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Job 32:18-20

Context

32:18 For I am full of words,

and the spirit within me 1  constrains me. 2 

32:19 Inside I am like wine which has no outlet, 3 

like new wineskins 4  ready to burst!

32:20 I will speak, 5  so that I may find relief;

I will open my lips, so that I may answer.

1 tn Heb “the spirit of my belly.”

2 tn The verb צוּק (tsuq) means “to constrain; to urge; to press.” It is used in Judg 14:17; 16:16 with the sense of wearing someone down with repeated entreaties. Elihu cannot withhold himself any longer.

3 tn Heb “in my belly I am like wine that is not opened” (a Niphal imperfect), meaning sealed up with no place to escape.

4 tc The Hebrew text has כְּאֹבוֹת חֲדָשִׁים (kÿovot khadashim), traditionally rendered “like new wineskins.” But only here does the phrase have this meaning. The LXX has “smiths” for “new,” thus “like smith’s bellows.” A. Guillaume connects the word with an Arabic word for a wide vessel for wine shaped like a cup (“Archaeological and philological note on Job 32:19,” PEQ 93 [1961]: 147-50). Some have been found in archaeological sites. The poor would use skins, the rich would use jars. The key to putting this together is the verb at the end of the line, יִבָּקֵעַ (yibbaqea’, “that are ready to burst”). The point of the statement is that Elihu is bursting to speak, and until now has not had the opening.

5 tn The cohortative expresses Elihu’s resolve to speak.



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