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Job 14:12

Context

14:12 so man lies down and does not rise;

until the heavens are no more, 1 

they 2  will not awake

nor arise from their sleep.

Job 24:14

Context

24:14 Before daybreak 3  the murderer rises up;

he kills the poor and the needy;

in the night he is 4  like a thief. 5 

1 tc The Hebrew construction is “until not,” which is unusual if not impossible; it is found in only one other type of context. In its six other occurrences (Num 21:35; Deut 3:3; Josh 8:22; 10:33; 11:8; 2 Kgs 10:11) the context refers to the absence of survivors. Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, Syriac, and Vulgate all have “till the heavens wear out.” Most would emend the text just slightly from עַד־בִּלְתִּי (’ad-bilti, “are no more”) to עַד בְּלוֹת (’ad bÿlot, “until the wearing out of,” see Ps 102:26 [27]; Isa 51:6). Gray rejects emendation here, finding the unusual form of the MT in its favor. Orlinsky (p. 57) finds a cognate Arabic word meaning “will not awake” and translates it “so long as the heavens are not rent asunder” (H. M. Orlinsky, “The Hebrew and Greek Texts of Job 14:12,” JQR 28 [1937/38]: 57-68). He then deletes the last line of the verse as a later gloss.

2 tn The verb is plural because the subject, אִישׁ (’ish), is viewed as a collective: “mankind.” The verb means “to wake up; to awake”; another root, קוּץ (quts, “to split open”) cognate to Arabic qada and Akkadian kasu, was put forward by H. M. Orlinsky (“The Hebrew and Greek Texts of Job 14:12,” JQR 28 [1937-38]: 57-68) and G. R. Driver (“Problems in the Hebrew Text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 72-93).

3 tn The text simply has לָאוֹר (laor, “at light” or “at daylight”), probably meaning just at the time of dawn.

4 tn In a few cases the jussive is used without any real sense of the jussive being present (see GKC 323 §109.k).

5 sn The point is that he is like a thief in that he works during the night, just before the daylight, when the advantage is all his and the victim is most vulnerable.



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