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Job 5:6-7

Context

5:6 For evil does not come up from the dust, 1 

nor does trouble spring up from the ground,

5:7 but people 2  are born 3  to trouble,

as surely as the sparks 4  fly 5  upward. 6 

1 sn The previous discussion shows how trouble rises, namely, from the rebelliousness of the fool. Here Eliphaz simply summarizes the points made with this general principle – trouble does not come from outside man, nor does it come as a part of the natural order, but rather it comes from the evil nature of man.

2 tn Heb “man [is].” Because “man” is used in a generic sense for humanity here, the generic “people” has been used in the translation.

3 tn There is a slight difficulty here in that vv. 6 and 7 seem to be saying the opposite thing. Many commentators, therefore, emend the the Niphal יוּלָּד (yullad, “is born”) to an active participle יוֹלֵד (yoled, “begets”) to place the source of trouble in man himself. But the LXX seems to retain the passive idea: “man is born to trouble.” The contrast between the two verses does not seem too difficult, for it still could imply that trouble’s source is within the man.

4 tn For the Hebrew בְנֵי־רֶשֶׁף (bÿne reshef, “sons of the flame”) the present translation has the rendering “sparks.” E. Dhorme (Job, 62) thinks it refers to some kind of bird, but renders it “sons of the lightning” because the eagle was associated with lightning in ancient interpretations. Sparks, he argues, do not soar high above the earth. Other suggestions include Resheph, the Phoenician god of lightning (Pope), the fire of passion (Buttenwieser), angels (Peake), or demons (Targum Job). None of these are convincing; the idea of sparks flying upward fits the translation well and makes clear sense in the passage.

5 tn The simple translation of the last two words is “fly high” or “soar aloft” which would suit the idea of an eagle. But, as H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 53) concludes, the argument to identify the expression preceding this with eagles is far-fetched.

6 tn The LXX has the name of a bird here: “the vulture’s young seek the high places.” The Targum to Job has “sons of demons” or “the sparks which shoot from coals of fire.”



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