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Job 6:2-3

Context

6:2 “Oh, 1  if only my grief 2  could be weighed, 3 

and my misfortune laid 4  on the scales too! 5 

6:3 But because it is heavier 6  than the sand 7  of the sea,

that is why my words have been wild. 8 

1 tn The conjunction לוּ (lu, “if, if only”) introduces the wish – an unrealizable wish – with the Niphal imperfect.

2 tn Job pairs כַּעְסִי (kasi, “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.

3 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.

4 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).

5 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).

6 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 76) notes that כִּי־עַתָּה (kiattah) 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).

7 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.

8 tn The verb לָעוּ (lau) is traced by E. Dhorme (Job, 76) to a root לָעָה (laah), 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.



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