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Job 5:15-16

Context

5:15 So he saves 1  from the sword that comes from their mouth, 2 

even 3  the poor from the hand of the powerful.

5:16 Thus the poor have hope,

and iniquity 4  shuts its mouth. 5 

Job 5:20

Context

5:20 In time of famine 6  he will redeem you from death,

and in time of war from the power of the sword. 7 

1 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.

2 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.”

3 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.

4 tn Other translations render this “injustice” (NIV, NRSV, CEV) or “unrighteousness” (NASB).

5 tn The verse summarizes the result of God’s intervention in human affairs, according to Eliphaz’ idea that even-handed justice prevails. Ps 107:42 parallels v. 16b.

6 sn Targum Job here sees an allusion to the famine of Egypt and the war with Amalek.

7 tn Heb “from the hand of the sword.” This is idiomatic for “the power of the sword.” The expression is also metonymical, meaning from the effect of the sword, which is death.



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