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  Discovery Box

Job 8:14

Context

8:14 whose 1  trust 2  is in something futile, 3 

whose security is a spider’s web. 4 

Job 31:24

Context

31:24 “If I have put my confidence in gold

or said to pure gold,

‘You are my security!’

1 tn The relative pronoun introduces the verse as a relative clause, working with the “godless person” of the preceding verse. The relative pronoun is joined to the resumptive pronoun in the translation: “who + his trust” = “whose trust.”

2 tn The noun כֶּסֶל (kesel) in this half of the verse must correspond to “his security” in the second half. The meaning must be “his trust” (see 4:6). The two words will again be parallel in 31:24.

3 tn The word יָקוֹט (yaqot) is not known anywhere else; here it looks like it should be a noun to parallel “spider’s house” in the next colon. But scholars have tried to identify it as a verb, perhaps an imperfect of קוֹט (qot, BDB 876 s.v.), or related to an Arabic qatta, “to cut.” Some versions have “break in sunder” (KJV, RV); others “cut off” (RSV). Apart from verbs, some commentators follow Sa`adia’s Arabic translation “sun cords,” meaning “gossamer.” Accordingly, there are emendations like “threads,” “threads of summer,” “spider threads,” and the like. D. J. A. Clines agrees with those who conclude that emendations based on Sa`adia’s translation lack a sound philological basis. E. Dhorme “somewhat timidly” suggests יַלְקוּט (yalqut), the shepherd’s bag or scrip (1 Sam 17:40). He suggests that an empty bag would be a symbol of something unstable and futile. It seems impossible to determine exactly what the word meant. One can only conclude that it means something like “fragile” or “futile.” The LXX is of no help: “for his house shall be without inhabitants.”

4 sn The second half of the verse is very clear. What the godless person relies on for security is as fragile as a spider’s web – he may as well have nothing. The people of the Middle East view the spider’s web as the frailest of all “houses.”



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