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Job 12:7

Knowledge of God’s Wisdom 1 

12:7 “But now, ask the animals and they 2  will teach you,

or the birds of the sky and they will tell you.

Job 18:2


18:2 “How long until you 3  make an end of words? 4 

You must consider, 5  and then 6  we can talk.

1 sn As J. E. Hartley (Job [NICOT], 216) observes, in this section Job argues that respected tradition “must not be accepted uncritically.”

2 tn The singular verb is used here with the plural collective subject (see GKC 464 §145.k).

3 tn The verb is plural, and so most commentators make it singular. But it seems from the context that Bildad is addressing all of them, and not just Job.

4 tn The construction is קִנְצֵי לְמִלִּין (qintse lÿmillin), which is often taken to be “end of words,” as if the word was from קֵץ (qets, “end”). But a plural of “end” is not found in the OT. Some will link the word to Arabic qanasa, “to hunt; to give chase,” to get an interpretation of “snares for words.” But E. Dhorme (Job, 257) objects that this does not fit the speech of Bildad (as well as it might Job’s). He finds a cognate qinsu, “fetters, shackles,” and reads “how long will you put shackles on words.” But G. R. Driver had pointed out that this cognate does not exist (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 72-93). So it would be preferable to take the reading “ends” and explain the ן (nun) as from a Aramaizing by-form. This is supported by 11QtgJob that uses סוֹף (sof, “end”). On the construction, GKC 421 §130.a explains this as a use of the construct in rapid narrative to connect the words; in such cases a preposition is on the following noun.

5 tn The imperfect verb, again plural, would be here taken in the nuance of instruction, or a modal nuance of obligation. So Bildad is telling his listeners to be intelligent. This would be rather cutting in the discourse.

6 tn Heb “afterward.”

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