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Job 40:3-5

Context

40:3 Then Job answered the Lord:

40:4 “Indeed, I am completely unworthy 1  – how could I reply to you?

I put 2  my hand over my mouth to silence myself. 3 

40:5 I have spoken once, but I cannot answer;

twice, but I will say no more.” 4 

Job 42:1-6

Context
Job’s Confession

42:1 Then Job answered the Lord:

42:2 “I know that you can do all things;

no purpose of yours can be thwarted;

42:3 you asked, 5 

‘Who is this who darkens counsel

without knowledge?’

But 6  I have declared without understanding 7 

things too wonderful for me to know. 8 

42:4 You said, 9 

‘Pay attention, and I will speak;

I will question you, and you will answer me.’

42:5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

but now my eye has seen you. 10 

42:6 Therefore I despise myself, 11 

and I repent in dust and ashes!

1 tn The word קַלֹּתִי (qalloti) means “to be light; to be of small account; to be unimportant.” From this comes the meaning “contemptible,” which in the causative stem would mean “to treat with contempt; to curse.” Dhorme tries to make the sentence a conditional clause and suggests this meaning: “If I have been thoughtless.” There is really no “if” in Job’s mind.

2 tn The perfect verb here should be classified as an instantaneous perfect; the action is simultaneous with the words.

3 tn The words “to silence myself” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Heb “I will not add.”

5 tn The expression “you asked” is added here to clarify the presence of the line to follow. Many commentators delete it as a gloss from Job 38:2. If it is retained, then Job has to be recalling God’s question before he answers it.

6 tn The word לָכֵן (lakhen) is simply “but,” as in Job 31:37.

7 tn Heb “and I do not understand.” The expression serves here in an adverbial capacity. It also could be subordinated as a complement: “I have declared [things that] I do not understand.”

8 tn The last clause is “and I do not know.” This is also subordinated to become a dependent clause.

9 tn This phrase, “you said,” is supplied in the translation to introduce the recollection of God’s words.

10 sn This statement does not imply there was a vision. He is simply saying that this experience of God was real and personal. In the past his knowledge of God was what he had heard – hearsay. This was real.

11 tn Or “despise what I said.” There is no object on the verb; Job could be despising himself or the things he said (see L. J. Kuyper, “Repentance of Job,” VT 9 [1959]: 91-94).



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