and with the continual strife of his bones, 2
33:20 so that his life loathes food,
and his soul rejects appetizing fare. 3
33:21 His flesh wastes away from sight,
and his bones, which were not seen,
are easily visible. 4
and his life to the messengers of death. 6
1 tc The MT has the passive form, and so a subject has to be added: “[a man] is chastened.” The LXX has the active form, indicating “[God] chastens,” but the object “a man” has to be added. It is understandable why the LXX thought this was active, within this sequence of verbs; and that is why it is the inferior reading.
2 tc The Kethib “the strife of his bones is continual,” whereas the Qere has “the multitude of his bones are firm.” The former is the better reading in this passage. It indicates that the pain is caused by the ongoing strife.
3 tn Heb “food of desire.” The word “rejects” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.
4 tc Heb “are laid bare.” This is the Qere reading; the Kethib means “bare height.” Gordis reverses the word order: “his bones are bare [i.e., crushed] so that they cannot be looked upon.” But the sense of that is not clear.
5 tn Heb “his soul [נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh, “life”] draws near.”
6 tn The MT uses the Hiphil participle, “to those who cause death.” This seems to be a reference to the belief in demons that brought about death, an idea not mentioned in the Bible itself. Thus many proposals have been made for this expression. Hoffmann and Budde divide the word into לְמוֹ מֵתִּים (lÿmo metim) and simply read “to the dead.” Dhorme adds a couple of letters to get לִמְקוֹם מֵתִּים (limqom metim, “to the place [or abode] of the dead”).