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Job 35:9-16

Context

35:9 “People 1  cry out

because of the excess of oppression; 2 

they cry out for help

because of the power 3  of the mighty. 4 

35:10 But no one says, ‘Where is God, my Creator,

who gives songs in the night, 5 

35:11 who teaches us 6  more than 7  the wild animals of the earth,

and makes us wiser than the birds of the sky?’

35:12 Then 8  they cry out – but he does not answer –

because of the arrogance of the wicked.

35:13 Surely it is an empty cry 9  – God does not hear it;

the Almighty does not take notice of it.

35:14 How much less, then,

when you say that you do not perceive him,

that the case is before him

and you are waiting for him! 10 

35:15 And further, 11  when you say

that his anger does not punish, 12 

and that he does not know transgression! 13 

35:16 So Job opens his mouth to no purpose; 14 

without knowledge he multiplies words.”

1 tn The word “people” is supplied, because the sentence only has the masculine plural verb.

2 tn The final noun is an abstract plural, “oppression.” There is no reason to change it to “oppressors” to fit the early versions. The expression is literally “multitude of oppression.”

3 tn Heb “the arm,” a metaphor for strength or power.

4 tn Or “of the many” (see HALOT 1172 s.v. I רַב 6.a).

5 tn There have been several attempts to emend the line, none of which are particularly helpful or interesting. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 225) says, “It is a pity to rob Elihu of a poetic line when he creates one.”

6 tn The form in the text, the Piel participle from אָלַף (’alaf, “teach”) is written in a contracted form; the full form is מְאַלְּפֵנוּ (mÿallÿfenu).

7 tn Some would render this “teaches us by the beasts.” But Elihu is stressing the unique privilege humans have.

8 tn The adverb שָׁם (sham, “there”) connects this verse to v. 11. “There” can be locative or temporal – and here it is temporal (= “then”).

9 tn Heb “surely – vanity, he does not hear.” The cry is an empty cry, not a prayer to God. Dhorme translates it, “It is a pure waste of words.”

10 sn The point is that if God does not listen to those who do not turn to him, how much less likely is he to turn to one who complains against him.

11 tn The expression “and now” introduces a new complaint of Elihu – in addition to the preceding. Here the verb of v. 14, “you say,” is understood after the temporal ki (כִּי).

12 tn The verb פָקַד (paqad) means “to visit” (also “to appoint; to muster; to number”). When God visits, it means that he intervenes in one’s life for blessing or cursing (punishing, destroying).

13 tn The word פַּשׁ (pash) is a hapax legomenon. K&D 12:275 derived it from an Arabic word meaning “belch,” leading to the idea of “overflow.” BDB 832 s.v. defines it as “folly.” Several define it as “transgression” on the basis of the versions (Theodotion, Symmachus, Vulgate). The RSV took it as “greatly heed,” but that is not exactly “greatly know,” when the text beyond that requires “not know at all.” The NIV has “he does not take the least notice of wickedness.”

14 tn The word הֶבֶל (hevel) means “vanity; futility; to no purpose.”



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