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Job 20:23-25 New English Translation (NET Bible)

23 “While he is[a] filling his belly,
God[b] sends his burning anger[c] against him,
and rains down his blows upon him.[d]
24 If he flees from an iron weapon,
then an arrow[e] from a bronze bow pierces him.
25 When he pulls it out[f] and it comes out of his back,
the gleaming point[g] out of his liver,
terrors come over him.


  1. Job 20:23 tn D. J. A. Clines observes that to do justice to the three jussives in the verse, one would have to translate “May it be, to fill his belly to the full, that God should send…and rain” (Job [WBC], 477). The jussive form of the verb at the beginning of the verse could also simply introduce a protasis of a conditional clause (see GKC 323 §109.h, i). This would mean, “if he [God] is about to fill his [the wicked’s] belly to the full, he will send….” The NIV reads “when he has filled his belly.” These fit better, because the context is talking about the wicked in his evil pursuit being cut down.
  2. Job 20:23 tn “God” is understood as the subject of the judgment.
  3. Job 20:23 tn Heb “the anger of his wrath.”
  4. Job 20:23 tn Heb “rain down upon him, on his flesh.” Dhorme changes עָלֵימוֹ (ʿalemo, “upon him”) to “his arrows”; he translates the line as “he rains his arrows upon his flesh.” The word בִּלְחוּמוֹ (bilkhumo, “his flesh”) has been given a wide variety of translations: “as his food,” “on his flesh,” “upon him, his anger,” or “missiles or weapons of war.”
  5. Job 20:24 tn Heb “a bronze bow pierces him.” The words “an arrow from” are implied and are supplied in the translation; cf. “pulls it out” in the following verse.
  6. Job 20:25 tn The MT has “he draws out [or as a passive, “it is drawn out/forth”] and comes [or goes] out of his back.” For the first verb שָׁלַף (shalaf, “pull, draw”), many commentators follow the LXX and use שֶׁלַח (shelakh, “a spear”). It then reads “and a shaft comes out of his back, a sword flash comes out of his liver.” But the verse could also be a continuation of the preceding.
  7. Job 20:25 tn Possibly a reference to lightnings.
New English Translation (NET)

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