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Job 16:12-14

Context

16:12 I was in peace, and he has shattered me. 1 

He has seized me by the neck and crushed me. 2 

He has made me his target;

16:13 his archers 3  surround me.

Without pity 4  he pierces 5  my kidneys

and pours out my gall 6  on the ground.

16:14 He breaks through against me, time and time again; 7 

he rushes 8  against me like a warrior.

1 tn The verb פָּרַר (parar) means “to shake.” In the Hiphil it means “to break; to shatter” (5:12; 15:4). The Pilpel means “to break in pieces,” and in the Poel in Jer 23:29 “to smash up.” So Job was living at ease, and God shattered his life.

2 tn Here is another Pilpel, now from פָּצַץ (patsats) with a similar meaning to the other verb. It means “to dash into pieces” and even scatter the pieces. The LXX translates this line, “he took me by the hair of the head and plucked it out.”

3 tn The meaning of “his archers” is supported for רַבָּיו (rabbayv) in view of Jer 50:29. The LXX, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum Job, followed by several translations and commentators prefer “arrows.” They see this as a more appropriate figure without raising the question of who the archers might be (see 6:4). The point is an unnecessary distinction, for the figure is an illustration of the affliction that God has brought on him.

4 tn Heb “and he does not pity,” but the clause is functioning adverbially in the line.

5 tn The verb פָּלַח (palakh) in the Piel means “to pierce” (see Prov 7:23). A fuller comparison should be made with Lam 3:12-13.

6 tn This word מְרֵרָתִי (mÿrerati, “my gall”) is found only here. It is close to the form in Job 13:26, “bitter things.” In Job 20:14 it may mean “poison.” The thought is also found in Lam 2:11.

7 tn The word פָּרַץ (parats) means “to make a breach” in a wall (Isa 5:5; Ps 80:13). It is used figuratively in the birth and naming of Peres in Gen 38:29. Here the image is now of a military attack that breaks through a wall. The text uses the cognate accusative, and then with the addition of עַל־פְּנֵי (’al-pÿne, “in addition”) it repeats the cognate noun. A smooth translation that reflects the three words is difficult. E. Dhorme (Job, 237) has “he batters me down, breach upon breach.”

8 tn Heb “runs.”



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