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Job 33:8-13

Elihu Rejects Job’s Plea of Innocence

33:8 “Indeed, you have said in my hearing 1 

(I heard the sound of the words!):

33:9 2 ‘I am pure, without transgression;

I am clean 3  and have no iniquity.

33:10 4 Yet God 5  finds occasions 6  with me;

he regards me as his enemy!

33:11 7 He puts my feet in shackles;

he watches closely all my paths.’

33:12 Now in this, you are not right – I answer you, 8 

for God is greater than a human being. 9 

33:13 Why do you contend against him,

that he does not answer all a person’s 10  words?

1 tn Heb “in my ears.”

2 sn See Job 9:21; 10:7; 23:7; 27:4; ch. 31.

3 tn The word is a hapax legomenon; hap is from חָפַף (khafaf). It is used in New Hebrew in expressions like “to wash” the head. Cognates in Syriac and Akkadian support the meaning “to wash; to clean.”

4 sn See Job 10:13ff.; 19:6ff.; and 13:24.

5 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn The Hebrew means “frustrations” or “oppositions.” The RSV has “displeasure,” NIV “faults,” and NRSV “occasions.” Rashi chose the word found in Judg 14:4 – with metathesis – meaning “pretexts” (תֹּאֲנוֹת, toanot); this is followed by NAB, NASB.

7 sn See Job 13:27.

8 tn The meaning of this verb is “this is my answer to you.”

9 tc The LXX has “he that is above men is eternal.” Elihu is saying that God is far above Job’s petty problems.

10 tc The MT has “all his words.” This must refer to “man” in the previous verse. But many wish to change it to “my words,” since it would be summarizing Job’s complaint to God.

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