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Job 42:3

Context

42:3 you asked, 1 

‘Who is this who darkens counsel

without knowledge?’

But 2  I have declared without understanding 3 

things too wonderful for me to know. 4 

Job 42:6-8

Context

42:6 Therefore I despise myself, 5 

and I repent in dust and ashes!

VII. The Epilogue (42:7-17)

42:7 After the Lord had spoken these things to Job, he 6  said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is stirred up 7  against you and your two friends, because you have not spoken about me what is right, 8  as my servant Job has. 42:8 So now take 9  seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job will intercede 10  for you, and I will respect him, 11  so that I do not deal with you 12  according to your folly, 13  because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 14 

1 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.

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

3 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.”

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

5 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).

6 tn Heb “the Lord.” The title has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

7 tn Heb “is kindled.”

8 tn The form נְכוֹנָה (nÿkhonah) is from כּוּן (kun, “to be firm; to be fixed; to be established”). Here it means “the right thing” or “truth.” The Akkadian word kenu (from כּוּן, kun) connotes justice and truth.

9 tn The imperatives in this verse are plural, so all three had to do this together.

10 tn The verb “pray” is the Hitpael from the root פָּלַל (palal). That root has the main idea of arbitration; so in this stem it means “to seek arbitration [for oneself],” or “to pray,” or “to intercede.”

11 tn Heb “I will lift up his face,” meaning, “I will regard him.”

12 tn This clause is a result clause, using the negated infinitive construct.

13 tn The word “folly” can also be taken in the sense of “disgrace.” If the latter is chosen, the word serves as the direct object. If the former, then it is an adverbial accusative.

14 sn The difference between what they said and what Job said, therefore, has to do with truth. Job was honest, spoke the truth, poured out his complaints, but never blasphemed God. For his words God said he told the truth. He did so with incomplete understanding, and with all the impatience and frustration one might expect. Now the friends, however, did not tell what was right about God. They were not honest; rather, they were self-righteous and condescending. They were saying what they thought should be said, but it was wrong.



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