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Job 9:21

Context

9:21 I am blameless. 1  I do not know myself. 2 

I despise my life.

Job 10:7

Context

10:7 although you know 3  that I am not guilty,

and that there is no one who can deliver 4 

out of your hand?

Job 23:7

Context

23:7 There 5  an upright person

could present his case 6  before him,

and I would be delivered forever from my judge.

Job 27:4

Context

27:4 my 7  lips will not speak wickedness,

and my tongue will whisper 8  no deceit.

1 tn Dhorme, in an effort to avoid tautology, makes this a question: “Am I blameless?” The next clause then has Job answering that he does not know. But through the last section Job has been proclaiming his innocence. The other way of interpreting these verses is to follow NIV and make all of them hypothetical (“If I were blameless, he would pronounce me guilty”) and then come to this verse with Job saying, “I am blameless.” The second clause of this verse does not fit either view very well. In vv. 20, 21, and 22 Job employs the same term for “blameless” (תָּם, tam) as in the prologue (1:1). God used it to describe Job in 1:8 and 2:3. Bildad used it in 8:20. These are the final occurrences in the book.

2 tn The meaning of the expression “I do not know myself” seems to be, “I do not care.” NIV translates it, “I have no concern for my life.”

sn Job believes he is blameless and not deserving of all this suffering; he will hold fast to that claim, even if the future is uncertain, especially if that future involved a confrontation with God.

3 tn Heb עַל־דַּעְתְּךָ (’al datÿkha, “upon your knowledge”). The use of the preposition means basically “in addition to your knowledge,” or “in spite of your knowledge,” i.e., “notwithstanding” or “although” (see GKC 383 §119.aa, n. 2).

4 tn Heb “and there is no deliverer.”

sn The fact is that humans are the work of God’s hands. They are helpless in the hand of God. But it is also unworthy of God to afflict his people.

5 tn The adverb “there” has the sense of “then” – there in the future.

6 tn The form of the verb is the Niphal נוֹכָח (nokkakh, “argue, present a case”). E. Dhorme (Job, 346) is troubled by this verbal form and so changes it and other things in the line to say, “he would observe the upright man who argues with him.” The Niphal is used for “engaging discussion,” “arguing a case,” and “settling a dispute.”

7 tn The verse begins with אִם (’im), the formula used for the content of the oath (“God lives…if I do/do not…”). Thus, the content of the oath proper is here in v. 4.

8 tn The verb means “to utter; to mumble; to meditate.” The implication is that he will not communicate deceitful things, no matter how quiet or subtle.



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