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Job 20:17

Context

20:17 He will not look on the streams, 1 

the rivers, which are the torrents 2 

of honey and butter. 3 

Job 29:6

Context

29:6 when my steps 4  were bathed 5  with butter 6 

and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil! 7 

1 tn The word פְּלַגּוֹת (pÿlaggot) simply means “streams” or “channels.” Because the word is used elsewhere for “streams of oil” (cf. 29:6), and that makes a good parallelism here, some supply “oil” (cf. NAB, NLT). But the second colon of the verse is probably in apposition to the first. The verb “see” followed by the preposition bet, “to look on; to look over,” means “to enjoy as a possession,” an activity of the victor.

2 tn The construct nouns here have caused a certain amount of revision. It says “rivers of, torrents of.” The first has been emended by Klostermann to יִצְהָר (yitshar, “oil”) and connected to the first colon. Older editors argued for a נָהָר (nahar) that meant “oil” but that was not convincing. On the other hand, there is support for having more than one construct together serving as apposition (see GKC 422 §130.e). If the word “streams” in the last colon is a construct, that would mean three of them; but that one need not be construct. The reading would be “He will not see the streams, [that is] the rivers [which are] the torrents of honey and butter.” It is unusual, but workable.

3 sn This word is often translated “curds.” It is curdled milk, possibly a type of butter.

4 tn The word is a hapax legomenon, but the meaning is clear enough. It refers to the walking, the steps, or even the paths where one walks. It is figurative of his course of life.

5 tn The Hebrew word means “to wash; to bathe”; here it is the infinitive construct in a temporal clause, “my steps” being the genitive: “in the washing of my steps in butter.”

6 tn Again, as in Job 21:17, “curds.”

7 tn The MT reads literally, “and the rock was poured out [passive participle] for me as streams of oil.” There are some who delete the word “rock” to shorten the line because it seems out of place. But olive trees thrive in rocky soil, and the oil presses are cut into the rock; it is possible that by metonymy all this is intended here (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 186).



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