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Job 16:9-10

Context

16:9 His 1  anger has torn me 2  and persecuted 3  me;

he has gnashed at me with his teeth;

my adversary locks 4  his eyes on me.

16:10 People 5  have opened their mouths against me,

they have struck my cheek in scorn; 6 

they unite 7  together against me.

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

2 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.

3 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).

4 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.

5 tn “People” is supplied; the Hebrew verb is third plural. The colon reads, “they have opened against me with [the preposition is instrumental] their mouth.” The gestures here follow the animal imagery; they reflect destructive opposition and attack (see Ps 22:13 among others).

6 tn This is an “insult” or a “reproach.”

7 tn The verb יִתְמַלָּאוּן (yitmallaun) is taken from מָלֵא (male’), “to be full,” and in this stem, “to pile up; to press together.” The term has a military connotation, such as “to mobilize” (see D. W. Thomas, “ml'w in Jeremiah 4:5 : a military term,” JJS 3 [1952]: 47-52). Job sees himself surrounded by enemies who persecute him and mock him.



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