and take my life in my hands?
13:16 Moreover, this will become my deliverance,
for no godless person would come before him. 10
let your ears be attentive to my explanation. 12
I know that I am right. 17
If anyone can, I will be silent and die. 19
1 tn The Hebrew has a pregnant construction: “be silent from me,” meaning “stand away from me in silence,” or “refrain from talking with me.” See GKC 384 §119.ff. The LXX omits “from me,” as do several commentators.
2 tn The verb is the Piel cohortative; following the imperative of the first colon this verb would show purpose or result. The inclusion of the independent personal pronoun makes the focus emphatic – “so that I (in my turn) may speak.”
3 tn The verb עָבַר (’avar, “pass over”) is used with the preposition עַל (’al, “upon”) to express the advent of misfortune, namely, something coming against him.
4 tn The interrogative pronoun מָה (mah) is used in indirect questions, here introducing a clause [with the verb understood] as the object – “whatever it be” (see GKC 443-44 §137.c).
5 tc Most editors reject עַל־מָה (’al mah) as dittography from the last verse.
6 tn Heb “why do I take my flesh in my teeth?” This expression occurs nowhere else. It seems to be drawn from animal imagery in which the wild beast seizes the prey and carries it off to a place of security. The idea would then be that Job may be destroying himself. An animal that fights with its flesh (prey) in its mouth risks losing it. Other commentators do not think this is satisfactory, but they are unable to suggest anything better.
7 tn There is a textual difficulty here that factors into the interpretation of the verse. The Kethib is לֹא (lo’, “not”), but the Qere is לוֹ (lo, “to him”). The RSV takes the former: “Behold, he will slay me, I have no hope.” The NIV takes it as “though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” Job is looking ahead to death, which is not an evil thing to him. The point of the verse is that he is willing to challenge God at the risk of his life; and if God slays him, he is still confident that he will be vindicated – as he says later in this chapter. Other suggestions are not compelling. E. Dhorme (Job, 187) makes a slight change of אֲיַחֵל (’ayakhel, “I will hope”) to אַחִיל (’akhil, “I will [not] tremble”). A. B. Davidson (Job, 98) retains the MT, but interprets the verb more in line with its use in the book: “I will not wait” (cf. NLT).
8 tn On אַךְ (’akh, “surely”) see GKC 483 §153 on intensive clauses.
9 tn The verb once again is יָכָה (yakhah, in the Hiphil, “argue a case, plead, defend, contest”). But because the word usually means “accuse” rather than “defend,” I. L. Seeligmann proposed changing “my ways” to “his ways” (“Zur Terminologie für das Gerichtsverfahren im Wortschatz des biblischen Hebräisch,” VTSup 16 : 251-78). But the word can be interpreted appropriately in the context without emendation.
10 sn The fact that Job will dare to come before God and make his case is evidence – to Job at least – that he is innocent.
11 tn The infinitive absolute intensifies the imperative, which serves here with the force of an immediate call to attention. In accordance with GKC 342 §113.n, the construction could be translated, “Keep listening” (so ESV).
12 tn The verb has to be supplied in this line, for the MT has “and my explanation in your ears.” In the verse, both “word” and “explanation” are Aramaisms (the latter appearing in Dan 5:12 for the explanation of riddles).
13 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) functions almost as an imperative here, calling attention to what follows: “look” (archaic: behold).
14 tn The verb עָרַךְ (’arakh) means “to set in order, set in array [as a battle], prepare” in the sense here of arrange and organize a lawsuit.
15 tn The pronoun is added because this is what the verse means.
17 tn The pronoun is emphatic before the verb: “I know that it is I who am right.” The verb means “to be right; to be righteous.” Some have translated it “vindicated,” looking at the outcome of the suit.
18 tn The interrogative is joined with the emphatic pronoun, stressing “who is he [who] will contend,” or more emphatically, “who in the world will contend.” Job is confident that no one can bring charges against him. He is certain of success.
19 sn Job is confident that he will be vindicated. But if someone were to show up and have proof of sin against him, he would be silent and die (literally “keep silent and expire”).