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Job 16:5-6


16:5 But 1  I would strengthen 2  you with my words; 3 

comfort from my lips would bring 4  you relief.

Abandonment by God and Man

16:6 “But 5  if I speak, my pain is not relieved, 6 

and if I refrain from speaking

– how 7  much of it goes away?

1 tn “But” has been added in the translation to strengthen the contrast.

2 tn The Piel of אָמַץ (’amats) means “to strengthen, fortify.”

3 tn Heb “my mouth.”

4 tn The verb יַחְשֹׂךְ (yakhsokh) means “to restrain; to withhold.” There is no object, so many make it first person subject, “I will not restrain.” The LXX and the Syriac have a different person – “I would not restrain.” G. R. Driver, arguing that the verb is intransitive here, made it “the solace of my lips would not [added] be withheld” (see JTS 34 [1933]: 380). D. J. A. Clines says that what is definitive is the use of the verb in the next line, where it clearly means “soothed, assuaged.”

5 tn “But” is supplied in the translation to strengthen the contrast.

6 tn The Niphal יֵחָשֵׂךְ (yekhasekh) means “to be soothed; to be assuaged.”

7 tn Some argue that מָה (mah) in the text is the Arabic ma, the simple negative. This would then mean “it does not depart far from me.” The interrogative used rhetorically amounts to the same thing, however, so the suggestion is not necessary.

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