30:24 “Surely one does not stretch out his hand
against a broken man 1
when he cries for help in his distress. 2
Was not my soul grieved for the poor?
30:26 But when I hoped for good, trouble came;
when I expected light, then darkness came.
the days of my affliction confront me.
in the assembly I stand up and cry for help.
30:29 I have become a brother to jackals
and a companion of ostriches. 8
and my flute for the sound of weeping.
1 tc Here is another very difficult verse, as is attested by the differences among commentaries and translations. The MT has “surely not against a ruinous heap will he [God] put forth his [God’s] hand.” But A. B. Davidson takes Job as the subject, reading “does not one stretch out his hand in his fall?” The RSV suggests a man walking in the ruins and using his hand for support. Dillmann changed it to “drowning man” to say “does not a drowning man stretch out his hand?” Beer has “have I not given a helping hand to the poor?” Dhorme has, “I did not strike the poor man with my hand.” Kissane follows this but retains the verb form, “one does not strike the poor man with his hand.”
2 tc The second colon is also difficult; it reads, “if in his destruction to them he cries.” E. Dhorme (Job, 425-26) explains how he thinks “to them” came about, and he restores “to me.” This is the major difficulty in the line, and Dhorme’s suggestion is the simplest resolution.
3 tn Heb “for the hard of day.”
4 tn Heb “my loins,” “my bowels” (archaic), “my innermost being.” The latter option is reflected in the translation; some translations take the inner turmoil to be literal (NIV: “The churning inside me never stops”).
5 tn Heb “boils.”
6 tn The last clause reads “and they [it] are not quiet” or “do not cease.” The clause then serves adverbially for the sentence – “unceasingly.”
7 tn The construction uses the word קֹדֵר (qoder) followed by the Piel perfect of הָלַךְ (halakh, “I go about”). The adjective “blackened” refers to Job’s skin that has been marred by the disease. Adjectives are often used before verbs to describe some bodily condition (see GKC 374-75 §118.n).
9 tn The MT has “become dark from upon me,” prompting some editions to supply the verb “falls from me” (RSV, NRSV), or “peels” (NIV).
10 tn The word “my bones” may be taken as a metonymy of subject, the bony framework indicating the whole body.
11 tn The word חֹרֶב (khorev) also means “heat.” The heat in this line is not that of the sun, but obviously a fever.