3 O that I knew[a] where I might find him,[b] that I could come[c] to his place of residence![d]
Job 23:3tn The optative here is again expressed with the verbal clause, “who will give [that] I knew….”
Job 23:3tn The form in Hebrew is וְאֶמְצָאֵהוּ (veʾemtsaʾehu), simply “and I will find him.” But in the optative clause this verb is subordinated to the preceding verb: “O that I knew where [and] I might find him.” It is not unusual to have the perfect verb followed by the imperfect in such coordinate clauses (see GKC 386 §120.e). This could also be translated making the second verb a complementary infinitive: “knew how to find him.”sn H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 159) quotes Strahan without reference: “It is the chief distinction between Job and his friends that he desires to meet God and they do not.”
Job 23:3tn This verb also depends on מִי־יִתֵּן (mi yitten, “who will give”) of the first part, forming an additional clause in the wish formula.
Job 23:3tn Or “his place of judgment.” The word is from כּוּן (kun, “to prepare; to arrange”) in the Polel and the Hiphil conjugations. The noun refers to a prepared place, a throne, a seat, or a sanctuary. A. B. Davidson (Job, 169) and others take the word to mean “judgment seat” or “tribunal” in this context.
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