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Job 5:12-14

Context

5:12 He frustrates 1  the plans 2  of the crafty 3 

so that 4  their hands cannot accomplish

what they had planned! 5 

5:13 He catches 6  the wise in their own craftiness, 7 

and the counsel of the cunning 8  is brought to a quick end. 9 

5:14 They meet with darkness in the daytime, 10 

and grope about 11  in the noontime as if it were night. 12 

1 tn The Hiphil form מֵפֵר (mefer) is the participle from פָּרַר (parar, “to annul; to frustrate; to break”). It continues the doxological descriptions of God; but because of the numerous verses in this section, it may be clearer to start a new sentence with this form (rather than translating it “who…”).

2 tn The word is related to the verb “to think; to plan; to devise,” and so can mean “thoughts; plans; imagination.” Here it refers to the plan of the crafty that must be frustrated (see also Isa 44:25 for the contrast).

3 tn The word עֲרוּמִים (’arumim) means “crafty” or “shrewd.” It describes the shrewdness of some to achieve their ends (see Gen 3:1, where the serpent is more cunning than all the creatures, that is, he knows where the dangers are and will attempt to bring down the innocent). In the next verse it describes the clever plans of the wise – those who are wise in their own sight.

4 tn The consecutive clause showing result or purpose is simply introduced with the vav and the imperfect/jussive (see GKC 504-5 §166.a).

5 tn The word תּוּשִׁיָּה (tushiyyah) is a technical word from wisdom literature. It has either the idea of the faculty of foresight, or of prudence in general (see 12:6; 26:3). It can be parallel in the texts to “wisdom,” “counsel,” “help,” or “strength.” Here it refers to what has been planned ahead of time.

6 tn The participles continue the description of God. Here he captures or ensnares the wise in their wickedly clever plans. See also Ps 7:16, where the wicked are caught in the pit they have dug – they are only wise in their own eyes.

7 sn This is the only quotation from the Book of Job in the NT (although Rom 11:35 seems to reflect 41:11, and Phil 1:19 is similar to 13:6). Paul cites it in 1 Cor 3:19.

8 tn The etymology of נִפְתָּלִים (niftalim) suggests a meaning of “twisted” (see Prov 8:8) in the sense of tortuous. See Gen 30:8; Ps 18:26 [27].

9 tn The Niphal of מָהַר (mahar) means “to be hasty; to be irresponsible.” The meaning in the line may be understood in this sense: The counsel of the wily is hastened, that is, precipitated before it is ripe, i.e., frustrated (A. B. Davidson, Job, 39).

10 sn God so confuses the crafty that they are unable to fulfill their plans – it is as if they encounter darkness in broad daylight. This is like the Syrians in 2 Kgs 6:18-23.

11 tn The verb מָשַׁשׁ (mashash) expresses the idea of groping about in the darkness. This is part of the fulfillment of Deut 28:29, which says, “and you shall grope at noonday as the blind grope in darkness.” This image is also in Isa 59:10.

12 sn The verse provides a picture of the frustration and bewilderment in the crafty who cannot accomplish their ends because God thwarts them.



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