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Job 5:19-20

Context

5:19 He will deliver you 1  from six calamities;

yes, in seven 2  no evil will touch you.

5:20 In time of famine 3  he will redeem you from death,

and in time of war from the power of the sword. 4 

1 tn The verb is the Hiphil imperfect of נָצַל (natsal, “deliver”). These verbs might have been treated as habitual imperfects if it were not for the use of the numerical images – “six calamities…in seven.” So the nuance is specific future instead.

2 tn The use of a numerical ladder as we have here – “six // seven” is frequent in wisdom literature to show completeness. See Prov 6:16; Amos 1:3, Mic 5:5. A number that seems to be sufficient for the point is increased by one, as if to say there is always one more. By using this Eliphaz simply means “in all troubles” (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 56).

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

4 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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