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Job 16:8-9

Context

16:8 You have seized me, 1 

and it 2  has become a witness;

my leanness 3  has risen up against me

and testifies against me.

16:9 His 4  anger has torn me 5  and persecuted 6  me;

he has gnashed at me with his teeth;

my adversary locks 7  his eyes on me.

1 tn The verb is קָמַט (qamat) which is used only here and in 22:16; it means “to seize; to grasp.” By God’s seizing him, Job means his afflictions.

2 tn The subject is “my calamity.”

3 tn The verb is used in Ps 109:24 to mean “to be lean”; and so “leanness” is accepted here for the noun by most. Otherwise the word is “lie, deceit.” Accordingly, some take it here as “my slanderer” or “my liar” (gives evidence against me).

4 tn The referent of these pronouns in v. 9 (“his anger…he has gnashed…his teeth…his eyes”) is best taken as God.

5 sn The figure used now is that of a wild beast. God’s affliction of Job is compared to the attack of such an animal. Cf. Amos 1:11.

6 tn The verb שָׂטַם (satam) is translated “hate” in the RSV, but this is not accepted by very many. Many emend it to שָׁמט (shamat), reading “and he dropped me” (from his mouth). But that suggests escape. D. J. A. Clines notes that usage shows it reflects ongoing hatred represented by an action such as persecution or attack (Job [WBC], 370).

7 tn The verb is used of sharpening a sword in Ps 7:12; here it means “to look intently” as an animal looks for prey. The verse describes God’s relentless pursuit of Job.



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