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Job 9:22-23

Context
Accusation of God’s Justice

9:22 “It is all one! 1  That is why I say, 2 

‘He destroys the blameless and the guilty.’

9:23 If a scourge brings sudden death, 3 

he mocks 4  at the despair 5  of the innocent. 6 

1 tc The LXX omits the phrase “It is all one.” Modern scholars either omit it or transpose it for clarity.

sn The expression “it is one” means that God’s dealings with people is undiscriminating. The number “one” could also be taken to mean “the same” – “it is all the same.” The implication is that it does not matter if Job is good or evil, if he lives or dies. This is the conclusion of the preceding section.

2 tn The relationships of these clauses is in some question. Some think that the poet has inverted the first two, and so they should read, “That is why I have said: ‘It is all one.’” Others would take the third clause to be what was said.

3 tc The LXX contains a paraphrase: “for the worthless die, but the righteous are laughed to scorn.”

sn The point of these verses is to show – rather boldly – that God does not distinguish between the innocent and the guilty.

4 sn This bold anthropomorphism means that by his treatment of the despair of the innocent, God is in essence mocking them.

5 tn The term מַסַּת (massat), a hapax legomenon, was translated “trial” in the older versions; but it is not from נָסָה (nasah, “to tempt; to test; to try”), but from מָסַס (masas, “to flow”). It is used in the Niphal to speak of the heart “melting” in suffering. So the idea behind this image is that of despair. This is the view that most interpreters adopt; it requires no change of the text whatsoever.

6 sn Job uses this word to refute Eliphaz; cf. 4:7.



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