Job 34:20

34:20 In a moment they die, in the middle of the night,

people are shaken and they pass away.

The mighty are removed effortlessly.

Job 34:29

34:29 But if God is quiet, who can condemn him?

If he hides his face, then who can see him?

Yet he is over the individual and the nation alike,

tn Dhorme transposes “in the middle of the night” with “they pass away” to get a smoother reading. But the MT emphasizes the suddenness by putting both temporal ideas first. E. F. Sutcliffe leaves the order as it stands in the text, but adds a verb “they expire” after “in the middle of the night” (“Notes on Job, textual and exegetical,” Bib 30 [1949]: 79ff.).

tn R. Gordis (Job, 389) thinks “people” here mean the people who count, the upper class.

tn The verb means “to be violently agitated.” There is no problem with the word in this context, but commentators have made suggestions for improving the idea. The proposal that has the most to commend it, if one were inclined to choose a new word, is the change to יִגְוָעוּ (yigvau, “they expire”; so Ball, Holscher, Fohrer, and others).

tn Heb “not by hand.” This means without having to use force.

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

tn The verb in this position is somewhat difficult, although it does make good sense in the sentence – it is just not what the parallelism would suggest. So several emendations have been put forward, for which see the commentaries.

tn The line simply reads “and over a nation and over a man together.” But it must be the qualification for the points being made in the previous lines, namely, that even if God hides himself so no one can see, yet he is still watching over them all (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 222).

tn The word translated “alike” (Heb “together”) has bothered some interpreters. In the reading taken here it is acceptable. But others have emended it to gain a verb, such as “he visits” (Beer), “he watches over” (Duhm), “he is compassionate” (Kissane), etc. But it is sufficient to say “he is over.”