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Job 34:5-7


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!

Job 34:18-19


34:18 who says to a king, 7  ‘Worthless man’ 8 

and to nobles, ‘Wicked men,’

34:19 who shows no partiality to princes,

and does not take note of 9  the rich more than the poor,

because all of them are the work of his hands?

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 tc Heb “Does one say,” although some smooth it out to say “Is it fit to say?” For the reading “who says,” the form has to be repointed to הַאֹמֵר (haomer) meaning, “who is the one saying.” This reading is supported by the LXX, Vulgate, and Syriac. Also it seems to flow better with the following verse. It would be saying that God is over the rulers and can rebuke them. The former view is saying that no one rebukes kings, much less Job rebuking God.

8 tn The word בְּלִיָּעַל (bÿliyyaal) means both “worthless” and “wicked.” It is common in proverbial literature, and in later writings it became a description of Satan. It is usually found with “son of.”

9 tn The verb means “to give recognition; to take note of” and in this passage with לִפְנֵי (lifne, “before”) it means to show preferential treatment to the rich before the poor. The word for “rich” here is an unusual word, found parallel to “noble” (Isa 32:2). P. Joüon thinks it is a term of social distinction (Bib 18 [1937]: 207-8).

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