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Job 28:9-11

Context

28:9 On the flinty rock man has set to work 1  with his hand;

he has overturned mountains at their bases. 2 

28:10 He has cut out channels 3  through the rocks;

his eyes have spotted 4  every precious thing.

28:11 He has searched 5  the sources 6  of the rivers

and what was hidden he has brought into the light.

1 tn The Hebrew verb is simply “to stretch out; to send” (שָׁלח, shalakh). With יָדוֹ (yado, “his hand”) the idea is that of laying one’s hand on the rock, i.e., getting to work on the hardest of rocks.

2 tn The Hebrew מִשֹּׁרֶשׁ (mishoresh) means “from/at [their] root [or base].” In mining, people have gone below ground, under the mountains, and overturned rock and dirt. It is also interesting that here in a small way humans do what God does – overturn mountains (cf. 9:5).

3 tn Or “tunnels.” The word is יְאֹרִים (yÿorim), the word for “rivers” and in the singular, the Nile River. Here it refers to tunnels or channels through the rocks.

4 tn Heb “his eye sees.”

5 tc The translation “searched” follows the LXX and Vulgate; the MT reads “binds up” or “dams up.” This latter translation might refer to the damming of water that might seep into a mine (HALOT 289 s.v. חבשׁ; cf. ESV, NJPS, NASB, REB, NLT).

6 tc The older translations had “he binds the streams from weeping,” i.e., from trickling (מִבְּכִי, mibbÿkhi). But the Ugaritic parallel has changed the understanding, reading “toward the spring of the rivers” (`m mbk nhrm). Earlier than that discovery, the versions had taken the word as a noun as well. Some commentators had suggested repointing the Hebrew. Some chose מַבְּכֵי (mabbÿkhe, “sources”). Now there is much Ugaritic support for the reading (see G. M. Landes, BASOR 144 [1956]: 32f.; and H. L. Ginsberg, “The Ugaritic texts and textual criticism,” JBL 62 [1943]: 111).



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