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Job 8:5-6


8:5 But 1  if you will look 2  to God,

and make your supplication 3  to the Almighty,

8:6 if you become 4  pure 5  and upright, 6 

even now he will rouse himself 7  for you,

and will restore 8  your righteous abode. 9 

1 tn “But” is supplied to show the contrast between this verse and the preceding line.

2 tn The verb שִׁחַר (shikhar) means “to seek; to seek earnestly” (see 7:21). With the preposition אֶל (’el) the verb may carry the nuance of “to address; to have recourse to” (see E. Dhorme, Job, 114). The LXX connected it etymologically to “early” and read, “Be early in prayer to the Lord Almighty.”

3 tn The verb תִּתְחַנָּן (titkhannan) means “to make supplication; to seek favor; to seek grace” (from חָנַן, khanan). Bildad is saying that there is only one way for Job to escape the same fate as his children – he must implore God’s mercy. Job’s speech had spoken about God’s seeking him and not finding him; but Bildad is speaking of the importance of Job’s seeking God.

4 tn A verb form needs to be supplied here. Bildad is not saying to Job, “If you are pure [as you say you are].” Bildad is convinced that Job is a sinner. Therefore, “If you become pure” makes more sense here.

5 tn Or “innocent” (i.e., acquitted).

6 tn Many commentators delete this colon as a moralizing gloss on v. 5; but the phrase makes good sense, and simply serves as another condition. Besides, the expression is in the LXX.

7 tn The verb יָעִיר (yair, “rouse, stir up”) is a strong anthropomorphism. The LXX has “he will answer your prayer” (which is probably only the LXX’s effort to avoid the anthropomorphism [D. J. A. Clines, Job (WBC), 198]). A reading of “watch over you” has been adopted because of parallel texts (see H. L. Ginsberg, “Two North Canaanite Letters from Ugarit,” BASOR 72 [1938]: 18-19; and H. N. Richardson, “A Ugaritic Letter of a King to His Mother,” JBL 66 [1947]: 321-24). Others suggest “his light will shine on you” or “he will bestow health on you.” But the idea of “awake” is common enough in the Bible to be retained here.

8 tn The Piel of שָׁלַם (shalam) means “to make good; to repay; to restore something to its wholeness; to reestablish.” The best understanding here would be “restore [Job] to his place.” Some take the verb in the sense of “reward [Job himself] with a righteous habitation.”

9 tn The construct נְוַת (nÿvat) is feminine; only the masculine occurs in Hebrew. But the meaning “abode of your righteousness” is clear enough. The righteousness of Job is pictured as inhabiting an estate, or it pictures the place where Job lives as a righteous man. A translation “rightful habitation” would mean “the habitation that you deserve” – if you are righteous.

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