel, argue, contend” (see BDB 406-7 s.v. יָכַח). Job is saying, “What does reproof from you prove?”
- Job 6:25 tn The LXX again paraphrases this line: “But as it seems, the words of a true man are vain, because I do not ask strength of you.” But the rest of the versions are equally divided on the verse.
- Job 6:26 tn This, in the context, is probably the meaning, although the Hebrew simply has the line after the first half of the verse read: “and as/to wind the words of a despairing man.” The line could be translated “and the words of a despairing man, [which are] as wind.” But this translation follows the same approach as RSV, NIV, and NAB, which take the idiom of the verb (“think, imagine”) with the preposition on “wind” to mean “reckon as wind”—“and treat the words of a despairing man as wind.”
- Job 6:27 tn The word “lots” is not in the text; the verb is simply תַּפִּילוּ (tappilu, “you cast”). But the word “lots” is also omitted in 1 Sam 14:42. Some commentators follow the LXX and repoint the word and divide the object of the preposition to read “and fall upon the blameless one.” Fohrer deletes the verse. Peake transfers it to come after v. 23. Even though it does not follow quite as well here, it nonetheless makes sense as a strong invective against their lack of sympathy, and the lack of connection could be the result of emotional speech. He is saying they are the kind of people who would cast lots over the child of a debtor, who, after the death of the father, would be sold to slavery.
- Job 6:27 tn The verb תִכְרוּ (tikhru) is from כָּרָה (karah), which is found in 41:6 with עַל (ʿal), to mean “to speculate” on an object. The form is usually taken to mean “to barter for,” which would be an expression showing great callousness to a friend (NIV). NEB has “hurl yourselves,” perhaps following the LXX “rush against.” but G. R. Driver thinks that meaning is very precarious. As for the translation, “to speculate about [or “over”] a friend” could be understood to mean “engage in speculation concerning,” so the translation “auction off” has been used instead.
- Job 6:28 tn The second verb, the imperative “turn,” is subordinated to the first imperative even though there is no vav present (see GKC 385-87 §120.a, g).
- Job 6:28 tn The line has “and now, be pleased, turn to me [i.e., face me].” The LXX reverses the idea, “And now, having looked upon your countenances, I will not lie.” The expression “turn to me” means essentially to turn the eyes toward someone to look at him.
- Job 6:28 tn The construction uses אִם (ʾim) as in a negative oath to mark the strong negative. He is underscoring his sincerity here. See M. R. Lehmann, “Biblical Oaths,” ZAW 81 (1969): 74-92.
- Job 6:29 tn The Hebrew verb שֻׁבוּ (shuvu) would literally be “return.” It has here the sense of “to begin again; to adopt another course,” that is, proceed on another supposition other than my guilt (A. B. Davidson, Job, 49). The LXX takes the word from יָשַׁב (yashav, “sit, dwell”) reading “sit down now.”
- Job 6:29 tn The word עַוְלָה (ʿavlah) is sometimes translated “iniquity.” The word can mean “perversion, wickedness, injustice” (cf. 16:11). But here he means in regard to words. Unjust or wicked words would be words that are false and destroy.
- Job 6:29 tn The verb here is also שֻׁבוּ (shuvu), although there is a Kethib-Qere reading. See R. Gordis, “Some Unrecognized Meanings of the Root Shub,” JBL 52 (1933): 153-62.
- Job 6:29 tn The text has simply “yet my right is in it.” A. B. Davidson (Job, 49, 50) thinks this means that in his plea against God, Job has right on his side. It may mean this; it simply says “my righteousness is yet in it.” If the “in it” does not refer to Job’s cause, then it would simply mean “is present.” It would have very little difference either way.
- Job 6:30 tn The word עַוְלָה (ʿavlah) is repeated from the last verse. Here the focus is clearly on wickedness or injustice spoken.sn These words make a fitting transition to ch. 7, which forms a renewed cry of despair from Job. Job still feels himself innocent, but in the hands of cruel fate which is out to destroy him.
- Job 6:30 tn Heb “my palate.” Here “palate” is used not so much for the organ of speech (by metonymy) as of discernment. In other words, what he says indicates what he thinks.
- Job 6:30 tn The final word, הַוּוֹת (havvot) is usually understood as “calamities.” He would be asking if he could not discern his misfortune. But some argue that the word has to be understood in the parallelism to “wickedness” of words (D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 162). Gordis connects it to Mic 7:3 and Ps 5:10  where the meaning “deceit, falsehood” is found. The LXX has “and does not my throat meditate understanding?”
- Job 7:1 tn The word צָבָא (tsavaʾ) is actually “army”; it can be used for the hard service of military service as well as other toil. As a military term it would include the fixed period of duty (the time) and the hard work (toil). Job here is considering the lot of all humans, not just himself.
- Job 7:1 tn The שָׂכִיר (sakhir) is a hired man, either a man who works for wages, or a mercenary soldier (Jer 46:21). The latter sense may be what is intended here in view of the parallelism, although the next verse seems much broader.
- Job 7:2 tn This term עֶבֶד (ʿeved) is the servant or the slave. He is compelled to work through the day in the heat, but he longs for evening when he can rest from the slavery.
- Job 7:2 tn The expression יִשְׁאַף־צֵל (yishʾaf tsel, “longing for the evening shadow”) could also be taken as a relative clause (without the relative pronoun): “as a servant [who] longs for the evening shadow” (see GKC 487 §155.g). In either case, the expressions in v. 2 emphasize the point of the comparison, which will be summed up in v. 3.
- Job 7:2 tn The two verbs in this verse stress the eager expectation and waiting. The first, שָׁאַף (shaʾaf), means “to long for; to desire”; and the second, קָוָה (qavah), has the idea of “to hope for; to look for; to wait.” The words would give the sense that the servant or hired man had the longing on his mind all day.
- Job 7:2 tn The word פֹּעַל (poʿal) means “work.” But here the word should be taken as a metonymy, meaning the pay for the work that he has done (compare Jer 22:13).
- Job 7:3 tn “Thus” indicates a summary of vv. 1 and 2: like the soldier, the mercenary, and the slave, Job has labored through life and looks forward to death.
- Job 7:3 tn The form is the Hophal perfect of נָחַל (nakhal): “I have been made to inherit,” or more simply, “I have inherited.” The form occurs only here. The LXX must have confused the letters or sounds, a ו (vav) for the ן (nun), for it reads “I have endured.” As a passive the form technically has two accusatives (see GKC 388 §121.c). Job’s point is that his sufferings have been laid on him by another, and so he has inherited them.
- Job 7:3 tn The word is שָׁוְא (shavʾ, “vanity, deception, nothingness, futility”). His whole life—marked here in months to show its brevity—has been futile. E. Dhorme (Job, 98) suggests the meaning “disillusionment,” explaining that it marks the deceptive nature of mortal life. The word describes life as hollow, insubstantial.
- Job 7:3 tn “Sorrow” is עָמָל (ʿamal), used in 3:10. It denotes anxious toil, labor, troublesome effort. It may be that the verse expresses the idea that the nights are when the pains of his disease are felt the most. The months are completely wasted; the nights are agonizing.
- Job 7:3 tn The verb is literally “they have appointed”; the form with no expressed subject is to be interpreted as a passive (GKC 460 §144.g). It is therefore not necessary to repoint the verb to make it passive. The word means “to number; to count,” and so “to determine; to allocate.”
- Job 7:4 tn This is the main clause, and not part of the previous conditional clause; it is introduced by the conjunction אִם (’im) (see GKC 336 §112.gg).
- Job 7:4 tn The verb מָדַד (madad) normally means “to measure,” and here in the Piel it has been given the sense of “to extend.” But this is not well attested and not widely accepted. There are many conjectural emendations. Of the most plausible one might mention the view of Gray, who changes מִדַּד (middad, Piel of מָדַּד) to מִדֵּי (midde, comprising the preposition מִן [min] plus the noun דַּי [day], meaning “as often as”): “as often as evening comes.” Dhorme, following the LXX to some extent, adds the word “day” after “when/if” and replaces מִדַּד (middad) with מָתַי (matay, “when”) to read “If I lie down, I say, ‘When comes the morning?’ If I rise up, I say, ‘How long till evening?’” The LXX, however, may be based more on a recollection of Deut 28:67. One can make just as strong a case for the reading adopted here, that the night seems to drag on (so also NIV).
- Job 7:4 tn The Hebrew term נְדֻדִים (nedudim, “tossing”) refers to the restless tossing and turning of the sick man at night on his bed. The word is a hapax legomenon derived from the verb נָדַד (nadad, “to flee; to wander; to be restless”). The plural form here sums up the several parts of the actions (GKC 460 §144.f). E. Dhorme (Job, 99) argues that because it applies to both his waking hours and his sleepless nights, it may have more of the sense of wanderings of the mind. There is no doubt truth to the fact that the mind wanders in all this suffering, but there is no need to go beyond the contextually clear idea of the restlessness of the night.
- Job 7:5 tn Heb “my flesh.”
- Job 7:5 tn The implied comparison is vivid: the dirty scabs cover his entire body like a garment—so he is clothed with them.
- Job 7:5 sn The word for “worms” (רִמָּה, rimmah, a collective noun), is usually connected with rotten food (Exod 16:24), or the grave (Isa 14:11). Job’s disease is a malignant ulcer of some kind that causes the rotting of the flesh. One may recall that both Antiochus Epiphanes (2 Macc 9:9) and Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:23) were devoured by such worms in their diseases.
- Job 7:5 tn The text has “clods of dust.” The word גִּישׁ (gish, “dirty scabs”) is a hapax legomenon from גּוּשׁ (gush, “clod”). Driver suggests the word has a medical sense, like “pustules” (G. R. Driver, “Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 : 73) or “scabs” (JB, NEB, NAB, NIV). Driver thinks “clods of dust” is wrong; he repoints “dust” to make a new verb “to cover,” cognate to Arabic, and reads “my flesh is clothed with worms, and scab covers my skin.” This refers to the dirty scabs that crusted over the sores all over his body. The LXX links this with the second half of the verse: “And my body has been covered with loathsome worms, and I waste away, scraping off clods of dirt from my eruption.”
- Job 7:5 tn The meaning of רָגַע (ragaʿ) is also debated here. D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 163) does not think the word can mean “cracked” because scabs show evidence of the sores healing. But E. Dhorme (Job, 100) argues that the usage of the word shows the idea of “splitting, separating, making a break,” or the like. Here then it would mean “my skin splits” and as a result festers. This need not be a reference to the scabs, but to new places. Or it could mean that the scabbing never heals, but is always splitting open.
- Job 7:6 sn The first five verses described the painfulness of his malady, his life; now, in vv. 6-10 he will focus on the brevity of his life, and its extinction with death. He introduces the subject with “my days,” a metonymy for his whole life and everything done on those days. He does not mean individual days—they drag on endlessly.
- Job 7:6 tn The verb קָלַל (qalal) means “to be light” (40:4), and then by extension “to be swift; to be rapid” (Jer 4:13; Hab 1:8).
- Job 7:6 sn The shuttle is the part which runs through the meshes of the web. In Judg 16:14 this word refers to the loom (see BDB 71 s.v. אֶרֶג), but here it must be the shuttle. Hezekiah uses the imagery of the weaver, the loom, and the shuttle for the brevity of life (see Isa 38:12). The LXX used, “My life is lighter than a word.”
- Job 7:6 tn The text includes a wonderful wordplay on this word. The noun is תִּקְוָה (tiqvah, “hope”). But it can also have the meaning of one of its cognate nouns, קַו (qav, “thread, cord,” as in Josh 2:18, 21). He is saying that his life is coming to an end for lack of thread/for lack of hope (see further E. Dhorme, Job, 101).
- Job 7:7 sn Job is probably turning here to God, as is clear from v. 11 on. The NIV supplies the word “God” for clarification. It was God who breathed breath into man’s nostrils (Gen 2:7), and so God is called to remember that man is but a breath.
- Job 7:7 tn The word “that” is supplied in the translation.
- Job 7:7 tn The verb with the infinitive serves as a verbal hendiadys: “return to see” means “see again.”
- Job 7:8 sn The meaning of the verse is that God will relent, but it will be too late. God now sees him with a hostile eye; when he looks for him, or looks upon him in friendliness, it will be too late.
- Job 7:8 tn This verse is omitted in the LXX and so by several commentators. But the verb שׁוּר (shur, “turn, return”) is so characteristic of Job (10 times) that the verse seems appropriate here.
- Job 7:9 tn The comparison is implied; “as” is therefore supplied in the translation.
- Job 7:9 tn The two verbs כָּלַה (kalah) and הָלַךְ (halakh) mean “to come to an end” and “to go” respectively. The picture is of the cloud that breaks up, comes to an end, is dispersed so that it is no longer a cloud; it then fades away or vanishes. This line forms a good simile for the situation of a man who comes to his end and disappears.
- Job 7:9 tn The noun שְׁאוֹל (sheʾol) can mean “the grave,” “death,” or “Sheol”—the realm of departed spirits. In Job this is a land from which there is no return (10:21 and here). It is a place of darkness and gloom (10:21-22), a place where the dead lie hidden (14:13), a place appointed for all no matter what their standing on earth might have been (30:23). In each case the precise meaning has to be determined. Here the grave makes the most sense, for Job is simply talking about death.
- Job 7:9 sn It is not correct to try to draw theological implications from this statement or the preceding verse (Rashi said Job was denying the resurrection). Job is simply stating that when people die they are gone—they do not return to this present life on earth. Most commentators and theologians believe that theological knowledge was very limited at such an early stage, so they would not think it possible for Job to have bodily resurrection in view. (See notes on ch. 14 and 19:25-27.)
- Job 7:10 tn M. Dahood suggests the meaning is the same as “his abode” (“Hebrew-Ugaritic Lexicography V,” Bib 48 : 421-38).
- Job 7:10 tn The verb means “to recognize” by seeing. “His place,” the place where he was living, is the subject of the verb. This personification is intended simply to say that the place where he lived will not have him any more. The line is very similar to Ps 103:16b—when the wind blows the flower away, its place knows it no more.
- Job 7:11 tn “Also I” has been rendered frequently as “therefore,” introducing a conclusion. BDB 168-69 s.v. גַּם lists Ps 52:7  as a parallel, but it also could be explained as an adversative.
- Job 7:11 sn “Mouth” here is metonymical for what he says—he will not withhold his complaints. Peake notes that in this section Job comes very close to doing what Satan said he would do. If he does not curse God to his face, he certainly does cast off restraints to his lament. But here Job excuses himself in advance of the lament.
- Job 7:11 tn The verb is not limited to mental musing; it is used for pouring out a complaint or a lament (see S. Mowinckel, “The Verb siah and the Nouns siah, siha,” ST 15 : 1-10).
- Job 7:12 tn The word תַּנִּין (tannin) could be translated “whale” as well as the more mythological “dragon” or “monster of the deep” (see E. Dhorme, Job, 105). To the Hebrews this was part of God’s creation in Gen 1; in the pagan world it was a force to be reckoned with, and so the reference would be polemical. The sea is a symbol of the tumultuous elements of creation; in the sea were creatures that symbolized the powerful forces of chaos—Leviathan, Tannin, and Rahab. They required special attention.
- Job 7:12 tn The imperfect verb here receives the classification of obligatory imperfect. Job wonders if he is such a threat to God that God must do this.
- Job 7:12 tn The word מִשְׁמָר (mishmar) means “guard; barrier.” M. Dahood suggested “muzzle” based on Ugaritic, but that has proven to be untenable (“Mismar, ‘Muzzle,’ in Job 7:12, ” JBL 80 : 270-71).
- Job 7:13 tn The particle כִּי (ki) could also be translated “when,” but “if” might work better to introduce the conditional clause and to parallel the earlier reasoning of Job in v. 4 (using אִם, ʾim). See GKC 336-37 §112.hh.
- Job 7:13 tn The verb literally means “say,” but here the connotation must be “think” or “say to oneself”—“when I think my bed….”
- Job 7:13 sn Sleep is the recourse of the troubled and unhappy. Here “bed” is metonymical for sleep. Job expects sleep to give him the comfort that his friends have not.
- Job 7:13 tn The verb means “to lift up; to take away” (נָשָׂא, nasaʾ). When followed by the preposition ב (bet) with the complement of the verb, the idea is “to bear a part; to take a share,” or “to share in the burden” (cf. Num 11:7). The idea then would be that the sleep would ease the complaint. It would not end the illness, but the complaining for a while.
- Job 7:14 tn The Piel of חָתַת (khatat) occurs only here and in Jer 51:56 (where it is doubtful). The meaning is clearly “startle, scare.” The perfect verb with the ו (vav) is fitting in the apodosis of the conditional sentence.sn Here Job is boldly saying that it is God who is behind the horrible dreams that he is having at night.
- Job 7:14 tn The Piel of בָּעַת (baʿat, “terrify”) is one of the characteristic words in the book of Job; it occurs in 3:5; 9:34; 13:11, 21; 15:24; 18:11; and 33:7.
- Job 7:14 tn The prepositions ב (bet) and מִן (min) interchange here; they express the instrument of causality. See N. Sarna, “The Interchange of the Prepositions bet and min in Biblical Hebrew,” JBL 78 (1959): 310-16. Emphasis on the instruments of terror in this verse is highlighted by the use of chiasm in which the prepositional phrases comprise the central elements (ab//b’a’). Verse 18 contains another example.
- Job 7:15 tn The word נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is often translated “soul.” But since Hebrew thought does not make such a distinction between body and soul, it is usually better to translate it with “person.” When a suffix is added to the word, then that pronoun would serve as the better translation, as here with “my soul” = “I” (meaning with every fiber of my being).
- Job 7:15 tn The verb בָּחַר (bakhar, “choose”) followed by the preposition ב (bet) can have the sense of “prefer.”
- Job 7:15 tn The meaning of the term מַחֲנָק (makhanaq, “strangling”), a hapax legomenon, is clear enough; the verb חָנַק (khanaq) in the Piel means “to strangle” (Nah 2:13), and in the Niphal “to strangle oneself” (2 Sam 17:23). This word has tempted some commentators to take נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) in a very restricted sense of “throat.”
- Job 7:15 tn The conjunction “and” is supplied in the translation. “Death” could also be taken in apposition to “strangling,” providing the outcome of the strangling.
- Job 7:15 tn This is one of the few words recognizable in the LXX: “You will separate life from my spirit, and yet keep my bones from death.”
- Job 7:15 tn The comparative מִן (min) after the verb “choose” will here have the idea of preferring something before another (see GKC 429-30 §133.b).
- Job 7:15 tn The word מֵעַצְמוֹתָי (meʿatsmotay) means “more than my bones” (= life or being). The line is poetic; “bones” is often used in scripture metonymically for the whole living person, so there is no need here for conjectural emendation. Nevertheless, there have been several suggestions made. The simplest and most appealing for those who desire a change is the repointing to מֵעַצְּבוֹתָי (meʿatsevotay, “my sufferings,” adopted by NAB, JB, Moffatt, Driver-Gray, E. Dhorme, H. H. Rowley, and others). Driver obtains this idea by positing a new word based on Arabic without changing the letters; it means “great”—but he has to supply the word “sufferings.”
- Job 7:16 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 107-8) thinks the idea of loathing or despising is problematic since there is no immediate object. He notes that the verb מָאַס (maʾas, “loathe”) is parallel to מָסַס (masas, “melt”) in the sense of “flow, drip” (Job 42:6). This would give the idea “I am fading away” or “I grow weaker,” or as Dhorme chooses, “I am pining away.”
- Job 7:16 tn There is no object for the verb in the text. But the most likely object would be “my life” from the last verse, especially since in this verse Job will talk about not living forever. Some have thought the object should be “death,” meaning that Job despised death more than the pains. But that is a forced meaning; besides, as H. H. Rowley points out, the word here means to despise something, to reject it. Job wanted death.
- Job 7:16 tn Heb “cease from me.” This construction means essentially “leave me in peace.”
- Job 7:16 tn This word הֶבֶל (hevel) is difficult to translate. It means “breath; puff of air; vapor” and then figuratively, “vanity.” Job is saying that his life is but a breath—it is brief and fleeting. Cf. Ps 144:4 for a similar idea.
- Job 7:17 tn The verse is a rhetorical question; it is intended to mean that man is too little for God to be making so much over him in all this.
- Job 7:17 tn The Piel verb is a factitive meaning “to magnify.” The English word “magnify” might not be the best translation here, for God, according to Job, is focusing inordinately on him. It means to magnify in thought, appreciate, think highly of. God, Job argues, is making too much of mankind by devoting so much bad attention on them.
- Job 7:17 tn The expression “set your heart on” means “concentrate your mind on” or “pay attention to.”
- Job 7:18 tn The verb פָּקַד (paqad) is a very common one in the Bible; while it is frequently translated “visit,” the “visit” is never comparable to a social call. When God “visits” people it always means a divine intervention for blessing or cursing—but the visit always changes the destiny of the one visited. Here Job is amazed that God Almighty would be so involved in the life of mere human beings.
- Job 7:18 tn Now the verb “to test” is introduced and gives further explanation to the purpose of the “visit” in the parallel line (see the same parallelism in Ps 17:3). The verb בָּחַן (bakhan) has to do with passing things through the fire or the crucible to purify the metal (see Job 23:10; Zech 13:9); metaphorically it means “to examine carefully” and “to purify by testing.”
- Job 7:18 sn The amazing thing is the regularity of the testing. Job is at first amazed that God would visit him, but even more is he amazed that God is testing him every moment. The employment of a chiasm with the two temporal adverbial phrases as the central elements emphasizes the regularity.
- Job 7:19 tn Heb “according to what [= how long] will you not look away from me.”
- Job 7:19 tn The verb שָׁעָה (shaʿah, “to look”) with the preposition מִן (min) means “to look away from; to avert one’s gaze.” Job wonders if God would not look away from him even briefly, for the constant vigilance is killing him.
- Job 7:19 tn The Hiphil of רָפָה (rafah) means “to leave someone alone.”
- Job 7:20 tn The simple perfect verb can be used in a conditional sentence without a conditional particle present (see GKC 494 §159.h).
- Job 7:20 sn Job is not here saying that he has sinned; rather, he is posing the hypothetical condition—if he had sinned, what would that do to God? In other words, he has not really injured God.
- Job 7:20 sn In the Bible God is often described as watching over people to protect them from danger (see Deut 32:10; Ps 31:23). However, here it is a hostile sense, for God may detect sin and bring it to judgment.
- Job 7:20 tn This word is a hapax legomenon from the verb פָּגָע (pagaʿ, “meet, encounter”); it would describe what is hit or struck (as nouns of this pattern can indicate the place of the action)—the target.
- Job 7:20 tn In the prepositional phrase עָלַי (ʿalay) the results of a scribal change are found (these changes were called tiqqune sopherim, “corrections of the scribes” made to avoid using improper language about God). The prepositional phrase would have been עָלֶךָ (ʿalekha, “to you,” as in the LXX). But it offended the Jews to think of Job being burdensome to God. Job’s sin could have repercussions on him, but not on God.
- Job 7:21 tn The LXX has, “for now I will depart to the earth.”
- Job 7:21 tn The verb שָׁחַר (shakhar) in the Piel has been translated “to seek early in the morning” because of the possible link with the word “dawn.” But the verb more properly means “to seek diligently” (by implication).
- Job 8:1 sn This speech of Bildad ignores Job’s attack on his friends and focuses rather on Job’s comments about God’s justice. Bildad cannot even imagine saying that God is unjust. The only conclusion open to him is that Job’s family brought this on themselves, and so the only recourse is for Job to humble himself and make supplication to God. To make his point, Bildad will appeal to the wisdom of the ancients, for his theology is traditional. The speech has three parts: vv. 2-7 form his affirmation of the justice of God; vv. 8-19 are his appeal to the wisdom of the ancients, and vv. 20-22 are his summation. See N. C. Habel, “Appeal to Ancient Tradition as a Literary Form,” ZAW 88 (1976): 253-72; W. A. Irwin, “The First Speech of Bildad,” ZAW 51 (1953): 205-16.
- Job 8:2 sn “These things” refers to all of Job’s speech, the general drift of which seems to Bildad to question the justice of God.
- Job 8:2 tn The second colon of the verse simply says “and a strong wind the words of your mouth.” The simplest way to treat this is to make it an independent nominal sentence: “the words of your mouth are a strong wind.” Some have made it parallel to the first by apposition, understanding “how long” to do double duty. The line beginning with the ו (vav) can also be subordinated as a circumstantial clause, as here.
- Job 8:2 tn The word כַּבִּיר (kabbir, “great”) implies both abundance and greatness. Here the word modifies “wind”; the point of the analogy is that Job’s words are full of sound but without solid content.
- Job 8:2 tn See, however, G. R. Driver’s translation, “the breath of one who is mighty are the words of your mouth” (“Hebrew Studies,” JRAS 1948: 170).
- Job 8:3 tn The Piel verb יְעַוֵּת (yeʿavvet) means “to bend; to cause to swerve from the norm; to deviate; to pervert.” The LXX renders the first colon as “will the Lord be unjust when he judges?”
- Job 8:3 tn The first word is מִשְׁפָּת (mishpat, “justice”). It can mean an act of judgment, place of judgment, or what is just, that is, the outcome of the decision. It basically describes an umpire’s decision. The parallel word is צֶדֶק (tsedeq, “righteousness,” or “what is right”). The basic idea here is that which conforms to the standard, what is right. See S. H. Scholnick, “The Meaning of Mishpat in the Book of Job,” JBL 101 (1982): 521-29.
- Job 8:3 tn Some commentators think that the second verb should be changed in order to avoid the repetition of the same word and to reflect the different words in the versions. The suggestion is to read יְעַוֵּה (yeʿavveh) instead; this would mean “to cause someone to deviate,” for the root means “to bend.” The change is completely unwarranted; the LXX probably chose different words for stylistic reasons (see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 198). The repetition in the Hebrew text is a common type; it strengthens the enormity of the charge Job seems to be making.
- Job 8:4 tn The AV and RV take the protasis down to the middle of v. 6. The LXX changes the “if” at the beginning of v. 5 to “then” and makes that verse the apodosis. If the apodosis comes in the second half of v. 4, then v. 4 would be a complete sentence (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 71; A. B. Davidson, Job, 60). The particle אִם (ʾim) has the sense of “since” in this section.
- Job 8:4 tn The verb is a Piel preterite with a vav (ו) consecutive. The ו (vav) need not be translated if the second half of the verse is the apodosis of the first—since they sinned…he did this. The verb שִׁלֵּחַ (shilleakh) means “to expel; to thrust out” normally; here the sense of “deliver up” or “deliver over” fits the sentence well. The verse is saying that sin carries its own punishment, and so God merely delivered the young people over to it.
- Job 8:4 tn Heb “into the hand of their rebellion.” The word “hand” often signifies “power.” The rebellious acts have the power to destroy, and so that is what happened—according to Bildad. Bildad’s point is that Job should learn from what happened to his family.
- Job 8:5 tn “But” is supplied to show the contrast between this verse and the preceding line.
- Job 8:5 tn The verb שִׁחַר (shikhar) means “to seek; to seek earnestly” (see 7:21). With the preposition אֶל (ʾel) the verb may carry the nuance of “to address; to have recourse to” (see E. Dhorme, Job, 114). The LXX connected it etymologically to “early” and read, “Be early in prayer to the Lord Almighty.”
- Job 8:5 tn The verb תִּתְחַנָּן (titkhannan) means “to make supplication; to seek favor; to seek grace” (from חָנַן, khanan). Bildad is saying that there is only one way for Job to escape the same fate as his children—he must implore God’s mercy. Job’s speech had spoken about God’s seeking him and not finding him, but Bildad is speaking of the importance of Job’s seeking God.
- Job 8:6 tn A verb form needs to be supplied here. Bildad is not saying to Job, “If you are pure [as you say you are].” Bildad is convinced that Job is a sinner. Therefore, “If you become pure” makes more sense here.
- Job 8:6 tn Or “innocent” (i.e., acquitted).
- Job 8:6 tn Many commentators delete this colon as a moralizing gloss on v. 5, but the phrase makes good sense and simply serves as another condition. Besides, the expression is in the LXX.
- Job 8:6 tn The verb יָעִיר (yaʿir, “rouse, stir up”) is a strong anthropomorphism. The LXX has “he will answer your prayer” (which is probably only the LXX’s effort to avoid the anthropomorphism [D. J. A. Clines, Job (WBC), 198]). A reading of “watch over you” has been adopted because of parallel texts (see H. L. Ginsberg, “Two North Canaanite Letters from Ugarit,” BASOR 72 : 18-19; and H. N. Richardson, “A Ugaritic Letter of a King to His Mother,” JBL 66 : 321-24). Others suggest “his light will shine on you” or “he will bestow health on you.” But the idea of “awake” is common enough in the Bible to be retained here.
- Job 8:6 tn The Piel of שָׁלַם (shalam) means “to make good; to repay; to restore something to its wholeness; to reestablish.” The best understanding here would be “restore [Job] to his place.” Some take the verb in the sense of “reward [Job himself] with a righteous habitation.”
- Job 8:6 tn The construct נְוַת (nevat) is feminine; only the masculine occurs in Hebrew. But the meaning “abode of your righteousness” is clear enough. The righteousness of Job is pictured as inhabiting an estate, or it pictures the place where Job lives as a righteous man. A translation “rightful habitation” would mean “the habitation that you deserve”—if you are righteous.
- Job 8:7 tn The reference to “your beginning” is a reference to Job’s former estate of wealth and peace. The reference to “latter end” is a reference to conditions still in the future. What Job had before will seem so small in comparison to what lies ahead.
- Job 8:7 tn The verb has the idea of “to grow”; here it must mean “to flourish; to grow considerably” or the like. The statement is not so much a prophecy; rather Bildad is saying that “if Job had recourse to God, then….” This will be fulfilled, of course, at the end of the book.
- Job 8:8 sn Bildad is not calling for Job to trace through the learning of antiquity, but of the most recent former generation. Hebrews were fond of recalling what the “fathers” had taught, for each generation recalled what their fathers had taught.
- Job 8:8 tn The verb כוֹנֵן (khonen, from כּוּן, kun) normally would indicate “prepare yourself” or “fix” one’s heart on something, i.e., give attention to it. The verb with the ל (lamed) preposition after it does mean “to think on” or “to meditate” (Isa 51:13). But some commentators wish to change the כ (kaf) to a ב (bet) in the verb to get “to consider” (from בִּין, bin). However, M. Dahood shows a connection between כנן (knn) and שׁאל (shʾl) in Ugaritic (“Hebrew-Ugaritic Lexicography,” Bib 46 : 329).
- Job 8:8 tn The Hebrew has “the search of their fathers,” but the word is probably intended to mean what that observation or search yielded (so “search” is a metonymy of cause).
- Job 8:8 tn Heb “fathers.”
- Job 8:9 tn The Hebrew has “we are of yesterday,” the adverb functioning as a predicate. Bildad’s point is that they have not had time to acquire great knowledge because they are recent.
- Job 8:9 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 116) observes that the shadow is the symbol of ephemeral things (14:2; 17:7; Ps 144:4). The shadow passes away quickly (116).
- Job 8:10 tn The sentence begins emphatically: “Is it not they.”
- Job 8:10 tn The “and” is not present in the line. The second clause seems to be in apposition to the first, explaining it more thoroughly: “Is it not they [who] will instruct you, [who] will speak to you.”
- Job 8:10 tn The noun may have been left indeterminate for the sake of emphasis (GKC 401-2 §125.c), meaning “important words.”
- Job 8:10 tn Heb “from their heart.”
- Job 8:11 sn H. H. Rowley observes the use of the words for plants that grow in Egypt and suspects that Bildad either knew Egypt or knew that much wisdom came from Egypt. The first word refers to papyrus, which grows to a height of six feet (so the verb means “to grow tall; to grow high”). The second word refers to the reed grass that grows on the banks of the river (see Gen 41:2, 18).
- Job 8:11 tn The two verbs, גָּאָה (gaʾah) and שָׂגָה (sagah), have almost the same meanings of “flourish, grow, become tall.”
- Job 8:12 tn The word has been traditionally translated “greenness” (so KJV, ASV), but some modern commentators argue for “in flower.” The word is found only in Song 6:11 (where it may be translated “blossoms”). From the same root is אָבִיב (ʾaviv, “fresh young ears of barley”). Here the word refers to the plant that is still in its early stages of flowering. It should not be translated to suggest the plant is flowering (so NRSV), but translating as if the plant is green (so NASB) is also problematic.
- Job 8:12 sn The idea is that as the plant begins to flower, but before it is to be cut down, there is no sign of withering or decay in it. But if the water is withdrawn, it will wither sooner than any other herb. The point Bildad will make of this is that when people rebel against God and his grace is withheld, they perish more swiftly than the water reed.
- Job 8:12 tn The imperfect verb here is the modal use of potential, “can wither away” if the water is not there.
- Job 8:12 tn Heb “before.”
- Job 8:12 tn The LXX interprets the line: “does not any herb wither before it has received moisture?”
- Job 8:13 tn The word אָרְחוֹת (ʾorkhot) means “ways” or “paths” in the sense of tracks of destiny or fate. The word דֶּרֶךְ (derekh, “way, road, path”) is used in a similar way (Isa 40:27; Ps 37:5). However, many commentators emend the text to read אַחֲרִית (ʾakharit, “end”) in harmony with the LXX. But Prov 1:19 (if not emended as well) confirms the primary meaning here without changing the text (see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 199).
- Job 8:13 tn The word חָנֵף (khanef) is often translated “hypocrite.” But the root verb means “to be profane,” and this would be done by idolatry or bloodshed. It describes an irreligious person, a godless person. In Dan 11:32 the word seems to mean “make someone pagan.” The word in this verse is parallel to “those who forget God.”
- Job 8:14 tn The relative pronoun introduces the verse as a relative clause, working with the “godless person” of the preceding verse. The relative pronoun is joined to the resumptive pronoun in the translation: “who + his trust” = “whose trust.”
- Job 8:14 tn The noun כֶּסֶל (kesel) in this half of the verse must correspond to “his security” in the second half. The meaning must be “his trust” (see 4:6). The two words will again be parallel in 31:24.
- Job 8:14 tn The word יָקוֹט (yaqot) is not known anywhere else; here it looks like it should be a noun to parallel “spider’s house” in the next colon. But scholars have tried to identify it as a verb, perhaps an imperfect of קוֹט (qot, BDB 876 s.v.), or related to an Arabic qatta, “to cut.” Some versions have “break in sunder” (ASV, RV); others “cut off” (RSV). Apart from verbs, some commentators follow Sa`adia’s Arabic translation “sun cords,” meaning “gossamer.” Accordingly, there are emendations like “threads,” “threads of summer,” “spider threads,” and the like. D. J. A. Clines agrees with those who conclude that emendations based on Sa`adia’s translation lack a sound philological basis. E. Dhorme “somewhat timidly” suggests יַלְקוּט (yalqut), the shepherd’s bag or scrip (1 Sam 17:40). He suggests that an empty bag would be a symbol of something unstable and futile. It seems impossible to determine exactly what the word meant. One can only conclude that it means something like “fragile” or “futile.” The LXX is of no help: “for his house shall be without inhabitants.”
- Job 8:14 sn The second half of the verse is very clear. What the godless person relies on for security is as fragile as a spider’s web—he may as well have nothing. The people of the Middle East view the spider’s web as the frailest of all “houses.”
- Job 8:15 tn The verb עָמַד (ʿamad, “to stand”) is almost synonymous with the parallel קוּם (qum, “to rise; to stand”). The distinction is that the former means “to remain standing” (so it is translated here “hold up”), and the latter “rise, stand up.”
- Job 8:15 sn The idea is that he grabs hold of the house, not to hold it up, but to hold himself up or support himself. But it cannot support him. This idea applies to both the spider’s web and the false security of the pagan.
- Job 8:16 tn The figure now changes to a plant that is flourishing and spreading and then suddenly cut off. The word רָטַב (ratav) means “to be moist; to be watered.” The word occurs in Arabic, Aramaic, and Akkadian, but only twice in the Bible: here as the adjective and in 24:8 as the verb.
- Job 8:16 tn The Hebrew is לִפְנֵי (lifne, “before”). Does this mean “in the presence of the sun,” i.e., under a sweltering sun, or “before” the sun rises? It seems more natural to take לִפְנֵי (lifne) as “in the presence of” or “under.”
- Job 8:16 tn Heb “its shoot goes out.”
- Job 8:16 tc Some have emended this phrase to obtain “over the roofs.” The LXX has “out of his corruption.” H. M. Orlinsky has shown that this reading arose from an internal LXX change, saprias having replaced prasias, “garden” (JQR 26 [1935/36]: 134-35).
- Job 8:17 tn Cheyne reads “spring” or “well” rather than “heap.” However, this does not fit the parallelism very well, and so he emends the second half as well. Nevertheless the Hebrew text needs no emending here.
- Job 8:17 tn The idea is that the plant grows, looking for a place to grow among the stones. Some trees grow so tightly around the rocks and stones that they are impossible to uproot. The rocky ground where it grows forms “a house of stones.” The LXX supports an emendation from יְחֱזֶה (yekhezeh, “it looks”) to יִחְיֶה (yikhyeh, “it lives”). Others have tried to emend the text in a variety of ways: “pushes” (Budde), “cleave” (Gordis), “was opposite” (Driver), or “run against” (NEB, probably based on G. R. Driver). If one were to make a change, the reading with the LXX would be the easiest to defend, but there is no substantial reason to do that. The meaning is about the same without such a change.
- Job 8:17 sn The idea seems to be that the stones around which the roots of the tree wrap themselves suggest strength and security for the tree, but uprooting comes to it nevertheless (v. 18). The point is that the wicked may appear to be living in security and flourishing, yet can be quickly destroyed (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 74).
- Job 8:18 tc Ball reads אֵל (ʾel, “God”) instead of אִם (ʾim, “if”): “God destroys it”—but there is no reason for this. The idea would be implied in the context. A. B. Davidson rightly points out that who destroys it is not important, but the fact that it is destroyed.tn The Hebrew has “if one destroys it”; the indefinite subject allows for a passive interpretation. The verb means “swallow” in the Qal, but in the Piel it means “to engulf; to destroy; to ruin” (2:3; 10:8). It could here be rendered “removed from its place” (the place where it is rooted); since the picture is that of complete destruction, “uprooted” would be a good rendering.
- Job 8:18 tn Heb “it”; the referent (“his place” in the preceding line) has been specified in the translation for clarity.sn The place where the plant once grew will deny ever knowing it. Such is the completeness of the uprooting that there is not a trace left.
- Job 8:18 tn Here “saying” is supplied in the translation.
- Job 8:19 tn This line is difficult. If the MT stands as it is, the expression must be ironic. It would be saying that the joy (all the security and prosperity) of its way (its life) is short-lived—that is the way its joy goes. Most commentators are not satisfied with this. Dhorme, for one, changes מְשׂוֹשׂ (mesos, “joy”) to מְסוֹס (mesos, “rotting”), and gets “behold him lie rotting on the path.” The sibilants can interchange this way. But Dhorme thinks the MT was written the way it was because the word was thought to be “joy,” when it should have been the other way. The word “way” then becomes an accusative of place. The suggestion is rather compelling and would certainly fit the context. The difficulty is that a root סוּס (sus, “to rot”) has to be proposed. E. Dhorme does this by drawing on Arabic sas, “to be eaten by moths or worms,” thus “worm-eaten; decaying; rotting.” Cf. NIV “its life withers away”; also NAB “there he lies rotting beside the road.”
- Job 8:19 tn Heb “dust.”
- Job 8:19 sn As with the tree, so with the godless man—his place will soon be taken by another.
- Job 8:20 sn This is the description that the book gave to Job at the outset, a description that he deserved according to God’s revelation. The theme “God will not reject the blameless man” becomes Job’s main point (see 9:20-21; 10:3).
- Job 8:20 sn The idiom “to grasp the hand” of someone means to support or help the person.
- Job 8:21 tn The word עַד (ʿad, “until”) would give the reading “until he fills your mouth with laughter,” subordinating the verse to the preceding with some difficulty in interpretation. It would be saying that God will not reject the blameless man until he filled Job with joy. Almost all commentators and modern versions change the pointing to עוֹד (ʿod, “yet”), forming a hope for the future blessing of joy for Job.
- Job 8:21 sn “Laughter” (and likewise “gladness”) will here be metonymies of effect or adjunct, being put in place of the reason for the joy—restoration.
- Job 8:22 sn These verses show several points of similarity with the style of the book of Psalms. “Those who hate you” and the “evil-doers” are fairly common words to describe the ungodly in the Psalms. “Those who hate you” are enemies of the righteous man because of the parallelism in the verse. By this line Bildad is showing Job that he and his friends are not among those who are his enemies, and that Job himself is really among the righteous. It is an appealing way to end the discourse. See further G. W. Anderson, “Enemies and Evil-doers in the Book of Psalms,” BJRL 48 (1965/66): 18-29.
- Job 8:22 tn “Shame” is compared to a garment that can be worn. The “shame” envisioned here is much more than embarrassment or disgrace—it is utter destruction. For parallels in the Psalms, see Pss 35:26; 132:18; 109:29.
- Job 9:1 sn This speech of Job in response to Bildad falls into two large sections, chs. 9 and 10. In ch. 9 he argues that God’s power and majesty prevent him from establishing his integrity in his complaint to God. And in ch. 10 Job tries to discover in God’s plan the secret of his afflictions. The speech seems to continue what Job was saying to Eliphaz more than it addresses Bildad. See K. Fullerton, “On Job 9 and 10,” JBL 53 (1934): 321-49.
- Job 9:2 tn The adverb אָמְנָם (ʾomnam, “in truth”) is characteristic of the book of Job (12:2; 19:4; 34:12; 36:4). The friends make commonplace statements, general truths, and Job responds with “truly I know this is so.” Job knows as much about these themes as his friends do.
- Job 9:2 sn The interrogative is used to express what is an impossibility.
- Job 9:2 tn The attempt to define אֱנוֹשׁ (ʾenosh) as “weak” or “mortal” man is not compelling. Such interpretations are based on etymological links without the clear support of usage (an issue discussed by J. Barr, Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament). This seems to be a poetic word for “human” (the only nonpoetic use is in 2 Chr 14:10).
- Job 9:2 tn The preposition is אִם (ʾim, “with, before, in the presence of”). This is more specific than מִן (min) in 4:17.
- Job 9:2 sn The point of Job’s rhetorical question is that man cannot be justified as against God, because God is too powerful and too clever—he controls the universe. He is discussing now the question that Eliphaz raised in 4:17. Peake observes that Job is raising the question of whether something is right because God says it is right, or that God declares it right because it is right.
- Job 9:3 tn Some commentators take God to be the subject of this verb, but it is more likely that it refers to the mortal who tries to challenge God in a controversy. The verb is used of Job in 13:3.
- Job 9:3 tn The verb רִיב (riv) is a common one; it has the idea of “contention; dispute; legal dispute or controversy; go to law.” With the preposition עִם (ʾim) the idea must be “to contend with” or “to dispute with.” The preposition reflects the prepositional phrase “with God” in v. 2, supporting the view that man is the subject.
- Job 9:3 tn This use of the imperfect as potential imperfect assumes that the human is the subject, that in a dispute with God he could not answer one of God’s questions (for which see the conclusion of the book when God questions Job). On the other hand, if the interpretation were that God does not answer the demands of mortals, then a simple progressive imperfect would be required. In support of this is the frustration of Job that God does not answer him.
- Job 9:4 tn The genitive phrase translated “in heart” would be a genitive of specification, specifying that the wisdom of God is in his intelligent decisions.sn The heart is the seat of intelligence and understanding, the faculty of decision making.
- Job 9:4 sn The words אַמִּיץ (ʾammits) and כֹּחַ (koakh) are synonyms, the first meaning “sturdy; mighty; robust,” and the second “strength.” It too can be interpreted as a genitive of specification—God is mighty with respect to his power. But that comes close to expressing a superlative idea (like “song of songs” or “anger of his wrath”).
- Job 9:4 tn The first half of the verse simply has “wise of heart and mighty of strength.” The entire line is a casus pendens that will refer to the suffix on אֵלָיו (ʾelayv) in the second colon. So the question is “Who has resisted the one who is wise of heart and mighty of strength?” Again, the rhetorical question is affirming that no one has done this.
- Job 9:4 tn The verb is the Hiphil of the verb קָשָׁה (qashah, “to be hard”). It frequently is found with the word for “neck,” describing people as “stiff-necked,” i.e., stubborn, unbending. So the idea of resisting God fits well. The fact that this word occurs in Exodus with the idea of hardening the heart against God may indicate that there is an allusion to Pharaoh here.
- Job 9:4 tn The use of שָׁלֵם (shalem) in the Qal is rare. It has been translated “remain safe” by E. Dhorme, “survived” by the NEB, “remained unscathed” by the NAB and NIV, or “succeeded” by KJV, G. R. Driver.
- Job 9:5 tn The verb is plural: “they do not know it.” This suggests that the mountains would not know it. Some follow the Syriac with a singular verb, i.e., God does not know it, meaning, it is so trifling to God that he can do it without thinking. But the better interpretation may be “suddenly.” This would be interpreted from the MT as it stands; it would imply “before they know anything,” thus “suddenly” (Gray, Dhorme, Buttenwieser, et. al.). D. W. Thomas connects the meaning to another verb based on Arabic and translates it, “ so that they are no longer still” (“Additional Notes on the Root yadaʿ in Hebrew,” JTS 15 : 54-57). J. A. Emerton works with a possible root יָדַע (yadaʿ) meaning “be still” (“A Consideration of Some Alleged Meanings of yada` in Hebrew,” JSS 15 : 145-80).
- Job 9:5 sn This line beginning with the relative pronoun can either be read as a parallel description of God, or it can be subordinated by the relative pronoun to the first (“they do not know who overturned them”).
- Job 9:6 sn Shakes the earth out of its place probably refers to earthquakes, although some commentators protest against this in view of the idea of the pillars. In the ancient world the poetical view of the earth is that it was a structure on pillars, with water around it and under it. In an earthquake the pillars were shaken, and the earth moved.
- Job 9:6 tn The verb הִתְפַּלָּץ (hitpallats) is found only here, but the root seems clearly to mean “to be tossed; to be thrown about,” and so in the Hitpael “quiver; shake; tremble.” One of the three nouns from this root is פַּלָּצוּת (pallatsut), the “shudder” that comes with terror (see Job 21:6; Isa 21:4; Ezek 7:18; Ps 55:6).
- Job 9:7 tn The form could also be subordinated: “that it shine not” (see further GKC 323 §109.g).
- Job 9:7 tn The verb זָרַח (zarakh) means “rise.” This is the ordinary word for the sunrise. But here it probably has the idea of “shine; glisten,” which is also attested in Hebrew and Aramaic.sn There are various views on the meaning of this line in this verse. Some think it refers to some mysterious darkness like the judgment in Egypt (Exod 10:21-23), or to clouds building (3:5), often in accompaniment of earthquakes (see Joel 2:10; 3:15-16; Isa 13:10-13). It could also refer to an eclipse. All this assumes that the phenomenon here is limited to the morning or the day, but it could simply be saying that God controls light and darkness.
- Job 9:7 tn The verb חָתַם (khatam) with בְּעַד (beʿad) before its complement, means “to seal; to wall up; to enclose.” This is a poetic way of saying that God prevents the stars from showing their light.
- Job 9:8 tn Or “marches forth.”
- Job 9:8 tn The reference is probably to the waves of the sea. This is the reading preserved in NIV and NAB, as well as by J. Crenshaw, “Wedōrēk ʿal-bāmŏtê ʾāreṣ,” CBQ 34 (1972): 39-53. But many see here a reference to Canaanite mythology. The marginal note in the RSV has “the back of the sea dragon.” The view would also see in “sea” the Ugaritic god Yammu.
- Job 9:9 sn The Hebrew has עָשׁ (ʿash), although in 38:32 it is עַיִשׁ (ʿayish). This has been suggested to be Aldebaran, a star in the constellation Taurus, but there have been many other suggestions put forward by the commentaries.
- Job 9:9 sn There is more certainty for the understanding of this word as Orion, even though there is some overlap of the usage of the words in the Bible. In classical literature we have the same stereotypical reference to these three (see E. Dhorme, Job, 131).
- Job 9:9 sn The identification of this as the Pleiades is accepted by most (the Vulgate has “Hyades”). In classical Greek mythology, the seven Pleiades were seven sisters of the Hyades who were pursued by Orion until they were changed into stars by Zeus. The Greek myth is probably derived from an older Semitic myth.
- Job 9:9 tn Heb “and the chambers of the south.”
- Job 9:10 tn Only slight differences exist between this verse and 5:9 which employs the simple ו (vav) conjunction before אֵין (ʾen) in the first colon and omits the ו (vav) conjunction before נִפְלָאוֹת (niflaʾot, “wonderful things”) in the second colon.sn There is probably great irony in Job’s using this same verse as in 5:9. But Job’s meaning here is different than that of Eliphaz.
- Job 9:11 tn The NIV has “when” to form a temporal clause here. For the use of “if,” see GKC 497 §159.w.
- Job 9:11 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse are consistent with the clauses. In the conditional clauses a progressive imperfect is used, but in the following clauses the verbs are potential imperfects.
- Job 9:11 tn The pronoun “him” is supplied here; it is not in MT, but the Syriac and Vulgate have it (probably for translation purposes as well).
- Job 9:11 sn Like the mountains, Job knows that God has passed by and caused him to shake and tremble, but he cannot understand or perceive the reasons.
- Job 9:12 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 133) surveys the usages and concludes that the verb חָתַף (khataf) normally describes the wicked actions of a man, especially by treachery or trickery against another. But a verb חָתַף (khataf) is found nowhere else; a noun “robber” is found in Prov 23:28. Dhorme sees no reason to emend the text, because he concludes that the two verbs are synonymous. Job is saying that if God acts like a plunderer, there is no one who can challenge what he does.
- Job 9:12 tn The verb is the Hiphil imperfect (potential again) from שׁוּב (shuv). In this stem it can mean “turn back, refute, repel” (BDB 999 s.v. Hiph.5).
- Job 9:13 sn The meaning of the line is that God’s anger will continue until it has accomplished its purpose (23:13-14).
- Job 9:13 sn “Rahab” is not to be confused with the harlot of the same name from Jericho. “Rahab” is identified with Tiamat of the Babylonian creation epic, or Leviathan of the Canaanite myths. It is also used in parallelism to the sea (26:12), or the Red Sea (Ps 74:13), and so comes to symbolize Egypt (Isa 30:7). In the Babylonian Creation Epic there is reference to the helpers of Tiamat. In the Bible the reference is only to the raging sea, which the Lord controlled at creation.
- Job 9:13 tn The verb שָׁחַח (shakhakh) means “to be prostrate” or “to crouch.” Here the enemies are prostrate under the feet of God—they are crushed.
- Job 9:14 tn The construction אַף כִּי־אָנֹכִי (ʾaf ki ʾanokhi) is an expression that means either “how much more” or “how much less.” Here it has to mean “how much less,” for if powerful forces like Rahab are crushed beneath God’s feet, how could Job contend with him?
- Job 9:14 tn The imperfect verb here is to be taken with the nuance of a potential imperfect. The idea of “answer him” has a legal context, i.e., answering God in a court of law. If God is relentless in his anger toward greater powers, then Job realizes it is futile for him.
- Job 9:14 sn In a legal controversy with God it would be essential to choose the correct words very carefully (humanly speaking), but the calmness and presence of mind to do that would be shattered by the overwhelming terror of God’s presence.
- Job 9:14 tn The verb is supplied in this line.
- Job 9:14 tn The preposition אִם (ʾim, “with”) carries the idea of “in contest with” in a number of passages (compare vv. 2, 3; 16:21).
- Job 9:14 tn The LXX goes a different way after changing the first person to the third: “Oh then that he would hearken to me, or judge my cause.”
- Job 9:15 tn The line begins with אֲשֶׁר (ʾasher, “which”), which is omitted in the LXX and the Syriac. The particle אִם (ʾim) can introduce a concessive clause (GKC 498 §160.a) or a conditional clause (GKC 495 §159.n). The idea here seems to be “even if I were…I could not….”
- Job 9:15 tn The verb is צָדַקְתִּי (tsadaqti, “I am right [or “righteous”]”). The term here must be forensic, meaning “in the right” or “innocent” (see 11:2; 13:18; 33:12; 40:8). Job is claiming to be in the right, but still has difficulty speaking to God.
- Job 9:15 tn The form is the Qal imperfect of the verb “answer.” As the text stands, Job is saying that he cannot answer or could not answer (contend with) God if given a chance. Some commentators think a Niphal fits better here: “I am not answered,” meaning God does not reply to him. This has the LXX, the Syriac, and Theodotion in support of it. The advantage would be to avoid the repetition of the same word from v. 14. But others rightly reject this, because all Job is saying here is that he would be too overwhelmed by God to answer him in court. The LXX change to a passive is understandable in that it would be seeking a different idea in this verse and without vocalization might have assumed a passive voice here.
- Job 9:15 tn The verb אֶתְחַנָּן (ʾetkhannan) is the Hitpael of חָנַן (khanan), meaning “seek favor,” make supplication,” or “plead for mercy.” The nuance would again be a modal nuance; if potential, then the translation would be “I could [only] plead for mercy.”
- Job 9:15 tn The word מְשֹׁפְטִי (meshofeti) appears to be simply “my judge.” But most modern interpretations take the Poel participle to mean “my adversary in a court of law.” Others argue that the form is at least functioning as a noun and means “judge” (see 8:5). This would fit better with the idea of appealing for mercy from God. The dilemma of Job, of course, is that the Lord would be both his adversary in the case and his judge.
- Job 9:16 sn The idea of “answer” in this line is that of responding to the summons, i.e., appearing in court. This preterite and the perfect before it have the nuance of hypothetical perfects since they are in conditional clauses (GKC 330 §111.x). D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 219) translates literally, “If I should call and he should answer.”
- Job 9:16 tn The Hiphil imperfect in the apodosis of this conditional sentence expresses what would (not) happen if God answered the summons.
- Job 9:17 tn The relative pronoun indicates that this next section is modifying God, the Judge. Job does not believe that God would respond or listen to him, because this is the one who is crushing him.
- Job 9:17 tn The verb יְשׁוּפֵנִי (yeshufeni) is the same verb that is used in Gen 3:15 for the wounding of the serpent. The Targum to Job, the LXX, and the Vulgate all translate it “to crush; to pound,” or “to bruise.” The difficulty for many exegetes is that this is to be done “with a tempest.” The Syriac and Targum Job see a different vocalization and read “with a hair.” The text as it stands is understandable and so no change is needed. The fact that the word “tempest” is written with a different sibilant in other places in Job is not greatly significant in this consideration.
- Job 9:17 tn חִנָּם (khinnam) is adverbial, meaning “gratuitously, without a cause, for no reason, undeservedly.” See its use in 2:4.
- Job 9:18 tn The verb נָתַן (natan) essentially means “to give,” but followed by the infinitive (without the ל [lamed] here) it means “to permit; to allow.”
- Job 9:18 tn The Hiphil of the verb means “to bring back”; with the object “my breath,” it means “get my breath” or simply “breathe.” The infinitive is here functioning as the object of the verb (see GKC 350 §114.m).
- Job 9:18 sn The meaning of the word is “to satiate; to fill,” as in “drink to the full, be satisfied.” Job is satiated—in the negative sense—with bitterness. There is no room for more.
- Job 9:19 tn The MT has only “if of strength.”
- Job 9:19 tn “Most certainly” translates the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh).
- Job 9:19 tn The question could be taken as “who will summon me?” (see Jer 49:19 and 50:44). This does not make immediate sense. Some have simply changed the suffix to “who will summon him.” If the MT is retained, then supplying something like “he will say” could make the last clause fit the whole passage. Another option is to take it as “Who will reveal it to me?”—i.e., Job could be questioning his friends’ qualifications for being God’s emissaries to bring God’s charges against him (cf. KJV, NKJV; and see 10:2 where Job uses the same verb in the Hiphil to request that God reveal what his sin has been that has led to his suffering).sn Job is saying that whether it is a trial of strength or an appeal to justice, he is unable to go against God.
- Job 9:20 tn The idea is the same as that expressed in v. 15, although here the imperfect verb is used and not the perfect. Once again with the concessive clause (“although I am right”) Job knows that in a legal dispute he would be confused and would end up arguing against himself.
- Job 9:20 tn Some commentators wish to change this to “his mouth,” meaning God’s response to Job’s complaints. But the MT is far more expressive, and “my mouth” fits the context in which Job is saying that even though he is innocent, if he spoke in a court setting in the presence of God he would be overwhelmed, confused, and no doubt condemn himself.
- Job 9:20 tn The verb has the declarative sense in the Hiphil, “to declare guilty [or wicked]” or “to condemn.”
- Job 9:20 tn The verb עָקַשׁ (ʿaqash) means “to be twisted; to be tortuous.” The Piel has a meaning “to bend; to twist” (Mic 3:9) and “to pervert” (Isa 59:8). The form here is classified as a Hiphil, with the softening of the vowel i (see GKC 147 §53.n). It would then also be a declarative use of the Hiphil.
- Job 9:21 tn Dhorme, in an effort to avoid tautology, makes this a question: “Am I blameless?” The next clause then has Job answering that he does not know. But through the last section Job has been proclaiming his innocence. The other way of interpreting these verses is to follow NIV and make all of them hypothetical (“If I were blameless, he would pronounce me guilty”) and then come to this verse with Job saying, “I am blameless.” The second clause of this verse does not fit either view very well. In vv. 20, 21, and 22 Job employs the same term for “blameless” (תָּם, tam) as in the prologue (1:1). God used it to describe Job in 1:8 and 2:3. Bildad used it in 8:20. These are the final occurrences in the book.
- Job 9:21 tn The meaning of the expression “I do not know myself” seems to be, “I do not care.” NIV translates it, “I have no concern for my life.”sn Job believes he is blameless and not deserving of all this suffering; he will hold fast to that claim, even if the future is uncertain, especially if that future involved a confrontation with God.
- Job 9:22 tc The LXX omits the phrase “It is all one.” Modern scholars either omit it or transpose it for clarity.sn The expression “it is one” means that God’s dealings with people are indiscriminating. The number “one” could also be taken to mean “the same”—“it is all the same.” The implication is that it does not matter if Job is good or evil, if he lives or dies. This is the conclusion of the preceding section.
- Job 9:22 tn The relationships of these clauses is in some question. Some think that the poet has inverted the first two, and so they should read, “That is why I have said: ‘It is all one.’” Others would take the third clause to be what was said.
- Job 9:23 tc The LXX contains a paraphrase: “for the worthless die, but the righteous are laughed to scorn.”sn The point of these verses is to show—rather boldly—that God does not distinguish between the innocent and the guilty.
- Job 9:23 sn This bold anthropomorphism means that by his treatment of the despair of the innocent, God is in essence mocking them.
- Job 9:23 tn The term מַסַּת (massat), a hapax legomenon, was translated “trial” in the older versions, but it is not from נָסָה (nasah, “to tempt; to test; to try”); instead it is from מָסַס (masas, “to flow”). It is used in the Niphal to speak of the heart “melting” in suffering. So the idea behind this image is that of despair. This is the view that most interpreters adopt; it requires no change of the text whatsoever.
- Job 9:23 sn Job uses this word to refute Eliphaz; cf. 4:7.
- Job 9:24 tn Some would render this “earth,” meaning the whole earth, and having the verse be a general principle for all mankind. But Job may have in mind the more specific issue of individual land.
- Job 9:24 sn The details of the verse are not easy to explain, but the meaning of the whole verse seems to be about the miscarriage of justice in the courts and the failure of God to do anything about it.
- Job 9:24 tn The subject of the verb is God. The reasoning goes this way: It is the duty of judges to make sure that justice prevails and that restitution and restoration are carried through, but when the wicked gain control of the land of other people and the judges are ineffective to stop it, then God must be veiling their eyes.
- Job 9:24 sn That these words are strong, if not wild, is undeniable. But Job is only taking the implications of his friends’ speeches to their logical conclusion—if God dispenses justice in the world, and there is no justice, then God is behind it all. The LXX omitted these words, perhaps out of reverence for God.
- Job 9:24 tn This seems to be a broken-off sentence (anacoluthon), and so is rather striking. The scribes transposed the words אֵפוֹא (ʾefoʾ) and הוּא (huʾ) to make the smoother reading: “If it is not he, who then is it?”
- Job 9:25 tn The text has “and my days” following the thoughts in the previous section.
- Job 9:25 sn Job returns to the thought of the brevity of his life (7:6). But now the figure is the swift runner instead of the weaver’s shuttle.
- Job 9:26 tn Heb “they flee.”
- Job 9:26 tn The word אֵבֶה (ʾeveh) means “reed, papyrus,” but it is a different word than was in 8:11. What is in view here is a light boat made from bundles of papyrus that glides swiftly along the Nile (cf. Isa 18:2 where papyrus vessels and swiftness are associated).
- Job 9:26 tn The verb יָטוּשׂ (yatus) is also a hapax legomenon; the Aramaic cognate means “to soar; to hover in flight.” The sentence here requires the idea of swooping down while in flight.
- Job 9:26 tn Heb “food.”
- Job 9:27 tn The construction here uses the infinitive construct with a pronominal suffix—“if my saying” is this, or “if I say.” For the conditional clause using אִם (ʾim) with a noun clause, see GKC 496 §159.u.
- Job 9:27 tn The verbal form is a cohortative of resolve: “I will forget” or “I am determined to forget.” The same will be used in the second colon of the verse.
- Job 9:27 tn Heb “I will abandon my face,” i.e., change my expression. The construction here is unusual; G. R. Driver connected it to an Arabic word ʿadaba, “made agreeable” (IV), and so interpreted this line to mean “make my countenance pleasant” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 : 76). M. Dahood found a Ugaritic root meaning “make, arrange” (“The Root ʿzb II in Job,” JBL 78 : 303-9), and said, “I will arrange my face.” But see H. G. Williamson, “A Reconsideration of ʿazab II in Ugaritic,” ZAW 87 (1985): 74-85; Williamson shows it is probably not a legitimate cognate. D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 219) observes that with all these suggestions there are too many homonyms for the root. The MT construction is still plausible.
- Job 9:27 tn In the Hiphil of בָּלַג (balag) corresponds to Arabic balija which means “to shine” and “to be merry.” The shining face would signify cheerfulness and smiling. It could be translated “and brighten [my face].”
- Job 9:28 tn The word was used in Job 3:25; it has the idea of “dread, fear, tremble at.” The point here is that even if Job changes his appearance, he still dreads the sufferings, because he knows that God is treating him as a criminal.
- Job 9:28 sn See Job 7:15; see also the translation by G. Perles, “I tremble in every nerve” (“The Fourteenth Edition of Gesenius-Buhl’s Dictionary,” JQR 18 [1905/06]: 383-90).
- Job 9:28 tn The conjunction “for” is supplied in the translation.
- Job 9:28 sn A. B. Davidson (Job, 73) appropriately notes that Job’s afflictions were the proof of his guilt in the estimation of God. If God held him innocent, he would remove the afflictions.
- Job 9:29 tn The clause simply has “I am guilty.” It is the same type of construction found in v. 24. It is also the opposite of that in v. 20. GKC 317 §107.n lists this as an example of the use of the imperfect to express an obligation or necessity according to the judgment of others; it would therefore mean “if I am to be guilty.”
- Job 9:29 tn The demonstrative pronoun is included to bring particular emphasis to the question, as if to say, “Why in the world…” (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 24, §118).
- Job 9:29 tn The verb means “tire oneself”; see 3:17.
- Job 9:29 tn Here הֶבֶל (hevel, “breath, vapor, vanity”) is used as an adverb (adverbial accusative).
- Job 9:30 tn The Syriac and Targum Job read with the Qere “with water of [בְמֵי, veme] snow.” The Kethib simply has “in [בְמוֹ, vemo] snow.” In Ps 51:9 and Isa 1:18 snow forms a simile for purification. Some protest that snow water is not necessarily clean, but if fresh melting snow is meant, then the runoff would be very clear. The image would work well here. Nevertheless, others have followed the later Hebrew meaning for שֶׁלֶג (sheleg)—“soap” (so NIV, NRSV, NLT). Even though that makes a nice parallelism, it is uncertain whether that meaning was in use at the time this text was written.
- Job 9:30 tn The word בֹּר (bor, “lye, potash”) does not refer to purity (Syriac, KJV, ASV), but refers to the ingredient used to make the hands pure or clean. It has the same meaning as בֹּרִית (borit), the alkali or soda made from the ashes of certain plants.
- Job 9:31 tn The pointing in the MT gives the meaning “pit” or “ditch.” A number of expositors change the pointing to שֻׁחוֹת (shukhot) to obtain the equivalent of שֻׂחוֹת (sukhot) / סֻחוֹת (sukhot): “filth” (Isa 5:25). This would make the contrast vivid—Job has just washed with pure water and soap, and now God plunges him into filth. M. H. Pope argues convincingly that the word “pit” in the MT includes the idea of “filth,” making the emendation unnecessary (“The Word sahat in Job 9:31, ” JBL 83 : 269-78).
- Job 9:32 tn The personal pronoun that would be expected as the subject of a noun clause is sometimes omitted (see GKC 360 §116.s). Here it has been supplied.
- Job 9:32 tn The consecutive clause is here attached without the use of the ו (vav), but only by simple juxtaposition (see GKC 504-5 §166.a).
- Job 9:32 tn The sense of the verb “come” with “together in judgment” means “to confront one another in court.” See Ps 143:2.
- Job 9:33 tn The participle מוֹכִיחַ (mokhiakh) is the “arbiter” or “mediator.” The word comes from the verb יָכַח (yakhakh, “decide, judge”), which is concerned with legal and nonlegal disputes. The verbal forms can be used to describe the beginning of a dispute, the disputation in progress, or the settling of it (here, and in Isa 1:18).sn The old translation of “daysman” came from a Latin expression describing the fixing of a day for arbitration.
- Job 9:33 tn The relative pronoun is understood in this clause.
- Job 9:33 tn The jussive in conditional sentences retains its voluntative sense: let something be so, and this must happen as a consequence (see GKC 323 §109.i).
- Job 9:33 sn The idiom of “lay his hand on the two of us” may come from a custom of a judge putting his hands on the two in order to show that he is taking them both under his jurisdiction. The expression can also be used for protection (see Ps 139:5). Job, however, has a problem in that the other party is God, who himself will be arbiter in judgment.
- Job 9:34 tn The verse probably continues the description from the last verse, and so a relative pronoun may be supplied here as well.
- Job 9:34 tn According to some, the reference of this suffix would be to God. The arbiter would remove the rod of God from Job. But others take it as a separate sentence with God removing his rod.
- Job 9:34 sn The “rod” is a symbol of the power of God to decree whatever judgments and afflictions fall upon people.
- Job 9:34 tn “His terror” is metonymical; it refers to the awesome majesty of God that overwhelms Job and causes him to be afraid.
- Job 9:35 tn There is no conjunction with this cohortative, but the implication from the context is that if God’s rod were withdrawn, if the terror were removed, then Job would speak up without fear.
- Job 9:35 tn The last half of the verse is rather cryptic: “but not so I with me.” NIV renders it “but as it now stands with me, I cannot.” This is very smooth and interpretive. Others transpose the two halves of the verse to read, “Since it is not so, I with myself // will commune and not fear him.” Job would be saying that since he cannot contend with God on equal terms, and since there is no arbiter, he will come on his own terms. English versions have handled this differently: “for I know I am not what I am thought to be” (NEB); “since this is not the case with me” (NAB); “I do not see myself like that at all” (JB).
- Job 10:1 tn The Hebrew has נַפְשִׁי (nafshi), usually rendered “my soul.”
- Job 10:1 tn The verb is pointed like a Qal form but is originally a Niphal from קוּט (qut). Some wish to connect the word to Akkadian cognates for a meaning “I am in anguish,” but the meaning “I am weary” fits the passage well.
- Job 10:1 tn The verb עָזַב (ʿazav) means “to abandon.” It may have an extended meaning of “to let go” or “to let slip.” But the expression “abandon to myself” means to abandon all restraint and give free course to the complaint.
- Job 10:2 tn The negated jussive is the Hiphil jussive of רָשַׁע (rashaʿ); its meaning then would be literally “do not declare me guilty.” The negated jussive stresses the immediacy of the request.
- Job 10:2 tn The Hiphil imperative of יָדַע (yadaʿ) would more literally be “cause me to know.” It is a plea for God to help him understand the afflictions.
- Job 10:2 tn The verb is רִיב (riv), meaning “to dispute; to contend; to strive; to quarrel”—often in the legal sense. The precise words chosen in this verse show that the setting is legal. The imperfect verb here is progressive, expressing what is currently going on.
- Job 10:3 tn Or “Does it give you pleasure?” The expression could also mean, “Is it profitable for you?” or “Is it fitting for you?”
- Job 10:3 tn The construction uses כִּי (ki) with the imperfect verb—“that you oppress.” Technically, this clause serves as the subject, and “good” is the predicate adjective. In such cases one often uses an English infinitive to capture the point: “Is it good for you to oppress?” The LXX changes the meaning considerably: “Is it good for you if I am unrighteous, for you have disowned the work of your hands.”
- Job 10:3 tn Heb “that you despise.”
- Job 10:3 tn Now, in the second half of the verse, there is a change in the structure. The conjunction on the preposition followed by the perfect verb represents a circumstantial clause.
- Job 10:3 tn The Hiphil of the verb יָפַע (yafaʿ) means “shine.” In this context the expression “you shine upon” would mean “have a glowing expression,” be radiant, or smile.
- Job 10:4 tn Here “flesh” is the sign of humanity. The expression “eyes of flesh” means essentially “human eyes,” i.e., the outlook and vision of humans.
- Job 10:4 sn The verb translated “see” could also include the figurative category of perceive as well. The answer to Job’s question is found in 1 Sam 16:7: “The Lord sees not as a man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
- Job 10:4 sn In this verse Job asks whether or not God is liable to making mistakes or errors of judgment. He wonders if God has no more insight than his friends have. Of course, the questions are rhetorical, for he knows otherwise. But his point is that God seems to be making a big mistake here.
- Job 10:5 tn The Hebrew has repeated here “like the days of,” but some scholars think that this was an accidental replacement of what should be here, namely, “like the years of.” D. J. A. Clines notes that such repetition is not uncommon in Job, but suggests that the change should be made for English style even if the text is not emended (Job [WBC], 221). This has been followed in the present translation.sn The question Job asks concerns the mode of life and not just the length of it (see Job 7:1). Humans spend their days and years watching each other and defending themselves. But there is also the implication that if God is so limited like humans he may not uncover Job’s sins before he dies.
- Job 10:6 tn The clause seems to go naturally with v. 4: do you have eyes of flesh…that you have to investigate? For that reason some like Duhm would delete v. 5. But v. 5 adds to the premise: are you also like a human running out of time that you must try to find out my sin?
- Job 10:6 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse are best given modal nuances. Does God have such limitations that he must make such an investigation? H. H. Rowley observes that Job implies that God has not yet found the iniquity, or extracted a confession from him (Job [NCBC], 84).
- Job 10:7 tn Heb עַל־דַּעְתְּךָ (ʿal daʿtekha, “upon your knowledge”). The use of the preposition means basically “in addition to your knowledge,” or “in spite of your knowledge,” i.e., “notwithstanding” or “although” (see GKC 383 §119.aa, n. 2).
- Job 10:7 tn Heb “and there is no deliverer.”sn The fact is that humans are the work of God’s hands. They are helpless in the hand of God. But it is also unworthy of God to afflict his people.
- Job 10:8 tn The root עָצַב (ʿatsav) is linked by some to an Arabic word meaning “to cut out, hew.” The derived word עֲצַבִּים (ʿatsabbim) means “idols.” Whatever the precise meaning, the idea is that God formed or gave shape to mankind in creation.
- Job 10:8 tn The verb in this part is a preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive. However, here it has merely an external connection with the preceding perfects, so that in reality it presents an antithesis (see GKC 327 §111.e).
- Job 10:8 tn Heb “together round about and you destroy me.” The second half of this verse is very difficult. Most commentators follow the LXX and connect the first two words with the second colon as the MT accents indicate (NJPS, “then destroyed every part of me”), rather than with the first colon (“and made me complete,” J. E. Hartley, Job [NICOT], 185). Instead of “together” some read “after.” Others see in סָבִיב (saviv) not so much an adjectival use but a verbal or adverbial use: “you turn and destroy” or “you destroy utterly (all around).” This makes more sense than “turn.” In addition, the verb form in the line is the preterite with vav consecutive; this may be another example of the transposition of the copula (see 4:6). For yet another option (“You have engulfed me about altogether”), see R. Fuller, “Exodus 21:22: The Miscarriage Interpretation and the Personhood of the Fetus,” JETS 37 (1994): 178.
- Job 10:9 tn The preposition “like” creates a small tension here. So some ignore the preposition and read “clay” as an adverbial accusative of the material (GKC 371 §117.hh but cf. 379 §119.i with reference to beth essentiae: “as it were, by clay”). The NIV gets around the problem with a different meaning for the verb: “you molded me like clay.” Some suggest the meaning was “as [with] clay” (in the same manner that we have “as [in] the day of Midian” [Isa 9:4]).
- Job 10:9 tn The text has a conjunction: “and to dust….”
- Job 10:10 tn The verb נָתַךְ (natakh) means “to flow,” and in the Hiphil, “to cause to flow.”
- Job 10:10 tn This verb קָפָא (qafaʾ) means “to coagulate.” In the Hiphil it means “to stiffen; to congeal.”
- Job 10:10 tn The verbs in v. 10 are prefixed conjugations; since the reference is to the womb, these would need to be classified as preterites. sn These verses figuratively describe the formation of the embryo in the womb.
- Job 10:11 tn The skin and flesh form the exterior of the body and so the image of “clothing” is appropriate. Once again the verb is the prefixed conjugation, expressing what God did.
- Job 10:11 tn This verb is found only here (related nouns are common) and in the parallel passage of Ps 139:13. The word סָכַךְ (sakhakh), here a Poel prefixed conjugation (preterite), means “to knit together.” The implied comparison is that the bones and sinews form the tapestry of the person (compare other images of weaving the life).
- Job 10:12 tn Heb “you made with me.”
- Job 10:12 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 150) suggests that the relation between these two words is like a hendiadys. In other words, “life,” which he says is made prominent by the shift of the copula, specifies the nature of the grace. He renders it “the favor of life.” D. J. A. Clines at least acknowledges that the expression “you showed loyal love with me” is primary. There are many other attempts to improve the translation of this unusual combination.
- Job 10:12 tn The noun פְּקֻדָּה (pequddah), originally translated “visitation,” actually refers to any divine intervention for blessing on the life. Here it would include the care and overseeing of the life of Job. “Providence” may be too general for the translation, but it is not far from the meaning of this line. The LXX has “your oversight.”
- Job 10:13 sn “These things” refers to the affliction that God had brought on Job. They were concealed by God from the beginning.
- Job 10:13 sn The meaning of the line is that this was God’s purpose all along. “These things” and “this” refer to the details that will now be given in the next few verses.
- Job 10:13 sn The contradiction between how God had provided for and cared for Job’s life and how he was now dealing with him could only be resolved by Job with the supposition that God had planned this severe treatment from the first as part of his plan.
- Job 10:15 sn The verbs “guilty” and “innocent” are actually the verbs “I am wicked,” and “I am righteous.”
- Job 10:15 tn The exclamation occurs only here and in Mic 7:1.
- Job 10:15 sn The action of lifting up the head is a symbol of pride and honor and self-respect (Judg 8:28)—like “hold your head high.” In 11:15 the one who is at peace with God lifts his head (face).
- Job 10:15 tn The expression שְׂבַע קָלוֹן (sevaʿ qalon) may be translated “full of shame.” The expression literally means “sated of ignominy” (or contempt [קַלַל, qalal]).
- Job 10:15 tn The last clause is difficult to fit into the verse. It translates easily enough: “and see my affliction.” Many commentators follow the suggestion of Geiger to read רְוֶה (reveh, “watered with”) instead of רְאֵה (reʾeh, “see”). This could then be interpreted adjectivally and parallel to the preceding line: “steeped/saturated with affliction.” This would also delete the final yod as dittography (E. Dhorme, Job, 152). But D. J. A. Clines notes more recent interpretations that suggest the form in the text is an orthographic variant of raweh meaning “satiated.” This makes any emendation unnecessary (and in fact that idea of “steeped” was not helpful any way because it indicated imbibing rather than soaking). The NIV renders it “and drowned in my affliction” although footnoting the other possibility from the MT, “aware of my affliction” (assuming the form could be adjectival). The LXX omits the last line.
- Job 10:16 tn The MT has the third person of the verb, “and he lifts himself up.” One might assume that the subject is “my head”—but that is rather far removed from the verb. It appears that Job is talking about himself in some way. Some commentators simply emend the text to make it first person. This has the support of Targum Job, which would be expected since it would be interpreting the passage in its context (see D. M. Stec, “The Targum Rendering of WYG’H in Job X 16, ” VT 34 : 367-8). Pope and Gordis make the word adjectival, modifying the subject: “proudly you hunt me,” but support is lacking. E. Dhorme thinks the line should be parallel to the two preceding it, and so suggests יָגֵּעַ (yageaʿ, “exhausted”) for יִגְאֶה (yigʾeh, “lift up”). The contextual argument is that Job has said that he cannot raise his head, but if he were to do so, God would hunt him down. God could be taken as the subject of the verb if the text is using enallage (shifting of grammatical persons within a discourse) for dramatic effect. Perhaps the initial third person was intended with respect within a legal context of witnesses and a complaint, but was switched to second person for direct accusation.
- Job 10:16 sn There is some ambiguity here: Job could be the lion being hunted by God, or God could be hunting Job like a lion hunts its prey. The point of the line is clear in either case.
- Job 10:16 tn The text uses two verbs without a coordinating conjunction: “then you return, you display your power.” This should be explained as a verbal hendiadys, the first verb serving adverbially in the clause (see further GKC 386-87 §120.g).
- Job 10:16 tn The form is the Hitpael of פָּלָא (palaʾ, “to be wonderful; to be surpassing; to be extraordinary”). Here in this stem it has the sense of “make oneself admirable, surpassing” or “render oneself powerful, glorious.” The text is ironic; the word that described God’s marvelous creation of Job is here used to describe God’s awesome destruction of Job.
- Job 10:17 tn The text has “you renew/increase your witnesses.” This would probably mean Job’s sufferings, which were witness to his sins. But some suggested a different word here, one that is cognate to Arabic ʾadiya, “to be an enemy; to be hostile”: thus “you renew your hostility against me.” Less convincing are suggestions that the word is cognate to Ugaritic “troops” (see W. G. E. Watson, “The Metaphor in 10, 17, ” Bib 63 : 255-57).
- Job 10:17 tn The Hebrew simply says “changes and a host are with me.” The “changes and a host” is taken as a hendiadys, meaning relieving troops (relief troops of the army). The two words appear together again in 14:14, showing that emendation is to be avoided. The imagery depicts blow after blow from God—always fresh attacks.
- Job 10:18 tn The two imperfect verbs in this section are used to stress regrets for something which did not happen (see GKC 317 §107.n).
- Job 10:19 sn This means “If only I had never come into existence.”
- Job 10:20 tn Heb “are not my days few; cease/let it cease….” The versions have “the days of my life” (reading יְמֵי חֶלְדִּי [yeme kheldi] instead of יָמַי וַחֲדָל [yamay vakhadal]). Many commentators and the RSV, NAB, and NRSV accept this reading. The Kethib is an imperfect or jussive, “let it cease/ it will cease.” The Qere is more intelligible for some interpreters—“cease” (as in 7:16). For a discussion of the readings, see D. W. Thomas, “Some Observations on the Hebrew Root הדל,” VTSup 4 : 14). But the text is not impossible as it stands.
- Job 10:20 tn Taking the form as the imperative with the ו (vav), the sentence follows the direct address to God (as in v. 18 as well as 7:16). This requires less changes. See the preceding note regarding the plausibility of the jussive. The point of the verse is clear in either reading—his life is short, and he wants the suffering to stop.
- Job 10:20 tn In the different suggestions for the line, the י (yod) of this word is believed to belong to the preceding word making “my life.” That would here leave an imperative rather than an imperfect. But if the Qere is read, then it would be an imperative anyway, and there would be no reason for the change.
- Job 10:20 tn Heb “put from me,” an expression found nowhere else. The Qere has a ו (vav) and not a י (yod), forming an imperative rather than an imperfect. H. H. Rowley suggests that there is an ellipsis here, “hand” needing to be supplied. Job wanted God to take his hand away from him. That is plausible, but difficult.
- Job 10:20 tn The verb בָּלַג (balag) in the Hiphil means “to have cheer [or joy]” (see 9:27; Ps 39:14 HT [39:13 ET]). The cohortative following the imperatives shows the purpose or result—“in order that.”
- Job 10:21 sn The verbs are simple, “I go” and “I return,” but Job clearly means before he dies. A translation of “depart” comes closer to communicating this. The second verb may be given a potential imperfect translation to capture the point. The NIV offered more of an interpretive paraphrase: “before I go to the place of no return.”
- Job 10:21 tn See Job 3:5.
- Job 10:22 tn The word סֵדֶר (seder, “order”) occurs only here in the Bible. G. R. Driver found a new meaning in Arabic sadira, “dazzled by the glare” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 : 76-77); this would mean “without a ray of light.” This is accepted by those who see chaos out of place in this line. But the word “order” is well attested in later Hebrew (see J. Carmignac, “Précisions aportées au vocabulaire d’hébreu biblique par La guerre des fils de lumière contre les fils de ténèbres,” VT 5 : 345-65).
- Job 10:22 tn The Hebrew word literally means “it shines”; the feminine verb implies a subject like “the light” (but see GKC 459 §144.c).
- Job 10:22 tn The verse multiplies images for the darkness in death. Several commentators omit “as darkness, deep darkness” (כְּמוֹ אֹפֶל צַלְמָוֶת, kemo ʾofel tsalmavet) as glosses on the rare word עֵיפָתָה (ʿefatah, “darkness”) drawn from v. 21 (see also RSV). The verse literally reads: “[to the] land of darkness, like the deep darkness of the shadow of death, without any order, and the light is like the darkness.”
- Job 11:1 sn Zophar begins with a strong rebuke of Job with a wish that God would speak (2-6); he then reflects for a few verses on the unsearchable wisdom of God (7-12); and finally, he advises Job that the way to restoration is repentance (13-20).
- Job 11:2 tc The LXX, Targum Job, Symmachus, and Vulgate all assume that the vocalization of רֹב (rov, “abundance”) should be רַב (rav, “great”): “great of words.” This would then mean “one who is abundant of words,” meaning, “a man of many words,” and make a closer parallel to the second half. But the MT makes good sense as it stands.tn There is no article or demonstrative with the word; it has been added here simply to make a smoother connection between the chapters.
- Job 11:2 tn The Niphal verb יֵעָנֶה (yeʿaneh, “he answered”) would normally require a personal subject, but “abundance” functions as the subject in this sentence. The nuance of the imperfect is obligatory.
- Job 11:2 tn The word is supplied here also for clarification.
- Job 11:2 tn The bound construction “man of lips” means “a boaster” or “proud talker” (attributive genitive; and see GKC 417 §128.t). Zophar is saying that Job pours out this stream of words, but he is still not right.
- Job 11:2 tn The word is literally “be right, righteous.” The idea of being right has appeared before for this word (cf. 9:15). The point here is that just because Job talks a lot does not mean he is right or will be shown to be right through it all.
- Job 11:3 tn This Hiphil verb comes from the stative root חָרַשׁ (kharash, “to be silent/deaf”). As typical of stative roots in the Hiphil it means to act in the character of the state described by the root (its basic meaning expressed in the Qal stem). Most translations (e.g. KJV, NRSV, NASB, NIV, ESV) treat the verb as if it were a dynamic root and translate causatively, e.g. “will your boasts put men to silence?” HALOT classifies most Hiphils of this root correctly with meanings like “to keep silent, to fall silent, pretend to be deaf,” but makes the mistake of including a causative “reduce to silence” for this verse (HALOT 358 s.v. II חרשׁ). Like the two preceding lines, the first noun of this line (בַּד, bad, “loose talk, boasting”) is the object of the verb, while the interrogative continues to be implied from 11:2a. Recognizing this, the subject of the verb is “people” and the verb behaves normally and uniformly in all of its Hiphil occurrences.
- Job 11:3 tn The word means “chatter, pratings, boastings” (see Isa 16:6; Jer 48:30).
- Job 11:3 tn The form מַכְלִם (makhlim, “humiliating, mocking”) is the Hiphil participle. The verb כָּלַם (kalam) has the meaning “cover with shame, insult” (Job 20:3).
- Job 11:3 tn The construction shows the participle to be in the circumstantial clause: “will you mock—and [with] no one rebuking.”
- Job 11:4 tn The word translated “teaching” is related etymologically to the Hebrew word “receive,” but that does not restrict the teaching to what is received.
- Job 11:5 tn The wish formula מִי־יִתֵּן (mi yitten, “who will give”; see GKC 477 §151.b) is followed here by an infinitive (Exod 16:3; 2 Sam 19:1).
- Job 11:5 sn Job had expressed his eagerness to challenge God; Zophar here wishes that God would take up that challenge.
- Job 11:6 tn The text seems to be saying “that it [wisdom] is double in understanding.” The point is that it is different than Job conceived it—it far exceeded all perception. But some commentators have thought this still too difficult, and so have replaced the word כִפְלַיִם (khiflayim, “two sides”) with כִפְלָאִים (khiflaʾim, “like wonders,” or, more simply, “wonders” without the preposition). But it is still a little strange to talk about God’s wisdom being like wonders. Others have had more radical changes in the text; J. J. Slotki has “for sound wisdom is his. And know that double [punishment] shall God exact of you” (“Job 11:6, ” VT 35 : 229-30).
- Job 11:6 tn The verb is the imperative with a ו (vav). Following the jussive, this clause would be subordinated to the preceding (see GKC 325 §110.i).
- Job 11:6 tn Heb “God causes to be forgotten for you part of your iniquity.” The meaning is that God was exacting less punishment from Job than Job deserved, for Job could not remember all his sins. This statement is fitting for Zophar, who is the cruelest of Job’s friends (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 88). Others in an attempt to improve the text make too many unwarranted changes. Some would read יִשְׁאָלְךָ (yishʾalekha, “he asks of you”) instead of יַשֶּׂה לְךָ (yasseh lekha, “he causes to be forgotten for you”). This would mean that God demands an account of Job’s sin. But, as D. J. A. Clines says, this change is weak and needless (Job [WBC], 254-55).
- Job 11:7 tn The verb is מָצָא (matsaʾ, “to find; to discover”). Here it should be given the nuance of potential imperfect. In the rhetorical question it is affirming that Job cannot find out the essence of God.
- Job 11:7 tn The word means “search; investigation,” but it here means what is discovered in the search (so a metonymy of cause for the effect).
- Job 11:7 tn The same verb is now found in the second half of the verse, with a slightly different sense—“attain, reach.” A. R. Ceresko notes this as an example of antanaclasis (repetition of a word with a slightly different sense—“find/attain”). See “The Function of Antanaclasis in Hebrew Poetry,” CBQ 44 (1982): 560-61.
- Job 11:7 tn The abstract תַּכְלִית (takhlit) from כָּלָה (kalah, “to be complete; to be perfect”) may mean the end or limit of something, perhaps to perfection. So the NIV has “can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” The LXX has: “have you come to the end of that which the Almighty has made?”
- Job 11:8 tn The Hebrew says “heights of heaven, what can you do?” A. B. Davidson suggested this was an exclamation and should be left that way. But most commentators will repoint גָּבְהֵי שָׁמַיִם (govhe shamayim, “heights of heaven”) to גְּבֹהָה מִשָּׁמַיִם (gevohah mishamayim, “higher than the heavens”) to match the parallel expression. The LXX may have rearranged the text: “heaven is high.”
- Job 11:8 tn Or “deeper than hell.” The word “Sheol” always poses problems for translation. Here because it is the opposite of heaven in this merism, “hell” would be a legitimate translation. It refers to the realm of the dead—the grave and beyond. The language is excessive, but the point is that God’s wisdom is immeasurable—and Job is powerless before it.
- Job 11:10 tn The verb יַחֲלֹף (yakhalof) is literally “passes by/through” (NIV “comes along” in the sense of “if it should so happen”). Many accept the emendation to יַחְתֹּף (yakhtof, “he seizes,” cf. Gordis, Driver), but there is not much support for these.
- Job 11:10 tn The verb is the Hiphil of סָגַר (sagar, “to close; to shut”) and so here in this context it probably means something like “to shut in; to confine.” But this is a difficult meaning, and the sentence is cryptic. E. Dhorme (Job, 162) thinks this word and the next have to be antithetical, and so he suggests from a meaning “to keep confined” the idea of keeping a matter secret; and with the next verb, “to convene an assembly,” he offers “to divulge it.”
- Job 11:10 tn The pronoun “you” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation.
- Job 11:10 tn The denominative Hiphil of קָהָל (qahal, “an assembly”) has the idea of “to convene an assembly.” In this context there would be the legal sense of convening a court, i.e., calling Job to account (D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 255). See E. Ullendorff, “The Meaning of QHLT,” VT 12 (1962): 215; he defines the verb also as “argue, rebuke.”
- Job 11:10 tn The verb means “turn him back.” Zophar uses Job’s own words (see 9:12).
- Job 11:11 tn The pronoun is emphatic. Zophar implies that God indeed knows Job’s sin even if Job does not.
- Job 11:11 tn The expression is literally “men of emptiness” (see Ps 26:4). These are false men, for שָׁוְא (shavʾ) can mean “vain, empty, or false, deceitful.”
- Job 11:11 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 162) reads the prepositional phrase “to him” rather than the negative; he translates the line as “he sees iniquity and observes it closely.”
- Job 11:11 tn Some commentators do not take this last clause as a question, but simply as a statement, namely, that when God sees evil he does not need to ponder or consider it—he knows it instantly. In that case it would be a circumstantial clause: “without considering it.” D. J. A. Clines lists quite an array of other interpretations for the line (Job [WBC], 255); for example, “and he is himself unobserved”; taking the word לֹא (loʾ) as an emphatic; taking the negative as a noun, “considering them as nothing”; and others that change the verb to “they do not understand it.” But none of these are compelling; they offer no major improvement.
- Job 11:12 tn As A. B. Davidson (Job, 84) says, the one thing will happen when the other happens—which is never. The word “empty” (נָבוּב, navuv) means “hollow; witless,” and “become wise” (יִלָּבֵב, yillavev) is “will get heart” (not to “lack heart” as Driver suggested). Many commentators do not like the last line of the verse, and so offer even more emendations. E. F. Sutcliffe wanted to change פֶּרֶא (pereʾ, “donkey”) to פֶּרֶד (pered, “stallion”), rendering “a witless wight may get wit when a mule is born a stallion” (“Notes on Job, textual and exegetical,” Bib 30 : 70-71). Others approached the verse by changing the verb from יִוָּלֵד (yivvaled, “is born”) to יִלָּמֵד (yillamed, “is taught”), resulting in “a hollow man may get understanding, and a wild donkey’s colt may be taught [= tamed]” (cf. NAB).
- Job 11:13 tn The pronoun is emphatic, designed to put Job in a different class than the hollow men—at least to raise the possibility of his being in a different class.
- Job 11:13 tn The Hebrew uses the perfect of כּוּן (kun, “establish”) with the object “your heart.” The verb can be translated “prepare, fix, make firm” your heart. To fix the heart is to make it faithful and constant, the heart being the seat of the will and emotions. The use of the perfect here does not refer to the past, but should be given a future perfect sense—if you shall have fixed your heart, i.e., prove faithful. Job would have to make his heart secure, so that he was no longer driven about by differing views.
- Job 11:13 tn This half-verse is part of the protasis and not, as in the RSV, the apodosis to the first half. The series of “if” clauses will continue through these verses until v. 15.
- Job 11:13 sn This is the posture of prayer (see Isa 1:15). The expression means “spread out your palms,” probably meaning that the one praying would fall to his knees, put his forehead to the ground, and spread out his hands in front of him on the ground.
- Job 11:14 tn Verse 14 should be taken as a parenthesis and not a continuation of the protasis, because it does not fit with v. 13 in that way (D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 256).
- Job 11:14 tn Many commentators follow the Vulgate and read the line “if you put away the sin that is in your hand.” They do this because the imperative comes between the protasis (v. 13) and the apodosis (v. 15) and does not appear to be clearly part of the protasis. The idea is close to the MT, but the MT is much more forceful—if you find sin in your hand, get rid of it.
- Job 11:15 tn The absolute certainty of the statement is communicated with the addition of כִּי (ki). See GKC 498 §159.ee.
- Job 11:15 tn For this use of the preposition מִן (min) see GKC 382 §119.w.
- Job 11:15 tn The word “lift up” is chosen to recall Job’s statement that he could not lift up his head (10:15); the words “without spot” recall his words “filled with shame.” The sentence here says that he will lift up his face in innocence and show no signs of God’s anger on him.
- Job 11:15 tn The form מֻצָק (mutsaq) is a Hophal participle from יָצַק (yatsaq, “to pour”). The idea is that of metal being melted down and then poured to make a statue, and so hard, firm, solid. The LXX reads the verse, “for thus your face shall shine again, like pure water, and you shall divest yourself of uncleanness, and shall not fear.”
- Job 11:16 tn For a second time (see v. 13) Zophar employs the emphatic personal pronoun. Could he be providing a gentle reminder that Job might have forgotten the sin that has brought this trouble? After all, there will come a time when Job will not remember this time of trial.
- Job 11:16 sn It is interesting to note in the book that the resolution of Job’s trouble did not come in the way that Zophar prescribed it.
- Job 11:16 tn The perfect verb forms an abbreviated relative clause (without the pronoun) modifying “water.”
- Job 11:17 tn Some translations add the pronoun to make it specifically related to Job (“your life”), but this is not necessary. The word used here has the nuance of lasting life.
- Job 11:17 tn Heb “and more than the noonday life will arise.” The present translation is an interpretation in the context. The connotation of “arise” in comparison with the noonday, and in contrast with the darkness, supports the interpretation.
- Job 11:17 tn The form in the MT is the 3fsg imperfect verb, “[though] it be dark.” Most commentators revocalize the word to make it a noun (תְּעֻפָה, teʿufah), giving the meaning “the darkness [of your life] will be like the morning.” The contrast is with Job 10:22; here the darkness will shine like the morning.
- Job 11:18 tn The Hebrew verb means “to dig,” but this does not provide a good meaning for the verse. A. B. Davidson offers an interpretation of “search,” suggesting that before retiring at night Job would search and find everything in order. Some offer a better solution, namely, redefining the word on the basis of Arabic hafara, “to protect” and repointing it to וְחֻפַרְתָּ (vekhufarta, “you will be protected”). Other attempts to make sense of the line have involved the same process, but they are less convincing (for some of the more plausible proposals, see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 257).
- Job 11:19 tn The clause that reads “and there is no one making you afraid,” is functioning circumstantially here (see 5:4; 10:7).
- Job 11:19 tn Heb “they will stroke your face,” a picture drawn from the domestic scene of a child stroking the face of the parent. The verb is a Piel, meaning “stroke, make soft.” It is used in the Bible of seeking favor from God (supplication), but it may on the human level also mean seeking to sway people by flattery. See further D. R. Ap-Thomas, “Notes on Some Terms Relating to Prayer,” VT 6 (1956): 225-41.
- Job 11:20 tn The verb כָּלָה (kalah) means “to fail, cease, fade away.” The fading of the eyes, i.e., loss of sight, loss of life’s vitality, indicates imminent death.
- Job 11:20 tn Heb “a place of escape” (with this noun pattern). There is no place to escape to because they all perish.
- Job 11:20 tn The word is to be interpreted as a metonymy; it represents what is hoped for.
- Job 11:20 tn Heb “the breathing out of the soul”; cf. KJV, ASV “the giving up of the ghost.” The line is simply saying that the brightest hope that the wicked have is death.
- Job 12:1 sn This long speech of Job falls into three parts: in 12:2-25 Job expresses his resentment at his friends’ attitude of superiority and acknowledges the wisdom of God; then, in 13:1-28 Job expresses his determination to reason with God, expresses his scorn for his friends’ advice, and demands to know what his sins are; and finally, in 14:1-22 Job laments the brevity of life and the finality of death.
- Job 12:2 tn The expression “you are the people” is a way of saying that the friends hold the popular opinion—they represent it. The line is sarcastic. Commentators do not think the parallelism is served well by this, and so offer changes for “people.” Some have suggested “you are complete” (based on Arabic), “you are the strong one” (based on Ugaritic), etc. J. A. Davies tried to solve the difficulty by making the second clause in the verse a paratactic relative clause: “you are the people with whom wisdom will die” (“Note on Job 12:2, ” VT 25 : 670-71).
- Job 12:2 sn The sarcasm of Job admits their claim to wisdom, as if no one has it besides them. But the rest of his speech will show that they do not have a monopoly on it.
- Job 12:3 tn The word is literally “heart,” meaning a mind or understanding.
- Job 12:3 tn Because this line is repeated in 13:2, many commentators delete it from this verse (as does the LXX). The Syriac translates נֹפֵל (nofel) as “little,” and the Vulgate “inferior.” Job is saying that he does not fall behind them in understanding.
- Job 12:3 tn Heb “With whom are not such things as these?” The point is that everyone knows the things that these friends have been saying—they are commonplace.
- Job 12:4 tn Some are troubled by the disharmony with “I am” and “to his friend.” Even though the difficulty is not insurmountable, some have emended the text. Some simply changed the verb to “he is,” which was not very compelling. C. D. Isbell argued that אֶהְיֶה (ʾehyeh, “I am”) is an orthographic variant of יִהְיֶה (yihyeh, “he will”)—“a person who does not know these things would be a laughingstock” (JANESCU 37 : 227-36). G. R. Driver suggests the meaning of the MT is something like “(One that is) a mockery to his friend I am to be.”
- Job 12:4 tn The word simply means “laughter,” but it can also mean the object of laughter (see Jer 20:7). The LXX jumps from one “laughter” to the next, eliminating everything in between, presumably due to haplography.
- Job 12:4 tn Heb “his friend.” A number of English versions (e.g., NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) take this collectively, “to my friends.”
- Job 12:4 tn Heb “one calling to God and he answered him.” H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 92) contends that because Job has been saying that God is not answering him, these words must be part of the derisive words of his friends.
- Job 12:4 tn The two words, צַדִּיק תָּמִים (tsadiq tamim), could be understood as a hendiadys (= “blamelessly just”) following W. G. E. Watson (Classical Hebrew Poetry, 327).
- Job 12:5 tn The first word, לַפִּיד (lapid), could be rendered “a torch of scorn,” but this gives no satisfying meaning. The ל (lamed) is often taken as an otiose letter, and the noun פִּיד (pid) is “misfortune, calamity” (cf. Job 30:24; 31:29).
- Job 12:5 tn The noun עַשְׁתּוּת (ʿashtut, preferably עַשְׁתּוֹת, ʿashtot) is an abstract noun from עָשַׁת (ʿashat, “to think”). The word שַׁאֲנָן (shaʾanan) means “easy in mind, carefree,” and “happy.”
- Job 12:5 tn The form has traditionally been taken to mean “is ready” from the verb כּוּן (kun, “is fixed, sure”). But many commentators look for a word parallel to “calamity.” So the suggestion has been put forward that נָכוֹן (nakhon) be taken as a noun from נָכָה (nakhah, “strike, smite”): “a blow” (Schultens, Dhorme, Gordis), “thrust” or “kick” (HALOT 698 s.v. I נָכוֹן).
- Job 12:6 tn The verse gives the other side of the coin now, the fact that the wicked prosper.
- Job 12:6 tn The plural is used to suggest the supreme degree of arrogant confidence (E. Dhorme, Job, 171).
- Job 12:6 sn The line is perhaps best understood as describing one who thinks he is invested with the power of God.
- Job 12:7 sn As J. E. Hartley (Job [NICOT], 216) observes, in this section Job argues that respected tradition “must not be accepted uncritically.”
- Job 12:7 tn The singular verb is used here with the plural collective subject (see GKC 464 §145.k).
- Job 12:8 tn The word in the MT means “to complain,” not simply “to speak,” and one would expect animals as the object here in parallel to the last verse. So several commentators have replaced the word with words for animals or reptiles—totally different words (cf. NAB, “reptiles”). The RSV and NRSV have here the word “plants” (see 30:4, 7; and Gen 21:15).
- Job 12:8 tn A. B. Davidson (Job, 90) offers a solution by taking “earth” to mean all the lower forms of life that teem in the earth (a metonymy of subject).
- Job 12:9 tn This line could also be translated “by all these,” meaning “who is not instructed by nature?” (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 93). But D. J. A. Clines points out that the verses have presented the animals as having knowledge and communicating it, so the former reading would be best (Job [WBC], 279).
- Job 12:9 tc Some commentators have trouble with the name “Yahweh” in this verse, which is not the pattern in the poetic section of Job. Three mss of Kennicott and two of de Rossi have “God.” If this is so the reminiscence of Isaiah 41:20 led the copyist to introduce the tetragrammaton. But one could argue equally that the few mss with “God” were the copyists’ attempt to correct the text in accord with usage elsewhere.
- Job 12:9 sn The expression “has done this” probably refers to everything that has been discussed, namely, the way that God in his wisdom rules over the world, but specifically it refers to the infliction of suffering in the world.
- Job 12:10 tn The construction with the relative clause includes a resumptive pronoun referring to God: “who in his hand” = “in his hand.”
- Job 12:10 tn The two words נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) and רוּחַ (ruakh) are synonymous in general. They could be translated “soul” and “spirit,” but “soul” is not precise for נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh), and so “life” is to be preferred. Since that is the case for the first half of the verse, “breath” will be preferable in the second part.
- Job 12:10 tn Human life is made of “flesh” and “spirit.” So here the line reads “and the spirit of all flesh of man.” If the text had simply said “all flesh,” that would have applied to all flesh in which there is the breath of life (see Gen 6:17; 7:15). But to limit this to human beings requires the qualification with “man.”
- Job 12:11 tn The ו (vav) introduces the comparison here (see 5:7; 11:12); see GKC 499 §161.a.
- Job 12:11 tn Heb “the palate.”
- Job 12:11 tn The final preposition with its suffix is to be understood as a pleonastic dativus ethicus and not translated (see GKC 439 §135.i).sn In the rest of the chapter Job turns his attention away from creation to the wisdom of ancient men. In Job 13:1 when Job looks back to this part, he refers to both the eye and the ear. In vv. 13-25 Job refers to many catastrophes which he could not have seen, but must have heard about.
- Job 12:12 tn The statement in the Hebrew Bible simply has “among the aged—wisdom.” Since this seems to be more the idea of the friends than of Job, scholars have variously tried to rearrange it. Some have proposed that Job is citing his friends: “With the old men, you say, is wisdom” (Budde, Gray, Hitzig). Others have simply made it a question (Weiser). But others take לֹא (loʾ) from the previous verse and make it the negative here, to say, “wisdom is not….” But Job will draw on the wisdom of the aged, only with discernment, for ultimately all wisdom is with God.
- Job 12:13 tn Heb “him”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Job 12:13 sn A. B. Davidson (Job, 91) says, “These attributes of God’s [sic] confound and bring to nought everything bearing the same name among men.”
- Job 12:14 tn The use of הֵן (hen, equivalent to הִנֵּה, hinneh, “behold”) introduces a hypothetical condition.
- Job 12:14 tn The verse employs antithetical ideas: “tear down” and “build up,” “imprison” and “escape.” The Niphal verbs in the sentences are potential imperfects. All of this is to say that humans cannot reverse the will of God.
- Job 12:15 tc The LXX has a clarification: “he will dry the earth.”
- Job 12:15 sn The verse is focusing on the two extremes of drought and flood. Both are described as being under the power of God.
- Job 12:15 tn The verb הָפַךְ (hafakh) means “to overthrow; to destroy; to overwhelm.” It was used in Job 9:5 for “overturning” mountains. The word is used in Genesis for the destruction of Sodom.
- Job 12:16 tn The word תּוּשִׁיָּה (tushiyyah) is here rendered “prudence.” Some object that God’s power is intended here, and so a word for power and not wisdom should be included. But v. 13 mentioned wisdom. The point is that it is God’s efficient wisdom that leads to success. One could interpret this as a metonymy of cause, the intended meaning being victory or success.
- Job 12:16 tn The Hebrew text uses a wordplay here: שֹׁגֵג (shogeg) is “the one going astray,” i.e., the one who is unable to guard and guide his life. The second word is מַשְׁגֶּה (mashgeh), from a different but historically related root שָׁגָה (shagah), which here in the Hiphil means “the one who misleads, causes to go astray.” These two words are designed to include everybody—all are under the wisdom of God.
- Job 12:17 tn The personal pronoun normally present as the subject of the participle is frequently omitted (see GKC 381 §119.s).
- Job 12:17 tn GKC 361-62 §116.x notes that almost as a rule a participle beginning a sentence is continued with a finite verb with or without a ו (vav). Here the participle (“leads”) is followed by an imperfect (“makes fools”) after a ו (vav).
- Job 12:17 tn The word שׁוֹלָל (sholal), from the root שָׁלַל (shalal, “to plunder; to strip”), is an adjective expressing the state (and is in the singular, as if to say, “in the state of one naked” [GKC 375 §118.o]). The word is found in military contexts (see Mic 1:8). It refers to the carrying away of people in nakedness and shame by enemies who plunder (see also Isa 8:1-4). They will go away as slaves and captives, deprived of their outer garments. Some (cf. NAB) suggest “barefoot,” based on the LXX of Mic 1:8, but the meaning of that is uncertain. G. R. Driver wanted to derive the word from an Arabic root “to be mad; to be giddy,” forming a better parallel.
- Job 12:17 sn The judges, like the counselors, are nobles in the cities. God may reverse their lot, either by captivity or by shame, and they cannot resist his power.
- Job 12:17 tn Some translate this “makes mad” as in Isa 44:25, but this gives the wrong connotation today; more likely God shows them to be fools.
- Job 12:18 tn The verb may be classified as a gnomic perfect, or possibly a potential perfect—“he can loosen.” The Piel means “to untie; to unbind” (Job 30:11; 38:31; 39:5).
- Job 12:18 tc There is a potential textual difficulty here. The MT has מוּסַר (musar, “discipline”), which might have replaced מוֹסֵר (moser, “bond, chain”) from אָסַר (ʾasar, “to bind”). Or מוּסַר might be an unusual form of אָסַר (an option noted in HALOT 557 s.v. *מוֹסֵר). The line is saying that if the kings are bound, God can set them free, and in the second half, if they are free, he can bind them. Others take the view that this word “bond” refers to the power kings have over others, meaning that God can reduce kings to slavery.
- Job 12:18 tn Some commentators want to change אֵזוֹר (ʾezor, “girdle”) to אֵסוּר (ʾesur, “bond”) because binding the loins with a girdle was an expression for strength. But H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 96) notes that binding the king’s loins this way would mean that he would serve and do menial tasks. Such a reference would certainly indicate troubled times.
- Job 12:19 tn Except for “priests,” the phraseology is identical to v. 17a.
- Job 12:19 tn The verb has to be defined by its context: it can mean “falsify” (Exod 23:8), “make tortuous” (Prov 19:3), or “plunge” into misfortune (Prov 21:12). God overthrows those who seem to be solid.
- Job 12:19 tn The original meaning of אֵיתָן (ʾetan) is “perpetual.” It is usually an epithet for a torrent that is always flowing. It carries the connotations of permanence and stability; here applied to people in society, it refers to one whose power and influence does not change. These are the pillars of society.
- Job 12:20 tn The Hebrew נֶאֱמָנִים (neʾemanim) is the Niphal participle; it is often translated “the faithful” in the Bible. The Rabbis rather fancifully took the word from נְאֻם (neʾum, “oracle, utterance”) and so rendered it “those who are eloquent, fluent in words.” But that would make this the only place in the Bible where this form came from that root or any other root besides אָמַן (ʾaman, “confirm, support”). But to say that God takes away the speech of the truthful or the faithful would be very difficult. It has to refer to reliable men, because it is parallel to the elders or old men. The NIV has “trusted advisers,” which fits well with kings and judges and priests.
- Job 12:20 tn Heb “he removes the lip of the trusted ones.”
- Job 12:20 tn Heb “taste,” meaning “opinion” or “decision.”
- Job 12:21 tn The expression in Hebrew uses מְזִיחַ (meziakh, “belt”) and the Piel verb רִפָּה (rippah, “to loosen”) so that “to loosen the belt of the mighty” would indicate “to disarm/incapacitate the mighty.” Others have opted to change the text: P. Joüon emends to read “forehead”—“he humbles the brow of the mighty.”
- Job 12:21 tn The word אָפַק (ʾafaq, “to be strong”) is well-attested, and the form אָפִיק (ʾafiq) is a normal adjective formation. So a translation like “mighty” (KJV, NIV) or “powerful” is acceptable, and further emendations are unnecessary.
- Job 12:22 tn The Hebrew word is traditionally rendered “shadow of death” (so KJV, ASV); see comments at Job 3:3.
- Job 12:23 tn The word מַשְׂגִּיא (masgiʾ, “makes great”) is a common Aramaic word, but only occurs in Hebrew here and in Job 8:11 and 36:24. Some mss have a change, reading the form from שָׁגָה (shagah, “leading astray”). The LXX omits the line entirely.
- Job 12:23 tn The difficulty with the verb נָחָה (nakhah) is that it means “to lead; to guide,” but not “to lead away” or “to disperse,” unless this passage provides the context for such a meaning. Moreover, it never has a negative connotation. Some vocalize it וַיַּנִּיחֶם (vayyannikhem), from נוּחַ (nuakh), the causative meaning of “rest,” or “abandon” (Driver, Gray, Gordis). But even there it would mean “leave in peace.” Blommerde suggests the second part is antithetical parallelism, and so should be positive. So Ball proposed וַיִּמְחֶם (vayyimkhem) from מָחָה (makhah): “and he cuts them off.”
- Job 12:23 sn The rise and fall of nations, which does not seem to be governed by any moral principle, is for Job another example of God’s arbitrary power.
- Job 12:24 tn Heb “the heads of the people of the earth.”
- Job 12:24 tn Heb “heart.”
- Job 12:24 tn The text has בְּתֹהוּ לֹא־דָרֶךְ (betohu loʾ darekh): “in waste—no way,” or “in a wasteland [where there is] no way,” thus, “trackless” (see the discussion of negative attributes using לֹא [loʾ] in GKC 482 §152.u).
- Job 12:25 tn The word is an adverbial accusative.
- Job 12:25 tn The verb is the same that was in v. 24, “He makes them [the leaders still] wander” (the Hiphil of תָּעָה, taʿah). But in this passage some commentators emend the text to a Niphal of the verb and put it in the plural, to get the reading “they reel to and fro.” But even if the verse closes the chapter and there is no further need for a word of divine causation, the Hiphil sense works well here—causing people to wander like a drunken man would be the same as making them stagger.
- Job 13:1 sn Chapter 13 records Job’s charges against his friends for the way they used their knowledge (1-5), his warning that God would find out their insincerity (6-12), and his pleading of his case to God in which he begs for God to remove his hand from him and that he would not terrify him with his majesty and that he would reveal the sins that caused such great suffering (13-28).
- Job 13:1 tn Hebrew has כֹּל (kol, “all”); there is no reason to add anything to the text to gain a meaning “all this.”
- Job 13:2 tn Heb “Like your knowledge”; in other words Job is saying that his knowledge is like their knowledge.
- Job 13:2 tn The pronoun makes the subject emphatic and stresses the contrast: “I know—I also.”
- Job 13:2 tn The verb “fall” is used here as it was in Job 4:13 to express becoming lower than someone, i.e., inferior.
- Job 13:3 tn The verb is simply the Piel imperfect אֲדַבֵּר (ʾadabber, “I speak”). It should be classified as a desiderative imperfect, saying, “I desire to speak.” This is reinforced with the verb “to wish, desire” in the second half of the verse.
- Job 13:3 tn The Hebrew title for God here is אֶל־שַׁדַּי (ʾel shadday, “El Shaddai”).
- Job 13:3 tn The infinitive absolute functions here as the direct object of the verb “desire” (see GKC 340 §113.b).
- Job 13:3 tn The infinitive הוֹכֵחַ (hokheakh) is from the verb יָכַח (yakhakh), which means “to argue, plead, debate.” It has the legal sense here of arguing a case (cf. 5:17).
- Job 13:4 tn The טֹפְלֵי־שָׁקֶר (tofele shaqer) are “plasterers of lies” (Ps 119:69). The verb means “to coat, smear, plaster.” The idea is that of imputing something that is not true. Job is saying that his friends are inventors of lies. The LXX was influenced by the next line and came up with “false physicians.”
- Job 13:4 tn The literal rendering of the construct would be “healers of worthlessness.” Ewald and Dillmann translated it “patchers” based on a meaning in Arabic and Ethiopic; this would give the idea “botchers.” But it makes equally good sense to take “healers” as the meaning, for Job’s friends came to minister comfort and restoration to him—but they failed. See P. Humbert, “Maladie et medicine dans l’AT,” RHPR 44 (1964): 1-29.
- Job 13:5 tn The construction is the imperfect verb in the wish formula preceded by the infinitive that intensifies it. The Hiphil is not directly causative here, but internally—“keep silent.”
- Job 13:5 tn Heb “and it would be for you for wisdom,” or “that it would become your wisdom.” Job is rather sarcastic here, indicating if they shut up they would prove themselves to be wise (see Prov 17:28).
- Job 13:6 sn Job first will argue with his friends. His case that he will plead with God begins in v. 13. The same root יָכַח (yakhakh, “argue, plead”) is used here as in v. 3b (see note). Synonymous parallelism between the two halves of this verse supports this translation.
- Job 13:6 tn The Hebrew word רִבוֹת (rivot, “disputes, contentions”) continues the imagery of presenting a legal case. The term is used of legal disputations and litigation. See, also, v. 19a.
- Job 13:7 tn Heb “speak iniquity.” The form functions adverbially. The noun עַוְלָה (ʿavlah) means “perversion; injustice; iniquity; falsehood.” Here it is parallel to רְמִיָּה (remiyyah, “fraud; deceit; treachery”).
- Job 13:7 tn The expression “for God” means “in favor of God” or “on God’s behalf.” Job is amazed that they will say false things on God’s behalf.
- Job 13:8 sn The idiom used here is “Will you lift up his face?” Here Job is being very sarcastic, for this expression usually means that a judge is taking a bribe. Job is accusing them of taking God’s side.
- Job 13:8 tn The same root is used here (רִיב, riv, “dispute, contention”) as in v. 6b (see note).
- Job 13:9 tn The verb חָפַר (khafar) means “to search out, investigate, examine.” In the conditional clause the imperfect verb expresses the hypothetical case.
- Job 13:9 tn Both the infinitive and the imperfect of תָּלַל (talal, “deceive, mock”) retain the ה (he) (GKC 148 §53.q). But for the alternate form, see F. C. Fensham, “The Stem HTL in Hebrew,” VT 9 (1959): 310-11. The infinitive is used here in an adverbial sense after the preposition.
- Job 13:10 tn The verbal idea is intensified with the infinitive absolute. This is the same verb used in v. 3; here it would have the sense of “rebuke, convict.”sn Peake’s observation is worth noting, namely, that as Job attacks the unrighteousness of God boldly he nonetheless has confidence in God’s righteousness that would not allow liars to defend him.
- Job 13:10 sn The use of the word “in secret” or “secretly” suggests that what they do is a guilty action (31:27a).
- Job 13:11 sn The word translated “his majesty” or “his splendor” (שְׂאֵתוֹ, seʾeto) forms a play on the word “show partiality” (תִּשָּׂאוּן, tissaʾun) in the last verse. They are both from the verb נָשַׂא (nasaʾ, “to lift up”).
- Job 13:11 tn On this verb in the Piel, see 7:14.
- Job 13:11 tn Heb “His dread”; the suffix is a subjective genitive.
- Job 13:12 tn The word is זִכְרֹנֵיכֶם (zikhronekhem, “your remembrances”). The word זִכָּרֹן (zikkaron) not only can mean the act of remembering, but also what is remembered—what provokes memory or is worth being remembered. In the plural it can mean all the memorabilia, and in this verse all the sayings and teachings. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 99) suggests that in Job’s speech it could mean “all your memorized sayings.”
- Job 13:12 tn The parallelism of “dust” and “ashes” is fairly frequent in scripture. But “proverbs of ashes” is difficult. The genitive is certainly describing the proverbs; it could be classified as a genitive of apposition, proverbs that are/have become ashes. Ashes represent something that at one time may have been useful, but now has been reduced to what is worthless.
- Job 13:12 tn There is a division of opinion on the source of this word. Some take it from “answer,” related to Arabic, Aramaic, and Syriac words for “answer,” and so translate it “responses” (JB). Others take it from a word for “back,” with a derived meaning of the “boss” of the shield, and translate it “bulwark” or “defenses” (NEB, RSV, NIV). The idea of “answers” may fit the parallelism better, but “defenses” can be taken figuratively to refer to verbal defenses.
- Job 13:12 sn Any defense made with clay would crumble on impact.
- Job 13:13 tn The Hebrew has a pregnant construction: “be silent from me,” meaning “stand away from me in silence,” or “refrain from talking with me.” See GKC 384 §119.ff. The LXX omits “from me,” as do several commentators.
- Job 13:13 tn The verb is the Piel cohortative; following the imperative of the first colon this verb would show purpose or result. The inclusion of the independent personal pronoun makes the focus emphatic—“so that I (in my turn) may speak.”
- Job 13:13 tn The verb עָבַר (ʿavar, “pass over”) is used with the preposition עַל (ʿal, “upon”) to express the advent of misfortune, namely, something coming against him.
- Job 13:13 tn The interrogative pronoun מָה (mah) is used in indirect questions, here introducing a clause [with the verb understood] as the object—“whatever it be” (see GKC 443-44 §137.c).
- Job 13:14 tc Most editors reject עַל־מָה (ʿal mah) as dittography from the last verse.
- Job 13:14 tn Heb “why do I take my flesh in my teeth?” This expression occurs nowhere else. It seems to be drawn from animal imagery in which the wild beast seizes the prey and carries it off to a place of security. The idea would then be that Job may be destroying himself. An animal that fights with its flesh (prey) in its mouth risks losing it. Other commentators do not think this is satisfactory, but they are unable to suggest anything better.
- Job 13:15 tn There is a textual difficulty here that factors into the interpretation of the verse. The Kethib is לֹא (loʾ, “not”), but the Qere is לוֹ (lo, “to him”). The RSV takes the former: “Behold, he will slay me, I have no hope.” The NIV takes it as “though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” Job is looking ahead to death, which is not an evil thing to him. The point of the verse is that he is willing to challenge God at the risk of his life; and if God slays him, he is still confident that he will be vindicated—as he says later in this chapter. Other suggestions are not compelling. E. Dhorme (Job, 187) makes a slight change of אֲיַחֵל (ʾayakhel, “I will hope”) to אַחִיל (ʾakhil, “I will [not] tremble”). A. B. Davidson (Job, 98) retains the MT, but interprets the verb more in line with its use in the book: “I will not wait” (cf. NLT).
- Job 13:15 tn On אַךְ (ʾakh, “surely”) see GKC 483 §153 on intensive clauses.
- Job 13:15 tn The verb once again is יָכָה (yakhah, in the Hiphil, “argue a case, plead, defend, contest”). But because the word usually means “accuse” rather than “defend,” I. L. Seeligmann proposed changing “my ways” to “his ways” (“Zur Terminologie für das Gerichtsverfahren im Wortschatz des biblischen Hebräisch,” VTSup 16 : 251-78). But the word can be interpreted appropriately in the context without emendation.
- Job 13:16 sn The fact that Job will dare to come before God and make his case is evidence—to Job at least—that he is innocent.
- 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).
- 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).
- Job 13:18 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) functions almost as an imperative here, calling attention to what follows: “look” (archaic: behold).
- 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.
- Job 13:18 tn The pronoun is added because this is what the verse means.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”).
- Job 13:20 tn The line reads “do not do two things.”
- Job 13:20 tn “God” is supplied to the verse, for the address is now to him. Job wishes to enter into dispute with God, but he first appeals that God not take advantage of him with his awesome power.
- Job 13:21 tn The imperative הַרְחַק (harkhaq, “remove”; GKC 98 §29.q), from רָחַק (rakhaq, “far, be far”) means “take away [far away]; to remove.”
- Job 13:21 sn This is a common, but bold, anthropomorphism. The fact that the word used is כַּף (kaf, properly “palm”) rather than יָד (yad, “hand,” with the sense of power) may stress Job’s feeling of being trapped or confined (see also Ps 139:5, 7).
- Job 13:21 tn See Job 9:34.
- Job 13:22 tn The imperatives in the verse function like the future tense in view of their use for instruction or advice. The chiastic arrangement of the verb forms is interesting: imperative + imperfect, imperfect + imperative. The imperative is used for God, but the imperfect is used when Job is the subject. Job is calling for the court to convene—he will be either the defendant or the prosecutor.
- Job 13:23 tn The pronoun “my” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied here in the translation.
- Job 13:23 sn Job uses three words for sin here: “iniquities,” which means going astray, erring; “sins,” which means missing the mark or the way; and “transgressions,” which are open rebellions. They all emphasize different kinds of sins and different degrees of willfulness. Job is demanding that any sins be brought up. Both Job and his friends agree that great afflictions would have to indicate great offenses—he wants to know what they are.
- Job 13:24 sn The anthropomorphism of “hide the face” indicates a withdrawal of favor and an outpouring of wrath (see Pss 27:9; 30:7 ; Isa 54:8). Sometimes God “hides his face” to make himself invisible or aloof (see 34:29). In either case, if God covers his face it is because he considers Job an enemy—at least this is what Job thinks.
- Job 13:25 tn The verb תַּעֲרוֹץ (taʿarots, “you torment”) is from עָרַץ (ʿarats), which usually means “fear; dread,” but can also mean “to make afraid; to terrify” (Isa 2:19, 21). The imperfect is here taken as a desiderative imperfect: “why do you want to,” but it could also be a simple future: “will you torment.”
- Job 13:25 tn The word נִדָּף (niddaf) is “driven” from the root נָדַף (nadaf, “drive”). The words “by the wind” or the interpretation “windblown” has to be added for the clarification. Job is comparing himself to this leaf (so an implied comparison, called hypocatastasis)—so light and insubstantial that it is amazing that God should come after him. Guillaume suggests that the word is not from this root, but from a second root נָדַף (nadaf), cognate to Arabic nadifa, “to dry up” (A. Guillaume, “A Note on Isaiah 19:7, ” JTS 14 : 382-83). But as D. J. A. Clines notes (Job [WBC], 283), a dried leaf is a driven leaf—a point Guillaume allows as he says there is ambiguity in the term.
- Job 13:25 tn The word קַשׁ (qash) means “chaff; stubble,” or a wisp of straw. It is found in Job 41:20-21 for that which is so worthless and insignificant that it is hardly worth mentioning. If dried up or withered, it too will be blown away in the wind.
- Job 13:26 tn The meaning is that of writing down a formal charge against someone (cf. Job 31:15).
- Job 13:26 sn Job acknowledges sins in his youth, but they are trifling compared to the suffering he now endures. Job thinks it unjust of God to persecute him now for those—if that is what is happening.
- Job 13:27 tn The word occurs here and in Job 33:11. It could be taken as “stocks,” in which the feet were held fast; or it could be “shackles,” which allowed the prisoner to move about. The parallelism favors the latter, if the two lines are meant to be referring to the same thing.
- Job 13:27 tn The word means “ways; roads; paths,” but it is used here in the sense of the “way” in which one goes about his activities.
- Job 13:27 tn The verb תִּתְחַקֶּה (titkhaqqeh) is a Hitpael from the root חָקָה (khaqah, parallel to חָקַק, khaqaq). The word means “to engrave” or “to carve out.” This Hitpael would mean “to imprint something on oneself” (E. Dhorme [Job, 192] says on one’s mind, and so derives the meaning “examine.”). The object of this is the expression “on the roots of my feet,” which would refer to where the feet hit the ground. Since the passage has more to do with God’s restricting Job’s movement, the translation “you set a boundary to the soles of my feet” would be better than Dhorme’s view. The image of inscribing or putting marks on the feet is not found elsewhere. It may be, as Pope suggests, a reference to marking the slaves to make tracking them easier. The LXX has “you have penetrated to my heels.”
- Job 13:28 tn Heb “and he.” Some of the commentators move the verse and put it after Job 14:2, 3 or 6.
- Job 13:28 tn The word רָקָב (raqav) is used elsewhere in the Bible of dry rot in a house, or rotting bones in a grave. It is used in parallelism with “moth” both here and in Hos 5:12. The LXX has “like a wineskin.” This would be from רֹקֶב (roqev, “wineskin”). This word does not occur in the Hebrew Bible, but is attested in Sir 43:20 and in Aramaic. The change is not necessary.
- Job 14:1 tn The first of the threefold apposition for אָדָם (ʾadam, “man”) is “born of a woman.” The genitive (“woman”) after a passive participle denotes the agent of the action (see GKC 359 §116.l).
- Job 14:1 tn The second description is simply “[is] short of days.” The meaning here is that his life is short (“days” being put as the understatement for “years”).
- Job 14:1 tn The third expression is “consumed/full/sated—with/of—trouble/restlessness.” The latter word, רֹגֶז (rogez), occurred in Job 3:17; see also the idea in 10:15.
- Job 14:2 tn Heb יָצָא (yatsaʾ, “comes forth”). The perfect verb expresses characteristic action and so is translated by the present tense (see GKC 329 §111.s).
- Job 14:2 tn The verb וַיִּמָּל (vayyimmal) is from the root מָלַל (malal, “to languish; to wither”) and not from a different root מָלַל (malal, “to cut off”).
- Job 14:2 tn The verb is “and he does not stand.” Here the verb means “to stay fixed; to abide.” The shadow does not stay fixed, but continues to advance toward darkness.
- Job 14:3 tn Heb “open the eye on,” an idiom meaning to prepare to judge someone.
- Job 14:3 tn The verse opens with אַף־עַל־זֶה (ʾaf ʿal zeh), meaning “even on such a one!” It is an exclamation of surprise.
- Job 14:3 tn The text clearly has “me” as the accusative, but many wish to emend it to say “him” (אֹתוֹ, ʾoto). But D. J. A. Clines rightly rejects this in view of the way Job is written, often moving back and forth between his own tragedy and others’ tragedies (Job [WBC], 283).
- Job 14:4 tn The expression is מִי־יִתֵּן (mi yitten, “who will give”; see GKC 477 §151.b). Some commentators (H. H. Rowley and A. B. Davidson) wish to take this as the optative formula: “O that a clean might come out of an unclean!” But that does not fit the verse very well, and still requires the addition of a verb. The exclamation here simply implies something impossible—man is unable to attain purity.
- Job 14:4 sn The point being made is that the entire human race is contaminated by sin, and therefore cannot produce something pure. In this context, since man is born of woman, it is saying that the woman and the man who is brought forth from her are impure. See Ps 51:5; Isa 6:5; Gen 6:5.
- Job 14:5 tn Heb “his days.”
- Job 14:5 tn The passive participle is from חָרַץ (kharats), which means “determined.” The word literally means “cut” (Lev 22:22, “mutilated”). E. Dhorme, (Job, 197) takes it to mean “engraved” as on stone; from a custom of inscribing decrees on tablets of stone he derives the meaning here of “decreed.” This, he argues, is parallel to the way חָקַק (khaqaq, “engrave”) is used. The word חֹק (khoq) is an “ordinance” or “statute”; the idea is connected to the verb “to engrave.” The LXX has “if his life should be but one day on the earth, and his months are numbered by him, you have appointed him for a time and he shall by no means exceed it.”
- Job 14:5 tn Heb “[is] with you.” This clearly means under God’s control.
- Job 14:5 tn The word חֹק (khoq) has the meanings of “decree, decision, and limit” (cf. Job 28:26; 38:10).sn Job is saying that God foreordains the number of the days of man. He foreknows the number of the months. He fixes the limit of human life which cannot be passed.
- Job 14:6 tn The verb חָדַל (khadal) means “to desist; to cease.” The verb would mean here “and let him desist,” which some take to mean “and let him rest.” But since this is rather difficult in the line, commentators have suggested other meanings. Several emend the text slightly to make it an imperative rather than an imperfect; this is then translated “and desist.” The expression “from him” must be added. Another suggestion that is far-fetched is that of P. J. Calderone (“CHDL-II in poetic texts,” CBQ 23 : 451-60) and D. W. Thomas (VTSup 4 : 8-16), having a new meaning of “be fat.”
- Job 14:6 tn There are two roots רָצַה (ratsah). The first is the common word, meaning “to delight in; to have pleasure in.” The second, most likely used here, means “to pay; to acquit a debt” (cf. Lev 26:34, 41, 43). Here with the mention of the simile with the hired man, the completing of the job is in view.
- Job 14:7 tn The genitive after the construct is one of advantage—it is hope for the tree.
- Job 14:7 sn The figure now changes to a tree for the discussion of the finality of death. At least the tree will sprout again when it is cut down. Why, Job wonders, should what has been granted to the tree not also be granted to humans?
- Job 14:8 tn The Hiphil of זָקַן (zaqan, “to be old”) is here an internal causative, “to grow old.”
- Job 14:8 tn The Hiphil is here classified as an inchoative Hiphil (see GKC 145 §53.e), for the tree only begins to die. In other words, it appears to be dead, but actually is not completely dead.
- Job 14:8 tn The LXX translates “dust” [soil] with “rock,” probably in light of the earlier illustration of the tree growing in the rocks.sn Job is thinking here of a tree that dies or decays because of a drought rather than being uprooted, because the next verse will tell how it can revive with water.
- Job 14:9 tn The personification adds to the comparison with people—the tree is credited with the sense of smell to detect the water.
- Job 14:9 tn The sense of “flourish” for this verb is found in Ps 92:12, 13 [13, 14 HT], and Prov 14:11. It makes an appropriate parallel with “bring forth boughs” in the second half.
- Job 14:9 tn Heb “and will make.”
- Job 14:10 tn There are two words for “man” in this verse. The first (גֶּבֶר, gever) can indicate a “strong” or “mature man” or “mighty man,” the hero; and the second (אָדָם, ʾadam) simply designates the person as mortal.
- Job 14:10 tn The word חָלַשׁ (khalash) in Aramaic and Syriac means “to be weak” (interestingly, the Syriac OT translated חָלַשׁ [khalash] with “fade away” here). The derived noun “the weak” would be in direct contrast to “the mighty man.” In the transitive sense the verb means “to weaken; to defeat” (Exod 17:13); here it may have the sense of “be lifeless, unconscious, inanimate” (cf. E. Dhorme, Job, 199). Many commentators emend the text to יַחֲלֹף (yakhalof, “passes on; passes away”). A. Guillaume tries to argue that the form is a variant of the other, the letters שׁ (shin) and פ (pe) being interchangeable (“The Use of halas in Exod 17:13, Isa 14:12, and Job 14:10, ” JTS 14 : 91-92). G. R. Driver connected it to Arabic halasa, “carry off suddenly” (“The Resurrection of Marine and Terrestrial Creatures,” JSS 7 : 12-22). But the basic idea of “be weak, powerless” is satisfactory in the text. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 105) says, “Where words are so carefully chosen, it is gratuitous to substitute less expressive words as some editors do.”
- Job 14:10 tn This break to a question adds a startling touch to the whole verse. The obvious meaning is that he is gone. The LXX weakens it: “and is no more.”
- 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).
- Job 14:11 tn The Hebrew word יָם (yam) can mean “sea” or “lake.”
- 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 ; 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.
- 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 : 72-93).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Job 14:13 tn This is the same word used in v. 5 for “limit.”
- 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.
- Job 14:14 tc The LXX removes the interrogative and makes the statement affirmative, i.e., that man will live again. This reading is taken by D. H. Gard (“The Concept of the Future Life according to the Greek Translator of the Book of Job,” JBL 73 : 137-38). D. J. A. Clines follows this, putting both of the expressions in the wish clause: “if a man dies and could live again…” (Job [WBC], 332). If that is the way it is translated, then the verbs in the second half of the verse and in the next verse would all be part of the apodosis, and should be translated “would.” The interpretation would not greatly differ; it would be saying that if there was life after death, Job would long for his release—his death. If the traditional view is taken and the question was raised whether there was life after death (the implication of the question being that there is), then Job would still be longing for his death. The point the line is making is that if there is life after death, that would be all the more reason for Job to eagerly expect, to hope for, his death.
- Job 14:14 tn See Job 7:1.
- Job 14:14 tn The verb אֲיַחֵל (ʾayakhel) may be rendered “I will/would wait” or “I will/would hope.” The word describes eager expectation and longing hope.
- Job 14:14 tn The construction is the same as that found in the last verse: a temporal preposition עַד (ʿad) followed by the infinitive construct followed by the subjective genitive “release/relief.” Due, in part, to the same verb (חָלַף, khalaf) having the meaning “sprout again” in v. 7, some take “renewal” as the meaning here (J. E. Hartley, Alden, NIV, ESV).
- Job 14:15 sn The idea would be that God would sometime in the future call Job into his fellowship again when he longed for the work of his hands (cf. Job 10:3).
- Job 14:15 tn The independent personal pronoun is emphatic, as if to say, “and I on my part will answer.”
- Job 14:15 tn The word כָּסַף (kasaf) originally meant “to turn pale.” It expresses the sentiment that causes pallor of face, and so is used for desire ardently, covet. The object of the desire is always introduced with the ל (lamed) preposition (see E. Dhorme, Job, 202).
- Job 14:15 tn Heb “long for the work of your hands.”
- Job 14:16 sn The hope for life after death is supported now by a description of the severity with which God deals with people in this life.
- Job 14:16 tn If v. 16a continues the previous series, the translation here would be “then” (as in RSV). Others take it as a new beginning to express God’s present watch over Job, and interpret the second half of the verse as a question, or emend it to say God does not pass over his sins.
- Job 14:16 sn Cf. Ps 130:3-4, which says, “If you should mark iniquity O Lord, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, in order that you might be feared.”
- Job 14:16 tn The second colon of the verse can be contrasted with the first, the first being the present reality and the second the hope looked for in the future. This seems to fit the context well without making any changes at all.
- Job 14:17 tn The passive participle חָתֻם (khatum), from חָתַם (khatam, “seal”), which is used frequently in the Bible, means “sealed up.” The image of sealing sins in a bag is another of the many poetic ways of expressing the removal of sin from the individual (see 1 Sam 25:29). Since the term most frequently describes sealed documents, the idea here may be more that of sealing in a bag the record of Job’s sins (see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 334).
- Job 14:17 tn The idea has been presented that the background of putting tally stones in a bag is intended (see A. L. Oppenheim, “On an Operational Device in Mesopotamian Bureaucracy,” JNES 18 : 121-28).
- Job 14:17 tn This verb was used in Job 13:4 for “plasterers of lies.” The idea is probably that God coats or paints over the sins so that they are forgotten (see Isa 1:18). A. B. Davidson (Job, 105) suggests that the sins are preserved until full punishment is exacted. But the verse still seems to be continuing the thought of how the sins would be forgotten in the next life.
- Job 14:18 tn The indication that this is a simile is to be obtained from the conjunction beginning 19c (see GKC 499 §161.a).
- Job 14:18 tn The word יִבּוֹל (yibbol) usually refers to a flower fading and so seems strange here. The LXX and the Syriac translate “and will fall”; most commentators accept this and repoint the preceding word to get “and will surely fall.” Duhm retains the MT and applies the image of the flower to the falling mountain. The verb is used of the earth in Isa 24:4, and so NIV, RSV, and NJPS all have the idea of “crumble away.”
- Job 14:19 tn Heb “the overflowings of it”; the word סְפִיחֶיהָ (sefikheha) in the text is changed by just about everyone. The idea of “its overflowings” or more properly “its aftergrowths” (Lev 25:5; 2 Kgs 19:29; etc.) does not fit here at all. Budde suggested reading סְחִפָה (sekhifah), which is cognate to Arabic sahifeh, “torrential rain, rainstorm”—that which sweeps away the soil. The word סָחַף (sakhaf) in Hebrew might have a wider usage than the effects of rain.
- Job 14:19 tn Heb “[the] dust of [the] earth.”
- Job 14:19 sn The meaning for Job is that death shatters all of man’s hopes for the continuation of life.
- Job 14:20 tn D. W. Thomas took נֵצַח (netsakh) here to have a superlative meaning: “You prevail utterly against him” (“Use of netsach as a superlative in Hebrew,” JSS 1 : 107). Death would be God’s complete victory over him.
- Job 14:20 tn The subject of the participle is most likely God in this context. Some take it to be man, saying “his face changes.” Others emend the text to read an imperfect verb, but this is not necessary.
- Job 14:21 tn The clause may be interpreted as a conditional clause, with the second clause beginning with the conjunction serving as the apodosis.
- Job 14:21 tn There is no expressed subject for the verb “they honor,” and so it may be taken as a passive.
- Job 14:21 sn Death is separation from the living, from the land of the living. And ignorance of what goes on in this life, good or bad, is part of death. See also Eccl 9:5-6, which makes a similar point.
- Job 14:21 tn The verb is בִּין (bin, “to perceive; to discern”). The parallelism between “know” and “perceive” stresses the point that in death a man does not realize what is happening here in the present life.
- Job 14:22 tn The prepositional phrases using עָלָיו (ʿalayv, “for him[self]”) express the object of the suffering. It is for himself that the dead man “grieves.” So this has to be joined with אַךְ (ʾakh), yielding “only for himself.” Then, “flesh” and “soul/person” form the parallelism for the subjects of the verbs.
- Job 14:22 sn In this verse Job is expressing the common view of life beyond death, namely, that in Sheol there is no contact with the living, only separation, but in Sheol there is a conscious awareness of the dreary existence.
- Job 15:1 sn In the first round of speeches, Eliphaz had emphasized the moral perfection of God, Bildad his unwavering justice, and Zophar his omniscience. Since this did not bring the expected response from Job, the friends see him as a menace to true religion, and so they intensify their approach. Eliphaz, as dignified as ever, rebukes Job for his arrogance and warns about the judgment the wicked bring on themselves. The speech of Eliphaz falls into three parts: the rebuke of Job for his irreverence (2-6); the analysis of Job’s presumption about wisdom (7-16), and his warning about the fate of the wicked (17-35).
- Job 15:2 tn The Hebrew is דַעַת־רוּחַ (daʿat ruakh). This means knowledge without any content, vain knowledge.
- Job 15:2 tn The image is rather graphic. It is saying that he puffs himself up with the wind and then brings out of his mouth blasts of this wind.
- Job 15:2 tn The word for “east wind,” קָדִים (qadim), is parallel to “spirit/wind” also in Hos 12:2. The east wind is maleficent, but here in the parallelism it is so much hot air.
- Job 15:3 tn The infinitive absolute in this place is functioning either as an explanatory adverb or as a finite verb.sn Eliphaz draws on Job’s claim with this word (cf. Job 13:3), but will declare it hollow.
- Job 15:3 tn The verb סָכַן (sakhan) means “to be useful, profitable.” It is found 5 times in the book with this meaning. The Hiphil of יָעַל (yaʿal) has the same connotation. E. Lipiński offers a new meaning on a second root, “incur danger” or “run risks” with words, but this does not fit the parallelism (FO 21 : 65-82).
- Job 15:4 tn The word פָּרַר (parar) in the Hiphil means “to annul; to frustrate; to destroy; to break,” and this fits the line quite well. The NEB reflects G. R. Driver’s suggestion of an Arabic cognate meaning “to expel; to banish” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 : 77).
- Job 15:4 tn Heb “fear, reverence.”
- Job 15:4 tn The word גָּרַע (garaʿ) means “to diminish,” regard as insignificant, occasionally with the sense of “pull down” (Deut 4:2; 13:1). It is here that Eliphaz is portraying Job as a menace to the religion of society because he dissuades people from seeking God.
- Job 15:4 tn The word שִׂיחָה (sikhah) is “complaint; cry; meditation.” Job would be influencing people to challenge God and not to meditate before or pray to him.
- Job 15:5 tn The verb אַלֵּף (ʾallef) has the meaning of “to teach; to instruct,” but it is unlikely that the idea of revealing is intended. If the verb is understood metonymically, then “to inspire; to prompt” will be sufficient. Dahood and others find another root, and render the verb “to increase,” reversing subject and object: “your mouth increases your iniquity.”
- Job 15:5 tn Heb “tongue.”
- Job 15:5 tn The word means “shrewd; crafty; cunning” (see Gen 3:1). Job uses clever speech that is misleading and destructive.
- Job 15:6 tn The Hiphil of this root means “declare wicked, guilty” (a declarative Hiphil), and so “condemns.”
- Job 15:6 tn The verb עָנָה (ʿanah) with the ל (lamed) preposition following it means “to testify against.” For Eliphaz, it is enough to listen to Job to condemn him.
- Job 15:8 tn The meaning of סוֹד (sod) is “confidence.” In the context the implication is “secret counsel” of the Lord God (see Jer 23:18). It is a question of confidence on the part of God, that only wisdom can know (see Prov 8:30, 31). Job seemed to them to claim to have access to the mind of God.
- Job 15:8 tn In v. 4 the word meant “limit”; here it has a slightly different sense, namely, “to reserve for oneself.”
- Job 15:9 tn The last clause simply has “and it is not with us.” It means that one possesses something through knowledge. Note the parallelism of “know” and “with me” in Ps 50:11.
- Job 15:10 tn The participle שָׂב (sav), from שִׂיב (siv, “to have white hair”; 1 Sam 12:2), only occurs elsewhere in the Bible in the Aramaic sections of Ezra. The word יָשִׁישׁ (yashish, “aged”) occurred in 12:12.
- Job 15:10 tn Heb “with us.”
- Job 15:10 tn The line reads: “[men] greater than your father [in] days.” The expression “in days” underscores their age—they were older than Job’s father, and therefore wiser.
- Job 15:11 sn The words of comfort and consolation that they have been offering to Job are here said to be from God, but Job will call them miserable comforters (16:2).
- Job 15:11 tn The formula “is it too little for you” or “is it too slight a matter for you” is also found in Isa 7:13 (see GKC 430 §133.c).
- Job 15:11 tn The word “spoken” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation.
- Job 15:12 tn The interrogative מָה (mah) here has the sense of “why?” (see Job 7:21).
- Job 15:12 tn The verb simply means “to take.” The RSV has “carry you away.” E. Dhorme (Job, 212-13) goes further, saying that it implies being unhinged by passion, to be carried away by the passions beyond good sense (pp. 212-13). Pope and Tur-Sinai suggest that the suffix on the verb is datival, and translate it, “What has taken from you your mind?” But the parallelism shows that “your heart” and “your eyes” are subjects.