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Job 21:27-29

Context
Futile Words, Deceptive Answers

21:27 “Yes, I know what you are thinking, 1 

the schemes 2  by which you would wrong me. 3 

21:28 For you say,

‘Where now is the nobleman’s house, 4 

and where are the tents in which the wicked lived?’ 5 

21:29 Have you never questioned those who travel the roads?

Do you not recognize their accounts 6 

1 tn The word is “your thoughts.” The word for “thoughts” (from חָצַב [khatsav, “to think; to reckon; to plan”]) has more to do with their intent than their general thoughts. He knows that when they talked about the fate of the wicked they really were talking about him.

2 tn For the meaning of this word, and its root זָמַם (zamam), see Job 17:11. It usually means the “plans” or “schemes” that are concocted against someone.

3 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 321) distinguishes the verb חָמַס (khamas) from the noun for “violence.” He proposes a meaning of “think, imagine”: “and the ideas you imagined about me.”

4 sn The question implies the answer will be “vanished” or “gone.”

5 tn Heb “And where is the tent, the dwellings of the wicked.” The word “dwellings of the wicked” is in apposition to “tent.” A relative pronoun must be supplied in the translation.

6 tc The LXX reads, “Ask those who go by the way, and do not disown their signs.”

tn The idea is that the merchants who travel widely will talk about what they have seen and heard. These travelers give a different account of the wicked; they tell how he is spared. E. Dhorme (Job, 322) interprets “signs” concretely: “Their custom was to write their names and their thoughts somewhere at the main cross-roads. The main roads of Sinai are dotted with these scribblings made by such passers of a day.”



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