4 But[a] Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for[b] skin![c] Indeed, a man will give up[d] all that he has to save his life.[e]
Job 2:4tn 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 2:4tn 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 2:4sn 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 2:4tc The LXX has “make full payment, pay a full price” (LSJ 522 s.v. ἐκτίνω).
Job 2:4tnHeb “Indeed, all that a man has he will give for his life.”
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