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Job 22:21-25

Context

22:21 “Reconcile yourself 1  with God, 2 

and be at peace 3  with him;

in this way your prosperity will be good.

22:22 Accept instruction 4  from his mouth

and store up his words 5  in your heart.

22:23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; 6 

if you remove wicked behavior far from your tent,

22:24 and throw 7  your gold 8  in the dust –

your gold 9  of Ophir

among the rocks in the ravines –

22:25 then the Almighty himself will be your gold, 10 

and the choicest 11  silver for you.

1 tn The verb סָכַן (sakhan) meant “to be useful; to be profitable” in v. 2. Now, in the Hiphil it means “to be accustomed to” or “to have experience with.” Joined by the preposition “with” it means “to be reconciled with him.” W. B. Bishai cites Arabic and Ugaritic words to support a meaning “acquiesce” (“Notes on hskn in Job 22:21,” JNES 20 [1961]: 258-59).

2 tn Heb “him”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn The two imperatives in this verse imply a relationship of succession and not consequence.

4 tn The Hebrew word here is תּוֹרָה (torah), its only occurrence in the book of Job.

5 tc M. Dahood has “write his words” (“Metaphor in Job 22:22,” Bib 47 [1966]: 108-9).

6 tc The MT has “you will be built up” (תִּבָּנֶה, tibbaneh). But the LXX has “humble yourself” (reading תְּעַנֶּה [tÿanneh] apparently). Many commentators read this; Dahood has “you will be healed.”

7 tc The form is the imperative. Eliphaz is telling Job to get rid of his gold as evidence of his repentance. Many commentators think that this is too improbable for Eliphaz to have said, and that Job has lost everything anyway, and so they make proposals for the text. Most would follow Theodotion and the Syriac to read וְשָׁתָּ (vÿshatta, “and you will esteem….”). This would mean that he is promising Job restoration of his wealth.

tn Heb “place.”

8 tn The word for “gold” is the rare בֶּצֶר (betser), which may be derived from a cognate of Arabic basara, “to see; to examine.” If this is the case, the word here would refer to refined gold. The word also forms a fine wordplay with בְצוּר (bÿtsur, “in the rock”).

9 tn The Hebrew text simply has “Ophir,” a metonymy for the gold that comes from there.

10 tn The form for “gold” here is plural, which could be a plural of extension. The LXX and Latin versions have “The Almighty will be your helper against your enemies.”

11 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 339) connects this word with an Arabic root meaning “to be elevated, steep.” From that he gets “heaps of silver.”



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