it becomes the venom of serpents 3 within him.
God will make him throw it out 5 of his stomach.
1 tn The perfect verb in the apodosis might express the suddenness of the change (see S. R. Driver, Tenses in Hebrew, 204), or it might be a constative perfect looking at the action as a whole without reference to inception, progress, or completion (see IBHS 480-81 §30.1d). The Niphal perfect simply means “is turned” or “turns”; “sour is supplied in the translation to clarify what is meant.
2 tn The word is “in his loins” or “within him.” Some translate more specifically “bowels.”
3 sn Some commentators suggest that the ancients believed that serpents secreted poison in the gall bladder, or that the poison came from the gall bladder of serpents. In any case, there is poison (from the root “bitter”) in the system of the wicked person; it may simply be saying it is that type of poison.
4 tn Heb “swallowed.”
5 tn The choice of words is excellent. The verb יָרַשׁ (yarash) means either “to inherit” or “to disinherit; to dispossess.” The context makes the figure clear that God is administering the emetic to make the wicked throw up the wealth (thus, “God will make him throw it out…”); but since wealth is the subject there is a disinheritance meant here.
6 tn The word is a homonym for the word for “head,” which has led to some confusion in the early versions.
7 sn To take the possessions of another person is hereby compared to sucking poison from a serpent – it will kill eventually.
8 tn Heb “tongue.”
9 tn Some have thought this verse is a gloss on v. 14 and should be deleted. But the word for “viper” (אֶפְעֶה, ’ef’eh) is a rare word, occurring only here and in Isa 30:6 and 59:5. It is unlikely that a rarer word would be used in a gloss. But the point is similar to v. 14 – the wealth that was greedily sucked in by the wicked proves to be their undoing. Either this is totally irrelevant to Job’s case, a general discussion, or the man is raising questions about how Job got his wealth.