1 tn This is the meaning of the Hiphil imperfect negated: “he does not believe” or “he has no confidence.” It is followed by the infinitive construct functioning as the direct object – he does not expect to return (to escape) from darkness.
sn The meaning of this line is somewhat in question. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 111) thinks it could mean that he is afraid he will not wake up from the night, or he dreads misfortune, thinking it will be final for him.
2 sn In the context of these arguments, “darkness” probably refers to calamity, and so the wicked can expect a calamity that is final.
3 tn Heb “he is watched [or waited for] by the sword.” G. R. Driver reads it, “he is marked down for the sword” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 : 78). Ewald suggested “laid up for the sword.” Ball has “looks for the sword.” The MT has a passive participle from צָפָה (tsafah, “to observe, watch”) which can be retained in the text; the meaning of the form can then be understood as the result of the inspection (E. Dhorme, Job, 217).
4 tn Some editions and commentators delete the first line of this verse, arguing that it is simply a paraphrase of v. 22a, and that it interrupts the comparison with a tree that falls (although that comparison only starts next).
5 tn This last line in the verse is the difficult one. The MT has “he shall depart by the breath of his mouth.” If this reading stands, then it must be understood that it is the breath of God’s mouth that is intended. In place of “his mouth” the LXX has “flower” (reading פִּרהוֹ [pirho, properly, “his fruit”] instead of פִּיו piv), and “fall” instead of “depart.” Modern commentators and a number of English versions (e.g., RSV, NRSV, TEV) alter יָסוּר (yasur, “depart”) to something like יְסֹעַר (yÿso’ar, from סָעַר [sa’ar, “to drive away”]), or the like, to get “will be swept away.” The result is a reading: “and his blossom will be swept away by the wind.” The LXX may have read the Hebrew exactly, but harmonized it with v. 33 (see H. Heater, A Septuagint Translation Technique in the Book of Job [CBQMS]: 61-62).