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Job 6:8-10

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 

6:10 Then I would yet have my comfort, 8 

then 9  I would rejoice, 10 

in spite of pitiless pain, 11 

for 12  I have not concealed the words 13  of the Holy One. 14 

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.

8 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.”

9 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).

10 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.

11 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 (loyakhmol, “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).

12 tn The כִּי (ki, “for”) functions here to explain “my comfort” in the first colon; the second colon simply strengthens the first.

13 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.

14 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).



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