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Job 5:14-15

Context

5:14 They meet with darkness in the daytime, 1 

and grope about 2  in the noontime as if it were night. 3 

5:15 So he saves 4  from the sword that comes from their mouth, 5 

even 6  the poor from the hand of the powerful.

1 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.

2 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.

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

4 tn The verb, the Hiphil preterite of יָשַׁע (yasha’, “and he saves”) indicates that by frustrating the plans of the wicked God saves the poor. So the vav (ו) consecutive shows the result in the sequence of the verses.

5 tn The juxtaposition of “from the sword from their mouth” poses translation difficulties. Some mss do not have the preposition on “their mouth,” but render the expression as a construct: “from the sword of their mouth.” This would mean their tongue, and by metonymy, what they say. The expression “from their mouth” corresponds well with “from the hand” in the next colon. And as E. Dhorme (Job, 67) notes, what is missing is a parallel in the first part with “the poor” in the second. So he follows Cappel in repointing “from the sword” as a Hophal participle, מֹחֳרָב (mokhorav), meaning “the ruined.” If a change is required, this has the benefit of only changing the pointing. The difficulty with this is that the word “desolate, ruined” is not used for people, but only to cities, lands, or mountains. The sense of the verse can be supported from the present pointing: “from the sword [which comes] from their mouth”; the second phrase could also be in apposition, meaning, “from the sword, i.e., from their mouth.”

6 tn If the word “poor” is to do double duty, i.e., serving as the object of the verb “saves” in the first colon as well as the second, then the conjunction should be explanatory.



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