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Job 6:8-9

Context
A Cry for Death

6:8 “Oh that 1  my request would be realized, 2 

and that God would grant me what I long for! 3 

6:9 And that God would be willing 4  to crush me,

that he would let loose 5  his hand

and 6  kill me. 7 

1 tn The Hebrew expresses the desire (desiderative clause) with “who will give?” (see GKC 477 §151.d).

2 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.”

3 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.

4 tn The verb יָאַל (yaal) 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).

5 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.

6 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.

7 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.



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