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Job 34:5-10


34:5 For Job says, ‘I am innocent, 1 

but God turns away my right.

34:6 Concerning my right, should I lie? 2 

My wound 3  is incurable,

although I am without transgression.’ 4 

34:7 What man is like Job,

who 5  drinks derision 6  like water!

34:8 He goes about 7  in company 8  with evildoers,

he goes along 9  with wicked men. 10 

34:9 For he says, ‘It does not profit a man

when he makes his delight with God.’ 11 

God is Not Unjust

34:10 “Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding. 12 

Far be it from 13  God to do wickedness,

from the Almighty to do evil.

1 tn Heb “righteous,” but in this context it means to be innocent or in the right.

2 tn The verb is the Piel imperfect of כָּזַב (kazav), meaning “to lie.” It could be a question: “Should I lie [against my right?] – when I am innocent. If it is repointed to the Pual, then it can be “I am made to lie,” or “I am deceived.” Taking it as a question makes good sense here, and so emendations are unnecessary.

3 tn The Hebrew text has only “my arrow.” Some commentators emend that word slightly to get “my wound.” But the idea could be derived from “arrows” as well, the wounds caused by the arrows. The arrows are symbolic of God’s affliction.

4 tn Heb “without transgression”; but this is parallel to the first part where the claim is innocence.

5 tn Heb “he drinks,” but coming after the question this clause may be subordinated.

6 tn The scorn or derision mentioned here is not against Job, but against God. Job scorns God so much, he must love it. So to reflect this idea, Gordis has translated it “blasphemy” (cf. NAB).

7 tn The perfect verb with the vav (ו) consecutive carries the sequence forward from the last description.

8 tn The word חֶבְרַה (khevrah, “company”) is a hapax legomenon. But its meaning is clear enough from the connections to related words and this context as well.

9 tn The infinitive construct with the ל (lamed) preposition may continue the clause with the finite verb (see GKC 351 §114.p).

10 tn Heb “men of wickedness”; the genitive is attributive (= “wicked men”).

11 tn Gordis, however, takes this expression in the sense of “being in favor with God.”

12 tn Heb “men of heart.” The “heart” is used for the capacity to understand and make the proper choice. It is often translated “mind.”

13 tn For this construction, see Job 27:5.

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