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Job 36:7-12

Context

36:7 He does not take his eyes 1  off the righteous;

but with kings on the throne

he seats the righteous 2  and exalts them forever. 3 

36:8 But if they are bound in chains, 4 

and held captive by the cords of affliction,

36:9 then he reveals 5  to them what they have done, 6 

and their transgressions,

that they were behaving proudly.

36:10 And he reveals 7  this 8  for correction,

and says that they must turn 9  from evil.

36:11 If they obey and serve him,

they live out their days in prosperity

and their years in pleasantness. 10 

36:12 But if they refuse to listen,

they pass over the river of death, 11 

and expire without knowledge.

1 tc Many commentators accept the change of “his eyes” to “his right” (reading דִּינוֹ [dino] for עֵינָיו [’enayv]). There is no compelling reason for the change; it makes the line commonplace.

2 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the righteous) has been repeated from the first part of the verse for clarity.

3 tn Heb “he seats them forever and exalts them.” The last verb can be understood as expressing a logical consequence of the preceding action (cf. GKC 328 §111.l = “he seats them forever so that he exalts them”). Or the two verbs can be taken as an adverbial hendiadys whereby the first modifies the second adverbially: “he exalts them by seating them forever” or “when he seats them forever” (cf. GKC 326 §111.d). Some interpret this verse to say that God seats kings on the throne, making a change in subject in the middle of the verse. But it makes better sense to see the righteous as the subject matter throughout – they are not only protected, but are exalted.

4 tn Dhorme thinks that the verse is still talking about kings, who may be in captivity. But this diverts attention from Elihu’s emphasis on the righteous.

5 tn The verb נָגַד (nagad) means “to declare; to tell.” Here it is clear that God is making known the sins that caused the enslavement or captivity, so “reveal” makes a good interpretive translation.

6 tn Heb “their work.”

7 tn The idiom once again is “he uncovers their ear.”

8 tn The revelation is in the preceding verse, and so a pronoun must be added to make the reference clear.

9 tn The verb שׁוּב (shuv, “to turn; to return”) is one of the two major words in the OT for “repent” – to return from evil. Here the imperfect should be obligatory – they must do it.

10 tc Some commentators delete this last line for metrical considerations. But there is no textual evidence for the deletion; it is simply the attempt by some to make the meter rigid.

11 tn This is a similar expression to the one in Job 33:18, where the suggestion was made by many that it means crossing over the canal or river of death. Some retain the earlier interpretation of “perish by the sword” (cf. NIV).



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