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Job 5:8-10

Context
Blessings for the One Who Seeks God 1 

5:8 “But 2  as for me, 3  I would seek 4  God, 5 

and to God 6  I would set forth my case. 7 

5:9 He does 8  great and unsearchable 9  things,

marvelous things without 10  number; 11 

5:10 he gives 12  rain on the earth, 13 

and sends 14  water on the fields; 15 

1 sn Eliphaz affirms that if he were in Job’s place he would take refuge in God, but Job has to acknowledge that he has offended God and accept this suffering as his chastisement. Job eventually will submit to God in the end, but not in the way that Eliphaz advises here, for Job does not agree that the sufferings are judgments from God.

2 tn The word אוּלָם (’ulam) is a strong adversative “but.” This forms the contrast with what has been said previously and so marks a new section.

3 tn The independent personal pronoun here adds emphasis to the subject of the verb, again strengthening the contrast with what Job is doing (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 22, §106).

4 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse express not so much what Eliphaz does as what he would do if he were in Job’s place (even though in 13:3 we have the affirmation). The use fits the category of the imperfect used in conditional clauses (see GKC 319 §107.x).

5 tn The verb דָּרַשׁ (darash, “to seek”) followed by the preposition אֶל (’el, “towards”) has the meaning of addressing oneself to (God). See 8:19 and 40:10.

6 tn The Hebrew employs אֵל (’el) in the first line and אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) in the second for “God”, but the LXX uses κύριος (kurio", “Lord”) in both places in this verse. However, in the second colon it also has “Lord of all.” This is replaced in the Greek version of Aquila by παντοκράτωρ (pantokratwr, traditionally translated “Almighty”). On the basis of this information, H. M. Orlinsky suggests that the second name for God in the verses should be “Shaddai” (JQR 25 [1934/35]: 271).

7 tn The Hebrew simply has “my word”; but in this expression that uses שִׂים (sim) with the meaning of “lay before” or “expound a cause” in a legal sense, “case” or “cause” would be a better translation.

8 tn Heb “who does.” It is common for such doxologies to begin with participles; they follow the pattern of the psalms in this style. Because of the length of the sentence in Hebrew and the conventions of English style, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

9 tn The Hebrew has וְאֵין חֵקֶר (vÿen kheqer), literally, “and no investigation.” The use of the conjunction on the expression follows a form of the circumstantial clause construction, and so the entire expression describes the great works as “unsearchable.”

10 tn The preposition in עַד־אֵין (’aden, “until there was no”) is stereotypical; it conveys the sense of having no number (see Job 9:10; Ps 40:13).

11 sn H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 54) notes that the verse fits Eliphaz’s approach very well, for he has good understanding of the truth, but has difficulty in making the correct conclusions from it.

12 tn Heb “who gives.” The participle continues the doxology here. But the article is necessary because of the distance between this verse and the reference to God.

sn He gives rain. The use of the verb “gives” underscores the idea that rain is a gift from God. This would be more keenly felt in the Middle East where water is scarce.

13 tn In both halves of the verse the literal rendering would be “upon the face of the earth” and “upon the face of the fields.”

14 tn The second participle is simply coordinated to the first and therefore does not need the definite article repeated (see GKC 404 §126.b).

15 tn The Hebrew term חוּצוֹת (khutsot) basically means “outside,” or what is outside. It could refer to streets if what is meant is outside the house; but it refers to fields here (parallel to the more general word) because it is outside the village. See Ps 144:13 for the use of the expression for “countryside.” The LXX gives a much wider interpretation: “what is under heaven.”



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