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Job 7:7

Context

7:7 Remember 1  that my life is but a breath,

that 2  my eyes will never again 3  see happiness.

Job 7:16

Context

7:16 I loathe 4  it; 5  I do not want to live forever;

leave me alone, 6  for my days are a vapor! 7 

1 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.

2 tn The word “that” is supplied in the translation.

3 tn The verb with the infinitive serves as a verbal hendiadys: “return to see” means “see again.”

4 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 (maas, “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.”

5 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.

6 tn Heb “cease from me.” This construction means essentially “leave me in peace.”

7 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.



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