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Job 21:2-4


21:2 “Listen carefully 1  to my words;

let this be 2  the consolation you offer me. 3 

21:3 Bear with me 4  and I 5  will speak,

and after I have spoken 6  you may mock. 7 

21:4 Is my 8  complaint against a man? 9 

If so, 10  why should I not be impatient? 11 

1 tn The intensity of the appeal is again expressed by the imperative followed by the infinitive absolute for emphasis. See note on “listen carefully” in 13:17.

2 tc The LXX negates the sentence, “that I may not have this consolation from you.”

3 tn The word תַּנְחוּמֹתֵיכֶם (tankhumotekhem) is literally “your consolations,” the suffix being a subjective genitive. The friends had thought they were offering Job consolation (Job 14:11), but the consolation he wants from them is that they listen to him and respond accordingly.

4 tn The verb נָשָׂא (nasa’) means “to lift up; to raise up”; but in this context it means “to endure; to tolerate” (see Job 7:21).

5 tn The conjunction and the independent personal pronoun draw emphatic attention to the subject of the verb: “and I on my part will speak.”

6 tn The adverbial clauses are constructed of the preposition “after” and the Piel infinitive construct with the subjective genitive suffix: “my speaking,” or “I speak.”

7 tn The verb is the imperfect of לָעַג (laag). The Hiphil has the same basic sense as the Qal, “to mock; to deride.” The imperfect here would be modal, expressing permission. The verb is in the singular, suggesting that Job is addressing Zophar; however, most of the versions put it into the plural. Note the singular in 16:3 between the plural in 16:1 and 16:4.

8 tn The addition of the independent pronoun at the beginning of the sentence (“Is it I / against a man / my complaint”) strengthens the pronominal suffix on “complaint” (see GKC 438 §135.f).

9 sn The point seems to be that if his complaint were merely against men he might expect sympathy from other men; but no one dares offer him sympathy when his complaint is against God. So he will give free expression to his spirit (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 147).

10 tn On disjunctive interrogatives, see GKC 475 §150.g.

11 tn Heb “why should my spirit/breath not be short” (see Num 21:4; Judg 16:16).

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