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Job 5:10-11

Context

5:10 he gives 1  rain on the earth, 2 

and sends 3  water on the fields; 4 

5:11 he sets 5  the lowly 6  on high,

that those who mourn 7  are raised 8  to safety.

1 tn Heb “who gives.” The participle continues the doxology here. But the article is necessary because of the distance between this verse and the reference to God.

sn He gives rain. The use of the verb “gives” underscores the idea that rain is a gift from God. This would be more keenly felt in the Middle East where water is scarce.

2 tn In both halves of the verse the literal rendering would be “upon the face of the earth” and “upon the face of the fields.”

3 tn The second participle is simply coordinated to the first and therefore does not need the definite article repeated (see GKC 404 §126.b).

4 tn The Hebrew term חוּצוֹת (khutsot) basically means “outside,” or what is outside. It could refer to streets if what is meant is outside the house; but it refers to fields here (parallel to the more general word) because it is outside the village. See Ps 144:13 for the use of the expression for “countryside.” The LXX gives a much wider interpretation: “what is under heaven.”

5 tn Heb “setting.” The infinitive construct clause is here taken as explaining the nature of God, and so parallel to the preceding descriptions. If read simply as a purpose clause after the previous verse, it would suggest that the purpose of watering the earth was to raise the humble (cf. NASB, “And sends water on the fields, // So that He sets on high those who are lowly”). A. B. Davidson (Job, 39) makes a case for this interpretation, saying that God’s gifts in nature have the wider purpose of blessing man, but he prefers to see the line as another benevolence, parallel to v. 10, and so suggests a translation “setting up” rather than “to set up.”

6 tn The word שְׁפָלִים (shÿfalim) refers to “those who are down.” This refers to the lowly and despised of the earth. They are the opposite of the “proud” (see Ps 138:6). Here there is a deliberate contrast between “lowly” and “on high.”

7 tn The meaning of the word is “to be dark, dirty”; therefore, it refers to the ash-sprinkled head of the mourner (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 54). The custom was to darken one’s face in sorrow (see Job 2:12; Ps 35:14; 38:7).

8 tn The perfect verb may be translated “be set on high; be raised up.” E. Dhorme (Job, 64) notes that the perfect is parallel to the infinitive of the first colon, and so he renders it in the same way as the infinitive, comparing the construction to that of 28:25.



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