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Job 2:9-10

Context

2:9 Then 1  his wife said to him, “Are you still holding firmly to your integrity? 2  Curse 3  God, and die!” 4  2:10 But he replied, 5  “You’re talking like one of the godless 6  women would do! Should we receive 7  what is good from God, and not also 8  receive 9  what is evil?” 10  In all this Job did not sin by what he said. 11 

1 tn The versions have some information here that is interesting, albeit fanciful. The Targum calls her “Dinah.” The LXX has “when a long time had passed.” But the whole rendering of the LXX is paraphrastic: “How long will you hold out, saying, ‘Behold, I wait yet a little while, expecting the hope of my deliverance?’ for behold, your memorial is abolished from the earth, even your sons and daughters, the pangs and pains of my womb which I bore in vain with sorrows, and you yourself sit down to spend the night in the open air among the corruption of worms, and I am a wanderer and a servant from place to place and house to house, waiting for the setting sun, that I may rest from my labors and pains that now beset me, but say some word against the Lord and die.”

2 sn See R. D. Moore, “The Integrity of Job,” CBQ 45 (1983): 17-31. The reference of Job’s wife to his “integrity” could be a precursor of the conclusion reached by Elihu in 32:2 where he charged Job with justifying himself rather than God.

3 tn The verb is literally בָּרַךְ, (barakh, “bless”). As in the earlier uses, the meaning probably has more to do with renouncing God than of speaking a curse. The actual word may be taken as a theological euphemism for the verb קִלֵּל (qillel, “curse”). If Job’s wife had meant that he was trying to justify himself rather than God, “bless God” might be translated “speak well of God,” the resolution accepted by God in 42:7-8 following Job’s double confession of having spoken wrongly of God (40:3-5; 42:1-6).

sn The church fathers were quick to see here again the role of the wife in the temptation – she acts as the intermediary between Satan and Job, pressing the cause for him. However, Job’s wife has been demonized falsely. Job did not say that she was a foolish woman, only that she was speaking like one of them (2:10). Also, Job did not exclude her from sharing in his suffering (“should we receive”). He evidently recognized that her words were the result of her personal loss and pain as well as the desire to see her husband’s suffering ended. When God gave instructions for the restoration of Job’s friends because of their foolish words (42:7-9), no mention is made of any need for Job’s wife to be restored.

4 tn The imperative with the conjunction in this expression serves to express the certainty that will follow as the result or consequence of the previous imperative (GKC 324-25 §110.f).

5 tn Heb “he said to her.”

6 tn The word “foolish” (נָבָל, naval) has to do with godlessness more than silliness (Ps 14:1). To be foolish in this sense is to deny the nature and the work of God in life its proper place. See A. Phillips, “NEBALA – A Term for Serious Disorderly Unruly Conduct,” VT 25 (1975): 237-41; and W. M. W. Roth, “NBL,” VT 10 (1960): 394-409.

7 tn The verb קִבֵּל (qibbel) means “to accept, receive.” It is attested in the Amarna letters with the meaning “receive meekly, patiently.”

8 tn The adverb גָּם (gam, “also, even”) is placed here before the first clause, but belongs with the second. It intensifies the idea (see GKC 483 §153). See also C. J. Labuschagne, “The Emphasizing Particle GAM and Its Connotations,” Studia Biblica et Semitica, 193-203.

9 tn The two verbs in this sentence, Piel imperfects, are deliberative imperfects; they express the reasoning or deliberating in the interrogative sentences.

10 tn A question need not be introduced by an interrogative particle or adverb. The natural emphasis on the words is enough to indicate it is a question (GKC 473 §150.a).

sn The Hebrew words טוֹב (tov, “good”) and רַע (ra’, “evil”) have to do with what affects life. That which is good benefits people because it produces, promotes and protects life; that which is evil brings calamity and disaster, it harms, pains, or destroys life.

11 tn Heb “sin with his lips,” an idiom meaning he did not sin by what he said.



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