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Job 5:3-4

Context

5:3 I myself 1  have seen the fool 2  taking root,

but suddenly I cursed his place of residence. 3 

5:4 His children are far 4  from safety,

and they are crushed 5  at the place where judgment is rendered, 6 

nor is there anyone to deliver them. 7 

1 tn The use of the pronoun here adds emphasis to the subject of the sentence (see GKC 437 §135.a).

2 tn This word is אֱוִיל (’evil), the same word for the “senseless man” in the preceding verse. Eliphaz is citing an example of his principle just given – he saw such a fool for a brief while appearing to prosper (i.e., taking root).

3 tn A. B. Davidson argues that the verse does not mean that Eliphaz cursed his place during his prosperity. This line is metonymical (giving the effect). God judged the fool and his place was ruined; consequently, Eliphaz pronounced it accursed of God (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 36). Many emend the verb slightly to read “and it was suddenly cursed” (וַיֻּכַב [vayyukhav] instead of וָאֶקּוֹב [vaeqqov]; see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 51).

4 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse describe the condition of the accursed situation. Some commentators follow the LXX and take these as jussives, making this verse the curse that the man pronounced upon the fool. Rashi adds “This is the malediction with which I have cursed him.” That would make the speaker the one calling down the judgment on the fool rather than responding by observation how God destroyed the habitation of the fool.

5 tn The verb יִדַּכְּאוּ (yiddakkÿu) could be taken as the passive voice, or in the reciprocal sense (“crush one another”) or reflexive (“crush themselves”). The context favors the idea that the children of the foolish person will be destroyed because there is no one who will deliver them.

6 tn Heb “in the gate.” The city gate was the place of both business and justice. The sense here seems to fit the usage of gates as the place of legal disputes, so the phrase “at the place of judgment” has been used in the translation.

7 tn The text simply says “and there is no deliverer.” The entire clause could be subordinated to the preceding clause, and rendered simply “without a deliverer.”



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