New English Translation
No Sin Discovered
24 “Teach[a] me and I, for my part,[b] will be silent;
explain to me[c] how I have been mistaken.[d]
25 How painful are[e] honest words!
But[f] what does your reproof[g] prove?[h]
26 Do you intend to criticize mere words,
and treat[i] the words of a despairing man as wind?
- 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.”