and take it even from behind the thorns, 3
36:20 Do not long for the cover of night
to drag people away from their homes. 11
2 tn The MT reads “whose harvest the hungry eat up.” Some commentators want to follow the LXX and repoint קְצִירוֹ (qÿtsiro, “his harvest”) to קָצְרוּ (qatsÿru, “[what] they have reaped”; cf. NAB). The reference as it stands in the MT seems to be to the image of taking root in v. 3; whatever took root – the prosperity of his life – will not belong to him or his sons to enjoy. If the emendation is accepted, then the reference would be immediately to the “sons” in the preceding verse.
3 tn The line is difficult; the Hebrew text reads literally “and unto from thorns he takes it.” The idea seems to be that even from within an enclosed hedge of thorns other people will take the harvest. Many commentators either delete the line altogether or try to repoint it to make more sense out of it. G. R. Driver had taken the preposition אֶל (’el, “towards”) as the noun אֵל (’el, “strong man”) and the noun צִנִּים (tsinnim, “thorns”) connected to Aramaic צִנָּה (tsinnah, “basket”); he read it as “a strong man snatches it from the baskets” (G. R. Driver, “on Job 5:5,” TZ 12 : 485-86). E. Dhorme (Job, 60) changed the word slightly to מַצְפֻּנִים (matspunim, “hiding places”), instead of מִצִּנִּים (mitsinnim, “out of the thorns”), to get the translation “and unto hiding places he carries it.” This fits the use of the verb לָקַח (laqakh, “to take”) with the preposition אֶל (’el, “towards”) meaning “carry to” someplace. There seems to be no easy solution to the difficulty of the line.
4 tn The word צַמִּים (tsammim) has been traditionally rendered “robbers.” But it has been connected by some of the ancient versions to the word for “thirst,” making a nice parallel with “hungry.” This would likely be pointed צְמֵאִים (tsÿme’im).
5 tn The verb has been given many different renderings, some more radical than others: “engulf,” “draws,” “gather,” “swallow” (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 53). The idea of “swallow” is found in Job 20:15. The general sense of the line is clear, in spite of the difficulties of determining the exact meaning of the verb.
6 tn The LXX has several variations for the line. It reads something like the following: “for what they have collected the just shall eat, but they shall not be delivered out of calamities; let their strength be utterly exhausted.” The LXX may have gotten the idea of the “righteous” as those who suffer from hunger. Instead of “thorns” the LXX has the idea of “trouble.” The Targum to Job interprets it with “shield” and adds “warriors” as the subject.
7 tn This term עֶבֶד (’eved) is the servant or the slave. He is compelled to work through the day, in the heat; but he longs for evening, when he can rest from the slavery.
8 tn The expression יִשְׁאַף־צֵל (yish’af tsel, “longing for the evening shadow”) could also be taken as a relative clause (without the relative pronoun): “as a servant [who] longs for the evening shadow” (see GKC 487 §155.g). In either case, the expressions in v. 2 emphasize the point of the comparison, which will be summed up in v. 3.
9 tn The two verbs in this verse stress the eager expectation and waiting. The first, שָׁאַף (sha’af), means “to long for; to desire”; and the second, קָוָה (qavah), has the idea of “to hope for; to look for; to wait.” The words would give the sense that the servant or hired man had the longing on his mind all day.
11 tn The meaning of this line is difficult. There are numerous suggestions for emending the text. Kissane takes the first verb in the sense of “oppress,” and for “the night” he has “belonging to you,” meaning “your people.” This reads: “Oppress not them that belong not to you, that your kinsmen may mount up in their place.”