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Job 29:21

Job’s Reputation

29:21 “People 1  listened to me and waited silently; 2 

they kept silent for my advice.

Job 31:34


31:34 because I was terrified 3  of the great multitude, 4 

and the contempt of families terrified me,

so that I remained silent

and would not go outdoors – 5 

1 tn “People” is supplied; the verb is plural.

2 tc The last verb of the first half, “wait, hope,” and the first verb in the second colon, “be silent,” are usually reversed by the commentators (see G. R. Driver, “Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 86). But if “wait” has the idea of being silent as they wait for him to speak, then the second line would say they were silent for the reason of his advice. The reading of the MT is not impossible.

3 tn Here too the verb will be the customary imperfect – it explains what he continually did in past time.

4 tn Heb “the great multitude.” But some commentators take רַבָּה (rabbah) adverbially: “greatly” (see RSV).

5 sn There is no clear apodosis for all these clauses. Some commentators transfer the verses around to make them fit the constructions. But the better view is that there is no apodosis – that Job broke off here, feeling it was useless to go further. Now he will address God and not men. But in vv. 38-40b he does return to a self-imprecation. However, there is not sufficient reason to start rearranging all the verses.

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