New English Translation
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]
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Job 21:14 sn Contrast Ps 25:4, which affirms that walking in God’s ways means to obey God’s will—the Torah.
- Job 21:15 tn The interrogative clause is followed by ki, similar to Exod 5:2, “Who is Yahweh, that I should obey him?”
- 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.
- Job 21:15 tn The verse is not present in the LXX. It may be that it was considered too blasphemous and therefore omitted.