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Job 6:16-17

Context

6:16 They 1  are dark 2  because of ice;

snow is piled 3  up over them. 4 

6:17 When they are scorched, 5  they dry up,

when it is hot, they vanish 6  from their place.

1 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).

2 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.

3 tn The verb יִתְעַלֶּם (yitallem) 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.

4 tn The LXX paraphrases the whole verse: “They who used to reverence me now come against me like snow or congealed ice.”

5 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 [1953]: 216-17). Both interpretations capture the sense of the brooks drying up.

6 tn The verb נִדְעֲכוּ (nidakhu) 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.”



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