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“Truly,[a] I know that this is so.
But how[b] can a human[c] be just before[d] God?[e]

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  1. Job 9:2 tn The adverb אָמְנָם (ʾomnam, “in truth”) is characteristic of the book of Job (12:2; 19:4; 34:12; 36:4). The friends make commonplace statements, general truths, and Job responds with “truly I know this is so.” Job knows as much about these themes as his friends do.
  2. Job 9:2 sn The interrogative is used to express what is an impossibility.
  3. Job 9:2 tn The attempt to define אֱנוֹשׁ (ʾenosh) as “weak” or “mortal” man is not compelling. Such interpretations are based on etymological links without the clear support of usage (an issue discussed by J. Barr, Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament). This seems to be a poetic word for “human” (the only nonpoetic use is in 2 Chr 14:10).
  4. Job 9:2 tn The preposition is אִם (ʾim, “with, before, in the presence of”). This is more specific than מִן (min) in 4:17.
  5. Job 9:2 sn The point of Job’s rhetorical question is that man cannot be justified as against God, because God is too powerful and too clever—he controls the universe. He is discussing now the question that Eliphaz raised in 4:17. Peake observes that Job is raising the question of whether something is right because God says it is right, or that God declares it right because it is right.

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