6:1 Then Job responded: 1
6:2 “Oh, 2 if only my grief 3 could be weighed, 4
and my misfortune laid 5 on the scales too! 6
6:3 But because it is heavier 7 than the sand 8 of the sea,
that is why my words have been wild. 9
6:4 For the arrows 10 of the Almighty 11 are within me;
my spirit 12 drinks their poison; 13
God’s sudden terrors 14 are arrayed 15 against me.
6:5 “Does the wild donkey 16 bray 17 when it is near grass? 18
Or 19 does the ox low near its fodder? 20
6:6 Can food that is tasteless 21 be eaten without salt?
Or is there any taste in the white 22 of an egg?
6:7 I 23 have refused 24 to touch such things; 25
they are like loathsome food to me. 26
6:8 “Oh that 27 my request would be realized, 28
and that God would grant me what I long for! 29
6:9 And that God would be willing 30 to crush me,
that he would let loose 31 his hand
and 32 kill me. 33
6:10 Then I would yet have my comfort, 34
then 35 I would rejoice, 36
in spite of pitiless pain, 37
for 38 I have not concealed the words 39 of the Holy One. 40
6:11 What is my strength, that I should wait? 41
and what is my end, 42
that I should prolong my life?
6:12 Is my strength like that of stones? 43
or is my flesh made of bronze?
6:13 Is 44 not my power to help myself nothing,
and has not every resource 45 been driven from me?
6:14 “To the one in despair, kindness 46 should come from his friend 47
even if 48 he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
6:15 My brothers 49 have been as treacherous 50 as a seasonal stream, 51
and as the riverbeds of the intermittent streams 52
that flow away. 53
6:16 They 54 are dark 55 because of ice;
snow is piled 56 up over them. 57
6:17 When they are scorched, 58 they dry up,
when it is hot, they vanish 59 from their place.
6:18 Caravans 60 turn aside from their routes;
they go 61 into the wasteland 62 and perish. 63
6:19 The caravans of Tema 64 looked intently 65 for these streams; 66
the traveling merchants 67 of Sheba hoped for them.
6:20 They were distressed, 68
because each one had been 69 so confident;
they arrived there, 70 but were disappointed.
6:21 For now 71 you have become like these streams that are no help; 72
you see a terror, 73 and are afraid.
6:22 “Have I 74 ever said, 75 ‘Give me something,
and from your fortune 76 make gifts 77 in my favor’?
6:23 Or ‘Deliver me 78 from the enemy’s power, 79
and from the hand of tyrants 80 ransom 81 me’?
6:24 “Teach 82 me and I, for my part, 83 will be silent;
explain to me 84 how I have been mistaken. 85
6:25 How painful 86 are honest words!
But 87 what does your reproof 88 prove? 89
6:26 Do you intend to criticize mere words,
and treat 90 the words of a despairing man as wind?
6:27 Yes, you would gamble 91 for the fatherless,
and auction off 92 your friend.
6:28 “Now then, be good enough to look 93 at me; 94
and I will not 95 lie to your face!
6:29 Relent, 96 let there be no falsehood; 97
reconsider, 98 for my righteousness is intact! 99
6:30 Is there any falsehood 100 on my lips?
Can my mouth 101 not discern evil things? 102
7:1 “Does not humanity have hard service 103 on earth?
Are not their days also
like the days of a hired man? 104
7:2 Like a servant 105 longing for the evening shadow, 106
and like a hired man looking 107 for his wages, 108
7:3 thus 109 I have been made to inherit 110
months of futility, 111
and nights of sorrow 112
have been appointed 113 to me.
7:4 If I lie down, I say, 114 ‘When will I arise?’,
and the night stretches on 115
and I toss and turn restlessly 116
until the day dawns.
7:5 My body 117 is clothed 118 with worms 119 and dirty scabs; 120
my skin is broken 121 and festering.
7:6 My days 122 are swifter 123 than a weaver’s shuttle 124
and they come to an end without hope. 125
7:7 Remember 126 that my life is but a breath,
that 127 my eyes will never again 128 see happiness.
7:8 The eye of him who sees me now will see me no more; 129
your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone. 130
7:9 As 131 a cloud is dispersed and then disappears, 132
so the one who goes down to the grave 133
does not come up again. 134
7:10 He returns no more to his house,
nor does his place of residence 135 know him 136 any more.
7:11 “Therefore, 137 I will not refrain my mouth; 138
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain 139 in the bitterness of my soul.
7:12 Am I the sea, or the creature of the deep, 140
that you must put 141 me under guard? 142
7:13 If 143 I say, 144 “My bed will comfort me, 145
my couch will ease 146 my complaint,”
7:14 then you scare me 147 with dreams
and terrify 148 me with 149 visions,
7:15 so that I 150 would prefer 151 strangling, 152
and 153 death 154 more 155 than life. 156
7:16 I loathe 157 it; 158 I do not want to live forever;
leave me alone, 159 for my days are a vapor! 160
7:17 “What is mankind 161 that you make so much of them, 162
and that you pay attention 163 to them?
7:18 And that you visit 164 them every morning,
and try 165 them every moment? 166
7:19 Will you never 167 look away from me, 168
will you not let me alone 169
long enough to swallow my spittle?
7:20 If 170 I have sinned – what have I done to you, 171
O watcher of men? 172
Why have you set me as your target? 173
Have I become a burden to you? 174
7:21 And why do you not pardon my transgression,
and take away my iniquity?
For now I will lie down in the dust, 175
and you will seek me diligently, 176
but I will be gone.”
1 tn Heb “answered and said.”
2 tn The conjunction לוּ (lu, “if, if only”) introduces the wish – an unrealizable wish – with the Niphal imperfect.
3 tn Job pairs כַּעְסִי (ka’si, “my grief”) and הַיָּתִי (hayyati, “my misfortune”). The first word, used in Job 4:2, refers to Job’s whole demeanor that he shows his friends – the impatient and vexed expression of his grief. The second word expresses his misfortune, the cause of his grief. Job wants these placed together in the balances so that his friends could see the misfortune is greater than the grief. The word for “misfortune” is a Kethib-Qere reading. The two words have essentially the same meaning; they derive from the verb הָוַה (havah, “to fall”) and so mean a misfortune.
4 tn The Qal infinitive absolute is here used to intensify the Niphal imperfect (see GKC 344-45 §113.w). The infinitive absolute intensifies the wish as well as the idea of weighing.
5 tn The third person plural verb is used here; it expresses an indefinite subject and is treated as a passive (see GKC 460 §144.g).
6 tn The adverb normally means “together,” but it can also mean “similarly, too.” In this verse it may not mean that the two things are to be weighed together, but that the whole calamity should be put on the scales (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 43).
7 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 76) notes that כִּי־עַתָּה (ki ’attah) has no more force than “but”; and that the construction is the same as in 17:4; 20:19-21; 23:14-15. The initial clause is causative, and the second half of the verse gives the consequence (“because”…“that is why”). Others take 3a as the apodosis of v. 2, and translate it “for now it would be heavier…” (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 43).
8 sn The point of the comparison with the sand of the sea is that the sand is immeasurable. So the grief of Job cannot be measured.
9 tn The verb לָעוּ (la’u) is traced by E. Dhorme (Job, 76) to a root לָעָה (la’ah), cognate to an Arabic root meaning “to chatter.” He shows how modern Hebrew has a meaning for the word “to stammer out.” But that does not really fit Job’s outbursts. The idea in the context is rather that of speaking wildly, rashly, or charged with grief. This would trace the word to a hollow or geminate word and link it to Arabic “talk wildly” (see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 158). In the older works the verb was taken from a geminate root meaning “to suck” or “to swallow” (cf. KJV), but that yields a very difficult sense to the line.
10 sn Job uses an implied comparison here to describe his misfortune – it is as if God had shot poisoned arrows into him (see E. Dhorme, Job, 76-77 for a treatment of poisoned arrows in the ancient world).
11 sn Job here clearly states that his problems have come from the Almighty, which is what Eliphaz said. But whereas Eliphaz said Job provoked the trouble by his sin, Job is perplexed because he does not think he did.
12 tn Most commentators take “my spirit” as the subject of the participle “drinks” (except the NEB, which follows the older versions to say that the poison “drinks up [or “soaks in”] the spirit.”) The image of the poisoned arrow represents the calamity or misfortune from God, which is taken in by Job’s spirit and enervates him.
13 tn The LXX translators knew that a liquid should be used with the verb “drink”; but they took the line to be “whose violence drinks up my blood.” For the rest of the verse they came up with, “whenever I am going to speak they pierce me.”
14 tn The word translated “sudden terrors” is found only here and in Ps 88:16 . G. R. Driver notes that the idea of suddenness is present in the root, and so renders this word as “sudden assaults” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 : 73).
15 tn The verb עָרַךְ (’arakh) means “to set in battle array.” The suffix on the verb is dative (see GKC 369 §117.x). Many suggestions have been made for changing this word. These seem unnecessary since the MT pointing yields a good meaning: but for the references to these suggestions, see D. J. A. Clines, Job (WBC), 158. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 59), nonetheless, follows the suggestion of Driver that connects it to a root meaning “wear me down.” This change of meaning requires no change in the Hebrew text. The image is of a beleaguering army; the host is made up of all the terrors from God. The reference is to the terrifying and perplexing thoughts that assail Job (A. B. Davidson, Job, 44).
16 tn There have been suggestions to identify this animal as something other than a wild donkey, but the traditional interpretation has been confirmed (see P. Humbert, “En marge du dictionnaire hébraïque,” ZAW 62 : 199-207).
17 tn The verb נָהַק (nahaq, “bray”) occurs in Arabic and Aramaic and only in Job 30:7 in Hebrew, where it refers to unfortunate people in the wilderness who utter cries like the hungry wild donkey.
18 sn In this brief section Job indicates that it would be wiser to seek the reason for the crying than to complain of the cry. The wild donkey will bray when it finds no food (see Jer 14:6).
19 tn The construction forms a double question (אִם...הֲ, ha…’im) but not to express mutually exclusive questions in this instance. Instead, it is used to repeat the same question in different words (see GKC 475 §150.h).
20 tc The LXX captures the meaning of the verse, but renders it in a more expansive way.
tn This word occurs here and in Isa 30:24. In contrast to the grass that grows on the fields for the wild donkey, this is fodder prepared for the domesticated animals.
21 tn Heb “a tasteless thing”; the word “food” is supplied from the context.
22 tn Some commentators are not satisfied with the translation “white of an egg”; they prefer something connected to “slime of purslane” (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 59; cf. NRSV “juice of mallows”). This meaning is based on the Syriac and Arabic version of Sa`adia. The meaning “white of the egg” comes from the rabbinic interpretation of “slime of the yolk.” Others carry the idea further and interpret it to mean “saliva of dreams” or after the LXX “in dream words.” H. H. Rowley does not think that the exact edible object can be identified. The idea of the slimy glaring white around the yolk of an egg seems to fit best. This is another illustration of something that is tasteless or insipid.
23 tn The traditional rendering of נַפְשִׁי (nafshi) is “my soul.” But since נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) means the whole person, body and soul, it is best to translate it with its suffix simply as an emphatic pronoun.
24 tn For the explanation of the perfect verb with its completed action in the past and its remaining effects, see GKC 311 §106.g.
25 tn The phrase “such things” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied.
26 tn The second colon of the verse is difficult. The word דְּוֵי (dÿve) means “sickness of” and yields a meaning “like the sickness of my food.” This could take the derived sense of דָּוָה (davah) and mean “impure” or “corrupt” food. The LXX has “for I loathe my food as the smell of a lion” and so some commentators emend “they” (which has no clear antecedent) to mean “I loathe it [like the sickness of my food].” Others have more freely emended the text to “my palate loathes my food” (McNeile) or “my bowels resound with suffering” (I. Eitan, “An unknown meaning of RAHAMIÝM,” JBL 53 : 271). Pope has “they are putrid as my flesh [= my meat].” D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 159) prefers the suggestion in BHS, “it [my soul] loathes them as my food.” E. Dhorme (Job, 80) repoints the second word of the colon to get כְּבֹדִי (kÿvodi, “my glory”): “my heart [glory] loathes/is sickened by my bread.”
27 tn The Hebrew expresses the desire (desiderative clause) with “who will give?” (see GKC 477 §151.d).
28 tn The verb בּוֹא (bo’, “go”) has the sense of “to be realized; to come to pass; to be fulfilled.” The optative “Who will give [that] my request be realized?” is “O that my request would be realized.”
29 tn The text has תִקְוָתִי (tiqvati, “hope”). There is no reason to change the text to “my desire” (as Driver and others do) if the word is interpreted metonymically – it means “what I hope for.” What Job hopes for and asks for is death.
sn See further W. Riggans, “Job 6:8-10: Short Comments,” ExpTim 99 (1987): 45-46.
30 tn The verb יָאַל (ya’al) in the Hiphil means “to be willing, to consent, to decide.” It is here the jussive followed by the dependent verb with a (ו) vav: “that God would be willing and would crush me” means “to crush me.” Gesenius, however, says that the conjunction introduces coordination rather than subordination; he says the principal idea is introduced in the second verb, the first verb containing the definition of the manner of the action (see GKC 386 §120.d).
31 tn The verb is used for loosening shoe straps in Isa 58:6, and of setting prisoners free in Pss 105:20 and 146:7. Job thinks that God’s hand has been restrained for some reason, and so desires that God be free to destroy him.
32 tn The final verb is an imperfect (or jussive) following the jussive (of נָתַר, natar); it thus expresses the result (“and then” or “so that”) or the purpose (“in order that”). Job longs for death, but it must come from God.
33 tn Heb “and cut me off.” The LXX reads this verse as “Let the Lord begin and wound me, but let him not utterly destroy me.” E. Dhorme (Job, 81) says the LXX is a paraphrase based on a pun with “free hand.” Targum Job has, “God has begun to make me poor; may he free his hand and make me rich,” apparently basing the reading on a metaphorical interpretation.
34 tn Heb “and it will/may be yet my comfort.” The comfort or consolation that he seeks, that he wishes for, is death. The next colon in the verse simply intensifies this thought, for he affirms if that should happen he would rejoice, in spite of what death involves. The LXX, apparently confusing letters (reading עִיר [’ir, “city”] instead of עוֹד [’od, “yet”], which then led to the mistake in the next colon, חֵילָה [khelah, “its wall”] for חִילָה [khilah, “suffering”]), has “Let the grave be my city, upon the walls of which I have leaped.”
35 tn In the apodosis of conditional clauses (which must be supplied from the context preceding), the cohortative expresses the consequence (see GKC 320 §108.d).
36 tn The Piel verb סִלֵּד (silled) is a hapax legomenon. BDB 698 s.v. סָלַד gives the meaning “to spring [i.e., jump] for joy,” which would certainly fit the passage. Others have emended the text, but unnecessarily. The LXX “I jumped” and Targum Job’s “exult” support the sense in the dictionaries, although the jumping is for joy and not over a wall (as the LXX has). D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 159) follows Driver in thinking this is untenable, choosing a meaning “recoiled in pain” for the line.
37 tn The word חִילָה (khilah) also occurs only here, but is connected to the verb חִיל / חוּל (khil / khul, “to writhe in pain”). E. Dhorme says that by extension the meaning denotes the cause of this trembling or writhing – terrifying pain. The final clause, לֹא יַחְמוֹל (lo’ yakhmol, “it has no pity”), serves as a kind of epithet, modifying “pain” in general. If that pain has no pity or compassion, it is a ruthless pain (E. Dhorme, Job, 82).
38 tn The כִּי (ki, “for”) functions here to explain “my comfort” in the first colon; the second colon simply strengthens the first.
39 sn The “words” are the divine decrees of God’s providence, the decisions that he makes in his dealings with people. Job cannot conceal these – he knows what they are. What Job seems to mean by this clause in this verse is that there is nothing that would hinder his joy of dying for he has not denied or disobeyed God’s plan.
40 tn Several commentators delete the colon as having no meaning in the verse, and because (in their view) it is probably the addition of an interpolator who wants to make Job sound more pious. But Job is at least consoling himself that he is innocent, and at the most anticipating a worth-while afterlife (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 60).
41 sn Now, in vv. 11-13, Job proceeds to describe his hopeless condition. In so doing, he is continuing his defense of his despair and lament. The section begins with these rhetorical questions in which Job affirms that he does not have the strength to wait for the blessings that Eliphaz is talking about.
42 tn The word translated “my end” is קִצִּי (qitsi). It refers to the termination of his life. In Ps 39:5 it is parallel to “the measure of my days.” In a sense, Job is asking what future he has. To him, the “end” of his affliction can only be death.
43 sn The questions imply negative answers. Job is saying that it would take great strength to hold up under these afflictions, but he is only flesh and bone. The sufferings have almost completely overwhelmed him. To endure all of this to the end he would need a strength he does not have.
44 tn For the use of the particle אִם (’im) in this kind of interrogative clause, see GKC 475 §150.g, note.
45 tn The word means something like “recovery,” or the powers of recovery; it was used in Job 5:12. In 11:6 it applies to a condition of the mind, such as mental resource. Job is thinking not so much of relief or rescue from his troubles, but of strength to bear them.
46 tn In this context חֶסֶד (khesed) could be taken as “loyalty” (“loyalty should be shown by his friend”).
47 tn The Hebrew of this verse is extremely difficult, and while there are many suggestions, none of them has gained a consensus. The first colon simply has “to the despairing // from his friend // kindness.” Several commentators prefer to change the first word לַמָּס (lammas, “to the one in despair”) to some sort of verb; several adopt the reading “the one who withholds/he withholds mercy from his friend forsakes….” The point of the first half of the verse seems to be that one should expect kindness (or loyalty) from a friend in times of suffering.
48 tn The relationship of the second colon to the first is difficult. The line just reads literally “and the fear of the Almighty he forsakes.” The ו (vav) could be interpreted in several different ways: “else he will forsake…,” “although he forsakes…,” “even the one who forsakes…,” or “even if he forsakes…” – the reading adopted here. If the first colon receives the reading “His friend has scorned compassion,” then this clause would be simply coordinated with “and forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” The sense of the verse seems to say that kindness/loyalty should be shown to the despairing, even to the one who is forsaking the fear of the
49 sn Here the brothers are all his relatives as well as these intimate friends of Job. In contrast to what a friend should do (show kindness/loyalty), these friends have provided no support whatsoever.
50 tn The verb בָּגְדוּ (bagÿdu, “dealt treacherously) has been translated “dealt deceitfully,” but it is a very strong word. It means “to act treacherously [or deceitfully].” The deception is the treachery, because the deception is not innocent – it is in the place of a great need. The imagery will compare it to the brook that may or may not have water. If one finds no water when one expected it and needed it, there is deception and treachery. The LXX softens it considerably: “have not regarded me.”
51 tn The Hebrew term used here is נָחַל (nakhal); this word differs from words for rivers or streams in that it describes a brook with an intermittent flow of water. A brook where the waters are not flowing is called a deceitful brook (Jer 15:18; Mic 1:14); one where the waters flow is called faithful (Isa 33:16).
52 tn Heb “and as a stream bed of brooks/torrents.” The word אָפִיק (’afiq) is the river bed or stream bed where the water flows. What is more disconcerting than finding a well-known torrent whose bed is dry when one expects it to be gushing with water (E. Dhorme, Job, 86)?
53 tn The verb is rather simple – יַעֲבֹרוּ (ya’avoru). But some translate it “pass away” or “flow away,” and others “overflow.” In the rainy season they are deep and flowing, or “overflow” their banks. This is a natural sense to the verb, and since the next verse focuses on this, some follow this interpretation (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 15). But this idea does not parallel the first part of v. 15. So it makes better sense to render it “flow away” and see the reference to the summer dry spells when one wants the water but is disappointed.
54 tn The article on the participle joins this statement to the preceding noun; it can have the sense of “they” or “which.” The parallel sense then can be continued with a finite verb (see GKC 404 §126.b).
55 tn The participle הַקֹּדְרים (haqqodÿrim), often rendered “which are black,” would better be translated “dark,” for it refers to the turbid waters filled with melting ice or melting snow, or to the frozen surface of the water, but not waters that are muddied. The versions failed to note that this referred to the waters introduced in v. 15.
56 tn The verb יִתְעַלֶּם (yit’allem) has been translated “is hid” or “hides itself.” But this does not work easily in the sentence with the preposition “upon them.” Torczyner suggested “pile up” from an Aramaic root עֲלַם (’alam), and E. Dhorme (Job, 87) defends it without changing the text, contending that the form we have was chosen for alliterative value with the prepositional phrase before it.
57 tn The LXX paraphrases the whole verse: “They who used to reverence me now come against me like snow or congealed ice.”
58 tn The verb יְזֹרְבוּ (yÿzorÿvu, “burnt, scorched”) occurs only here. A good number of interpretations take the root as a by-form of צָרַב (tsarav) which means in the Niphal “to be burnt” (Ezek 21:3). The expression then would mean “in the time they are burnt,” a reference to the scorching heat of the summer (“when the great heat comes”) and the rivers dry up. Qimchi connected it to the Arabic “canal,” and this has led to the suggestion by E. Dhorme (Job, 88) that the root זָרַב (zarav) would mean “to flow.” In the Piel it would be “to cause to flow,” and in the passive “to be made to flow,” or “melt.” This is attractive, but it does require the understanding (or supplying) of “ice/snow” as the subject. G. R. Driver took the same meaning but translated it “when they (the streams) pour down in torrents, they (straightway) die down” (ZAW 65 : 216-17). Both interpretations capture the sense of the brooks drying up.
59 tn The verb נִדְעֲכוּ (nid’akhu) literally means “they are extinguished” or “they vanish” (cf. 18:5-6; 21:17). The LXX, perhaps confusing the word with the verb יָדַע (yada’, “to know”) has “and it is not known what it was.”
60 tn This is the usual rendering of the Hebrew אָרְחוֹת (’orkhot, “way, path”). It would mean that the course of the wadi would wind down and be lost in the sand. Many commentators either repoint the text to אֹרְחוֹת (’orÿkhot) when in construct (as in Isa 21:13), or simply redefine the existing word to mean “caravans” as in the next verse, and translate something like “caravans deviate from their route.” D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 160-61) allows that “caravans” will be introduced in the next verse, but urges retention of the usual sense here. The two verses together will yield the same idea in either case – the river dries up and caravans looking for the water deviate from their course looking for it.
61 tn The verb literally means “to go up,” but here no real ascent is intended for the wasteland. It means that they go inland looking for the water. The streams wind out into the desert and dry up in the sand and the heat. A. B. Davidson (Job, 47) notes the difficulty with the interpretation of this verse as a reference to caravans is that Ibn Ezra says that it is not usual for caravans to leave their path and wander inland in search of water.
62 tn The word תֹּהוּ (tohu) was used in Genesis for “waste,” meaning without shape or structure. Here the term refers to the trackless, unending wilderness (cf. 12:24).
63 sn If the term “paths” (referring to the brook) is the subject, then this verb would mean it dies in the desert; if caravaneers are intended, then when they find no water they perish. The point in the argument would be the same in either case. Job is saying that his friends are like this water, and he like the caravaneer was looking for refreshment, but found only that the brook had dried up.
64 sn Tema is the area of the oasis SE of the head of the Gulf of Aqaba; Sheba is in South Arabia. In Job 1:15 the Sabeans were raiders; here they are traveling merchants.
65 tn The verb נָבַט (navat) means “to gaze intently”; the looking is more intentional, more of a close scrutiny. It forms a fine parallel to the idea of “hope” in the second part. The NIV translates the second verb קִוּוּ (qivvu) as “look in hope.” In the previous verbs the imperfect form was used, expressing what generally happens (so the English present tense was used). Here the verb usage changes to the perfect form. It seems that Job is narrating a typical incident now – they looked, but were disappointed.
66 tn The words “for these streams” are supplied from context to complete the thought and make the connection with the preceding context.
67 tn In Ps 68:24 this word has the meaning of “processions”; here that procession is of traveling merchants forming convoys or caravans.
68 tn The verb בּוֹשׁ (bosh) basically means “to be ashamed”; however, it has a wider range of meaning such as “disappointed” or “distressed.” The feeling of shame or distress is because of their confidence that they knew what they were doing. The verb is strengthened here with the parallel חָפַר (khafar, “to be confounded, disappointed”).
69 tn The perfect verb has the nuance of past perfect here, for their confidence preceded their disappointment. Note the contrast, using these verbs, in Ps 22:6: “they trusted in you and they were not put to shame [i.e., disappointed].”
70 tn The LXX misread the prepositional phrase as the noun “their cities”; it gives the line as “They too that trust in cities and riches shall come to shame.”
71 tn There is a textual problem in this line, an issue of Kethib-Qere. Some read the form with the Qere as the preposition with a suffix referring to “the river,” with the idea “you are like it.” Others would read the form with the Kethib as the negative “not,” meaning “for now you are nothing.” The LXX and the Syriac read the word as “to me.” RSV follows this and changes כִּי (ki, “for”) to כֵּן (ken, “thus”). However, such an emendation is unnecessary since כִּי (ki) itself can be legitimately employed as an emphatic particle. In that case, the translation would be, “Indeed, now you are” in the sense of “At this time you certainly are behaving like those streams.” The simplest reading is “for now you have become [like] it.” The meaning seems clear enough in the context that the friends, like the river, proved to be of no use. But D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 161) points out that the difficulty with this is that all references so far to the rivers have been in the plural.
72 tn The perfect of הָיָה (hayah) could be translated as either “are” or “have been” rather than “have become” (cf. Joüon 2:373 §113.p with regard to stative verbs). “Like it” refers to the intermittent stream which promises water but does not deliver. The LXX has a paraphrase: “But you also have come to me without pity.”
73 tn The word חֲתַת (khatat) is a hapax legomenon. The word חַת (khat) means “terror” in 41:25. The construct form חִתַּת (khittat) is found in Gen 35:5; and חִתִּית (khittit) is found in Ezek 26:17, 32:23). The Akkadian cognate means “terror.” It probably means that in Job’s suffering they recognized some dreaded thing from God and were afraid to speak any sympathy toward him.
74 tn The Hebrew הֲכִי (hakhi) literally says “Is it because….”
75 sn For the next two verses Job lashes out in sarcasm against his friends. If he had asked for charity, for their wealth, he might have expected their cold response. But all he wanted was sympathy and understanding (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 63).
76 tn The word כֹּחַ (koakh) basically means “strength, force”; but like the synonym חַיִל (khayil), it can also mean “wealth, fortune.” E. Dhorme notes that to the Semitic mind, riches bring power (Job, 90).
77 tn Or “bribes.” The verb שִׁחֲדוּ (shikhadu) means “give a שֹׁחַד (shokhad, “bribe”).” The significance is simply “make a gift” (especially in the sense of corrupting an official [Ezek 16:33]). For the spelling of the form in view of the guttural, see GKC 169 §64.a.
78 tn The verse now gives the ultimate reason why Job might have urged his friends to make a gift – if it were possible. The LXX, avoiding the direct speech in the preceding verse and this, does make this verse the purpose statement – “to deliver from enemies….”
79 tn Heb “hand,” as in the second half of the verse.
80 tn The עָרִיצִים (’aritsim) are tyrants, the people who inspire fear (Job 15:20; 27:13); the root verb עָרַץ (’arats) means “to terrify” (Job 13:25).
81 tn The verb now is the imperfect; since it is parallel to the imperative in the first half of the verse it is imperfect of instruction, much like English uses the future for instruction. The verb פָּדָה (padah) means “to ransom, redeem,” often in contexts where payment is made.
82 tn The verb “teach” or “instruct” is the Hiphil הוֹרוּנִי (horuni), from the verb יָרָה (yarah); the basic idea of “point, direct” lies behind this meaning. The verb is cognate to the noun תּוֹרָה (torah, “instruction, teaching, law”).
83 tn The independent personal pronoun makes the subject of the verb emphatic: “and I will be silent.”
84 tn The verb is הָבִינוּ (havinu, “to cause someone to understand”); with the ל (lamed) following, it has the sense of “explain to me.”
85 tn The verb שָׁגָה (shagah) has the sense of “wandering, getting lost, being mistaken.”
86 tn The word נִּמְרְצוּ (nimrÿtsu, “[they] painful are”) may be connected to מָרַץ (marats, “to be ill”). This would give the idea of “how distressing,” or “painful” in this stem. G. R. Driver (JTS 29 [1927/28]: 390-96) connected it to an Akkadian cognate “to be ill” and rendered it “bitter.” It has also been linked with מָרַס (maras), meaning “to be hard, strong,” giving the idea of “how persuasive” (see N. S. Doniach and W. E. Barnes, “Job 4:25: The Root Maras,” JTS [1929/30]: 291-92). There seems more support for the meaning “to be ill” (cf. Mal 2:10). Others follow Targum Job “how pleasant [to my palate are your words]”; E. Dhorme (Job, 92) follows this without changing the text but noting that the word has an interchange of letter with מָלַץ (malats) for מָרַץ (marats).
87 tn The וּ (vav) here introduces the antithesis (GKC 484-85 §154.a).
88 tn The infinitive הוֹכֵחַ (hokheakh, “reproof,” from יָכַח [yakhakh, “prove”]) becomes the subject of the verb from the same root, יוֹכִיהַ (yokhiakh), and so serves as a noun (see GKC 340 §113.b). This verb means “to dispute, quarrel, argue, contend” (see BDB 406-7 s.v. יָכַח). Job is saying, “What does reproof from you prove?”
89 tn The LXX again paraphrases this line: “But as it seems, the words of a true man are vain, because I do not ask strength of you.” But the rest of the versions are equally divided on the verse.
90 tn This, in the context, is probably the meaning, although the Hebrew simply has the line after the first half of the verse read: “and as/to wind the words of a despairing man.” The line could be translated “and the words of a despairing man, [which are] as wind.” But this translation follows the same approach as RSV, NIV, and NAB, which take the idiom of the verb (“think, imagine”) with the preposition on “wind” to mean “reckon as wind” – “and treat the words of a despairing man as wind.”
91 tn The word “lots” is not in the text; the verb is simply תַּפִּילוּ (tappilu, “you cast”). But the word “lots” is also omitted in 1 Sam 14:42. Some commentators follow the LXX and repoint the word and divide the object of the preposition to read “and fall upon the blameless one.” Fohrer deletes the verse. Peake transfers it to come after v. 23. Even though it does not follow quite as well here, it nonetheless makes sense as a strong invective against their lack of sympathy, and the lack of connection could be the result of emotional speech. He is saying they are the kind of people who would cast lots over the child of a debtor, who, after the death of the father, would be sold to slavery.
92 tn The verb תִכְרוּ (tikhru) is from כָּרָה (karah), which is found in 40:30 with עַל (’al), to mean “to speculate” on an object. The form is usually taken to mean “to barter for,” which would be an expression showing great callousness to a friend (NIV). NEB has “hurl yourselves,” perhaps following the LXX “rush against.” but G. R. Driver thinks that meaning is very precarious. As for the translation, “to speculate about [or “over”] a friend” could be understood to mean “engage in speculation concerning,” so the translation “auction off” has been used instead.
93 tn The second verb, the imperative “turn,” is subordinated to the first imperative even though there is no vav present (see GKC 385-87 §120.a, g).
94 tn The line has “and now, be pleased, turn to me [i.e., face me].” The LXX reverses the idea, “And now, having looked upon your countenances, I will not lie.” The expression “turn to me” means essentially to turn the eyes toward someone to look at him.
95 tn The construction uses אִם (’im) as in a negative oath to mark the strong negative. He is underscoring his sincerity here. See M. R. Lehmann, “Biblical Oaths,” ZAW 81 (1969): 74-92.
96 tn The Hebrew verb שֻׁבוּ (shuvu) would literally be “return.” It has here the sense of “to begin again; to adopt another course,” that is, proceed on another supposition other than my guilt (A. B. Davidson, Job, 49). The LXX takes the word from יָשַׁב (yashav, “sit, dwell”) reading “sit down now.”
97 tn The word עַוְלָה (’avlah) is sometimes translated “iniquity.” The word can mean “perversion, wickedness, injustice” (cf. 16:11). But here he means in regard to words. Unjust or wicked words would be words that are false and destroy.
98 tn The verb here is also שֻׁבוּ (shuvu), although there is a Kethib-Qere reading. See R. Gordis, “Some Unrecognized Meanings of the Root Shub,” JBL 52 (1933): 153-62.
99 tn The text has simply “yet my right is in it.” A. B. Davidson (Job, 49, 50) thinks this means that in his plea against God, Job has right on his side. It may mean this; it simply says “my righteousness is yet in it.” If the “in it” does not refer to Job’s cause, then it would simply mean “is present.” It would have very little difference either way.
100 tn The word עַוְלָה (’avlah) is repeated from the last verse. Here the focus is clearly on wickedness or injustice spoken.
sn These words make a fitting transition to ch. 7, which forms a renewed cry of despair from Job. Job still feels himself innocent, but in the hands of cruel fate which is out to destroy him.
101 tn Heb “my palate.” Here “palate” is used not so much for the organ of speech (by metonymy) as of discernment. In other words, what he says indicates what he thinks.
102 tn The final word, הַוּוֹת (havvot) is usually understood as “calamities.” He would be asking if he could not discern his misfortune. But some argue that the word has to be understood in the parallelism to “wickedness” of words (D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 162). Gordis connects it to Mic 7:3 and Ps 5:10  where the meaning “deceit, falsehood” is found. The LXX has “and does not my throat meditate understanding?”
103 tn The word צָבָא (tsava’) is actually “army”; it can be used for the hard service of military service as well as other toil. As a military term it would include the fixed period of duty (the time) and the hard work (toil). Job here is considering the lot of all humans, not just himself.
104 tn The שָׂכִיר (sakhir) is a hired man, either a man who works for wages, or a mercenary soldier (Jer 46:21). The latter sense may be what is intended here in view of the parallelism, although the next verse seems much broader.
105 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.
106 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.
107 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.
108 tn The word פֹּעַל (po’al) means “work.” But here the word should be taken as a metonymy, meaning the pay for the work that he has done (compare Jer 22:13).
109 tn “Thus” indicates a summary of vv. 1 and 2: like the soldier, the mercenary, and the slave, Job has labored through life and looks forward to death.
110 tn The form is the Hophal perfect of נָחַל (nakhal): “I have been made to inherit,” or more simply, “I have inherited.” The form occurs only here. The LXX must have confused the letters or sounds, a ו (vav) for the ן (nun), for it reads “I have endured.” As a passive the form technically has two accusatives (see GKC 388 §121.c). Job’s point is that his sufferings have been laid on him by another, and so he has inherited them.
111 tn The word is שָׁוְא (shav’, “vanity, deception, nothingness, futility”). His whole life – marked here in months to show its brevity – has been futile. E. Dhorme (Job, 98) suggests the meaning “disillusionment,” explaining that it marks the deceptive nature of mortal life. The word describes life as hollow, insubstantial.
112 tn “Sorrow” is עָמָל (’amal), used in 3:10. It denotes anxious toil, labor, troublesome effort. It may be that the verse expresses the idea that the nights are when the pains of his disease are felt the most. The months are completely wasted; the nights are agonizing.
113 tn The verb is literally “they have appointed”; the form with no expressed subject is to be interpreted as a passive (GKC 460 §144.g). It is therefore not necessary to repoint the verb to make it passive. The word means “to number; to count,” and so “to determine; to allocate.”
114 tn This is the main clause, and not part of the previous conditional clause; it is introduced by the conjunction אִם (’im) (see GKC 336 §112.gg).
115 tn The verb מָדַד (madad) normally means “to measure,” and here in the Piel it has been given the sense of “to extend.” But this is not well attested and not widely accepted. There are many conjectural emendations. Of the most plausible one might mention the view of Gray, who changes מִדַּד (middad, Piel of מָדַּד) to מִדֵּי (midde, comprising the preposition מִן [min] plus the noun דַּי [day], meaning “as often as”): “as often as evening comes.” Dhorme, following the LXX to some extent, adds the word “day” after “when/if” and replaces מִדַּד (middad) with מָתַי (matay, “when”) to read “If I lie down, I say, ‘When comes the morning?’ If I rise up, I say, ‘How long till evening?’” The LXX, however, may be based more on a recollection of Deut 28:67. One can make just as strong a case for the reading adopted here, that the night seems to drag on (so also NIV).
116 tn The Hebrew term נְדֻדִים (nÿdudim, “tossing”) refers to the restless tossing and turning of the sick man at night on his bed. The word is a hapax legomenon derived from the verb נָדַד (nadad, “to flee; to wander; to be restless”). The plural form here sums up the several parts of the actions (GKC 460 §144.f). E. Dhorme (Job, 99) argues that because it applies to both his waking hours and his sleepless nights, it may have more of the sense of wanderings of the mind. There is no doubt truth to the fact that the mind wanders in all this suffering; but there is no need to go beyond the contextually clear idea of the restlessness of the night.
117 tn Heb “my flesh.”
118 tn The implied comparison is vivid: the dirty scabs cover his entire body like a garment – so he is clothed with them.
119 sn The word for “worms” (רִמָּה, rimmah, a collective noun), is usually connected with rotten food (Exod 16:24), or the grave (Isa 14:11). Job’s disease is a malignant ulcer of some kind that causes the rotting of the flesh. One may recall that both Antiochus Epiphanes (2 Macc 9:9) and Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:23) were devoured by such worms in their diseases.
120 tn The text has “clods of dust.” The word גִּישׁ (gish, “dirty scabs”) is a hapax legomenon from גּוּשׁ (gush, “clod”). Driver suggests the word has a medical sense, like “pustules” (G. R. Driver, “Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 : 73) or “scabs” (JB, NEB, NAB, NIV). Driver thinks “clods of dust” is wrong; he repoints “dust” to make a new verb “to cover,” cognate to Arabic, and reads “my flesh is clothed with worms, and scab covers my skin.” This refers to the dirty scabs that crusted over the sores all over his body. The LXX links this with the second half of the verse: “And my body has been covered with loathsome worms, and I waste away, scraping off clods of dirt from my eruption.”
121 tn The meaning of רָגַע (raga’) is also debated here. D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 163) does not think the word can mean “cracked” because scabs show evidence of the sores healing. But E. Dhorme (Job, 100) argues that the usage of the word shows the idea of “splitting, separating, making a break,” or the like. Here then it would mean “my skin splits” and as a result festers. This need not be a reference to the scabs, but to new places. Or it could mean that the scabbing never heals, but is always splitting open.
122 sn The first five verses described the painfulness of his malady, his life; now, in vv. 6-10 he will focus on the brevity of his life, and its extinction with death. He introduces the subject with “my days,” a metonymy for his whole life and everything done on those days. He does not mean individual days – they drag on endlessly.
123 tn The verb קָלַל (qalal) means “to be light” (40:4), and then by extension “to be swift; to be rapid” (Jer 4:13; Hab 1:8).
124 sn The shuttle is the part which runs through the meshes of the web. In Judg 16:14 it is a loom (see BDB 71 s.v. אֶרֶג), but here it must be the shuttle. Hezekiah uses the imagery of the weaver, the loom, and the shuttle for the brevity of life (see Isa 38:12). The LXX used, “My life is lighter than a word.”
125 tn The text includes a wonderful wordplay on this word. The noun is תִּקְוָה (tiqvah, “hope”). But it can also have the meaning of one of its cognate nouns, קַו (qav, “thread, cord,” as in Josh 2:18,21). He is saying that his life is coming to an end for lack of thread/for lack of hope (see further E. Dhorme, Job, 101).
126 sn Job is probably turning here to God, as is clear from v. 11 on. The NIV supplies the word “God” for clarification. It was God who breathed breath into man’s nostrils (Gen 2:7), and so God is called to remember that man is but a breath.
127 tn The word “that” is supplied in the translation.
128 tn The verb with the infinitive serves as a verbal hendiadys: “return to see” means “see again.”
129 sn The meaning of the verse is that God will relent, but it will be too late. God now sees him with a hostile eye; when he looks for him, or looks upon him in friendliness, it will be too late.
130 tn This verse is omitted in the LXX and so by several commentators. But the verb שׁוּר (shur, “turn, return”) is so characteristic of Job (10 times) that the verse seems appropriate here.
131 tn The comparison is implied; “as” is therefore supplied in the translation.
132 tn The two verbs כָּלַה (kalah) and הָלַךְ (halakh) mean “to come to an end” and “to go” respectively. The picture is of the cloud that breaks up, comes to an end, is dispersed so that it is no longer a cloud; it then fades away or vanishes. This line forms a good simile for the situation of a man who comes to his end and disappears.
133 tn The noun שְׁאוֹל (shÿ’ol) can mean “the grave,” “death,” or “Sheol” – the realm of departed spirits. In Job this is a land from which there is no return (10:21 and here). It is a place of darkness and gloom (10:21-22), a place where the dead lie hidden (14:13); as a place appointed for all no matter what their standing on earth might have been (30:23). In each case the precise meaning has to be determined. Here the grave makes the most sense, for Job is simply talking about death.
134 sn It is not correct to try to draw theological implications from this statement or the preceding verse (Rashi said Job was denying the resurrection). Job is simply stating that when people die they are gone – they do not return to this present life on earth. Most commentators and theologians believe that theological knowledge was very limited at such an early stage, so they would not think it possible for Job to have bodily resurrection in view. (See notes on ch. 14 and 19:25-27.)
135 tn M. Dahood suggests the meaning is the same as “his abode” (“Hebrew-Ugaritic Lexicography V,” Bib 48 : 421-38).
136 tn The verb means “to recognize” by seeing. “His place,” the place where he was living, is the subject of the verb. This personification is intended simply to say that the place where he lived will not have him any more. The line is very similar to Ps 103:16b – when the wind blows the flower away, its place knows it no more.
137 tn “Also I” has been rendered frequently as “therefore,” introducing a conclusion. BDB 168-69 s.v. גַמּ lists Ps 52:7  as a parallel, but it also could be explained as an adversative.
138 sn “Mouth” here is metonymical for what he says – he will not withhold his complaints. Peake notes that in this section Job comes very close to doing what Satan said he would do. If he does not curse God to his face, he certainly does cast off restraints to his lament. But here Job excuses himself in advance of the lament.
139 tn The verb is not limited to mental musing; it is used for pouring out a complaint or a lament (see S. Mowinckel, “The Verb siah and the Nouns siah, siha,” ST 15 : 1-10).
140 tn The word תַּנִּין (tannin) could be translated “whale” as well as the more mythological “dragon” or “monster of the deep” (see E. Dhorme, Job, 105). To the Hebrews this was part of God’s creation in Gen 1; in the pagan world it was a force to be reckoned with, and so the reference would be polemical. The sea is a symbol of the tumultuous elements of creation; in the sea were creatures that symbolized the powerful forces of chaos – Leviathan, Tannin, and Rahab. They required special attention.
141 tn The imperfect verb here receives the classification of obligatory imperfect. Job wonders if he is such a threat to God that God must do this.
142 tn The word מִשְׁמָר (mishmar) means “guard; barrier.” M. Dahood suggested “muzzle” based on Ugaritic, but that has proven to be untenable (“Mismar, ‘Muzzle,’ in Job 7:12,” JBL 80 : 270-71).
143 tn The particle כִּי (ki) could also be translated “when,” but “if” might work better to introduce the conditional clause and to parallel the earlier reasoning of Job in v. 4 (using אִם, ’im). See GKC 336-37 §112.hh.
144 tn The verb literally means “say,” but here the connotation must be “think” or “say to oneself” – “when I think my bed….”
145 sn Sleep is the recourse of the troubled and unhappy. Here “bed” is metonymical for sleep. Job expects sleep to give him the comfort that his friends have not.
146 tn The verb means “to lift up; to take away” (נָשָׂא, nasa’). When followed by the preposition בּ (bet) with the complement of the verb, the idea is “to bear a part; to take a share,” or “to share in the burden” (cf. Num 11:7). The idea then would be that the sleep would ease the complaint. It would not end the illness, but the complaining for a while.
147 tn The Piel of חָתַת (khatat) occurs only here and in Jer 51:56 (where it is doubtful). The meaning is clearly “startle, scare.” The perfect verb with the ו (vav) is fitting in the apodosis of the conditional sentence.
sn Here Job is boldly saying that it is God who is behind the horrible dreams that he is having at night.
148 tn The Piel of בָּעַת (ba’at, “terrify”) is one of the characteristic words in the book of Job; it occurs in 3:5; 9:34; 13:11, 21; 15:24; 18:11; and 33:7.
149 tn The prepositions בּ (bet) and מִן (min) interchange here; they express the instrument of causality. See N. Sarna, “The Interchange of the Prepositions bet and min in Biblical Hebrew,” JBL 78 (1959): 310-16. Emphasis on the instruments of terror in this verse is highlighted by the use of chiasm in which the prepositional phrases comprise the central elements (ab//b’a’). Verse 18 contains another example.
150 tn The word נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is often translated “soul.” But since Hebrew thought does not make such a distinction between body and soul, it is usually better to translate it with “person.” When a suffix is added to the word, then that pronoun would serve as the better translation, as here with “my soul” = “I” (meaning with every fiber of my being).
151 tn The verb בָּחַר (bakhar, “choose”) followed by the preposition בּ (bet) can have the sense of “prefer.”
152 tn The meaning of the term מַחֲנָק (makhanaq, “strangling”), a hapax legomenon, is clear enough; the verb חָנַק (khanaq) in the Piel means “to strangle” (Nah 2:13), and in the Niphal “to strangle oneself” (2 Sam 17:23). This word has tempted some commentators to take נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) in a very restricted sense of “throat.”
153 tn The conjunction “and” is supplied in the translation. “Death” could also be taken in apposition to “strangling,” providing the outcome of the strangling.
154 tn This is one of the few words recognizable in the LXX: “You will separate life from my spirit, and yet keep my bones from death.”
155 tn The comparative min (מִן) after the verb “choose” will here have the idea of preferring something before another (see GKC 429-30 §133.b).
156 tn The word מֵעַצְמוֹתָי (me’atsmotay) means “more than my bones” (= life or being). The line is poetic; “bones” is often used in scripture metonymically for the whole living person, so there is no need here for conjectural emendation. Nevertheless, there have been several suggestions made. The simplest and most appealing for those who desire a change is the repointing to מֵעַצְּבוֹתָי (me’atsÿvotay, “my sufferings,” adopted by NAB, JB, Moffatt, Driver-Gray, E. Dhorme, H. H. Rowley, and others). Driver obtains this idea by positing a new word based on Arabic without changing the letters; it means “great” – but he has to supply the word “sufferings.”
157 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 107-8) thinks the idea of loathing or despising is problematic since there is no immediate object. He notes that the verb מָאַס (ma’as, “loathe”) is parallel to מָסַס (masas, “melt”) in the sense of “flow, drip” (Job 42:6). This would give the idea “I am fading away” or “I grow weaker,” or as Dhorme chooses, “I am pining away.”
158 tn There is no object for the verb in the text. But the most likely object would be “my life” from the last verse, especially since in this verse Job will talk about not living forever. Some have thought the object should be “death,” meaning that Job despised death more than the pains. But that is a forced meaning; besides, as H. H. Rowley points out, the word here means to despise something, to reject it. Job wanted death.
159 tn Heb “cease from me.” This construction means essentially “leave me in peace.”
160 tn This word הֶבֶל (hevel) is difficult to translate. It means “breath; puff of air; vapor” and then figuratively, “vanity.” Job is saying that his life is but a breath – it is brief and fleeting. Compare Ps 144:4 for a similar idea.
161 tn The verse is a rhetorical question; it is intended to mean that man is too little for God to be making so much over him in all this.
162 tn The Piel verb is a factitive meaning “to magnify.” The English word “magnify” might not be the best translation here, for God, according to Job, is focusing inordinately on him. It means to magnify in thought, appreciate, think highly of. God, Job argues, is making too much of mankind by devoting so much bad attention on them.
163 tn The expression “set your heart on” means “concentrate your mind on” or “pay attention to.”
164 tn The verb פָּקַד (paqad) is a very common one in the Bible; while it is frequently translated “visit,” the “visit” is never comparable to a social call. When God “visits” people it always means a divine intervention for blessing or cursing – but the visit always changes the destiny of the one visited. Here Job is amazed that God Almighty would be so involved in the life of mere human beings.
165 tn Now the verb “to test” is introduced and gives further explanation to the purpose of the “visit” in the parallel line (see the same parallelism in Ps 17:3). The verb בָּחַן (bakhan) has to do with passing things through the fire or the crucible to purify the metal (see Job 23:10; Zech 13:3); metaphorically it means “to examine carefully” and “to purify by testing.”
166 sn The amazing thing is the regularity of the testing. Job is at first amazed that God would visit him; but even more is he amazed that God is testing him every moment. The employment of a chiasm with the two temporal adverbial phrases as the central elements emphasizes the regularity.
167 tn Heb “according to what [= how long] will you not look away from me.”
168 tn The verb שָׁעָה (sha’ah, “to look”) with the preposition מִן (min) means “to look away from; to avert one’s gaze.” Job wonders if God would not look away from him even briefly, for the constant vigilance is killing him.
169 tn The Hiphil of רָפָה (rafah) means “to leave someone alone.”
170 tn The simple perfect verb can be used in a conditional sentence without a conditional particle present (see GKC 494 §159.h).
171 sn Job is not here saying that he has sinned; rather, he is posing the hypothetical condition – if he had sinned, what would that do to God? In other words, he has not really injured God.
172 sn In the Bible God is often described as watching over people to protect them from danger (see Deut 32:10; Ps 31:23). However, here it is a hostile sense, for God may detect sin and bring it to judgment.
173 tn This word is a hapax legomenon from the verb פָּגָע (paga’, “meet, encounter”); it would describe what is hit or struck (as nouns of this pattern can indicate the place of the action) – the target.
174 tn In the prepositional phrase עָלַי (’alay) the results of a scribal change is found (these changes were called tiqqune sopherim, “corrections of the scribes” made to avoid using improper language about God). The prepositional phrase would have been עָלֶךָ (’alekha, “to you,” as in the LXX). But it offended the Jews to think of Job’s being burdensome to God. Job’s sin could have repercussions on him, but not on God.
175 tn The LXX has, “for now I will depart to the earth.”
176 tn The verb שָׁחַר (shakhar) in the Piel has been translated “to seek early in the morning” because of the possible link with the word “dawn.” But the verb more properly means “to seek diligently” (by implication).