19 Indeed, this is the joy of his way,[a] and out of the earth[b] others spring up.[c]
Job 8:19tn This line is difficult. If the MT stands as it is, the expression must be ironic. It would be saying that the joy (all the security and prosperity) of its way (its life) is short-lived—that is the way its joy goes. Most commentators are not satisfied with this. Dhorme, for one, changes מְשׂוֹשׂ (mesos, “joy”) to מְסוֹס (mesos, “rotting”), and gets “behold him lie rotting on the path.” The sibilants can interchange this way. But Dhorme thinks the MT was written the way it was because the word was thought to be “joy,” when it should have been the other way. The word “way” then becomes an accusative of place. The suggestion is rather compelling and would certainly fit the context. The difficulty is that a root סוּס (sus, “to rot”) has to be proposed. E. Dhorme does this by drawing on Arabic sas, “to be eaten by moths or worms,” thus “worm-eaten; decaying; rotting.” Cf. NIV “its life withers away”; also NAB “there he lies rotting beside the road.”
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