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Job 14:1-3

Context
The Brevity of Life

14:1 “Man, born of woman, 1 

lives but a few days, 2  and they are full of trouble. 3 

14:2 He grows up 4  like a flower and then withers away; 5 

he flees like a shadow, and does not remain. 6 

14:3 Do you fix your eye 7  on such a one? 8 

And do you bring me 9  before you for judgment?

1 tn The first of the threefold apposition for אָדָם (’adam, “man”) is “born of a woman.” The genitive (“woman”) after a passive participle denotes the agent of the action (see GKC 359 §116.l).

2 tn The second description is simply “[is] short of days.” The meaning here is that his life is short (“days” being put as the understatement for “years”).

3 tn The third expression is “consumed/full/sated – with/of – trouble/restlessness.” The latter word, רֹגֶז (rogez), occurred in Job 3:17; see also the idea in 10:15.

4 tn Heb יָצָא (yatsa’, “comes forth”). The perfect verb expresses characteristic action and so is translated by the present tense (see GKC 329 §111.s).

5 tn The verb וַיִּמָּל (vayyimmal) is from the root מָלַל (malal, “to languish; to wither”) and not from a different root מָלַל (malal, “to cut off”).

6 tn The verb is “and he does not stand.” Here the verb means “to stay fixed; to abide.” The shadow does not stay fixed, but continues to advance toward darkness.

7 tn Heb “open the eye on,” an idiom meaning to prepare to judge someone.

8 tn The verse opens with אַף־עַל־זֶה (’af-al-zeh), meaning “even on such a one!” It is an exclamation of surprise.

9 tn The text clearly has “me” as the accusative; but many wish to emend it to say “him” (אֹתוֹ, ’oto). But D. J. A. Clines rightly rejects this in view of the way Job is written, often moving back and forth from his own tragedy and others’ tragedies (Job [WBC], 283).



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