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13 They live out[a] their years in prosperity
and go down[b] to the grave[c] in peace.
14 So they say to God, ‘Turn away from us!
We do not want to know your ways.[d]
15 Who is the Almighty, that[e] we should serve him?
What would we gain
if we were to pray[f] to him?’[g]

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  1. Job 21:13 tc The Kethib has “they wear out” but the Qere and the versions have יְכַלּוּ (yekhallu, “bring to an end”). The verb כָּלָה (kalah) means “to finish; to complete,” and here with the object “their days,” it means that they bring their life to a (successful) conclusion. Both readings are acceptable in the context, with very little difference in the overall meaning (which according to Gordis is proof the Qere does not always correct the Kethib).
  2. Job 21:13 tc The MT has יֵחָתּוּ (yekhattu, “they are frightened [or broken]”), taking the verb from חָתַת (khatat, “be terrified”). But most would slightly repoint it to יֵחָתוּ (yekhatu), an Aramaism, “they go down,” from נָחַת (nakhat, “go down”). See Job 17:16.
  3. Job 21:13 tn The word רֶגַע (regaʿ) has been interpreted as “in a moment” or “in peace” (on the basis of Arabic rajaʿa, “return to rest”). Gordis thinks this is a case of talhin— both meanings present in the mind of the writer.
  4. Job 21:14 sn Contrast Ps 25:4, which affirms that walking in God’s ways means to obey God’s will—the Torah.
  5. Job 21:15 tn The interrogative clause is followed by ki, similar to Exod 5:2, “Who is Yahweh, that I should obey him?”
  6. Job 21:15 tn The verb פָּגַע (pagaʿ) means “to encounter; to meet,” but also “to meet with request; to intercede; to interpose.” The latter meaning is a derived meaning by usage.
  7. Job 21:15 tn The verse is not present in the LXX. It may be that it was considered too blasphemous and therefore omitted.

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