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Job 21:13-14

Context

21:13 They live out 1  their years in prosperity

and go down 2  to the grave 3  in peace.

21:14 So they say to God, ‘Turn away from us!

We do not want to 4  know your ways. 5 

1 tc The Kethib has “they wear out” but the Qere and the versions have יְכַלּוּ (yÿkhallu, “bring to an end”). The verb כָּלָה (kalah) means “to finish; to complete,” and here with the object “their days,” it means that they bring their life to a (successful) conclusion. Both readings are acceptable in the context, with very little difference in the overall meaning (which according to Gordis is proof the Qere does not always correct the Kethib).

2 tc The MT has יֵחָתּוּ (yekhattu, “they are frightened [or broken]”), taking the verb from חָתַת (khatat, “be terrified”). But most would slightly repoint it to יֵחָתוּ (yekhatu), an Aramaism, “they go down,” from נָחַת (nakhat, “go down”). See Job 17:16.

3 tn The word רֶגַע (rega’) has been interpreted as “in a moment” or “in peace” (on the basis of Arabic raja`a, “return to rest”). Gordis thinks this is a case of talhin – both meanings present in the mind of the writer.

4 tn The absence of the preposition before the complement adds greater vividness to the statement: “and knowing your ways – we do not desire.”

5 sn Contrast Ps 25:4, which affirms that walking in God’s ways means to obey God’s will – the Torah.



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