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Job 2:12-13

Context
2:12 But when they gazed intently 1  from a distance but did not recognize 2  him, they began to weep loudly. Each of them tore his robes, and they threw dust into the air over their heads. 3  2:13 Then they sat down with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, yet no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain 4  was very great. 5 

1 tn Heb “they lifted up their eyes.” The idiom “to lift up the eyes” (or “to lift up the voice”) is intended to show a special intensity in the effort. Here it would indicate that they were trying to see Job from a great distance away.

2 tn The Hiphil perfect here should take the nuance of potential perfect – they were not able to recognize him. In other words, this does not mean that they did not know it was Job, only that he did not look anything like the Job they knew.

3 tn Heb “they tossed dust skyward over their heads.”

4 tn The word כְּאֵב (kÿev) means “pain” – both mental and physical pain. The translation of “grief” captures only part of its emphasis.

5 sn The three friends went into a more severe form of mourning, one that is usually reserved for a death. E. Dhorme says it is a display of grief in its most intense form (Job, 23); for one of them to speak before the sufferer spoke would have been wrong.



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