12:20 He deprives the trusted advisers 1 of speech 2
and takes away the discernment 3 of elders.
15:10 The gray-haired 4 and the aged are on our side, 5
men far older than your father. 6
32:9 It is not the aged 9 who are wise,
nor old men who understand what is right.
1 tn The Hebrew נֶאֱמָנִים (ne’emanim) is the Niphal participle; it is often translated “the faithful” in the Bible. The Rabbis rather fancifully took the word from נְאֻם (nÿ’um, “oracle, utterance”) and so rendered it “those who are eloquent, fluent in words.” But that would make this the only place in the Bible where this form came from that root or any other root besides אָמַן (’aman, “confirm, support”). But to say that God takes away the speech of the truthful or the faithful would be very difficult. It has to refer to reliable men, because it is parallel to the elders or old men. The NIV has “trusted advisers,” which fits well with kings and judges and priests.
2 tn Heb “he removes the lip of the trusted ones.”
3 tn Heb “taste,” meaning “opinion” or “decision.”
4 tn The participle שָׂב (sav), from שִׂיב (siv, “to have white hair”; 1 Sam 12:2), only occurs elsewhere in the Bible in the Aramaic sections of Ezra. The word יָשִׁישׁ (yashish, “aged”) occurred in 12:12.
5 tn Heb “with us.”
6 tn The line reads: “[men] greater than your father [in] days.” The expression “in days” underscores their age – they were older than Job’s father, and therefore wiser.
7 tc This reading requires repointing the word בִּדְבָרִים (bidbarim, “with words”) to בְּדָבְּרָם (bÿdabbÿram, “while they spoke [with Job]”). If the MT is retained, it would mean “he waited for Job with words,” which while understandable is awkward.
8 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the other friends) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
9 tn The MT has “the great” or “the many,” meaning great in years according to the parallelism.