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Job 36:8-12


36:8 But if they are bound in chains, 1 

and held captive by the cords of affliction,

36:9 then he reveals 2  to them what they have done, 3 

and their transgressions,

that they were behaving proudly.

36:10 And he reveals 4  this 5  for correction,

and says that they must turn 6  from evil.

36:11 If they obey and serve him,

they live out their days in prosperity

and their years in pleasantness. 7 

36:12 But if they refuse to listen,

they pass over the river of death, 8 

and expire without knowledge.

1 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.

2 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.

3 tn Heb “their work.”

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

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

6 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.

7 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.

8 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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