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Job 19:7-12

Context
Job’s Abandonment and Affliction

19:7 “If 1  I cry out, 2  ‘Violence!’ 3 

I receive no answer; 4 

I cry for help,

but there is no justice.

19:8 He has blocked 5  my way so I cannot pass,

and has set darkness 6  over my paths.

19:9 He has stripped me of my honor

and has taken the crown off my head. 7 

19:10 He tears me down 8  on every side until I perish; 9 

he uproots 10  my hope 11  like one uproots 12  a tree.

19:11 Thus 13  his anger burns against me,

and he considers me among his enemies. 14 

19:12 His troops 15  advance together;

they throw up 16  a siege ramp against me,

and they camp around my tent.

1 tn The particle is used here as in 9:11 (see GKC 497 §159.w).

2 tc The LXX has “I laugh at reproach.”

3 tn The same idea is expressed in Jer 20:8 and Hab 1:2. The cry is a cry for help, that he has been wronged, that there is no justice.

4 tn The Niphal is simply “I am not answered.” See Prov 21:13b.

5 tn The verb גָּדַר (gadar) means “to wall up; to fence up; to block.” God has blocked Job’s way so that he cannot get through. See the note on 3:23. Cf. Lam 3:7.

6 tn Some commentators take the word to be חָשַׁךְ (hasak), related to an Arabic word for “thorn hedge.”

7 sn The images here are fairly common in the Bible. God has stripped away Job’s honorable reputation. The crown is the metaphor for the esteem and dignity he once had. See 29:14; Isa 61:3; see Ps 8:5 [6].

8 tn The metaphors are changed now to a demolished building and an uprooted tree. The verb is נָתַץ (natats, “to demolish”). Since it is Job himself who is the object, the meaning cannot be “demolish” (as of a house so that an inhabitant has to leave), but more of the attack or the battering.

9 tn The text has הָלַךְ (halakh, “to leave”). But in view of Job 14:20, “perish” or “depart” would be a better meaning here.

10 tn The verb נָסַע (nasa’) means “to travel” generally, but specifically it means “to pull up the tent pegs and move.” The Hiphil here means “uproot.” It is used of a vine in Ps 80:9. The idea here does not contradict Job 14:7, for there the tree still had roots and so could grow.

11 tn The NEB has “my tent rope,” but that seems too contrived here. It is absurd to pull up a tent-rope like a tree.

12 tn Heb “like a tree.” The words “one uproots” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

13 tn The verb is a nonpreterite vayyiqtol perhaps employed to indicate that the contents of v. 11 are a logical sequence to the actions described in v. 10.

14 tn This second half of the verse is a little difficult. The Hebrew has “and he reckons me for him like his adversaries.” Most would change the last word to a singular in harmony with the versions, “as his adversary.” But some retain the MT pointing and try to explain it variously: Weiser suggests that the plural might have come from a cultic recitation of Yahweh’s deeds against his enemies; Fohrer thinks it refers to the primeval enemies; Gordis takes it as distributive, “as one of his foes.” If the plural is retained, this latter view makes the most sense.

15 sn Now the metaphor changes again. Since God thinks of Job as an enemy, he attacks with his troops, builds the siege ramp, and camps around him to besiege him. All the power and all the forces are at God’s disposal in his attack of Job.

16 tn Heb “they throw up their way against me.” The verb סָלַל (salal) means “to build a siege ramp” or “to throw up a ramp”; here the object is “their way.” The latter could be taken as an adverbial accusative, “as their way.” But as the object it fits just as well. Some delete the middle clause; the LXX has “Together his troops fell upon me, they beset my ways with an ambush.”



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