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Job 35:1-3

Elihu’s Third Speech 1 

35:1 Then Elihu answered:

35:2 “Do you think this to be 2  just:

when 3  you say, ‘My right before God.’ 4 

35:3 But you say, ‘What will it profit you,’ 5 

and, ‘What do I gain by not sinning?’ 6 

1 sn This short speech falls into two sections: Elihu refutes Job’s claim that goodness avails nothing (35:2-8), asserting that when the cry of the afflicted goes unanswered they have not learned their lesson (35:9-16).

2 tn The line could be read as “do you reckon this for justice? Here “to be” is understood.

3 tn The word “when” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied.

4 tn The brief line could be interpreted in a number of ways. The MT simply has “my right from God.” It could be “I am right before God,” “I am more just/right than God” (identifying the preposition as a comparative min (מִן); cf. J. E. Hartley, Job [NICOT], 463), “I will be right before God,” or “My just cause against God.”

5 tn The referent of “you” is usually understood to be God.

6 tn The Hebrew text merely says, “What do I gain from my sin?” But Job has claimed that he has not sinned, and so this has to be elliptical: “more than if I had sinned” (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 224). It could also be, “What do I gain without sin?”

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