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Job 26:2-3

Context

26:2 “How you have helped 1  the powerless! 2 

How you have saved the person who has no strength! 3 

26:3 How you have advised the one without wisdom,

and abundantly 4  revealed your insight!

1 tn The interrogative clause is used here as an exclamation, and sarcastic at that. Job is saying “you have in no way helped the powerless.” The verb uses the singular form, for Job is replying to Bildad.

2 tn The “powerless” is expressed here by the negative before the word for “strength; power” – “him who has no power” (see GKC 482 §152.u, v).

3 tn Heb “the arm [with] no strength.” Here too the negative expression is serving as a relative clause to modify “arm,” the symbol of strength and power, which by metonymy stands for the whole person. “Man of arm” denoted the strong in 22:8.

4 tc The phrase לָרֹב (larov) means “to abundance” or “in a large quantity.” It is also used ironically like all these expressions. This makes very good sense, but some wish to see a closer parallel and so offer emendations. Reiske and Kissane thought “to the tender” for the word. But the timid are not the same as the ignorant and unwise. So Graetz supplied “to the boorish” by reading לְבָעַר (lÿbaar). G. R. Driver did the same with less of a change: לַבּוֹר (labbor; HTR 29 [1936]: 172).



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