and his own counsel throws him down. 3
and he wanders into a mesh. 5
a snare 7 grips him.
and a trap for him 9 lies on the path.
and dog 11 his every step.
and misfortune is ready at his side. 14
1 tn Heb “the steps of his vigor,” the genitive being the attribute.
2 tn The verb צָרַר (tsarar) means “to be cramped; to be straitened; to be hemmed in.” The trouble has hemmed him in, so that he cannot walk with the full, vigorous steps he had before. The LXX has “Let the meanest of men spoil his goods.”
3 tn The LXX has “causes him to stumble,” which many commentators accept; but this involves the transposition of the three letters. The verb is שָׁלַךְ (shalakh, “throw”) not כָּשַׁל (kashal, “stumble”).
5 tn The word שְׂבָכָה (sÿvakhah) is used in scripture for the lattice window (2 Kgs 1:2). The Arabic cognate means “to be intertwined.” So the term could describe a net, matting, grating, or lattice. Here it would be the netting stretched over a pit.
7 tn This word does not occur elsewhere. But another word from the same root means “plait of hair,” and so this term has something to do with a net like a trellis or lattice.
8 tn Heb “his rope.” The suffix must be a genitive expressing that the trap was for him, to trap him, and so an objective genitive.
9 tn Heb “his trap.” The pronominal suffix is objective genitive here as well.
10 sn Bildad is referring here to all the things that afflict a person and cause terror. It would then be a metonymy of effect, the cause being the afflictions.
11 tn The verb פּוּץ (puts) in the Hiphil has the meaning “to pursue” and “to scatter.” It is followed by the expression “at his feet.” So the idea is easily derived: they chase him at his feet. But some commentators have other proposals. The most far-fetched is that of Ehrlich and Driver (ZAW 24 : 259-60) which has “and compel him to urinate on his feet,” one of many similar readings the NEB accepted from Driver.
12 tn The jussive is occasionally used without its normal sense and only as an imperfect (see GKC 323 §109.k).
13 tn There are a number of suggestions for אֹנוֹ (’ono). Some take it as “vigor”: thus “his strength is hungry.” Others take it as “iniquity”: thus “his iniquity/trouble is hungry.”
14 tn The expression means that misfortune is right there to destroy him whenever there is the opportunity.