nor let it see the first rays 4 of dawn,
the traveling merchants 8 of Sheba hoped for them.
and escape 10 eludes them;
1 tn Heb “the stars of its dawn.” The word נֶשֶׁף (neshef) can mean “twilight” or “dawn.” In this context the morning stars are in mind. Job wishes that the morning stars – that should announce the day – go out.
2 tn The verb “wait, hope” has the idea of eager expectation and preparation. It is used elsewhere of waiting on the
3 tn The absolute state אַיִן (’ayin, “there is none”) is here used as a verbal predicate (see GKC 480 §152.k). The concise expression literally says “and none.”
4 sn The expression is literally “the eyelids of the morning.” This means the very first rays of dawn (see also Job 41:18). There is some debate whether it refers to “eyelids” or “eyelashes” or “eyeballs.” If the latter, it would signify the flashing eyes of a person. See for the Ugaritic background H. L. Ginsberg, The Legend of King Keret (BASORSup), 39; see also J. M. Steadman, “‘Eyelids of Morn’: A Biblical Convention,” HTR 56 (1963): 159-67.
6 tn The verb נָבַט (navat) means “to gaze intently”; the looking is more intentional, more of a close scrutiny. It forms a fine parallel to the idea of “hope” in the second part. The NIV translates the second verb קִוּוּ (qivvu) as “look in hope.” In the previous verbs the imperfect form was used, expressing what generally happens (so the English present tense was used). Here the verb usage changes to the perfect form. It seems that Job is narrating a typical incident now – they looked, but were disappointed.
7 tn The words “for these streams” are supplied from context to complete the thought and make the connection with the preceding context.
9 tn The verb כָּלָה (kalah) means “to fail, cease, fade away.” The fading of the eyes, i.e., loss of sight, loss of life’s vitality, indicates imminent death.
10 tn Heb a “place of escape” (with this noun pattern). There is no place to escape to because they all perish.
11 tn The word is to be interpreted as a metonymy; it represents what is hoped for.
12 tn Heb “the breathing out of the soul”; cf. KJV, ASV “the giving up of the ghost.” The line is simply saying that the brightest hope that the wicked have is death.