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Job 35:2-8

Context

35:2 “Do you think this to be 1  just:

when 2  you say, ‘My right before God.’ 3 

35:3 But you say, ‘What will it profit you,’ 4 

and, ‘What do I gain by not sinning?’ 5 

35:4 I 6  will reply to you, 7 

and to your friends with you.

35:5 Gaze at the heavens and see;

consider the clouds, which are higher than you! 8 

35:6 If you sin, how does it affect God? 9 

If your transgressions are many,

what does it do to him? 10 

35:7 If you are righteous, what do you give to God,

or what does he receive from your hand?

35:8 Your wickedness affects only 11  a person like yourself,

and your righteousness only other people. 12 

1 tn The line could be read as “do you reckon this for justice? Here “to be” is understood.

2 tn The word “when” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied.

3 tn The brief line could be interpreted in a number of ways. The MT simply has “my right from God.” It could be “I am right before God,” “I am more just/right than God” (identifying the preposition as a comparative min (מִן); cf. J. E. Hartley, Job [NICOT], 463), “I will be right before God,” or “My just cause against God.”

4 tn The referent of “you” is usually understood to be God.

5 tn The Hebrew text merely says, “What do I gain from my sin?” But Job has claimed that he has not sinned, and so this has to be elliptical: “more than if I had sinned” (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 224). It could also be, “What do I gain without sin?”

6 tn The emphatic pronoun calls attention to Elihu who will answer these questions.

7 tn The Hebrew text adds, “with words,” but since this is obvious, for stylistic reasons it has not been included in the translation.

8 tn The preposition is taken here as a comparative min (מִן). The line could also read “that are high above you.” This idea has appeared in the speech of Eliphaz (22:12), Zophar (11:7ff.), and even Job (9:8ff.).

9 tn Heb “him” (also in v. 7); the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 tn See Job 7:20.

11 tn The phrase “affects only” is supplied in the translation of this nominal sentence.

sn According to Strahan, “Elihu exalts God’s greatness at the cost of His grace, His transcendence at the expense of His immanence. He sets up a material instead of a spiritual stand of profit and loss. He does not realize that God does gain what He desires most by the goodness of men, and loses what He most loves by their evil.”

12 tn Heb “and to [or for] a son of man, your righteousness.”



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