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Job 3:1--37:24


II. Job’s Dialogue With His Friends
(3:1-27:33) 1 

Job Regrets His Birth

3:1 After this Job opened his mouth 2  and cursed 3  the day he was born. 4  3:2 Job spoke up 5  and said:

3:3 “Let the day on which 6  I was born 7  perish,

and the night that said, 8 

‘A man 9  has been conceived!’ 10 

3:4 That day 11  – let it be darkness; 12 

let not God on high regard 13  it,

nor let light shine 14  on it!

3:5 Let darkness and the deepest

shadow 15  claim it; 16 

let a cloud settle on it;

let whatever blackens the day 17  terrify it!

3:6 That night – let darkness seize 18  it;

let it not be included 19  among the days of the year;

let it not enter among the number of the months! 20 

3:7 Indeed, 21  let that night be barren; 22 

let no shout of joy 23  penetrate 24  it!

3:8 Let those who curse the day 25  curse it 26 

those who are prepared to rouse 27  Leviathan. 28 

3:9 Let its morning stars 29  be darkened;

let it wait 30  for daylight but find none, 31 

nor let it see the first rays 32  of dawn,

3:10 because it 33  did not shut the doors 34  of my mother’s womb on me, 35 

nor did it hide trouble 36  from my eyes!

Job Wishes He Had Died at Birth 37 

3:11 “Why did I not 38  die 39  at birth, 40 

and why did I not expire

as 41  I came out of the womb?

3:12 Why did the knees welcome me, 42 

and why were there 43  two breasts 44 

that I might nurse at them? 45 

3:13 For now 46  I would be lying down

and 47  would be quiet, 48 

I would be asleep and then at peace 49 

3:14 with kings and counselors of the earth

who built for themselves places now desolate, 50 

3:15 or with princes who possessed gold, 51 

who filled their palaces 52  with silver.

3:16 Or why 53  was 54  I not buried 55 

like a stillborn infant, 56 

like infants 57  who have never seen the light? 58 

3:17 There 59  the wicked 60  cease 61  from turmoil, 62 

and there the weary 63  are at rest.

3:18 There 64  the prisoners 65  relax 66  together; 67 

they do not hear the voice of the oppressor. 68 

3:19 Small and great are 69  there,

and the slave is free 70  from his master. 71 

Longing for Death 72 

3:20 “Why does God 73  give 74  light to one who is in misery, 75 

and life to those 76  whose soul is bitter,

3:21 to 77  those who wait 78  for death that 79  does not come,

and search for it 80 

more than for hidden treasures,

3:22 who rejoice 81  even to jubilation, 82 

and are exultant 83  when 84  they find the grave? 85 

3:23 Why is light given 86  to a man 87 

whose way is hidden, 88 

and whom God has hedged in? 89 

3:24 For my sighing comes in place of 90  my food, 91 

and my groanings 92  flow forth like water. 93 

3:25 For the very thing I dreaded 94  has happened 95  to me,

and what I feared has come upon me. 96 

3:26 I have no ease, 97  I have no quietness;

I cannot rest; 98  turmoil has come upon me.” 99 

Eliphaz Begins to Speak 100 

4:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered: 101 

4:2 “If someone 102  should attempt 103  a word with you,

will you be impatient? 104 

But who can refrain from speaking 105 ?

4:3 Look, 106  you have instructed 107  many;

you have strengthened 108  feeble hands. 109 

4:4 Your words have supported 110  those

who stumbled, 111 

and you have strengthened the knees

that gave way. 112 

4:5 But now the same thing 113  comes to you,

and you are discouraged; 114 

it strikes you,

and you are terrified. 115 

4:6 Is not your piety 116  your confidence, 117 

and your blameless ways your hope? 118 

4:7 Call to mind now: 119 

Who, 120  being innocent, ever perished? 121 

And where were upright people 122  ever destroyed? 123 

4:8 Even as I have seen, 124  those who plow 125  iniquity 126 

and those who sow trouble reap the same. 127 

4:9 By the breath 128  of God they perish, 129 

and by the blast 130  of his anger they are consumed.

4:10 There is 131  the roaring of the lion 132 

and the growling 133  of the young lion,

but the teeth of the young lions are broken. 134 

4:11 The mighty lion 135  perishes 136  for lack of prey,

and the cubs of the lioness 137  are scattered.

Ungodly Complainers Provoke God’s Wrath

4:12 “Now a word was secretly 138  brought 139  to me,

and my ear caught 140  a whisper 141  of it.

4:13 In the troubling thoughts 142  of the dreams 143  in the night

when a deep sleep 144  falls on men,

4:14 a trembling 145  gripped me – and a terror! –

and made all my bones shake. 146 

4:15 Then a breath of air 147  passes 148  by my face;

it makes 149  the hair of my flesh stand up.

4:16 It stands still, 150 

but I cannot recognize 151  its appearance;

an image is before my eyes,

and I hear a murmuring voice: 152 

4:17 “Is 153  a mortal man 154  righteous 155  before 156  God?

Or a man pure 157  before his Creator? 158 

4:18 If 159  God 160  puts no trust in 161  his servants 162 

and attributes 163  folly 164  to his angels,

4:19 how much more to those who live in houses of clay, 165 

whose foundation is in the dust,

who are crushed 166  like 167  a moth?

4:20 They are destroyed 168  between morning and evening; 169 

they perish forever 170  without anyone regarding it. 171 

4:21 Is not their excess wealth 172  taken away from them? 173 

They die, 174  yet without attaining wisdom. 175 

5:1 “Call now! 176  Is there anyone who will answer you? 177 

To which of the holy ones 178  will you turn? 179 

5:2 For 180  wrath kills the foolish person, 181 

and anger 182  slays the silly one.

5:3 I myself 183  have seen the fool 184  taking root,

but suddenly I cursed his place of residence. 185 

5:4 His children are far 186  from safety,

and they are crushed 187  at the place where judgment is rendered, 188 

nor is there anyone to deliver them. 189 

5:5 The hungry 190  eat up his harvest, 191 

and take it even from behind the thorns, 192 

and the thirsty 193  swallow up 194  their fortune. 195 

5:6 For evil does not come up from the dust, 196 

nor does trouble spring up from the ground,

5:7 but people 197  are born 198  to trouble,

as surely as the sparks 199  fly 200  upward. 201 

Blessings for the One Who Seeks God 202 

5:8 “But 203  as for me, 204  I would seek 205  God, 206 

and to God 207  I would set forth my case. 208 

5:9 He does 209  great and unsearchable 210  things,

marvelous things without 211  number; 212 

5:10 he gives 213  rain on the earth, 214 

and sends 215  water on the fields; 216 

5:11 he sets 217  the lowly 218  on high,

that those who mourn 219  are raised 220  to safety.

5:12 He frustrates 221  the plans 222  of the crafty 223 

so that 224  their hands cannot accomplish

what they had planned! 225 

5:13 He catches 226  the wise in their own craftiness, 227 

and the counsel of the cunning 228  is brought to a quick end. 229 

5:14 They meet with darkness in the daytime, 230 

and grope about 231  in the noontime as if it were night. 232 

5:15 So he saves 233  from the sword that comes from their mouth, 234 

even 235  the poor from the hand of the powerful.

5:16 Thus the poor have hope,

and iniquity 236  shuts its mouth. 237 

5:17 “Therefore, 238  blessed 239  is the man whom God corrects, 240 

so do not despise the discipline 241  of the Almighty. 242 

5:18 For 243  he 244  wounds, 245  but he also bandages;

he strikes, but his hands also heal.

5:19 He will deliver you 246  from six calamities;

yes, in seven 247  no evil will touch you.

5:20 In time of famine 248  he will redeem you from death,

and in time of war from the power of the sword. 249 

5:21 You will be protected 250  from malicious gossip, 251 

and will not be afraid of the destruction 252  when it comes.

5:22 You will laugh at destruction and famine 253 

and need not 254  be afraid of the beasts of the earth.

5:23 For you will have a pact with the stones 255  of the field,

and the wild animals 256  will be at peace 257  with you.

5:24 And 258  you will know 259  that your home 260 

will be secure, 261 

and when you inspect 262  your domains,

you will not be missing 263  anything.

5:25 You will also know that your children 264  will be numerous,

and your descendants 265  like the grass of the earth.

5:26 You will come to your grave in a full age, 266 

As stacks of grain are harvested in their season.

5:27 Look, we have investigated this, so it is true.

Hear it, 267  and apply it for your own 268  good.” 269 

Job Replies to Eliphaz

6:1 Then Job responded: 270 

6:2 “Oh, 271  if only my grief 272  could be weighed, 273 

and my misfortune laid 274  on the scales too! 275 

6:3 But because it is heavier 276  than the sand 277  of the sea,

that is why my words have been wild. 278 

6:4 For the arrows 279  of the Almighty 280  are within me;

my spirit 281  drinks their poison; 282 

God’s sudden terrors 283  are arrayed 284  against me.

Complaints Reflect Suffering

6:5 “Does the wild donkey 285  bray 286  when it is near grass? 287 

Or 288  does the ox low near its fodder? 289 

6:6 Can food that is tasteless 290  be eaten without salt?

Or is there any taste in the white 291  of an egg?

6:7 I 292  have refused 293  to touch such things; 294 

they are like loathsome food to me. 295 

A Cry for Death

6:8 “Oh that 296  my request would be realized, 297 

and that God would grant me what I long for! 298 

6:9 And that God would be willing 299  to crush me,

that he would let loose 300  his hand

and 301  kill me. 302 

6:10 Then I would yet have my comfort, 303 

then 304  I would rejoice, 305 

in spite of pitiless pain, 306 

for 307  I have not concealed the words 308  of the Holy One. 309 

6:11 What is my strength, that I should wait? 310 

and what is my end, 311 

that I should prolong my life?

6:12 Is my strength like that of stones? 312 

or is my flesh made of bronze?

6:13 Is 313  not my power to help myself nothing,

and has not every resource 314  been driven from me?

Disappointing Friends

6:14 “To the one in despair, kindness 315  should come from his friend 316 

even if 317  he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

6:15 My brothers 318  have been as treacherous 319  as a seasonal stream, 320 

and as the riverbeds of the intermittent streams 321 

that flow away. 322 

6:16 They 323  are dark 324  because of ice;

snow is piled 325  up over them. 326 

6:17 When they are scorched, 327  they dry up,

when it is hot, they vanish 328  from their place.

6:18 Caravans 329  turn aside from their routes;

they go 330  into the wasteland 331  and perish. 332 

6:19 The caravans of Tema 333  looked intently 334  for these streams; 335 

the traveling merchants 336  of Sheba hoped for them.

6:20 They were distressed, 337 

because each one had been 338  so confident;

they arrived there, 339  but were disappointed.

6:21 For now 340  you have become like these streams that are no help; 341 

you see a terror, 342  and are afraid.

Friends’ Fears

6:22 “Have I 343  ever said, 344  ‘Give me something,

and from your fortune 345  make gifts 346  in my favor’?

6:23 Or ‘Deliver me 347  from the enemy’s power, 348 

and from the hand of tyrants 349  ransom 350  me’?

No Sin Discovered

6:24 “Teach 351  me and I, for my part, 352  will be silent;

explain to me 353  how I have been mistaken. 354 

6:25 How painful 355  are honest words!

But 356  what does your reproof 357  prove? 358 

6:26 Do you intend to criticize mere words,

and treat 359  the words of a despairing man as wind?

6:27 Yes, you would gamble 360  for the fatherless,

and auction off 361  your friend.

Other Explanation

6:28 “Now then, be good enough to look 362  at me; 363 

and I will not 364  lie to your face!

6:29 Relent, 365  let there be no falsehood; 366 

reconsider, 367  for my righteousness is intact! 368 

6:30 Is there any falsehood 369  on my lips?

Can my mouth 370  not discern evil things? 371 

The Brevity of Life

7:1 “Does not humanity have hard service 372  on earth?

Are not their days also

like the days of a hired man? 373 

7:2 Like a servant 374  longing for the evening shadow, 375 

and like a hired man looking 376  for his wages, 377 

7:3 thus 378  I have been made to inherit 379 

months of futility, 380 

and nights of sorrow 381 

have been appointed 382  to me.

7:4 If I lie down, I say, 383  ‘When will I arise?’,

and the night stretches on 384 

and I toss and turn restlessly 385 

until the day dawns.

7:5 My body 386  is clothed 387  with worms 388  and dirty scabs; 389 

my skin is broken 390  and festering.

7:6 My days 391  are swifter 392  than a weaver’s shuttle 393 

and they come to an end without hope. 394 

7:7 Remember 395  that my life is but a breath,

that 396  my eyes will never again 397  see happiness.

7:8 The eye of him who sees me now will see me no more; 398 

your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone. 399 

7:9 As 400  a cloud is dispersed and then disappears, 401 

so the one who goes down to the grave 402 

does not come up again. 403 

7:10 He returns no more to his house,

nor does his place of residence 404  know him 405  any more.

Job Remonstrates with God

7:11 “Therefore, 406  I will not refrain my mouth; 407 

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;

I will complain 408  in the bitterness of my soul.

7:12 Am I the sea, or the creature of the deep, 409 

that you must put 410  me under guard? 411 

7:13 If 412  I say, 413  “My bed will comfort me, 414 

my couch will ease 415  my complaint,”

7:14 then you scare me 416  with dreams

and terrify 417  me with 418  visions,

7:15 so that I 419  would prefer 420  strangling, 421 

and 422  death 423  more 424  than life. 425 

7:16 I loathe 426  it; 427  I do not want to live forever;

leave me alone, 428  for my days are a vapor! 429 

Insignificance of Humans

7:17 “What is mankind 430  that you make so much of them, 431 

and that you pay attention 432  to them?

7:18 And that you visit 433  them every morning,

and try 434  them every moment? 435 

7:19 Will you never 436  look away from me, 437 

will you not let me alone 438 

long enough to swallow my spittle?

7:20 If 439  I have sinned – what have I done to you, 440 

O watcher of men? 441 

Why have you set me as your target? 442 

Have I become a burden to you? 443 

7:21 And why do you not pardon my transgression,

and take away my iniquity?

For now I will lie down in the dust, 444 

and you will seek me diligently, 445 

but I will be gone.”

Bildad’s First Speech to Job 446 

8:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite spoke up and said:

8:2 “How long will you speak these things, 447 

seeing 448  that the words of your mouth

are like a great 449  wind? 450 

8:3 Does God pervert 451  justice? 452 

Or does the Almighty pervert 453  what is right?

8:4 If 454  your children sinned against him,

he gave them over 455  to the penalty 456  of their sin.

8:5 But 457  if you will look 458  to God,

and make your supplication 459  to the Almighty,

8:6 if you become 460  pure 461  and upright, 462 

even now he will rouse himself 463  for you,

and will restore 464  your righteous abode. 465 

8:7 Your beginning 466  will seem so small,

since your future will flourish. 467 

8:8 “For inquire now of the former 468  generation,

and pay attention 469  to the findings 470 

of their ancestors; 471 

8:9 For we were born yesterday 472  and do not have knowledge,

since our days on earth are but a shadow. 473 

8:10 Will they not 474  instruct you and 475  speak to you,

and bring forth words 476 

from their understanding? 477 

8:11 Can the papyrus plant grow tall 478  where there is no marsh?

Can reeds flourish 479  without water?

8:12 While they are still beginning to flower 480 

and not ripe for cutting, 481 

they can wither away 482 

faster 483  than any grass! 484 

8:13 Such is the destiny 485  of all who forget God;

the hope of the godless 486  perishes,

8:14 whose 487  trust 488  is in something futile, 489 

whose security is a spider’s web. 490 

8:15 He leans against his house but it does not hold up, 491 

he takes hold 492  of it but it does not stand.

8:16 He is a well-watered plant 493  in 494  the sun,

its shoots spread 495  over its garden. 496 

8:17 It wraps its roots around a heap 497  of stones 498 

and it looks 499  for a place among stones. 500 

8:18 If he is uprooted 501  from his place,

then that place 502  will disown him, saying, 503 

‘I have never seen you!’

8:19 Indeed, this is the joy of his way, 504 

and out of the earth 505  others spring up. 506 

8:20 “Surely, God does not reject a blameless man, 507 

nor does he grasp the hand 508 

of the evildoers.

8:21 He will yet 509  fill your mouth with laughter, 510 

and your lips with gladness.

8:22 Those who hate you 511  will be clothed with shame, 512 

and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

Job’s Reply to Bildad 513 

9:1 Then Job answered:

9:2 “Truly, 514  I know that this is so.

But how 515  can a human 516  be just before 517  God? 518 

9:3 If someone wishes 519  to contend 520  with him,

he cannot answer 521  him one time in a thousand.

9:4 He is wise in heart 522  and mighty 523  in strength 524 

who has resisted 525  him and remained safe? 526 

9:5 He who removes mountains suddenly, 527 

who overturns them in his anger; 528 

9:6 he who shakes the earth out of its place 529 

so that its pillars tremble; 530 

9:7 he who commands the sun and 531  it does not shine 532 

and seals up 533  the stars;

9:8 he alone spreads out the heavens,

and treads 534  on the waves of the sea; 535 

9:9 he makes the Bear, 536  Orion, 537  and the Pleiades, 538 

and the constellations of the southern sky; 539 

9:10 he does great and unsearchable things, 540 

and wonderful things without number.

9:11 If 541  he passes by me, I cannot see 542  him, 543 

if he goes by, I cannot perceive him. 544 

9:12 If he snatches away, 545  who can turn him back? 546 

Who dares to say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

9:13 God does not restrain his anger; 547 

under him the helpers of Rahab 548  lie crushed. 549 

The Impossibility of Facing God in Court

9:14 “How much less, 550  then, can I answer him 551 

and choose my words 552  to argue 553  with 554  him! 555 

9:15 Although 556  I am innocent, 557 

I could not answer him; 558 

I could only plead 559  with my judge 560  for mercy.

9:16 If I summoned him, and he answered me, 561 

I would not believe 562 

that he would be listening to my voice –

9:17 he who 563  crushes 564  me with a tempest,

and multiplies my wounds for no reason. 565 

9:18 He does not allow 566  me to recover 567  my breath,

for he fills 568  me with bitterness.

9:19 If it is a matter of strength, 569 

most certainly 570  he is the strong one!

And if it is a matter of justice,

he will say, ‘Who will summon me?’ 571 

9:20 Although I am innocent, 572 

my mouth 573  would condemn me; 574 

although I am blameless,

it would declare me perverse. 575 

9:21 I am blameless. 576  I do not know myself. 577 

I despise my life.

Accusation of God’s Justice

9:22 “It is all one! 578  That is why I say, 579 

‘He destroys the blameless and the guilty.’

9:23 If a scourge brings sudden death, 580 

he mocks 581  at the despair 582  of the innocent. 583 

9:24 If a land 584  has been given

into the hand of a wicked man, 585 

he covers 586  the faces of its judges; 587 

if it is not he, then who is it? 588 

Renewed Complaint

9:25 “My days 589  are swifter than a runner, 590 

they speed by without seeing happiness.

9:26 They glide by 591  like reed 592  boats,

like an eagle that swoops 593  down on its prey. 594 

9:27 If I say, 595  ‘I will 596  forget my complaint,

I will change my expression 597  and be cheerful,’ 598 

9:28 I dread 599  all my sufferings, 600 

for 601  I know that you do not hold me blameless. 602 

9:29 If I am guilty, 603 

why then 604  weary myself 605  in vain? 606 

9:30 If I wash myself with snow water, 607 

and make my hands clean with lye, 608 

9:31 then you plunge me into a slimy pit 609 

and my own clothes abhor me.

9:32 For he 610  is not a human being like I am,

that 611  I might answer him,

that we might come 612  together in judgment.

9:33 Nor is there an arbiter 613  between us,

who 614  might lay 615  his hand on us both, 616 

9:34 who 617  would take his 618  rod 619  away from me

so that his terror 620  would not make me afraid.

9:35 Then 621  would I speak and not fear him,

but it is not so with me. 622 

An Appeal for Revelation

10:1 “I 623  am weary 624  of my life;

I will complain without restraint; 625 

I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.

10:2 I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn 626  me;

tell me 627  why you are contending 628  with me.’

10:3 Is it good for you 629  to oppress, 630 

to 631  despise the work of your hands,

while 632  you smile 633 

on the schemes of the wicked?

Motivations of God

10:4 “Do you have eyes of flesh, 634 

or do you see 635  as a human being sees? 636 

10:5 Are your days like the days of a mortal,

or your years like the years 637  of a mortal,

10:6 that 638  you must search out 639  my iniquity,

and inquire about my sin,

10:7 although you know 640  that I am not guilty,

and that there is no one who can deliver 641 

out of your hand?

Contradictions in God’s Dealings

10:8 “Your hands have shaped 642  me and made me,

but 643  now you destroy me completely. 644 

10:9 Remember that you have made me as with 645  the clay;

will 646  you return me to dust?

10:10 Did you not pour 647  me out like milk,

and curdle 648  me like cheese? 649 

10:11 You clothed 650  me with skin and flesh

and knit me together 651  with bones and sinews.

10:12 You gave me 652  life and favor, 653 

and your intervention 654  watched over my spirit.

10:13 “But these things 655  you have concealed in your heart;

I know that this 656  is with you: 657 

10:14 If I sinned, then you would watch me

and you would not acquit me of my iniquity.

10:15 If I am guilty, 658  woe 659  to me,

and if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head; 660 

I am full of shame, 661 

and satiated with my affliction. 662 

10:16 If I lift myself up, 663 

you hunt me as a fierce lion, 664 

and again 665  you display your power 666  against me.

10:17 You bring new witnesses 667  against me,

and increase your anger against me;

relief troops 668  come against me.

An Appeal for Relief

10:18 “Why then did you bring me out from the womb?

I should have died 669 

and no eye would have seen me!

10:19 I should have been as though I had never existed; 670 

I should have been carried

right from the womb to the grave!

10:20 Are not my days few? 671 

Cease, 672  then, and leave 673  me alone, 674 

that I may find a little comfort, 675 

10:21 before I depart, never to return, 676 

to the land of darkness

and the deepest shadow, 677 

10:22 to the land of utter darkness,

like the deepest darkness,

and the deepest shadow and disorder, 678 

where even the light 679  is like darkness.” 680 

Zophar’s First Speech to Job 681 

11:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite spoke up and said:

11:2 “Should not this 682  abundance of words be answered, 683 

or should this 684  talkative man 685 

be vindicated? 686 

11:3 Will your idle talk 687  reduce people to silence, 688 

and will no one rebuke 689  you when you mock? 690 

11:4 For you have said, ‘My teaching 691  is flawless,

and I am pure in your sight.’

11:5 But if only God would speak, 692 

if only he would open his lips against you, 693 

11:6 and reveal to you the secrets of wisdom –

for true wisdom has two sides 694 

so that you would know 695 

that God has forgiven some of your sins. 696 

11:7 “Can you discover 697  the essence 698  of God?

Can you find out 699 

the perfection of the Almighty? 700 

11:8 It is higher 701  than the heavens – what can you do?

It is deeper than Sheol 702  – what can you know?

11:9 Its measure is longer than the earth,

and broader than the sea.

11:10 If he comes by 703  and confines 704  you 705 

and convenes a court, 706 

then who can prevent 707  him?

11:11 For he 708  knows deceitful 709  men;

when he sees evil, will he not 710  consider it? 711 

11:12 But an empty man will become wise,

when a wild donkey’s colt is born a human being. 712 

11:13 “As for you, 713  if you prove faithful, 714 

and if 715  you stretch out your hands toward him, 716 

11:14 if 717  iniquity is in your hand – put it far away, 718 

and do not let evil reside in your tents.

11:15 For 719  then you will lift up your face

without 720  blemish; 721 

you will be securely established 722 

and will not fear.

11:16 For you 723  will forget your trouble; 724 

you will remember it

like water that 725  has flowed away.

11:17 And life 726  will be brighter 727  than the noonday;

though there be darkness, 728 

it will be like the morning.

11:18 And you will be secure, because there is hope;

you will be protected 729 

and will take your rest in safety.

11:19 You will lie down with 730  no one to make you afraid,

and many will seek your favor. 731 

11:20 But the eyes of the wicked fail, 732 

and escape 733  eludes them;

their one hope 734  is to breathe their last.” 735 

Job’s Reply to Zophar 736 

12:1 Then Job answered:

12:2 “Without a doubt you are the people, 737 

and wisdom will die with you. 738 

12:3 I also have understanding 739  as well as you;

I am not inferior to you. 740 

Who does not know such things as these? 741 

12:4 I am 742  a laughingstock 743  to my friends, 744 

I, who called on God and whom he answered 745 

a righteous and blameless 746  man

is a laughingstock!

12:5 For calamity, 747  there is derision

(according to the ideas of the fortunate 748 ) –

a fate 749  for those whose feet slip!

12:6 But 750  the tents of robbers are peaceful,

and those who provoke God are confident 751 

who carry their god in their hands. 752 

Knowledge of God’s Wisdom 753 

12:7 “But now, ask the animals and they 754  will teach you,

or the birds of the sky and they will tell you.

12:8 Or speak 755  to the earth 756  and it will teach you,

or let the fish of the sea declare to you.

12:9 Which of all these 757  does not know

that the hand of the Lord 758  has done 759  this,

12:10 in whose hand 760  is the life 761  of every creature

and the breath of all the human race. 762 

12:11 Does not the ear test words,

as 763  the tongue 764  tastes food? 765 

12:12 Is not wisdom found among the aged? 766 

Does not long life bring understanding?

12:13 “With God 767  are wisdom and power;

counsel and understanding are his. 768 

12:14 If 769  he tears down, it cannot be rebuilt;

if he imprisons a person, there is no escape. 770 

12:15 If he holds back the waters, then they dry up; 771 

if he releases them, 772  they destroy 773  the land.

12:16 With him are strength and prudence; 774 

both the one who goes astray 775 

and the one who misleads are his.

12:17 He 776  leads 777  counselors away stripped 778 

and makes judges 779  into fools. 780 

12:18 He loosens 781  the bonds 782  of kings

and binds a loincloth 783  around their waist.

12:19 He leads priests away stripped 784 

and overthrows 785  the potentates. 786 

12:20 He deprives the trusted advisers 787  of speech 788 

and takes away the discernment 789  of elders.

12:21 He pours contempt on noblemen

and disarms 790  the powerful. 791 

12:22 He reveals the deep things of darkness,

and brings deep shadows 792  into the light.

12:23 He makes nations great, 793  and destroys them;

he extends the boundaries of nations

and disperses 794  them. 795 

12:24 He deprives the leaders of the earth 796 

of their understanding; 797 

he makes them wander

in a trackless desert waste. 798 

12:25 They grope about in darkness 799  without light;

he makes them stagger 800  like drunkards.

Job Pleads His Cause to God 801 

13:1 “Indeed, my eyes have seen all this, 802 

my ears have heard and understood it.

13:2 What you know, 803  I 804  know also;

I am not inferior 805  to you!

13:3 But I wish to speak 806  to the Almighty, 807 

and I desire to argue 808  my case 809  with God.

13:4 But you, however, are inventors of lies; 810 

all of you are worthless physicians! 811 

13:5 If only you would keep completely silent! 812 

For you, that would be wisdom. 813 

13:6 “Listen now to my argument, 814 

and be attentive to my lips’ contentions. 815 

13:7 Will you speak wickedly 816  on God’s behalf? 817 

Will you speak deceitfully for him?

13:8 Will you show him partiality? 818 

Will you argue the case 819  for God?

13:9 Would it turn out well if he would examine 820  you?

Or as one deceives 821  a man would you deceive him?

13:10 He would certainly rebuke 822  you

if you secretly 823  showed partiality!

13:11 Would not his splendor 824  terrify 825  you

and the fear he inspires 826  fall on you?

13:12 Your maxims 827  are proverbs of ashes; 828 

your defenses 829  are defenses of clay. 830 

13:13 “Refrain from talking 831  with me so that 832  I may speak;

then let come to me 833  what may. 834 

13:14 Why 835  do I put myself in peril, 836 

and take my life in my hands?

13:15 Even if he slays me, I will hope in him; 837 

I will surely 838  defend 839  my ways to his face!

13:16 Moreover, this will become my deliverance,

for no godless person would come before him. 840 

13:17 Listen carefully 841  to my words;

let your ears be attentive to my explanation. 842 

13:18 See now, 843  I have prepared 844  my 845  case; 846 

I know that I am right. 847 

13:19 Who 848  will contend with me?

If anyone can, I will be silent and die. 849 

13:20 Only in two things spare me, 850  O God, 851 

and then I will not hide from your face:

13:21 Remove 852  your hand 853  far from me

and stop making me afraid with your terror. 854 

13:22 Then call, 855  and I will answer,

or I will speak, and you respond to me.

13:23 How many are my 856  iniquities and sins?

Show me my transgression and my sin. 857 

13:24 Why do you hide your face 858 

and regard me as your enemy?

13:25 Do you wish to torment 859  a windblown 860  leaf

and chase after dry chaff? 861 

13:26 For you write down 862  bitter things against me

and cause me to inherit the sins of my youth. 863 

13:27 And you put my feet in the stocks 864 

and you watch all my movements; 865 

you put marks 866  on the soles of my feet.

13:28 So I 867  waste away like something rotten, 868 

like a garment eaten by moths.

The Brevity of Life

14:1 “Man, born of woman, 869 

lives but a few days, 870  and they are full of trouble. 871 

14:2 He grows up 872  like a flower and then withers away; 873 

he flees like a shadow, and does not remain. 874 

14:3 Do you fix your eye 875  on such a one? 876 

And do you bring me 877  before you for judgment?

14:4 Who can make 878  a clean thing come from an unclean? 879 

No one!

14:5 Since man’s days 880  are determined, 881 

the number of his months is under your control; 882 

you have set his limit 883  and he cannot pass it.

14:6 Look away from him and let him desist, 884 

until he fulfills 885  his time like a hired man.

The Inevitability of Death

14:7 “But there is hope for 886  a tree: 887 

If it is cut down, it will sprout again,

and its new shoots will not fail.

14:8 Although its roots may grow old 888  in the ground

and its stump begins to die 889  in the soil, 890 

14:9 at the scent 891  of water it will flourish 892 

and put forth 893  shoots like a new plant.

14:10 But man 894  dies and is powerless; 895 

he expires – and where is he? 896 

14:11 As 897  water disappears from the sea, 898 

or a river drains away and dries up,

14:12 so man lies down and does not rise;

until the heavens are no more, 899 

they 900  will not awake

nor arise from their sleep.

The Possibility of Another Life

14:13 “O that 901  you would hide me in Sheol, 902 

and conceal me till your anger has passed! 903 

O that you would set me a time 904 

and then remember me! 905 

14:14 If a man dies, will he live again? 906 

All the days of my hard service 907  I will wait 908 

until my release comes. 909 

14:15 You will call 910  and I 911  – I will answer you;

you will long for 912  the creature you have made. 913 

The Present Condition 914 

14:16 “Surely now you count my steps; 915 

then you would not mark 916  my sin. 917 

14:17 My offenses would be sealed up 918  in a bag; 919 

you would cover over 920  my sin.

14:18 But as 921  a mountain falls away and crumbles, 922 

and as a rock will be removed from its place,

14:19 as water wears away stones,

and torrents 923  wash away the soil, 924 

so you destroy man’s hope. 925 

14:20 You overpower him once for all, 926 

and he departs;

you change 927  his appearance

and send him away.

14:21 If 928  his sons are honored, 929 

he does not know it; 930 

if they are brought low,

he does not see 931  it.

14:22 Only his flesh has pain for himself, 932 

and he mourns for himself.” 933 

Eliphaz’s Second Speech 934 

15:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:

15:2 “Does a wise man answer with blustery knowledge, 935 

or fill his belly 936  with the east wind? 937 

15:3 Does he argue 938  with useless 939  talk,

with words that have no value in them?

15:4 But you even break off 940  piety, 941 

and hinder 942  meditation 943  before God.

15:5 Your sin inspires 944  your mouth;

you choose the language 945  of the crafty. 946 

15:6 Your own mouth condemns 947  you, not I;

your own lips testify against 948  you.

15:7 “Were you the first man ever born?

Were you brought forth before the hills?

15:8 Do you listen in on God’s secret council? 949 

Do you limit 950  wisdom to yourself?

15:9 What do you know that we don’t know?

What do you understand that we don’t understand? 951 

15:10 The gray-haired 952  and the aged are on our side, 953 

men far older than your father. 954 

15:11 Are God’s consolations 955  too trivial for you; 956 

or a word spoken 957  in gentleness to you?

15:12 Why 958  has your heart carried you away, 959 

and why do your eyes flash, 960 

15:13 when you turn your rage 961  against God

and allow such words to escape 962  from your mouth?

15:14 What is man that he should be pure,

or one born of woman, that he should be righteous?

15:15 If God places no trust in his holy ones, 963 

if even the heavens 964  are not pure in his eyes,

15:16 how much less man, who is abominable and corrupt, 965 

who drinks in evil like water! 966 

15:17 “I will explain to you;

listen to me,

and what 967  I have seen, I will declare, 968 

15:18 what wise men declare,

hiding nothing,

from the tradition of 969  their ancestors, 970 

15:19 to whom alone the land was given

when no foreigner passed among them. 971 

15:20 All his days 972  the wicked man suffers torment, 973 

throughout the number of the years

that 974  are stored up for the tyrant. 975 

15:21 Terrifying sounds fill 976  his ears;

in a time of peace marauders 977  attack him.

15:22 He does not expect 978  to escape from darkness; 979 

he is marked for the sword; 980 

15:23 he wanders about – food for vultures; 981 

he knows that the day of darkness is at hand. 982 

15:24 Distress and anguish 983  terrify him;

they prevail against him

like a king ready to launch an attack, 984 

15:25 for he stretches out his hand against God, 985 

and vaunts himself 986  against the Almighty,

15:26 defiantly charging against him 987 

with a thick, strong shield! 988 

15:27 Because he covered his face with fat, 989 

and made 990  his hips bulge with fat, 991 

15:28 he lived in ruined towns 992 

and in houses where 993  no one lives,

where they are ready to crumble into heaps. 994 

15:29 He will not grow rich,

and his wealth will not endure,

nor will his possessions 995  spread over the land.

15:30 He will not escape the darkness; 996 

a flame will wither his shoots

and he will depart

by the breath of God’s mouth. 997 

15:31 Let him not trust in what is worthless, 998 

deceiving himself;

for worthlessness will be his reward. 999 

15:32 Before his time 1000  he will be paid in full, 1001 

and his branches will not flourish. 1002 

15:33 Like a vine he will let his sour grapes fall, 1003 

and like an olive tree

he will shed his blossoms. 1004 

15:34 For the company of the godless is barren, 1005 

and fire 1006  consumes the tents of those who accept bribes. 1007 

15:35 They conceive 1008  trouble and bring forth evil;

their belly 1009  prepares deception.”

Job’s Reply to Eliphaz 1010 

16:1 Then Job replied:

16:2 “I have heard many things like these before.

What miserable comforters 1011  are you all!

16:3 Will 1012  there be an end to your 1013  windy words? 1014 

Or what provokes 1015  you that you answer? 1016 

16:4 I also could speak 1017  like you,

if 1018  you were in my place;

I could pile up 1019  words against you

and I could shake my head at you. 1020 

16:5 But 1021  I would strengthen 1022  you with my words; 1023 

comfort from my lips would bring 1024  you relief.

Abandonment by God and Man

16:6 “But 1025  if I speak, my pain is not relieved, 1026 

and if I refrain from speaking

– how 1027  much of it goes away?

16:7 Surely now he 1028  has worn me out,

you have devastated my entire household.

16:8 You have seized me, 1029 

and it 1030  has become a witness;

my leanness 1031  has risen up against me

and testifies against me.

16:9 His 1032  anger has torn me 1033  and persecuted 1034  me;

he has gnashed at me with his teeth;

my adversary locks 1035  his eyes on me.

16:10 People 1036  have opened their mouths against me,

they have struck my cheek in scorn; 1037 

they unite 1038  together against me.

16:11 God abandons me to evil 1039  men, 1040 

and throws 1041  me into the hands of wicked men.

16:12 I was in peace, and he has shattered me. 1042 

He has seized me by the neck and crushed me. 1043 

He has made me his target;

16:13 his archers 1044  surround me.

Without pity 1045  he pierces 1046  my kidneys

and pours out my gall 1047  on the ground.

16:14 He breaks through against me, time and time again; 1048 

he rushes 1049  against me like a warrior.

16:15 I have sewed sackcloth on my skin, 1050 

and buried 1051  my horn 1052  in the dust;

16:16 my face is reddened 1053  because of weeping, 1054 

and on my eyelids there is a deep darkness, 1055 

16:17 although 1056  there is no violence in my hands

and my prayer is pure.

An Appeal to God as Witness

16:18 “O earth, do not cover my blood, 1057 

nor let there be a secret 1058  place for my cry.

16:19 Even now my witness 1059  is in heaven;

my advocate 1060  is on high.

16:20 My intercessor is my friend 1061 

as my eyes pour out 1062  tears to God;

16:21 and 1063  he contends with God on behalf of man

as a man 1064  pleads 1065  for his friend.

16:22 For the years that lie ahead are few, 1066 

and then I will go on the way of no return. 1067 

17:1 My spirit is broken, 1068 

my days have faded out, 1069 

the grave 1070  awaits me.

17:2 Surely mockery 1071  is with me; 1072 

my eyes must dwell on their hostility. 1073 

17:3 Make then my pledge 1074  with you.

Who else will put up security for me? 1075 

17:4 Because 1076  you have closed their 1077  minds to understanding,

therefore you will not exalt them. 1078 

17:5 If a man denounces his friends for personal gain, 1079 

the eyes of his children will fail.

17:6 He has made me 1080  a byword 1081  to people,

I am the one in whose face they spit. 1082 

17:7 My eyes have grown dim 1083  with grief;

my whole frame 1084  is but a shadow.

17:8 Upright men are appalled 1085  at this;

the innocent man is troubled 1086  with the godless.

17:9 But the righteous man holds to his way,

and the one with clean hands grows stronger. 1087 

Anticipation of Death

17:10 “But turn, all of you, 1088  and come 1089  now! 1090 

I will not find a wise man among you.

17:11 My days have passed, my plans 1091  are shattered,

even 1092  the desires 1093  of my heart.

17:12 These men 1094  change 1095  night into day;

they say, 1096  ‘The light is near

in the face of darkness.’ 1097 

17:13 If 1098  I hope for the grave to be my home,

if I spread out my bed in darkness,

17:14 If I cry 1099  to corruption, 1100  ‘You are my father,’

and to the worm, ‘My Mother,’ or ‘My sister,’

17:15 where then 1101  is my hope?

And my hope, 1102  who sees it?

17:16 Will 1103  it 1104  go down to the barred gates 1105  of death?

Will 1106  we descend 1107  together into the dust?”

Bildad’s Second Speech 1108 

18:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:

18:2 “How long until you 1109  make an end of words? 1110 

You must consider, 1111  and then 1112  we can talk.

18:3 Why should we be regarded as beasts,

and considered stupid 1113  in your sight?

18:4 You who tear yourself 1114  to pieces in your anger,

will the earth be abandoned 1115  for your sake?

Or will a rock be moved from its place? 1116 

18:5 “Yes, 1117  the lamp 1118  of the wicked is extinguished;

his flame of fire 1119  does not shine.

18:6 The light in his tent grows dark;

his lamp above him is extinguished. 1120 

18:7 His vigorous steps 1121  are restricted, 1122 

and his own counsel throws him down. 1123 

18:8 For he has been thrown into a net by his feet 1124 

and he wanders into a mesh. 1125 

18:9 A trap 1126  seizes him by the heel;

a snare 1127  grips him.

18:10 A rope is hidden for him 1128  on the ground

and a trap for him 1129  lies on the path.

18:11 Terrors 1130  frighten him on all sides

and dog 1131  his every step.

18:12 Calamity is 1132  hungry for him, 1133 

and misfortune is ready at his side. 1134 

18:13 It eats away parts of his skin; 1135 

the most terrible death 1136  devours his limbs.

18:14 He is dragged from the security of his tent, 1137 

and marched off 1138  to the king 1139  of terrors.

18:15 Fire resides in his tent; 1140 

over his residence burning sulfur is scattered.

18:16 Below his roots dry up,

and his branches wither above.

18:17 His memory perishes from the earth,

he has no name in the land. 1141 

18:18 He is driven 1142  from light into darkness

and is banished from the world.

18:19 He has neither children nor descendants 1143  among his people,

no survivor in those places he once stayed. 1144 

18:20 People of the west 1145  are appalled at his fate; 1146 

people of the east are seized with horror, 1147  saying, 1148 

18:21 ‘Surely such is the residence 1149  of an evil man;

and this is the place of one who has not known God.’” 1150 

Job’s Reply to Bildad 1151 

19:1 Then Job answered:

19:2 “How long will you torment me 1152 

and crush 1153  me with your words? 1154 

19:3 These ten times 1155  you have been reproaching me; 1156 

you are not ashamed to attack me! 1157 

19:4 But even if it were 1158  true that I have erred, 1159 

my error 1160  remains solely my concern!

19:5 If indeed 1161  you would exalt yourselves 1162  above me

and plead my disgrace against me, 1163 

19:6 know 1164  then that God has wronged me 1165 

and encircled 1166  me with his net. 1167 

Job’s Abandonment and Affliction

19:7 “If 1168  I cry out, 1169  ‘Violence!’ 1170 

I receive no answer; 1171 

I cry for help,

but there is no justice.

19:8 He has blocked 1172  my way so I cannot pass,

and has set darkness 1173  over my paths.

19:9 He has stripped me of my honor

and has taken the crown off my head. 1174 

19:10 He tears me down 1175  on every side until I perish; 1176 

he uproots 1177  my hope 1178  like one uproots 1179  a tree.

19:11 Thus 1180  his anger burns against me,

and he considers me among his enemies. 1181 

19:12 His troops 1182  advance together;

they throw up 1183  a siege ramp against me,

and they camp around my tent.

Job’s Forsaken State

19:13 “He has put my relatives 1184  far from me;

my acquaintances only 1185  turn away from me.

19:14 My kinsmen have failed me;

my friends 1186  have forgotten me. 1187 

19:15 My guests 1188  and my servant girls

consider 1189  me a stranger;

I am a foreigner 1190  in their eyes.

19:16 I summon 1191  my servant, but he does not respond,

even though I implore 1192  him with my own mouth.

19:17 My breath is repulsive 1193  to my wife;

I am loathsome 1194  to my brothers. 1195 

19:18 Even youngsters have scorned me;

when I get up, 1196  they scoff at me. 1197 

19:19 All my closest friends 1198  detest me;

and those whom 1199  I love have turned against me. 1200 

19:20 My bones stick to my skin and my flesh; 1201 

I have escaped 1202  alive 1203  with only the skin of my teeth.

19:21 Have pity on me, my friends, have pity on me,

for the hand of God has struck me.

19:22 Why do you pursue me like God does? 1204 

Will you never be satiated with my flesh? 1205 

Job’s Assurance of Vindication

19:23 “O that 1206  my words were written down,

O that they were written on a scroll, 1207 

19:24 that with an iron chisel and with lead 1208 

they were engraved in a rock forever!

19:25 As for me, I know that my Redeemer 1209  lives,

and that as the last 1210 

he will stand upon the earth. 1211 

19:26 And after my skin has been destroyed, 1212 

yet in my flesh 1213  I will see God, 1214 

19:27 whom I will see for myself, 1215 

and whom my own eyes will behold,

and not another. 1216 

My heart 1217  grows faint within me. 1218 

19:28 If you say, ‘How we will pursue him,

since the root of the trouble is found in him!’ 1219 

19:29 Fear the sword yourselves,

for wrath 1220  brings the punishment 1221  by the sword,

so that you may know

that there is judgment.” 1222 

Zophar’s Second Speech 1223 

20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:

20:2 “This is why 1224  my troubled thoughts bring me back 1225 

because of my feelings 1226  within me.

20:3 When 1227  I hear a reproof that dishonors 1228  me,

then my understanding 1229  prompts me to answer. 1230 

20:4 “Surely you know 1231  that it has been from old,

ever since humankind was placed 1232  on the earth,

20:5 that the elation of the wicked is brief, 1233 

the joy of the godless 1234  lasts but a moment. 1235 

20:6 Even though his stature 1236  reaches to the heavens

and his head touches the clouds,

20:7 he will perish forever, like his own excrement; 1237 

those who used to see him will say, ‘Where is he?’

20:8 Like a dream he flies away, never again to be found, 1238 

and like a vision of the night he is put to flight.

20:9 People 1239  who had seen him will not see him again,

and the place where he was

will recognize him no longer.

20:10 His sons must recompense 1240  the poor;

his own hands 1241  must return his wealth.

20:11 His bones 1242  were full of his youthful vigor, 1243 

but that vigor will lie down with him in the dust.

20:12 “If 1244  evil is sweet in his mouth

and he hides it under his tongue, 1245 

20:13 if he retains it for himself

and does not let it go,

and holds it fast in his mouth, 1246 

20:14 his food is turned sour 1247  in his stomach; 1248 

it becomes the venom of serpents 1249  within him.

20:15 The wealth that he consumed 1250  he vomits up,

God will make him throw it out 1251  of his stomach.

20:16 He sucks the poison 1252  of serpents; 1253 

the fangs 1254  of a viper 1255  kill him.

20:17 He will not look on the streams, 1256 

the rivers, which are the torrents 1257 

of honey and butter. 1258 

20:18 He gives back the ill-gotten gain 1259 

without assimilating it; 1260 

he will not enjoy the wealth from his commerce. 1261 

20:19 For he has oppressed the poor and abandoned them; 1262 

he has seized a house which he did not build. 1263 

20:20 For he knows no satisfaction in his appetite; 1264 

he does not let anything he desires 1265  escape. 1266 

20:21 “Nothing is left for him to devour; 1267 

that is why his prosperity does not last. 1268 

20:22 In the fullness of his sufficiency, 1269 

distress 1270  overtakes him.

the full force of misery will come upon him. 1271 

20:23 “While he is 1272  filling his belly,

God 1273  sends his burning anger 1274  against him,

and rains down his blows upon him. 1275 

20:24 If he flees from an iron weapon,

then an arrow 1276  from a bronze bow pierces him.

20:25 When he pulls it out 1277  and it comes out of his back,

the gleaming point 1278  out of his liver,

terrors come over him.

20:26 Total darkness waits to receive his treasures; 1279 

a fire which has not been kindled 1280 

will consume him

and devour what is left in his tent.

20:27 The heavens reveal his iniquity;

the earth rises up against him.

20:28 A flood will carry off his house,

rushing waters on the day of God’s wrath.

20:29 Such is the lot God allots the wicked,

and the heritage of his appointment 1281  from God.”

Job’s Reply to Zophar 1282 

21:1 Then Job answered:

21:2 “Listen carefully 1283  to my words;

let this be 1284  the consolation you offer me. 1285 

21:3 Bear with me 1286  and I 1287  will speak,

and after I have spoken 1288  you may mock. 1289 

21:4 Is my 1290  complaint against a man? 1291 

If so, 1292  why should I not be impatient? 1293 

21:5 Look 1294  at me and be appalled;

put your hands over your mouths. 1295 

21:6 For, when I think 1296  about this, I am terrified 1297 

and my body feels a shudder. 1298 

The Wicked Prosper

21:7 “Why do the wicked go on living, 1299 

grow old, 1300  even increase in power?

21:8 Their children 1301  are firmly established

in their presence, 1302 

their offspring before their eyes.

21:9 Their houses are safe 1303  and without fear; 1304 

and no rod of punishment 1305  from God is upon them. 1306 

21:10 Their bulls 1307  breed 1308  without fail; 1309 

their cows calve and do not miscarry.

21:11 They allow their children to run 1310  like a flock;

their little ones dance about.

21:12 They sing 1311  to the accompaniment of tambourine and harp,

and make merry to the sound of the flute.

21:13 They live out 1312  their years in prosperity

and go down 1313  to the grave 1314  in peace.

21:14 So they say to God, ‘Turn away from us!

We do not want to 1315  know your ways. 1316 

21:15 Who is the Almighty, that 1317  we should serve him?

What would we gain

if we were to pray 1318  to him?’ 1319 

21:16 But their prosperity is not their own doing. 1320 

The counsel of the wicked is far from me! 1321 

How Often Do the Wicked Suffer?

21:17 “How often 1322  is the lamp of the wicked extinguished?

How often does their 1323  misfortune come upon them?

How often does God apportion pain 1324  to them 1325  in his anger?

21:18 How often 1326  are they like straw before the wind,

and like chaff swept away 1327  by a whirlwind?

21:19 You may say, 1328  ‘God stores up a man’s 1329  punishment for his children!’ 1330 

Instead let him repay 1331  the man himself 1332 

so that 1333  he may know it!

21:20 Let his own eyes see his destruction; 1334 

let him drink of the anger of the Almighty.

21:21 For what is his interest 1335  in his home

after his death, 1336 

when the number of his months

has been broken off? 1337 

21:22 Can anyone teach 1338  God knowledge,

since 1339  he judges those that are on high? 1340 

Death Levels Everything

21:23 “One man dies in his full vigor, 1341 

completely secure and prosperous,

21:24 his body 1342  well nourished, 1343 

and the marrow of his bones moist. 1344 

21:25 And another man 1345  dies in bitterness of soul, 1346 

never having tasted 1347  anything good.

21:26 Together they lie down in the dust,

and worms cover over them both.

Futile Words, Deceptive Answers

21:27 “Yes, I know what you are thinking, 1348 

the schemes 1349  by which you would wrong me. 1350 

21:28 For you say,

‘Where now is the nobleman’s house, 1351 

and where are the tents in which the wicked lived?’ 1352 

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

Do you not recognize their accounts 1353 

21:30 that the evil man is spared

from the day of his misfortune,

that he is delivered 1354 

from the day of God’s wrath?

21:31 No one denounces his conduct to his face;

no one repays him for what 1355  he has done. 1356 

21:32 And when he is carried to the tombs,

and watch is kept 1357  over the funeral mound, 1358 

21:33 The clods of the torrent valley 1359  are sweet to him;

behind him everybody follows in procession,

and before him goes a countless throng.

21:34 So how can you console me with your futile words?

Nothing is left of your answers but deception!” 1360 

Eliphaz’s Third Speech 1361 

22:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:

22:2 “Is it to God that a strong man is of benefit?

Is it to him that even a wise man is profitable? 1362 

22:3 Is it of any special benefit 1363  to the Almighty

that you should be righteous,

or is it any gain to him

that you make your ways blameless? 1364 

22:4 Is it because of your piety 1365  that he rebukes you

and goes to judgment with you? 1366 

22:5 Is not your wickedness great 1367 

and is there no end to your iniquity?

22:6 “For you took pledges 1368  from your brothers

for no reason,

and you stripped the clothing from the naked. 1369 

22:7 You gave the weary 1370  no water to drink

and from the hungry you withheld food.

22:8 Although you were a powerful man, 1371  owning land, 1372 

an honored man 1373  living on it, 1374 

22:9 you sent widows away empty-handed,

and the arms 1375  of the orphans you crushed. 1376 

22:10 That is why snares surround you,

and why sudden fear terrifies you,

22:11 why it is so dark you cannot see, 1377 

and why a flood 1378  of water covers you.

22:12 “Is not God on high in heaven? 1379 

And see 1380  the lofty stars, 1381  how high they are!

22:13 But you have said, ‘What does God know?

Does he judge through such deep darkness? 1382 

22:14 Thick clouds are a veil for him, so he does not see us, 1383 

as he goes back and forth

in the vault 1384  of heaven.’ 1385 

22:15 Will you keep to the old path 1386 

that evil men have walked –

22:16 men 1387  who were carried off 1388  before their time, 1389 

when the flood 1390  was poured out 1391 

on their foundations? 1392 

22:17 They were saying to God, ‘Turn away from us,’

and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’ 1393 

22:18 But it was he 1394  who filled their houses

with good things –

yet the counsel of the wicked 1395 

was far from me. 1396 

22:19 The righteous see their destruction 1397  and rejoice;

the innocent mock them scornfully, 1398  saying,

22:20 ‘Surely our enemies 1399  are destroyed,

and fire consumes their wealth.’

22:21 “Reconcile yourself 1400  with God, 1401 

and be at peace 1402  with him;

in this way your prosperity will be good.

22:22 Accept instruction 1403  from his mouth

and store up his words 1404  in your heart.

22:23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; 1405 

if you remove wicked behavior far from your tent,

22:24 and throw 1406  your gold 1407  in the dust –

your gold 1408  of Ophir

among the rocks in the ravines –

22:25 then the Almighty himself will be your gold, 1409 

and the choicest 1410  silver for you.

22:26 Surely then you will delight yourself 1411  in the Almighty,

and will lift up your face toward God.

22:27 You will pray to him and he will hear you,

and you will fulfill your vows to him. 1412 

22:28 Whatever you decide 1413  on a matter,

it will be established for you,

and light will shine on your ways.

22:29 When people are brought low 1414  and you say

‘Lift them up!’ 1415 

then he will save the downcast; 1416 

22:30 he will deliver even someone who is not innocent, 1417 

who will escape 1418  through the cleanness of your hands.”

Job’s Reply to Eliphaz 1419 

23:1 Then Job answered:

23:2 “Even today my complaint is still bitter; 1420 

his 1421  hand is heavy despite 1422  my groaning.

23:3 O that I knew 1423  where I might find him, 1424 

that I could come 1425  to his place of residence! 1426 

23:4 I would lay out my case 1427  before him

and fill my mouth with arguments.

23:5 I would know with what words 1428  he would answer me,

and understand what he would say to me.

23:6 Would he contend 1429  with me with great power?

No, he would only pay attention to me. 1430 

23:7 There 1431  an upright person

could present his case 1432  before him,

and I would be delivered forever from my judge.

The Inaccessibility and Power of God

23:8 “If I go to the east, he is not there,

and to the west, yet I do not perceive him.

23:9 In the north 1433  when he is at work, 1434 

I do not see him; 1435 

when he turns 1436  to the south,

I see no trace of him.

23:10 But he knows the pathway that I take; 1437 

if he tested me, I would come forth like gold. 1438 

23:11 My feet 1439  have followed 1440  his steps closely;

I have kept to his way and have not turned aside. 1441 

23:12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips;

I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my allotted portion. 1442 

23:13 But he is unchangeable, 1443  and who can change 1444  him?

Whatever he 1445  has desired, he does.

23:14 For he fulfills his decree against me, 1446 

and many such things are his plans. 1447 

23:15 That is why I am terrified in his presence;

when I consider, I am afraid because of him.

23:16 Indeed, God has made my heart faint; 1448 

the Almighty has terrified me.

23:17 Yet I have not been silent because of the darkness,

because of the thick darkness

that covered my face. 1449 

The Apparent Indifference of God

24:1 “Why are times not appointed by 1450  the Almighty? 1451 

Why do those who know him not see his days?

24:2 Men 1452  move boundary stones;

they seize the flock and pasture them. 1453 

24:3 They drive away the orphan’s donkey;

they take the widow’s ox as a pledge.

24:4 They turn the needy from the pathway,

and the poor of the land hide themselves together. 1454 

24:5 Like 1455  wild donkeys in the desert

they 1456  go out to their labor, 1457 

seeking diligently for food;

the wasteland provides 1458  food for them

and for their children.

24:6 They reap fodder 1459  in the field,

and glean 1460  in the vineyard of the wicked.

24:7 They spend the night naked because they lack clothing;

they have no covering against the cold.

24:8 They are soaked by mountain rains

and huddle 1461  in the rocks because they lack shelter.

24:9 The fatherless child is snatched 1462  from the breast, 1463 

the infant of the poor is taken as a pledge. 1464 

24:10 They go about naked, without clothing,

and go hungry while they carry the sheaves. 1465 

24:11 They press out the olive oil between the rows of olive trees; 1466 

they tread the winepresses while they are thirsty. 1467 

24:12 From the city the dying 1468  groan,

and the wounded 1469  cry out for help,

but God charges no one with wrongdoing. 1470 

24:13 There are those 1471  who rebel against the light;

they do not know its ways

and they do not stay on its paths.

24:14 Before daybreak 1472  the murderer rises up;

he kills the poor and the needy;

in the night he is 1473  like a thief. 1474 

24:15 And the eye of the adulterer watches for the twilight,

thinking, 1475  ‘No eye can see me,’

and covers his face with a mask.

24:16 In the dark the robber 1476  breaks into houses, 1477 

but by day they shut themselves in; 1478 

they do not know the light. 1479 

24:17 For all of them, 1480  the morning is to them

like deep darkness;

they are friends with the terrors of darkness.

24:18 1481 “You say, 1482  ‘He is foam 1483  on the face of the waters; 1484 

their portion of the land is cursed

so that no one goes to their vineyard. 1485 

24:19 The drought as well as the heat carry away

the melted snow; 1486 

so the grave 1487  takes away those who have sinned. 1488 

24:20 The womb 1489  forgets him,

the worm feasts on him,

no longer will he be remembered.

Like a tree, wickedness will be broken down.

24:21 He preys on 1490  the barren and childless woman, 1491 

and does not treat the widow well.

24:22 But God 1492  drags off the mighty by his power;

when God 1493  rises up against him, he has no faith in his life. 1494 

24:23 God 1495  may let them rest in a feeling of security, 1496 

but he is constantly watching 1497  all their ways. 1498 

24:24 They are exalted for a little while,

and then they are gone, 1499 

they are brought low 1500  like all others,

and gathered in, 1501 

and like a head of grain they are cut off.’ 1502 

24:25 “If this is not so, who can prove me a liar

and reduce my words to nothing?” 1503 

Bildad’s Third Speech 1504 

25:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:

25:2 “Dominion 1505  and awesome might 1506  belong to 1507  God;

he establishes peace in his heights. 1508 

25:3 Can his armies be numbered? 1509 

On whom does his light 1510  not rise?

25:4 How then can a human being be righteous before God?

How can one born of a woman be pure? 1511 

25:5 If even the moon is not bright,

and the stars are not pure as far as he is concerned, 1512 

25:6 how much less a mortal man, who is but a maggot 1513 

a son of man, who is only a worm!”

Job’s Reply to Bildad 1514 

26:1 Then Job replied:

26:2 “How you have helped 1515  the powerless! 1516 

How you have saved the person who has no strength! 1517 

26:3 How you have advised the one without wisdom,

and abundantly 1518  revealed your insight!

26:4 To whom 1519  did you utter these words?

And whose spirit has come forth from your mouth? 1520 

A Better Description of God’s Greatness 1521 

26:5 “The dead 1522  tremble 1523 

those beneath the waters

and all that live in them. 1524 

26:6 The underworld 1525  is naked before God; 1526 

the place of destruction lies uncovered. 1527 

26:7 He spreads out the northern skies 1528  over empty space; 1529 

he suspends the earth on nothing. 1530 

26:8 He locks the waters in his clouds,

and the clouds do not burst with the weight of them.

26:9 He conceals 1531  the face of the full moon, 1532 

shrouding it with his clouds.

26:10 He marks out the horizon 1533  on the surface of the waters

as a boundary between light and darkness.

26:11 The pillars 1534  of the heavens tremble

and are amazed at his rebuke. 1535 

26:12 By his power he stills 1536  the sea;

by his wisdom he cut Rahab the great sea monster 1537  to pieces. 1538 

26:13 By his breath 1539  the skies became fair;

his hand pierced the fleeing serpent. 1540 

26:14 Indeed, these are but the outer fringes of his ways! 1541 

How faint is the whisper 1542  we hear of him!

But who can understand the thunder of his power?”

A Protest of Innocence

27:1 And Job took up his discourse again: 1543 

27:2 “As surely as God lives, 1544  who has denied me justice, 1545 

the Almighty, who has made my life bitter 1546 

27:3 for while 1547  my spirit 1548  is still in me,

and the breath from God is in my nostrils,

27:4 my 1549  lips will not speak wickedness,

and my tongue will whisper 1550  no deceit.

27:5 I will never 1551  declare that you three 1552  are in the right;

until I die, I will not set aside my integrity!

27:6 I will maintain my righteousness

and never let it go;

my conscience 1553  will not reproach me

for as long as I live. 1554 

The Condition of the Wicked

27:7 “May my enemy be like the wicked, 1555 

my adversary 1556  like the unrighteous. 1557 

27:8 For what hope does the godless have when he is cut off, 1558 

when God takes away his life? 1559 

27:9 Does God listen to his cry

when distress overtakes him?

27:10 Will he find delight 1560  in the Almighty?

Will he call out to God at all times?

27:11 I will teach you 1561  about the power 1562  of God;

What is on the Almighty’s mind 1563  I will not conceal.

27:12 If you yourselves have all seen this,

Why in the world 1564  do you continue this meaningless talk? 1565 

27:13 This is the portion of the wicked man

allotted by God, 1566 

the inheritance that evildoers receive

from the Almighty.

27:14 If his children increase – it is for the sword! 1567 

His offspring never have enough to eat. 1568 

27:15 Those who survive him are buried by the plague, 1569 

and their 1570  widows do not mourn for them.

27:16 If he piles up silver like dust

and stores up clothing like mounds of clay,

27:17 what he stores up 1571  a righteous man will wear,

and an innocent man will inherit his silver.

27:18 The house he builds is as fragile as a moth’s cocoon, 1572 

like a hut 1573  that a watchman has made.

27:19 He goes to bed wealthy, but will do so no more. 1574 

When he opens his eyes, it is all gone. 1575 

27:20 Terrors overwhelm him like a flood; 1576 

at night a whirlwind carries him off.

27:21 The east wind carries him away, and he is gone;

it sweeps him out of his place.

27:22 It hurls itself against him without pity 1577 

as he flees headlong from its power.

27:23 It claps 1578  its hands at him in derision

and hisses him away from his place. 1579 

III. Job’s Search for Wisdom (28:1-28)

No Known Road to Wisdom 1580 

28:1 “Surely 1581  there is a mine 1582  for silver,

and a place where gold is refined. 1583 

28:2 Iron is taken from the ground, 1584 

and rock is poured out 1585  as copper.

28:3 Man puts an end to the darkness; 1586 

he searches the farthest recesses

for the ore in the deepest darkness. 1587 

28:4 Far from where people live 1588  he sinks a shaft,

in places travelers have long forgotten, 1589 

far from other people he dangles and sways. 1590 

28:5 The earth, from which food comes,

is overturned below as though by fire; 1591 

28:6 a place whose stones are sapphires 1592 

and which contains dust of gold; 1593 

28:7 a hidden path 1594  no bird of prey knows –

no falcon’s 1595  eye has spotted it.

28:8 Proud beasts 1596  have not set foot on it,

and no lion has passed along it.

28:9 On the flinty rock man has set to work 1597  with his hand;

he has overturned mountains at their bases. 1598 

28:10 He has cut out channels 1599  through the rocks;

his eyes have spotted 1600  every precious thing.

28:11 He has searched 1601  the sources 1602  of the rivers

and what was hidden he has brought into the light.

No Price Can Buy Wisdom

28:12 “But wisdom – where can it be found?

Where is the place of understanding?

28:13 Mankind does not know its place; 1603 

it cannot be found in the land of the living.

28:14 The deep 1604  says, ‘It is not with 1605  me.’

And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’

28:15 Fine gold cannot be given in exchange for it,

nor can its price be weighed out in silver.

28:16 It cannot be measured out for purchase 1606  with the gold of Ophir,

with precious onyx 1607  or sapphires.

28:17 Neither gold nor crystal 1608  can be compared with it,

nor can a vase 1609  of gold match its worth.

28:18 Of coral and jasper no mention will be made;

the price 1610  of wisdom is more than pearls. 1611 

28:19 The topaz of Cush 1612  cannot be compared with it;

it cannot be purchased with pure gold.

God Alone Has Wisdom

28:20 “But wisdom – where does it come from? 1613 

Where is the place of understanding?

28:21 For 1614  it has been hidden

from the eyes of every living creature,

and from the birds of the sky it has been concealed.

28:22 Destruction 1615  and Death say,

‘With our ears we have heard a rumor about where it can be found.’ 1616 

28:23 God understands the way to it,

and he alone knows its place.

28:24 For he looks to the ends of the earth

and observes everything under the heavens.

28:25 When he made 1617  the force of the wind

and measured 1618  the waters with a gauge.

28:26 When he imposed a limit 1619  for the rain,

and a path for the thunderstorm, 1620 

28:27 then he looked at wisdom 1621  and assessed its value; 1622 

he established 1623  it and examined it closely. 1624 

28:28 And he said to mankind,

‘The fear of the Lord 1625  – that is wisdom,

and to turn away from evil is understanding.’” 1626 

IV. Job’s Concluding Soliloquy (29:1-31:40)

Job Recalls His Former Condition 1627 

29:1 Then Job continued 1628  his speech:

29:2 “O that I could be 1629  as 1630  I was

in the months now gone, 1631 

in the days 1632  when God watched 1633  over me,

29:3 when 1634  he caused 1635  his lamp 1636 

to shine upon my head,

and by his light

I walked 1637  through darkness; 1638 

29:4 just as I was in my most productive time, 1639 

when God’s intimate friendship 1640  was experienced in my tent,

29:5 when the Almighty 1641  was still with me

and my children were 1642  around me;

29:6 when my steps 1643  were bathed 1644  with butter 1645 

and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil! 1646 

29:7 When I went out to the city gate

and secured my seat in the public square, 1647 

29:8 the young men would see me and step aside, 1648 

and the old men would get up and remain standing;

29:9 the chief men refrained from talking

and covered their mouths with their hands;

29:10 the voices of the nobles fell silent, 1649 

and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.

Job’s Benevolence

29:11 “As soon as the ear heard these things, 1650  it blessed me, 1651 

and when the eye saw them, it bore witness to me,

29:12 for I rescued the poor who cried out for help,

and the orphan who 1652  had no one to assist him;

29:13 the blessing of the dying man descended on me, 1653 

and I made the widow’s heart rejoice; 1654 

29:14 I put on righteousness and it clothed me, 1655 

my just dealing 1656  was like a robe and a turban;

29:15 I was eyes for the blind

and feet for the lame;

29:16 I was a father 1657  to the needy,

and I investigated the case of the person I did not know;

29:17 I broke the fangs 1658  of the wicked,

and made him drop 1659  his prey from his teeth.

Job’s Confidence

29:18 “Then I thought, ‘I will die in my own home, 1660 

my days as numerous as the grains of sand. 1661 

29:19 My roots reach the water,

and the dew lies on my branches all night long.

29:20 My glory 1662  will always be fresh 1663  in me,

and my bow ever new in my hand.’

Job’s Reputation

29:21 “People 1664  listened to me and waited silently; 1665 

they kept silent for my advice.

29:22 After I had spoken, they did not respond;

my words fell on them drop by drop. 1666 

29:23 They waited for me as people wait 1667  for the rain,

and they opened their mouths 1668 

as for 1669  the spring rains.

29:24 If I smiled at them, they hardly believed it; 1670 

and they did not cause the light of my face to darken. 1671 

29:25 I chose 1672  the way for them 1673 

and sat as their chief; 1674 

I lived like a king among his troops;

I was like one who comforts mourners. 1675 

Job’s Present Misery

30:1 “But now they mock me, those who are younger 1676  than I,

whose fathers I disdained too much 1677 

to put with my sheep dogs. 1678 

30:2 Moreover, the strength of their 1679  hands –

what use was it to me?

Men whose strength 1680  had perished;

30:3 gaunt 1681  with want and hunger,

they would gnaw 1682  the parched land,

in former time desolate and waste. 1683 

30:4 By the brush 1684  they would gather 1685  herbs from the salt marshes, 1686 

and the root of the broom tree was their food.

30:5 They were banished from the community 1687 

people 1688  shouted at them

like they would shout at thieves 1689 

30:6 so that they had to live 1690 

in the dry stream beds, 1691 

in the holes of the ground, and among the rocks.

30:7 They brayed 1692  like animals among the bushes

and were huddled together 1693  under the nettles.

30:8 Sons of senseless and nameless people, 1694 

they were driven out of the land with whips. 1695 

Job’s Indignities

30:9 “And now I have become their taunt song;

I have become a byword 1696  among them.

30:10 They detest me and maintain their distance; 1697 

they do not hesitate to spit in my face.

30:11 Because God has untied 1698  my tent cord and afflicted me,

people throw off all restraint in my presence. 1699 

30:12 On my right the young rabble 1700  rise up;

they drive me from place to place, 1701 

and build up siege ramps 1702  against me. 1703 

30:13 They destroy 1704  my path;

they succeed in destroying me 1705 

without anyone assisting 1706  them.

30:14 They come in as through a wide breach;

amid the crash 1707  they come rolling in. 1708 

30:15 Terrors are turned loose 1709  on me;

they drive away 1710  my honor like the wind,

and like a cloud my deliverance has passed away.

Job’s Despondency

30:16 “And now my soul pours itself out within me; 1711 

days of suffering take hold of me.

30:17 Night pierces 1712  my bones; 1713 

my gnawing pains 1714  never cease.

30:18 With great power God 1715  grasps my clothing; 1716 

he binds me like the collar 1717  of my tunic.

30:19 He has flung me into the mud,

and I have come to resemble dust and ashes.

30:20 I cry out to you, 1718  but you do not answer me;

I stand up, 1719  and you only look at me. 1720 

30:21 You have become cruel to me; 1721 

with the strength of your hand you attack me. 1722 

30:22 You pick me up on the wind and make me ride on it; 1723 

you toss me about 1724  in the storm. 1725 

30:23 I know that you are bringing 1726  me to death,

to the meeting place for all the living.

The Contrast With the Past

30:24 “Surely one does not stretch out his hand

against a broken man 1727 

when he cries for help in his distress. 1728 

30:25 Have I not wept for the unfortunate? 1729 

Was not my soul grieved for the poor?

30:26 But when I hoped for good, trouble came;

when I expected light, then darkness came.

30:27 My heart 1730  is in turmoil 1731  unceasingly; 1732 

the days of my affliction confront me.

30:28 I go about blackened, 1733  but not by the sun;

in the assembly I stand up and cry for help.

30:29 I have become a brother to jackals

and a companion of ostriches. 1734 

30:30 My skin has turned dark on me; 1735 

my body 1736  is hot with fever. 1737 

30:31 My harp is used for 1738  mourning

and my flute for the sound of weeping.

Job Vindicates Himself

31:1 “I made a covenant with 1739  my eyes;

how then could I entertain thoughts against a virgin? 1740 

31:2 What then would be one’s lot from God above,

one’s heritage from the Almighty 1741  on high?

31:3 Is it not misfortune for the unjust,

and disaster for those who work iniquity?

31:4 Does he not see my ways

and count all my steps?

31:5 If 1742  I have walked in falsehood,

and if 1743  my foot has hastened 1744  to deceit –

31:6 let him 1745  weigh me with honest 1746  scales;

then God will discover 1747  my integrity.

31:7 If my footsteps have strayed from the way,

if my heart has gone after my eyes, 1748 

or if anything 1749  has defiled my hands,

31:8 then let me sow 1750  and let another eat,

and let my crops 1751  be uprooted.

31:9 If my heart has been enticed by a woman,

and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door, 1752 

31:10 then let my wife turn the millstone 1753  for another man,

and may other men have sexual relations with her. 1754 

31:11 For I would have committed 1755  a shameful act, 1756 

an iniquity to be judged. 1757 

31:12 For it is a fire that devours even to Destruction, 1758 

and it would uproot 1759  all my harvest.

31:13 “If I have disregarded the right of my male servants

or my female servants

when they disputed 1760  with me,

31:14 then what will I do when God confronts me in judgment; 1761 

when he intervenes, 1762 

how will I respond to him?

31:15 Did not the one who made me in the womb make them? 1763 

Did not the same one form us in the womb?

31:16 If I have refused to give the poor what they desired, 1764 

or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,

31:17 If I ate my morsel of bread myself,

and did not share any of it with orphans 1765 

31:18 but from my youth I raised the orphan 1766  like a father,

and from my mother’s womb 1767 

I guided the widow! 1768 

31:19 If I have seen anyone about to perish for lack of clothing,

or a poor man without a coat,

31:20 whose heart did not bless me 1769 

as he warmed himself with the fleece of my sheep, 1770 

31:21 if I have raised my hand 1771  to vote against the orphan,

when I saw my support in the court, 1772 

31:22 then 1773  let my arm fall from the shoulder, 1774 

let my arm be broken off at the socket. 1775 

31:23 For the calamity from God was a terror to me, 1776 

and by reason of his majesty 1777  I was powerless.

31:24 “If I have put my confidence in gold

or said to pure gold,

‘You are my security!’

31:25 if I have rejoiced because of the extent of my wealth,

or because of the great wealth my hand had gained,

31:26 if I looked at the sun 1778  when it was shining,

and the moon advancing as a precious thing,

31:27 so that my heart was secretly enticed,

and my hand threw them a kiss from my mouth, 1779 

31:28 then this 1780  also would be iniquity to be judged, 1781 

for I would have been false 1782  to God above.

31:29 If 1783  I have rejoiced over the misfortune of my enemy 1784 

or exulted 1785  because calamity 1786  found him –

31:30 I 1787  have not even permitted my mouth 1788  to sin

by asking 1789  for his life through a curse –

31:31 if 1790  the members of my household 1791  have never said, 1792 

‘If only there were 1793  someone

who has not been satisfied from Job’s 1794  meat!’ –

31:32 But 1795  no stranger had to spend the night outside,

for I opened my doors to the traveler 1796 

31:33 if 1797  I have covered my transgressions as men do, 1798 

by hiding 1799  iniquity in my heart, 1800 

31:34 because I was terrified 1801  of the great multitude, 1802 

and the contempt of families terrified me,

so that I remained silent

and would not go outdoors – 1803 

Job’s Appeal

31:35 “If only I had 1804  someone to hear me!

Here is my signature – 1805 

let the Almighty answer me!

If only I had an indictment 1806 

that my accuser had written. 1807 

31:36 Surely 1808  I would wear it proudly 1809  on my shoulder,

I would bind 1810  it on me like a crown;

31:37 I would give him an accounting of my steps;

like a prince I would approach him.

Job’s Final Solemn Oath 1811 

31:38 “If my land cried out against me 1812 

and all its furrows wept together,

31:39 if I have eaten its produce without paying, 1813 

or caused the death 1814  of its owners, 1815 

31:40 then let thorns sprout up in place of wheat,

and in place of barley, weeds!” 1816 

The words of Job are ended.

V. The Speeches of Elihu (32:1-37:24)

Elihu’s First Speech 1817 

32:1 So these three men refused to answer 1818  Job further, because he was righteous in his 1819  own eyes. 32:2 Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry. 1820  He was angry 1821  with Job for justifying 1822  himself rather than God. 1823  32:3 With Job’s 1824  three friends he was also angry, because they could not find 1825  an answer, and so declared Job guilty. 1826  32:4 Now Elihu had waited before speaking 1827  to Job, because the others 1828  were older than he was. 32:5 But when Elihu saw 1829  that the three men had no further reply, 1830  he became very angry.

Elihu Claims Wisdom

32:6 So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite spoke up: 1831 

“I am young, 1832  but you are elderly;

that is why I was fearful, 1833 

and afraid to explain 1834  to you what I know.

32:7 I said to myself, ‘Age 1835  should speak, 1836 

and length of years 1837  should make wisdom known.’

32:8 But it is a spirit in people,

the breath 1838  of the Almighty,

that makes them understand.

32:9 It is not the aged 1839  who are wise,

nor old men who understand what is right.

32:10 Therefore I say, ‘Listen 1840  to me.

I, even I, will explain what I know.’

32:11 Look, I waited for you to speak; 1841 

I listened closely to your wise thoughts, 1842 while you were searching for words.

32:12 Now I was paying you close attention, 1843 

yet 1844  there was no one proving Job wrong, 1845 

not one of you was answering his statements!

32:13 So do not say, 1846  ‘We have found wisdom!

God will refute 1847  him, not man!’

32:14 Job 1848  has not directed 1849  his words to me,

and so I will not reply to him with your arguments. 1850 

Job’s Friends Failed to Answer 1851 

32:15 “They are dismayed 1852  and cannot answer any more;

they have nothing left to say. 1853 

32:16 And I have waited. 1854  But because they do not speak,

because they stand there and answer no more,

32:17 I too will answer my part,

I too will explain what I know.

32:18 For I am full of words,

and the spirit within me 1855  constrains me. 1856 

32:19 Inside I am like wine which has no outlet, 1857 

like new wineskins 1858  ready to burst!

32:20 I will speak, 1859  so that I may find relief;

I will open my lips, so that I may answer.

32:21 I will not show partiality to anyone, 1860 

nor will I confer a title 1861  on any man.

32:22 for I do not know how to give honorary titles, 1862 

if I did, 1863  my Creator would quickly do away with me. 1864 

Elihu Invites Job’s Attention

33:1 “But now, O Job, listen to my words,

and hear 1865  everything I have to say! 1866 

33:2 See now, I have opened 1867  my mouth;

my tongue in my mouth has spoken. 1868 

33:3 My words come from the uprightness of my heart, 1869 

and my lips will utter knowledge sincerely. 1870 

33:4 The Spirit of God has made me,

and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 1871 

33:5 Reply to me, if you can;

set your arguments 1872  in order before me

and take your stand!

33:6 Look, I am just like you in relation to God;

I too have been molded 1873  from clay.

33:7 Therefore no fear of me should terrify you,

nor should my pressure 1874  be heavy on you. 1875 

Elihu Rejects Job’s Plea of Innocence

33:8 “Indeed, you have said in my hearing 1876 

(I heard the sound of the words!):

33:9 1877 ‘I am pure, without transgression;

I am clean 1878  and have no iniquity.

33:10 1879 Yet God 1880  finds occasions 1881  with me;

he regards me as his enemy!

33:11 1882 He puts my feet in shackles;

he watches closely all my paths.’

33:12 Now in this, you are not right – I answer you, 1883 

for God is greater than a human being. 1884 

33:13 Why do you contend against him,

that he does not answer all a person’s 1885  words?

Elihu Disagrees With Job’s View of God

33:14 “For God speaks, the first time in one way,

the second time in another,

though a person does not perceive 1886  it.

33:15 In a dream, a night vision,

when deep sleep falls on people

as they sleep in their beds.

33:16 Then he gives a revelation 1887  to people,

and terrifies them with warnings, 1888 

33:17 to turn a person from his sin, 1889 

and to cover a person’s pride. 1890 

33:18 He spares a person’s life from corruption, 1891 

his very life from crossing over 1892  the river.

33:19 Or a person is chastened 1893  by pain on his bed,

and with the continual strife of his bones, 1894 

33:20 so that his life loathes food,

and his soul rejects appetizing fare. 1895 

33:21 His flesh wastes away from sight,

and his bones, which were not seen,

are easily visible. 1896 

33:22 He 1897  draws near to the place of corruption,

and his life to the messengers of death. 1898 

33:23 If there is an angel beside him,

one mediator 1899  out of a thousand,

to tell a person what constitutes his uprightness; 1900 

33:24 and if 1901  God 1902  is gracious to him and says,

‘Spare 1903  him from going down

to the place of corruption,

I have found a ransom for him,’ 1904 

33:25 then his flesh is restored 1905  like a youth’s;

he returns to the days of his youthful vigor. 1906 

33:26 He entreats God, and God 1907  delights in him,

he sees God’s face 1908  with rejoicing,

and God 1909  restores to him his righteousness. 1910 

33:27 That person sings 1911  to others, 1912  saying:

‘I have sinned and falsified what is right,

but I was not punished according to what I deserved. 1913 

33:28 He redeemed my life 1914 

from going down to the place of corruption,

and my life sees the light!’

Elihu’s Appeal to Job 1915 

33:29 “Indeed, God does all these things,

twice, three times, in his dealings 1916  with a person,

33:30 to turn back his life from the place of corruption,

that he may be enlightened with the light of life.

33:31 Pay attention, Job – listen to me;

be silent, and I will speak.

33:32 If you have any words, 1917  reply to me;

speak, for I want to justify you. 1918 

33:33 If not, you listen to me;

be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Elihu’s Second Speech 1919 

34:1 Elihu answered:

34:2 “Listen to my words, you wise men;

hear 1920  me, you learned men. 1921 

34:3 For the ear assesses 1922  words

as the mouth 1923  tastes food.

34:4 Let us evaluate 1924  for ourselves what is right; 1925 

let us come to know among ourselves what is good.

34:5 For Job says, ‘I am innocent, 1926 

but God turns away my right.

34:6 Concerning my right, should I lie? 1927 

My wound 1928  is incurable,

although I am without transgression.’ 1929 

34:7 What man is like Job,

who 1930  drinks derision 1931  like water!

34:8 He goes about 1932  in company 1933  with evildoers,

he goes along 1934  with wicked men. 1935 

34:9 For he says, ‘It does not profit a man

when he makes his delight with God.’ 1936 

God is Not Unjust

34:10 “Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding. 1937 

Far be it from 1938  God to do wickedness,

from the Almighty to do evil.

34:11 For he repays a person for his work, 1939 

and according to the conduct of a person,

he causes the consequences to find him. 1940 

34:12 Indeed, in truth, God does not act wickedly,

and the Almighty does not pervert justice.

34:13 Who entrusted 1941  to him the earth?

And who put him over 1942  the whole world?

34:14 If God 1943  were to set his heart on it, 1944 

and gather in his spirit and his breath,

34:15 all flesh would perish together

and human beings would return to dust.

God Is Impartial and Omniscient

34:16 “If you have 1945  understanding, listen to this,

hear what I have to say. 1946 

34:17 Do you really think 1947 

that one who hates justice can govern? 1948 

And will you declare guilty

the supremely righteous 1949  One,

34:18 who says to a king, 1950  ‘Worthless man’ 1951 

and to nobles, ‘Wicked men,’

34:19 who shows no partiality to princes,

and does not take note of 1952  the rich more than the poor,

because all of them are the work of his hands?

34:20 In a moment they die, in the middle of the night, 1953 

people 1954  are shaken 1955  and they pass away.

The mighty are removed effortlessly. 1956 

34:21 For his eyes are on the ways of an individual,

he observes all a person’s 1957  steps.

34:22 There is no darkness, and no deep darkness,

where evildoers can hide themselves. 1958 

34:23 For he does not still consider a person, 1959 

that he should come before God in judgment.

34:24 He shatters the great without inquiry, 1960 

and sets up others in their place.

34:25 Therefore, he knows their deeds,

he overthrows them 1961  in the night 1962 

and they are crushed.

34:26 He strikes them for their wickedness, 1963 

in a place where people can see, 1964 

34:27 because they have turned away from following him,

and have not understood 1965  any of his ways,

34:28 so that they caused 1966  the cry of the poor

to come before him,

so that he hears 1967  the cry of the needy.

34:29 But if God 1968  is quiet, who can condemn 1969  him?

If he hides his face, then who can see him?

Yet 1970  he is over the individual and the nation alike, 1971 

34:30 so that the godless man should not rule,

and not lay snares for the people. 1972 

Job Is Foolish to Rebel

34:31 “Has anyone said to God,

‘I have endured chastisement, 1973 

but I will not act wrongly any more.

34:32 Teach me what I cannot see. 1974 

If I have done evil, I will do so no more.’

34:33 Is it your opinion 1975  that God 1976  should recompense it,

because you reject this? 1977 

But you must choose, and not I,

so tell us what you know.

34:34 Men of understanding say to me –

any wise man listening to me says –

34:35 that 1978  Job speaks without knowledge

and his words are without understanding. 1979 

34:36 But 1980  Job will be tested to the end,

because his answers are like those of wicked men.

34:37 For he adds transgression 1981  to his sin;

in our midst he claps his hands, 1982 

and multiplies his words against God.”

Elihu’s Third Speech 1983 

35:1 Then Elihu answered:

35:2 “Do you think this to be 1984  just:

when 1985  you say, ‘My right before God.’ 1986 

35:3 But you say, ‘What will it profit you,’ 1987 

and, ‘What do I gain by not sinning?’ 1988 

35:4 I 1989  will reply to you, 1990 

and to your friends with you.

35:5 Gaze at the heavens and see;

consider the clouds, which are higher than you! 1991 

35:6 If you sin, how does it affect God? 1992 

If your transgressions are many,

what does it do to him? 1993 

35:7 If you are righteous, what do you give to God,

or what does he receive from your hand?

35:8 Your wickedness affects only 1994  a person like yourself,

and your righteousness only other people. 1995 

35:9 “People 1996  cry out

because of the excess of oppression; 1997 

they cry out for help

because of the power 1998  of the mighty. 1999 

35:10 But no one says, ‘Where is God, my Creator,

who gives songs in the night, 2000 

35:11 who teaches us 2001  more than 2002  the wild animals of the earth,

and makes us wiser than the birds of the sky?’

35:12 Then 2003  they cry out – but he does not answer –

because of the arrogance of the wicked.

35:13 Surely it is an empty cry 2004  – God does not hear it;

the Almighty does not take notice of it.

35:14 How much less, then,

when you say that you do not perceive him,

that the case is before him

and you are waiting for him! 2005 

35:15 And further, 2006  when you say

that his anger does not punish, 2007 

and that he does not know transgression! 2008 

35:16 So Job opens his mouth to no purpose; 2009 

without knowledge he multiplies words.”

Elihu’s Fourth Speech 2010 

36:1 Elihu said further: 2011 

36:2 “Be patient 2012  with me a little longer

and I will instruct you,

for I still have words to speak on God’s behalf. 2013 

36:3 With my knowledge I will speak comprehensively, 2014 

and to my Creator I will ascribe righteousness. 2015 

36:4 For in truth, my words are not false;

it is one complete 2016  in knowledge

who is with you.

36:5 Indeed, God is mighty; and he does not despise people, 2017 

he 2018  is mighty, and firm 2019  in his intent. 2020 

36:6 He does not allow the wicked to live, 2021 

but he gives justice to the poor.

36:7 He does not take his eyes 2022  off the righteous;

but with kings on the throne

he seats the righteous 2023  and exalts them forever. 2024 

36:8 But if they are bound in chains, 2025 

and held captive by the cords of affliction,

36:9 then he reveals 2026  to them what they have done, 2027 

and their transgressions,

that they were behaving proudly.

36:10 And he reveals 2028  this 2029  for correction,

and says that they must turn 2030  from evil.

36:11 If they obey and serve him,

they live out their days in prosperity

and their years in pleasantness. 2031 

36:12 But if they refuse to listen,

they pass over the river of death, 2032 

and expire without knowledge.

36:13 The godless at heart 2033  nourish anger, 2034 

they do not cry out even when he binds them.

36:14 They die 2035  in their youth,

and their life ends among the male cultic prostitutes. 2036 

36:15 He delivers the afflicted by 2037  their 2038  afflictions,

he reveals himself to them 2039  by their suffering.

36:16 And surely, he drew you 2040  from the mouth of distress,

to a wide place, unrestricted, 2041 

and to the comfort 2042  of your table

filled with rich food. 2043 

36:17 But now you are preoccupied with the judgment due the wicked,

judgment and justice take hold of you.

36:18 Be careful that 2044  no one entices you with riches;

do not let a large bribe 2045  turn you aside.

36:19 Would your wealth 2046  sustain you,

so that you would not be in distress, 2047 

even all your mighty efforts? 2048 

36:20 Do not long for the cover of night

to drag people away from their homes. 2049 

36:21 Take heed, do not turn to evil,

for because of this you have been tested 2050  by affliction.

36:22 Indeed, God is exalted in his power;

who is a teacher 2051  like him?

36:23 Who has prescribed his ways for him?

Or said to him, ‘You have done what is wicked’?

36:24 Remember to extol 2052  his work,

which people have praised in song.

36:25 All humanity has seen it;

people gaze on it from afar.

The Work and Wisdom of God

36:26 “Yes, God is great – beyond our knowledge! 2053 

The number of his years is unsearchable.

36:27 He draws up drops of water;

they distill 2054  the rain into its mist, 2055 

36:28 which the clouds pour down

and shower on humankind abundantly.

36:29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds,

the thunderings of his pavilion? 2056 

36:30 See how he scattered 2057  his lightning 2058  about him;

he has covered the depths 2059  of the sea.

36:31 It is by these that he judges 2060  the nations

and supplies food in abundance.

36:32 With his hands 2061  he covers 2062  the lightning,

and directs it against its target.

36:33 2063 His thunder announces the coming storm,

the cattle also, concerning the storm’s approach.

37:1 At this also my heart pounds

and leaps from its place.

37:2 Listen carefully 2064  to the thunder of his voice,

to the rumbling 2065  that proceeds from his mouth.

37:3 Under the whole heaven he lets it go,

even his lightning to the far corners 2066  of the earth.

37:4 After that a voice roars;

he thunders with an exalted voice,

and he does not hold back his lightning bolts 2067 

when his voice is heard.

37:5 God thunders with his voice in marvelous ways; 2068 

he does great things beyond our understanding. 2069 

37:6 For to the snow he says, ‘Fall 2070  to earth,’

and to the torrential rains, 2071  ‘Pour down.’ 2072 

37:7 He causes everyone to stop working, 2073 

so that all people 2074  may know 2075  his work.

37:8 The wild animals go to their lairs,

and in their dens they remain.

37:9 A tempest blows out from its chamber,

icy cold from the driving winds. 2076 

37:10 The breath of God produces ice,

and the breadth of the waters freeze solid.

37:11 He loads the clouds with moisture; 2077 

he scatters his lightning through the clouds.

37:12 The clouds 2078  go round in circles,

wheeling about according to his plans,

to carry out 2079  all that he commands them

over the face of the whole inhabited world.

37:13 Whether it is for punishment 2080  for his land,

or whether it is for mercy,

he causes it to find its mark. 2081 

37:14 “Pay attention to this, Job!

Stand still and consider the wonders God works.

37:15 Do you know how God commands them, 2082 

how he makes lightning flash in his storm cloud? 2083 

37:16 Do you know about the balancing 2084  of the clouds,

that wondrous activity of him who is perfect in knowledge?

37:17 You, whose garments are hot

when the earth is still because of the south wind,

37:18 will you, with him, spread out 2085  the clouds,

solid as a mirror of molten metal?

37:19 Tell us what we should 2086  say to him.

We cannot prepare a case 2087 

because of the darkness.

37:20 Should he be informed that I want 2088  to speak?

If a man speaks, surely he would be swallowed up!

37:21 But now, the sun 2089  cannot be looked at 2090 

it is bright in the skies –

after a wind passed and swept the clouds away. 2091 

37:22 From the north he comes in golden splendor; 2092 

around God is awesome majesty.

37:23 As for the Almighty, 2093  we cannot attain to him!

He is great in power,

but justice 2094  and abundant righteousness he does not oppress.

37:24 Therefore people fear him,

for he does not regard all the wise in heart.” 2095 

1 sn The previous chapters (1-2) were prose narrative, this chapter, however, commences the poetic section of the book (chs. 3-41) containing the cycles of speeches.

2 sn The detailed introduction to the speech with “he opened his mouth” draws the readers attention to what was going to be said. As the introduction to the poetic speech that follows (3:3-26), vv. 1-2 continue the prose style of chapters 1-2. Each of the subsequent speeches is introduced by such a prose heading.

3 tn The verb “cursed” is the Piel preterite from the verb קָלַל (qalal); this means “to be light” in the Qal stem, but here “to treat lightly, with contempt, curse.” See in general H. C. Brichto, The Problem ofCursein the Hebrew Bible (JBLMS); and A. C. Thiselton, “The Supposed Power of Words in the Biblical Writings,” JTS 25 (1974): 283-99.

4 tn Heb “his day” (so KJV, ASV, NAB). The Syriac has “the day on which he was born.” The context makes it clear that Job meant the day of his birth. But some have tried to offer a different interpretation, such as his destiny or his predicament. For this reason the Syriac clarified the meaning for their readers in much the same way as the present translation does by rendering “his day” as “the day he was born.” On the Syriac translation of the book of Job, see Heidi M. Szpek, Translation Technique in the Peshitta to Job (SBLDS).

5 tn The text has וַיַּעַן (vayyaan), literally, “and he answered.” The LXX simply has “saying” for the entire verse. The Syriac, Targum, and Greek A have what the MT has. “[Someone] answered and said” is phraseology characteristic of all the speeches in Job beginning with Satan in 1:9. Only in 40:1 is it employed when God is speaking. No other portion of the OT employs this phraseology as often or as consistently.

6 tn The relative clause is carried by the preposition with the resumptive pronoun: “the day [which] I was born in it” meaning “the day on which I was born” (see GKC 486-88 §155.f, i).

7 tn The verb is the Niphal imperfect. It may be interpreted in this dependent clause (1) as representing a future event from some point of time in the past – “the day on which I was born” or “would be born” (see GKC 316 §107.k). Or (2) it may simply serve as a preterite indicating action that is in the past.

8 tn The MT simply has “and the night – it said….” By simple juxtaposition with the parallel construction (“on which I was born”) the verb “it said” must be a relative clause explaining “the night.” Rather than supply “in which” and make the verb passive (which is possible since no specific subject is provided, but leaves open the question of who said it), it is preferable to take the verse as a personification. First Job cursed the day; now he cursed the night that spoke about what it witnessed. See A. Ehrman, “A Note on the Verb ‘amar,” JQR 55 (1964/65): 166-67.

9 tn The word is גֶּבֶר (gever, “a man”). The word usually distinguishes a man as strong, distinct from children and women. Translations which render this as “boy” (to remove the apparent contradiction of an adult being “conceived” in the womb) miss this point.

10 sn The announcement at birth is to the fact that a male was conceived. The same parallelism between “brought forth/born” and “conceived” may be found in Ps 51:7 HT (51:5 ET). The motifs of the night of conception and the day of birth will be developed by Job. For the entire verse, which is more a wish or malediction than a curse, see S. H. Blank, “‘Perish the Day!’ A Misdirected Curse (Job 3:3),” Prophetic Thought, 61-63.

11 tn The first two words should be treated as a casus pendens (see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 69), referred to as an extraposition in recent grammarians.

12 sn This expression by Job is the negation of the divine decree at creation – “Let there be light,” and that was the first day. Job wishes that his first day be darkness: “As for that day, let there be darkness.” Since only God has this prerogative, Job adds the wish that God on high would not regard that day.

13 tn The verb דָּרַשׁ (darash) means “to seek, inquire,” and “to address someone, be concerned about something” (cf. Deut 11:12; Jer 30:14,17). Job wants the day to perish from the mind of God.

14 tn The verb is the Hiphil of יָפַע (yafa’), which means here “cause to shine.” The subject is the term נְהָרָה (nÿharah,“light”), a hapax legomenon which is from the verb נָהַר (nahar, “to gleam” [see Isa 60:5]).

15 sn The translation of צַלְמָוֶת (tsalmavet, “shadow of death”) has been traditionally understood to indicate a dark, death shadow (supported in the LXX), but many scholars think it may not represent the best etymological analysis of the word. The word may be connected to an Arabic word which means “to be dark,” and an Akkadian word meaning “black.” It would then have to be repointed throughout its uses to צַלְמוּת (tsalmut) forming an abstract ending. It would then simply mean “darkness” rather than “shadow of death.” Or the word can be understood as an idiomatic expression meaning “gloom” that is deeper than חֹשֶׁךְ (khoshekh; see HALOT 1029 s.v. צַלְמָוֶת). Since “darkness” has already been used in the line, the two together could possibly form a nominal hendiadys: “Let the deepest darkness….” There is a significant amount of literature on this; one may begin with W. L. Michel, “SLMWT, ‘Deep Darkness’ or ‘Shadow of Death’?” BR 29 (1984): 5-20.

16 tn The verb is גָּאַל (gaal, “redeem, claim”). Some have suggested that the verb is actually the homonym “pollute.” This is the reading in the Targum, Syriac, Vulgate, and Rashi, who quotes from Mal 1:7,12. See A. R. Johnson, “The Primary Meaning of gaal,” VTSup 1 (1953): 67-77.

17 tn The expression “the blackness of the day” (כִּמְרִירֵי יוֹם, kimrire yom) probably means everything that makes the day black, such as supernatural events like eclipses. Job wishes that all ominous darknesses would terrify that day. It comes from the word כָּמַר (kamar, “to be black”), related to Akkadian kamaru (“to overshadow, darken”). The versions seem to have ignored the first letter and connected the word to מָרַר (marar, “be bitter”).

18 tn The verb is simply לָקַח (laqakh, “to take”). Here it conveys a strong sense of seizing something and not letting it go.

19 tn The pointing of the verb is meant to connect it with the root חָדָה (khadah, “rejoice”). But the letters in the text were correctly understood by the versions to be from יָחַד (yakhad, “to be combined, added”). See G. Rendsburg, “Double Polysemy in Genesis 49:6 and Job 3:6,” CBQ 44 (1982): 48-51.

20 sn The choice of this word for “moons,” יְרָחִים (yÿrakhim) instead of חֳדָשִׁים (khodashim) is due to the fact that “month” here is not a reference for which an exact calendar date is essential (in which case חֹדֶשׁ [khodesh] would have been preferred). See J. Segal, “‘yrh’ in the Gezer ‘Calendar,’” JSS 7 (1962): 220, n. 4. Twelve times in the OT יֶרַח (yerakh) means “month” (Exod 2:2; Deut 21:13; 33:14; 1 Kgs 6:37, 38; 8:2; 2 Kgs 15:13; Zech 11:8; Job 3:6; 7:3; 29:2; 39:2).

21 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “behold”) in this sentence focuses the reader’s attention on the statement to follow.

22 tn The word גַּלְמוּד (galmud) probably has here the idea of “barren” rather than “solitary.” See the parallelism in Isa 49:21. In Job it seems to carry the idea of “barren” in 15:34, and “gloomy” in 30:3. Barrenness can lead to gloom.

23 tn The word is from רָנַן (ranan, “to give a ringing cry” or “shout of joy”). The sound is loud and shrill.

24 tn The verb is simply בּוֹא (bo’, “to enter”). The NIV translates interpretively “be heard in it.” A shout of joy, such as at a birth, that “enters” a day is certainly heard on that day.

25 tn Not everyone is satisfied with the reading of the MT. Gordis thought “day” should be “sea,” and “cursers” should be “rousers” (changing ’alef to ’ayin; cf. NRSV). This is an unnecessary change, for there is no textual problem in the line (D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 71). Others have taken the reading “sea” as a personification and accepted the rest of the text, gaining the sense of “those whose magic binds even the sea monster of the deep” (e.g., NEB).

sn Those who curse the day are probably the professional enchanters and magicians who were thought to cast spells on days and overwhelm them with darkness and misfortune. The myths explained eclipses as the dragon throwing its folds around the sun and the moon, thus engulfing or swallowing the day and the night. This interpretation matches the parallelism better than the interpretation that says these are merely professional mourners.

26 tn The verb is probably “execrate, curse,” from קָבַב (qavav). But E. Ullendorff took it from נָקַב (naqav, “pierce”) and gained a reading “Let the light rays of day pierce it (i.e. the night) apt even to rouse Leviathan” (“Job 3:8,” VT 11 [1961]: 350-51).

27 tn The verbal adjective עָתִיד (’atid) means “ready, prepared.” Here it has a substantival use similar to that of participles. It is followed by the Polel infinitive construct עֹרֵר (’orer). The infinitive without the preposition serves as the object of the preceding verbal adjective (GKC 350 §114.m).

28 sn Job employs here the mythological figure Leviathan, the monster of the deep or chaos. Job wishes that such a creation of chaos could be summoned by the mourners to swallow up that day. See E. Ullendorff, “Job 3:8,” VT 11 (1961): 350-51.

29 tn Heb “the stars of its dawn.” The word נֶשֶׁף (neshef) can mean “twilight” or “dawn.” In this context the morning stars are in mind. Job wishes that the morning stars – that should announce the day – go out.

30 tn The verb “wait, hope” has the idea of eager expectation and preparation. It is used elsewhere of waiting on the Lord with anticipation.

31 tn The absolute state אַיִן (’ayin, “there is none”) is here used as a verbal predicate (see GKC 480 §152.k). The concise expression literally says “and none.”

32 sn The expression is literally “the eyelids of the morning.” This means the very first rays of dawn (see also Job 41:18). There is some debate whether it refers to “eyelids” or “eyelashes” or “eyeballs.” If the latter, it would signify the flashing eyes of a person. See for the Ugaritic background H. L. Ginsberg, The Legend of King Keret (BASORSup), 39; see also J. M. Steadman, “‘Eyelids of Morn’: A Biblical Convention,” HTR 56 (1963): 159-67.

33 tn The subject is still “that night.” Here, at the end of this first section, Job finally expresses the crime of that night – it did not hinder his birth.

34 sn This use of doors for the womb forms an implied comparison; the night should have hindered conception (see Gen 20:18 and 1 Sam 1:5).

35 tn The Hebrew has simply “my belly [= womb].” The suffix on the noun must be objective – it was the womb of Job’s mother in which he lay before his birth. See however N. C. Habel, “The Dative Suffix in Job 33:13,” Bib 63 (1982): 258-59, who thinks it is deliberately ambiguous.

36 tn The word עָמָל (’amal) means “work, heavy labor, agonizing labor, struggle” with the idea of fatigue and pain.

37 sn Job follows his initial cry with a series of rhetorical questions. His argument runs along these lines: since he was born (v. 10), the next chance he had of escaping this life of misery would have been to be still born (vv. 11-12, 16). In vv. 13-19 Job considers death as falling into a peaceful sleep in a place where there is no trouble. The high frequency of rhetorical questions in series is a characteristic of the Book of Job that sets it off from all other portions of the OT. The effect is primarily dramatic, creating a tension that requires resolution. See W. Watson, Classical Hebrew Poetry, 340-41.

38 tn The negative only occurs with the first clause, but it extends its influence to the parallel second clause (GKC 483 §152.z).

39 tn The two verbs in this verse are both prefix conjugations; they are clearly referring to the past and should be classified as preterites. E. Dhorme (Job, 32) notes that the verb “I came out” is in the perfect to mark its priority in time in relation to the other verbs.

40 tn The translation “at birth” is very smooth, but catches the meaning and avoids the tautology in the verse. The line literally reads “from the womb.” The second half of the verse has the verb “I came out/forth” which does double duty for both parallel lines. The second half uses “belly” for the womb.

41 tn The two halves of the verse use the prepositional phrases (“from the womb” and “from the belly I went out”) in the temporal sense of “on emerging from the womb.”

42 tn The verb קִדְּמוּנִי (qiddÿmuni) is the Piel from קָדַם (qadam), meaning “to come before; to meet; to prevent.” Here it has the idea of going to meet or welcome someone. In spite of various attempts to connect the idea to the father or to adoption rites, it probably simply means the mother’s knees that welcome the child for nursing. See R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 42.

sn The sufferer is looking back over all the possible chances of death, including when he was brought forth, placed on the knees or lap, and breastfed.

43 tn There is no verb in the second half of the verse. The idea simply has, “and why breasts that I might suck?”

44 sn The commentaries mention the parallel construction in the writings of Ashurbanipal: “You were weak, Ashurbanipal, you who sat on the knees of the goddess, queen of Nineveh; of the four teats that were placed near to your mouth, you sucked two and you hid your face in the others” (M. Streck, Assurbanipal [VAB], 348).

45 tn Heb “that I might suckle.” The verb is the Qal imperfect of יָנַק (yanaq, “suckle”). Here the clause is subordinated to the preceding question and so function as a final imperfect.

46 tn The word עַתָּה (’attah, “now”) may have a logical nuance here, almost with the idea of “if that had been the case…” (IBHS 667-68 §39.3.4f). However, the temporal “now” is retained in translation since the imperfect verb following two perfects “suggests what Job’s present state would be if he had had the quiet of a still birth” (J. E. Hartley, Job [NICOT], 95, n. 23). Cf. GKC 313 §106.p.

47 tn The copula on the verb indicates a sequence for the imperfect: “and then I would….” In the second half of the verse it is paralleled by “then.”

48 tn The text uses a combination of the perfect (lie down/sleep) and imperfect (quiet/rest). The particle עַתָּה (’attah, “now”) gives to the perfect verb its conditional nuance. It presents actions in the past that are not actually accomplished but seen as possible (GKC 313 §106.p).

49 tn The last part uses the impersonal verb “it would be at rest for me.”

50 tn The difficult term חֳרָבוֹת (khoravot) is translated “desolate [places]”. The LXX confused the word and translated it “who gloried in their swords.” One would expect a word for monuments, or tombs (T. K. Cheyne emended it to “everlasting tombs” [“More Critical Gleanings in Job,” ExpTim 10 (1898/99): 380-83]). But this difficult word is of uncertain etymology and therefore cannot simply be made to mean “royal tombs.” The verb means “be desolate, solitary.” In Isa 48:21 there is the clear sense of a desert. That is the meaning of Assyrian huribtu. It may be that like the pyramids of Egypt these tombs would have been built in the desert regions. Or it may describe how they rebuilt ruins for themselves. He would be saying then that instead of lying here in pain and shame if he had died he would be with the great ones of the earth. Otherwise, the word could be interpreted as a metonymy of effect, indicating that the once glorious tomb now is desolate. But this does not fit the context – the verse is talking about the state of the great ones after their death.

51 tn The expression simply has “or with princes gold to them.” The noun is defined by the noun clause serving as a relative clause (GKC 486 §155.e).

52 tn Heb “filled their houses.” There is no reason here to take “houses” to mean tombs; the “houses” refer to the places the princes lived (i.e., palaces). The reference is not to the practice of burying treasures with the dead. It is simply saying that if Job had died he would have been with the rich and famous in death.

53 tn The verb is governed by the interrogative of v. 12 that introduces this series of rhetorical questions.

54 tn The verb is again the prefix conjugation, but the narrative requires a past tense, or preterite.

55 tn Heb “hidden.” The LXX paraphrases: “an untimely birth, proceeding from his mother’s womb.”

56 tn The noun נֵפֶל (nefel, “miscarriage”) is the abortive thing that falls (hence the verb) from the womb before the time is ripe (Ps 58:9). The idiom using the verb “to fall” from the womb means to come into the world (Isa 26:18). The epithet טָמוּן (tamun, “hidden”) is appropriate to the verse. The child comes in vain, and disappears into the darkness – it is hidden forever.

57 tn The word עֹלְלִים (’olÿlim) normally refers to “nurslings.” Here it must refer to infants in general since it refers to a stillborn child.

58 tn The relative clause does not have the relative pronoun; the simple juxtaposition of words indicates that it is modifying the infants.

59 sn The reference seems to be death, or Sheol, the place where the infant who is stillborn is either buried (the grave) or resides (the place of departed spirits) and thus does not see the light of the sun.

60 sn The wicked are the ungodly, those who are not members of the covenant (normally) and in this context especially those who oppress and torment other people.

61 tn The parallelism uses the perfect verb in the first parallel part, and the imperfect opposite it in the second. Since the verse projects to the grave or Sheol (“there”) where the action is perceived as still continuing or just taking place, both receive an English present tense translation (GKC 312 §106.l).

62 tn Here the noun רֹגז (rogez) refers to the agitation of living as opposed to the peaceful rest of dying. The associated verb רָגַז (ragaz) means “to be agitated, excited.” The expression indicates that they cease from troubling, meaning all the agitation of their own lives.

63 tn The word יָגִיעַ (yagia’) means “exhausted, wearied”; it is clarified as a physical exhaustion by the genitive of specification (“with regard to their strength”).

64 tn “There” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied from the context.

65 tn The LXX omits the verb and translates the noun not as prisoners but as “old men” or “men of old time.”

66 tn The verb שַׁאֲנָנוּ (shaananu) is the Pilpel of שָׁאַן (shaan) which means “to rest.” It refers to the normal rest or refreshment of individuals; here it is contrasted with the harsh treatment normally put on prisoners.

67 sn See further J. C. de Moor, “Lexical Remarks Concerning yahad and yahdaw,” VT 7 (1957): 350-55.

68 tn Or “taskmaster.” The same Hebrew word is used for the taskmasters in Exod 3:7.

69 tn The versions have taken the pronoun in the sense of the verb “to be.” Others give it the sense of “the same thing,” rendering the verse as “small and great, there is no difference there.” GKC 437 §135.a, n. 1, follows this idea with a meaning of “the same.”

70 tn The LXX renders this as “unafraid,” although the negative has disappeared in some mss to give the reading “and the servant that feared his master.” See I. Mendelsohn, “The Canaanite Term for ‘Free Proletarian’,” BASOR 83 (1941): 36-39; idem, “New Light on hupsu,” BASOR 139 (1955): 9-11.

71 tn The plural “masters” could be taken here as a plural of majesty rather than as referring to numerous masters.

72 sn Since he has survived birth, Job wonders why he could not have died a premature death. He wonders why God gives light and life to those who are in misery. His own condition throws gloom over life, and so he poses the question first generally, for many would prefer death to misery (20-22); then he comes to the individual, himself, who would prefer death (23). He closes his initial complaint with some depictions of his suffering that afflicts him and gives him no rest (24-26).

73 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

74 tn The verb is the simple imperfect, expressing the progressive imperfect nuance. But there is no formal subject to the verb, prompting some translations to make it passive in view of the indefinite subject (so, e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV). Such a passive could be taken as a so-called “divine passive” by which God is the implied agent. Job clearly means God here, but he stops short of naming him (see also the note on “God” earlier in this verse).

sn In vv. 11, 12, and 16 there was the first series of questions in which Job himself was in question. Now the questions are more general for all mankind – why should the sufferers in general have been afflicted with life?

75 sn In v. 10 the word was used to describe the labor and sorrow that comes from it; here the one in such misery is called the עָמֵל (’amel, “laborer, sufferer”).

76 tn The second colon now refers to people in general because of the plural construct מָרֵי נָפֶשׁ (mare nafesh, “those bitter of soul/life”). One may recall the use of מָרָה (marah, “bitter”) by Naomi to describe her pained experience as a poor widow in Ruth 1:20, or the use of the word to describe the bitter oppression inflicted on Israel by the Egyptians (Exod 1:14). Those who are “bitter of soul” are those whose life is overwhelmed with painful experiences and suffering.

77 tn The verse simply begins with the participle in apposition to the expressions in the previous verse describing those who are bitter. The preposition is added from the context.

78 tn The verb is the Piel participle of חָכָה (khakhah, “to wait for” someone; Yahweh is the object in Isa 8:17; 64:3; Ps 33:20). Here death is the supreme hope of the miserable and the suffering.

79 tn The verse simply has the form אֵין (’en, “there is not”) with a pronominal suffix and a conjunction – “and there is not it” or “and it is not.” The LXX and the Vulgate add a verb to explain this form: “and obtain it not.”

80 tn The parallel verb is now a preterite with a vav (ו) consecutive; it therefore has the nuance of a characteristic perfect or gnomic perfect – the English present tense.

sn The verb חָפַר (khafar) means “to dig; to excavate.” It may have the accusative of the thing that is being sought (Exod 7:24); but here it is followed by a comparative min (מִן). The verse therefore describes the sufferers who excavate or dig the ground to find death, more than others who seek for treasure.

81 tn Here too the form is the participle in apposition “to him who is in misery” in v. 20. It continues the description of those who are destitute and would be delighted to die.

82 tn The Syriac has “and gather themselves together,” possibly reading גִּיל (gil, “rejoicing”) as גַּל (gal, “heap”). Some have tried to emend the text to make the word mean “heap” or “mound,” as in a funerary mound. While one could argue for a heap of stones as a funerary mound, the passage has already spoken of digging a grave, which would be quite different. And while such a change would make a neater parallelism in the verse, there is no reason to force such; the idea of “jubilation” fits the tenor of the whole verse easily enough and there is no reason to change it. A similar expression is found in Hos 9:1, which says, “rejoice not, O Israel, with jubilation.” Here the idea then is that these sufferers would rejoice “to the point of jubilation” at death.

83 tn This sentence also parallels an imperfect verb with the substantival participle of the first colon. It is translated as an English present tense.

84 tn The particle could be “when” or “because” in this verse.

85 sn The expression “when they find a grave” means when they finally die. The verse describes the relief and rest that the sufferer will obtain when the long-awaited death is reached.

86 tn This first part of the verse, “Why is light given,” is supplied from the context. In the Hebrew text the verse simply begins with “to a man….” It is also in apposition to the construction in v. 20. But after so many qualifying clauses and phrases, a restatement of the subject (light, from v. 20) is required.

87 sn After speaking of people in general (in the plural in vv. 21 and 22), Job returns to himself specifically (in the singular, using the same word גֶּבֶר [gever, “a man”] that he employed of himself in v. 3). He is the man whose way is hidden. The clear path of his former life has been broken off, or as the next clause says, hedged in so that he is confined to a life of suffering. The statement includes the spiritual perplexities that this involves. It is like saying that God is leading him in darkness and he can no longer see where he is going.

88 tn The LXX translated “to a man whose way is hidden” with the vague paraphrase “death is rest to [such] a man.” The translators apparently combined the reference to “the grave” in the previous verse with “hidden”

89 tn The verb is the Hiphil of סָכַךְ (sakhakh,“to hedge in”). The key parallel passage is Job 19:8, which says, “He has blocked [גָּדַר, gadar] my way so I cannot pass, and has set darkness over my paths.” To be hedged in is an implied metaphor, indicating that the pathway is concealed and enclosed. There is an irony in Job’s choice of words in light of Satan’s accusation in 1:10. It is heightened further when the same verb is employed by God in 38:8 (see F. I. Andersen, Job [TOTC], 109).

90 tn For the prepositional לִפְנֵי (lifne), the temporal meaning “before” (“my sighing comes before I eat”) makes very little sense here (as the versions have it). The meaning “in place of, for” fits better (see 1 Sam 1:16, “count not your handmaid for a daughter of Belial”).

91 sn The line means that Job’s sighing, which results from the suffering (metonymy of effect) is his constant, daily food. Parallels like Ps 42:3 which says “my tears have been my bread/food” shows a similar figure.

92 tn The word normally describes the “roaring” of a lion (Job 4:10); but it is used for the loud groaning or cries of those in distress (Pss 22:1; 32:3).

93 tn This second colon is paraphrased in the LXX to say, “I weep being beset with terror.” The idea of “pouring forth water” while groaning can be represented by “I weep.” The word “fear, terror” anticipates the next verse.

94 tn The construction uses the cognate accusative with the verb: “the fear I feared,” or “the dread thing I dreaded” (פַחַד פָּחַדְתִּי, pakhad pakhadti). The verb פָּחַד (pakhad) has the sense of “dread” and the noun the meaning “thing dreaded.” The structure of the sentence with the perfect verb followed by the preterite indicates that the first action preceded the second – he feared something but then it happened. Some commentaries suggest reading this as a conditional clause followed by the present tense translation: “If I fear a thing it happens to me” (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 24). The reason for this change is that it is hard for some to think that in his prime Job had such fears. He did have a pure trust and confidence in the Lord (16:19, 29:18ff). But on the other hand, he did make sacrifices for his sons because he thought they might sin. There is evidence to suggest that he was aware that calamity could strike, and this is not necessarily incompatible with trust.

95 tn The verb אָתָה (’atah) is Aramaic and is equivalent to the Hebrew verb בּוֹא (bo’, “come, happen”).

96 tn The final verb is יָבֹא (yavo’, “has come”). It appears to be an imperfect, but since it is parallel to the preterite of the first colon it should be given that nuance here. Of course, if the other view of the verse is taken, then this would simply be translated as “comes,” and the preceding preterite also given an English present tense translation.

97 tn The LXX “peace” bases its rendering on שָׁלַם (shalam) and not שָׁלָה (shalah), which retains the original vav (ו). The verb means “to be quiet, to be at ease.”

98 tn The verb is literally “and I do/can not rest.” A potential perfect nuance fits this passage well. The word נוּחַ (nuakh, “rest”) implies “rest” in every sense, especially in contrast to רֹגֶז (rogez, “turmoil, agitation” [vv. 26 and 17]).

99 tn The last clause simply has “and trouble came.” Job is essentially saying that since the trouble has come upon him there is not a moment of rest and relief.

100 sn The speech of Eliphaz can be broken down into three main sections. In 4:1-11 he wonders that Job who had comforted so many people in trouble, and who was so pious, should fall into such despair, forgetting the great truth that the righteous never perish under affliction – calamity only destroys the wicked. Then in 4:12–5:7 Eliphaz tries to warn Job about complaining against God because only the ungodly resent the dealings of God and by their impatience bring down his wrath upon them. Finally in 5:8-27 Eliphaz appeals to Job to follow a different course, to seek after God, for God only smites to heal or to correct, to draw people to himself and away from evil. See K. Fullerton, “Double Entendre in the First Speech of Eliphaz,” JBL 49 (1930): 320-74; J. C. L. Gibson, “Eliphaz the Temanite: A Portrait of a Hebrew Philosopher,” SJT 28 (1975): 259-72; and J. Lust, “A Stormy Vision: Some Remarks on Job 4:12-16,” Bijdr 36 (1975): 308-11.

101 tn Heb “answered and said.”

102 tn The verb has no expressed subject, and so may be translated with “one” or “someone.”

103 tn The Piel perfect is difficult here. It would normally be translated “has one tried (words with you)?” Most commentaries posit a conditional clause, however.

104 tn The verb means “to be weary.” But it can have the extended sense of being either exhausted or impatient (see v. 5). A. B. Davidson (Job, 29) takes it in the sense of “will it be too much for you?” There is nothing in the sentence that indicates this should be an interrogative clause; it is simply an imperfect. But in view of the juxtaposition of the first part, this seems to make good sense. E. Dhorme (Job, 42) has “Shall we address you? You are dejected.”

105 tn The construction uses a noun with the preposition: “and to refrain with words – who is able?” The Aramaic plural of “words” (מִלִּין, millin) occurs 13 times in Job, with the Hebrew plural ten times. The commentaries show that Eliphaz’s speech had a distinctly Aramaic coloring to it.

106 tn The deictic particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “behold”) summons attention; it has the sense of “consider, look.”

107 tn The verb יָסַר (yasar) in the Piel means “to correct,” whether by words with the sense of teach, or by chastening with the sense of punish, discipline. The double meaning of “teach” and “discipline” is also found with the noun מוּסָר (musar).

108 tn The parallelism again uses a perfect verb in the first colon and an imperfect in the second; but since the sense of the line is clearly what Job has done in the past, the second verb may be treated as a preterite, or a customary imperfect – what Job repeatedly did in the past (GKC 315 §107.e). The words in this verse may have double meanings. The word יָסַר (yasar, “teach, discipline”) may have the idea of instruction and correction, but also the connotation of strength (see Y. Hoffmann, “The Use of Equivocal Words in the First Speech of Eliphaz [Job IV–V],” VT 30 [1980]: 114-19).

109 tn The “feeble hands” are literally “hands hanging down.” This is a sign of weakness, helplessness, or despondency (see 2 Sam 4:1; Isa 13:7).

110 tn Both verbs in this line are imperfects, and probably carry the same nuance as the last verb in v. 3, namely, either customary imperfect or preterite. The customary has the aspect of stressing that this was what Job used to do.

111 tn The form is the singular active participle, interpreted here collectively. The verb is used of knees that give way (Isa 35:3; Ps 109:24).

112 tn The expression is often translated as “feeble knees,” but it literally says “the bowing [or “tottering”] knees.” The figure is one who may be under a heavy load whose knees begin to shake and buckle (see also Heb 12:12).

sn Job had been successful at helping others not be crushed by the weight of trouble and misfortune. It is easier to help others than to preserve a proper perspective when one’s self is afflicted (E. Dhorme, Job, 44).

113 tn The sentence has no subject, but the context demands that the subject be the same kind of trouble that has come upon people that Job has helped.

114 tn This is the same verb used in v. 2, meaning “to be exhausted” or “impatient.” Here with the vav (ו) consecutive the verb describes Job’s state of mind that is a consequence of the trouble coming on him. In this sentence the form is given a present tense translation (see GKC 329 §111.t).

115 tn This final verb in the verse is vivid; it means “to terrify, dismay” (here the Niphal preterite). Job will go on to speak about all the terrors that come on him.

116 tn The word יִרְאָה (yirah, “fear”) in this passage refers to Job’s fear of the Lord, his reverential devotion to God. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 46) says that on the lips of Eliphaz the word almost means “your religion.” He refers to Moffatt’s translation, “Let your religion reassure you.”

117 tn The word כִּסְלָתֶךָ (kislatekha, “your confidence”) is rendered in the LXX by “founded in folly.” The word כֶּסֶל (kesel) is “confidence” (see 8:14) and elsewhere “folly.” Since it is parallel to “your hope” it must mean confidence here.

118 tn This second half of the verse simply has “your hope and the integrity of your ways.” The expression “the perfection of your ways” is parallel to “your fear,” and “your hope” is parallel to “your confidence.” This sentence is an example of casus pendens or extraposition: “as for your hope, it is the integrity of your ways” (see GKC 458 §143.d).

sn Eliphaz is not being sarcastic to Job. He knows that Job is a God-fearing man who lives out his faith in life. But he also knows that Job should apply to himself the same things he tells others.

119 sn Eliphaz will put his thesis forward first negatively and then positively (vv. 8ff). He will argue that the suffering of the righteous is disciplinary and not for their destruction. He next will argue that it is the wicked who deserve judgment.

120 tn The use of the independent personal pronoun is emphatic, almost as an enclitic to emphasize interrogatives: “who indeed….” (GKC 442 §136.c).

121 tn The perfect verb in this line has the nuance of the past tense to express the unique past – the uniqueness of the action is expressed with “ever” (“who has ever perished”).

122 tn The adjective is used here substantivally. Without the article the word stresses the meaning of “uprightness.” Job will use “innocent” and “upright” together in 17:8.

123 tn The Niphal means “to be hidden” (see the Piel in 6:10; 15:18; and 27:11); the connotation here is “destroyed” or “annihilated.”

124 tn The perfect verb here represents the indefinite past. It has no specific sighting in mind, but refers to each time he has seen the wicked do this.

125 sn The figure is an implied metaphor. Plowing suggests the idea of deliberately preparing (or cultivating) life for evil. This describes those who are fundamentally wicked.

126 tn The LXX renders this with a plural “barren places.”

127 tn Heb “reap it.”

128 tn The LXX in the place of “breath” has “word” or “command,” probably to limit the anthropomorphism. The word is מִנִּשְׁמַת (minnishmat) comprising מִן (min) + נִשְׁמַת (nishmat, the construct of נְשָׁמָה [nÿshamah]): “from/at the breath of.” The “breath of God” occurs frequently in Scripture. In Gen 2:7 it imparts life; but here it destroys it. The figure probably does indicate a divine decree from God (e.g., “depart from me”) – so the LXX may have been simply interpreting.

129 sn The statement is saying that if some die by misfortune it is because divine retribution or anger has come upon them. This is not necessarily the case, as the NT declares (see Luke 13:1-5).

130 tn The word רוּחַ (ruakh) is now parallel to נְשָׁמָה (nÿshamah); both can mean “breath” or “wind.” To avoid using “breath” for both lines, “blast” has been employed here. The word is followed by אַפוֹ (’afo) which could be translated “his anger” or “his nostril.” If “nostril” is retained, then it is a very bold anthropomorphism to indicate the fuming wrath of God. It is close to the picture of the hot wind coming off the desert to scorch the plants (see Hos 13:15).

131 tn “There is” has been supplied to make a smoother translation out of the clauses.

132 sn Eliphaz takes up a new image here to make the point that the wicked are destroyed – the breaking up and scattering of a den of lions. There are several words for “lion” used in this section. D. J. A. Clines observes that it is probably impossible to distinguish them (Job [WBC], 109, 110, which records some bibliography of those who have tried to work on the etymologies and meanings). The first is אַרְיֵה (’aryeh) the generic term for “lion.” It is followed by שַׁחַל (shakhal) which, like כְּפִיר (kÿfir), is a “young lion.” Some have thought that the שַׁחַל (shakhal) is a lion-like animal, perhaps a panther or leopard. KBL takes it by metathesis from Arabic “young one.” The LXX for this verse has “the strength of the lion, and the voice of the lioness and the exulting cry of serpents are quenched.”

133 tn Heb “voice.”

134 tn The verb belongs to the subject “teeth” in this last colon; but it is used by zeugma (a figure of speech in which one word is made to refer to two or more other words, but has to be understood differently in the different contexts) of the three subjects (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 46-47).

135 tn The word לַיִשׁ (layish) traditionally rendered “strong lion,” occurs only here and in Prov 30:30 and Isa 30:6. It has cognates in several of the Semitic languages, and so seems to indicate lion as king of the beasts.

136 tn The form of the verb is the Qal active participle; it stresses the characteristic action of the verb as if a standard universal truth.

137 tn The text literally has “sons of the lioness.”

138 tn The LXX of this verse offers special problems. It reads, “But if there had been any truth in your words, none of these evils would have fallen upon you; shall not my ear receive excellent [information] from him?” The major error involves a dittography from the word for “secret,” yielding “truth.”

139 tn The verb גָּנַב (ganav) means “to steal.” The Pual form in this verse is probably to be taken as a preterite since it requires a past tense translation: “it was stolen for me” meaning it was brought to me stealthily (see 2 Sam 19:3).

140 tn Heb “received.”

141 tn The word שֵׁמֶץ (shemets, “whisper”) is found only here and in Job 26:14. A cognate form שִׁמְצָה (shimtsah) is found in Exod 32:25 with the sense of “a whisper.” In postbiblical Hebrew the word comes to mean “a little.” The point is that Eliphaz caught just a bit, just a whisper of it, and will recount it to Job.

142 tn Here too the word is rare. The form שְׂעִפִּים (sÿippim, “disquietings”) occurs only here and in 20:2. The form שַׂרְעַפִּים (sarappim, “disquieting thoughts”), possibly related by dissimilation, occurs in Pss 94:19 and 139:23. There seems to be a connection with סְעִפִּים (sÿippim) in 1 Kgs 18:21 with the meaning “divided opinion”; this is related to the idea of סְעִפָּה (sÿippah, “bough”). H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 47) concludes that the point is that like branches the thoughts lead off into different and bewildering places. E. Dhorme (Job, 50) links the word to an Arabic root (“to be passionately smitten”) for the idea of “intimate thoughts.” The idea here and in Ps 139 has more to do with anxious, troubling, disquieting thoughts, as in a nightmare.

143 tn Heb “visions” of the night.

144 tn The word תַּרְדֵּמָה (tardemah) is a “deep sleep.” It is used in the creation account when the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam; and it is used in the story of Jonah when the prophet was asleep during the storm. The LXX interprets it to mean “fear,” rendering the whole verse “but terror falls upon men with dread and a sound in the night.”

145 tn The two words פַּחַד (pakhad, “trembling”) and רְעָדָה (rÿadah, “terror”) strengthen each other as synonyms (see also Ps 55:6). The subject of the verb קָרָא (qara’, “befall, encounter”) is פַּחַד (pakhad, “trembling”); its compound subject has been placed at the end of the colon.

146 tn The subject of the Hiphil verb הִפְחִיד (hifkhid, “dread”) is פַּחַד (pakhad, “trembling”), which is why it is in the singular. The cognate verb intensifies and applies the meaning of the noun. BDB 808 s.v. פַּחַד Hiph translates it “fill my bones with dread.” In that sense “bones” would have to be a metonymy of subject representing the framework of the body, so that the meaning is that his whole being was filled with trembling.

147 tn The word רוּחַ (ruakh) can be “spirit” or “breath.” The implication here is that it was something that Eliphaz felt – what he saw follows in v. 16. The commentators are divided on whether this is an apparition, a spirit, or a breath. The word can be used in either the masculine or the feminine, and so the gender of the verb does not favor the meaning “spirit.” In fact, in Isa 21:1 the same verb חָלַף (khalaf, “pass on, through”) is used with the subject being a strong wind or hurricane “blowing across.” It may be that such a wind has caused Eliphaz’s hair to stand on end here. D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 111) also concludes it means “wind,” noting that in Job a spirit or spirits would be called רְפָאִים (rÿfaim), אֶלֹהִים (’elohim) or אוֹב (’ov).

148 tn The verbs in this verse are imperfects. In the last verse the verbs were perfects when Eliphaz reported the fear that seized him. In this continuation of the report the description becomes vivid with the change in verbs, as if the experience were in progress.

149 tn The subject of this verb is also רוּחַ (ruakh, “spirit”), since it can assume either gender. The “hair of my flesh” is the complement and not the subject; therefore the Piel is to be retained and not changed to a Qal as some suggest (and compare with Ps 119:120).

150 tc The LXX has the first person of the verb: “I arose and perceived it not, I looked and there was no form before my eyes; but I only heard a breath and a voice.”

151 tn The imperfect verb is to be classified as potential imperfect. Eliphaz is unable to recognize the figure standing before him.

152 sn The colon reads “a silence and a voice I hear.” Some have rendered it “there is a silence, and then I hear.” The verb דָּמַם (damam) does mean “remain silent” (Job 29:21; 31:34) and then also “cease.” The noun דְּמָמָה (dÿmamah, “calm”) refers to the calm after the storm in Ps 107:29. Joined with the true object of the verb, “voice,” it probably means something like stillness or murmuring or whispering here. It is joined to “voice” with a conjunction, indicating that it is a hendiadys, “murmur and a voice” or a “murmuring voice.”

153 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse express obvious truths known at all times (GKC 315 §107.f).

154 tn The word for man here is first אֱנוֹשׁ (’enosh), stressing man in all his frailty, his mortality. This is paralleled with גֶּבֶר (gever), a word that would stress more of the strength or might of man. The verse is not making a great contrast between the two, but it is rhetorical question merely stating that no human being of any kind is righteous or pure before God the Creator. See H. Kosmala, “The Term geber in the OT and in the Scrolls,” VTSup 17 (1969): 159-69; and E. Jacob, Theology of the Old Testament, 156-57.

155 tn The imperfect verb in this interrogative sentence could also be interpreted with a potential nuance: “Can a man be righteous?”

156 tn The classification of מִן (min) as a comparative in this verse (NIV, “more righteous than God”; cf. also KJV, ASV, NCV) does not seem the most probable. The idea of someone being more righteous than God is too strong to be reasonable. Job will not do that – but he will imply that God is unjust. In addition, Eliphaz had this vision before hearing of Job’s trouble and so is not addressing the idea that Job is making himself more righteous than God. He is stating that no man is righteous before God. Verses 18-21 will show that no one can claim righteousness before God. In 9:2 and 25:4 the preposition “with” is used. See also Jer 51:5 where the preposition should be rendered “before” [the Holy One].

157 sn In Job 15:14 and 25:4 the verb יִזְכֶּה (yizkeh, from זָכָה [zakhah, “be clean”]) is paralleled with יִצְדַּק (yitsdaq, from צָדֵק [tsadeq, “be righteous”).

158 tn The double question here merely repeats the same question with different words (see GKC 475 §150.h). The second member could just as well have been connected with ו (vav).

159 tn The particle הֵן (hen) introduces a conditional clause here, although the older translations used “behold.” The clause forms the foundation for the point made in the next verse, an argument by analogy – if this be true, then how much more/less the other.

160 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

161 tn The verb יַאֲמִין (yaamin), a Hiphil imperfect from אָמַן (’aman) followed by the preposition בּ (bet), means “trust in.”

162 sn The servants here must be angels in view of the parallelism. The Targum to Job interpreted them to be the prophets. In the book we have already read about the “sons of God” who take their stand as servants before the Lord (1:6; 2:1). And Ps 104:4 identifies the angels as servants (using שָׁרַת, sharat).

163 tn The verb שִׂים (sim, “set”) with the preposition בּ (bet) has the sense of “impute” or “attribute something to someone.”

164 tn The word תָּהֳלָה (toholah) is a hapax legomenon, and so has created some confusion in the various translations. It seems to mean “error; folly.” The word is translated “perverseness” in the LXX; but Symmachus connects it with the word for “madness.” “Some commentators have repointed the word to תְּהִלָּה (tÿhillah, “praise”) making the line read: “he finds no [cause for] praise in his angels.” Others suggest תִּפְלָה (tiflah, “offensiveness, silliness”) a bigger change; this matches the idiom in Job 24:12. But if the etymology of the word is הָלַל (halal, “to be mad”) then that change is not necessary. The feminine noun “madness” still leaves the meaning of the line a little uncertain: “[if] he does not impute madness to his angels.” The point of the verse is that God finds flaws in his angels and does not put his trust in them.

165 sn Those who live in houses of clay are human beings, for the human body was made of clay (Job 10:9; 33:6; and Isa 64:7). In 2 Cor 4:7 the body is an “earthen vessel” – a clay pot. The verse continues the analogy: houses have foundations, and the house of clay is founded on dust, and will return to dust (Gen 3:19; Ps 103:14). The reasoning is that if God finds defects in angels, he will surely find them in humans who are inferior to the angels because they are but dust. In fact, they are easily crushed like the moth.

166 tn The imperfect verb is in the plural, suggesting “they crush.” But since there is no subject expressed, the verb may be given an impersonal subject, or more simply, treated as a passive (see GKC 460 §144.g).

167 tn The prepositional compound לִפְנֵי (lifne) normally has the sense of “before,” but it has been used already in 3:24 in the sense of “like.” That is the most natural meaning of this line. Otherwise, the interpretation must offer some explanation of a comparison between how quickly a moth and a human can be crushed. There are suggestions for different readings here; see for example G. R. Driver, “Linguistic and Textual Problems: Jeremiah,” JQR 28 (1937/38): 97-129 for a change to “bird’s nest”; and J. A. Rimbach, “‘Crushed before the Moth’ (Job 4:19),” JBL 100 (1981): 244-46, for a change of the verb to “they are pure before their Maker.” However, these are unnecessary emendations.

168 tn The form יֻכַּתּוּ (yukkatu) is the Hophal imperfect of the root כָּתַת (katat, “to be pounded, pulverized, reduced to ashes” [Jer 46:5; Mic 1:7]). It follows the Aramaic formation (see GKC 182 §67.y). This line appears to form a parallelism with “they are crushed like a moth,” the third unit of the last verse; but it has its own parallel idea in this verse. See D. J. A. Clines, “Verb Modality and the Interpretation of Job 4:20, 21,” VT 30 (1980): 354-57.

169 tn Or “from morning to evening.” The expression “from morning to evening” is probably not a merism, but rather describes the time between the morning and the evening, as in Isa 38:12: “from day to night you make an end of me.”

170 sn The second colon expresses the consequence of this day-long reducing to ashes – they perish forever! (see 20:7 and 14:20).

171 tn This rendering is based on the interpretation that מִבְּלִי מֵשִׂים (mibbÿli mesim) uses the Hiphil participle of שִׂים (sim, “set”) with an understood object “heart” to gain the idiom of “taking to heart, considering, regarding it” – hence, “without anyone regarding it.” Some commentators have attempted to resolve the difficulty by emending the text, a procedure that has no more support than positing the ellipses. One suggested emendation does have the LXX in its favor, namely, a reading of מֹשִׁיעַ (moshia’, “one who saves”) in place of מֵשִׂים (mesim, “one who sets”). This would lead to “without one who saves they perish forever” (E. Dhorme, Job, 55).

172 tn The word יֶתֶר (yeter, here with the suffix, יִתְרָם [yitram]) can mean “what remains” or “rope.” Of the variety of translations, the most frequently used idea seems to be “their rope,” meaning their tent cord. This would indicate that their life was compared to a tent – perfectly reasonable in a passage that has already used the image “houses of clay.” The difficulty is that the verb נָסַע (nasa’) means more properly “to tear up; to uproot.” and not “to cut off.” A similar idea is found in Isa 38:12, but there the image is explicitly that of cutting the life off from the loom. Some have posited that the original must have said their tent peg was pulled up” as in Isa 33:20 (A. B. Davidson, Job, 34; cf. NAB). But perhaps the idea of “what remains” would be easier to defend here. Besides, it is used in 22:20. The wealth of an individual is what has been acquired and usually is left over when he dies. Here it would mean that the superfluous wealth would be snatched away. The preposition בּ (bet) would carry the meaning “from” with this verb.

173 tc The text of the LXX does not seem to be connected to the Hebrew of v. 21a. It reads something like “for he blows on them and they are withered” (see Isa 40:24b). The Targum to Job has “Is it not by their lack of righteousness that they have been deprived of all support?”

tn On the interpretation of the preposition in this construction, see N. Sarna, “The Interchange of the Preposition bet and min in Biblical Hebrew,” JBL 78 (1959): 310-16.

174 sn They die. This clear verb interprets all the images in these verses – they die. When the house of clay collapses, or when their excess perishes – their life is over.

175 tn Heb “and without wisdom.” The word “attaining” is supplied in the translation as a clarification.

sn The expression without attaining wisdom is parallel to the previous without anyone regarding it. Both verses describe how easily humans perish: there is no concern for it, nor any sense to it. Humans die without attaining wisdom which can solve the mystery of human life.

176 tn Some commentators transpose this verse with the following paragraph, placing it after v. 7 (see E. Dhorme, Job, 62). But the reasons for this are based on the perceived development of the argument and are not that compelling.

sn The imperative is here a challenge for Job. If he makes his appeal against God, who is there who will listen? The rhetorical questions are intended to indicate that no one will respond, not even the angels. Job would do better to realize that he is guilty and his only hope is in God.

177 tn The participle with the suffix could be given a more immediate translation to accompany the imperative: “Call now! Is anyone listening to you?”

178 tn The LXX has rendered “holy ones” as “holy angels” (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT). The LXX has interpreted the verb in the colon too freely: “if you will see.”

179 sn The point being made is that the angels do not represent the cries of people to God as if mediating for them. But if Job appealed to any of them to take his case against God, there would be no response whatsoever for that.

180 tn One of the reasons that commentators transpose v. 1 is that the כִּי (ki, “for”) here seems to follow 4:21 better. If people die without wisdom, it is folly that kills them. But the verse also makes sense after 5:1. He is saying that complaining against God will not bring deliverance (v. 1), but rather, by such impatience the fool will bring greater calamity on himself.

181 tn The two words for “foolish person” are common in wisdom literature. The first, אֱוִיל (’evil), is the fool who is a senseless person; the פֹּתֶה (poteh) is the naive and silly person, the simpleton, the one who is easily led astray. The direct object is introduced with the preposition ל (lamed) in this verse (see GKC 366 §117.n).

182 tn The two parallel nouns are similar; their related verbs are also paralleled in Deut 32:16 with the idea of “vex” and “irritate.” The first word כַּעַשׂ (kaas) refers to the inner irritation and anger one feels, whereas the second word קִנְאָה (qinah) refers to the outward expression of the anger. In Job 6:2, Job will respond “O that my impatience [kaas] were weighed….”

183 tn The use of the pronoun here adds emphasis to the subject of the sentence (see GKC 437 §135.a).

184 tn This word is אֱוִיל (’evil), the same word for the “senseless man” in the preceding verse. Eliphaz is citing an example of his principle just given – he saw such a fool for a brief while appearing to prosper (i.e., taking root).

185 tn A. B. Davidson argues that the verse does not mean that Eliphaz cursed his place during his prosperity. This line is metonymical (giving the effect). God judged the fool and his place was ruined; consequently, Eliphaz pronounced it accursed of God (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 36). Many emend the verb slightly to read “and it was suddenly cursed” (וַיֻּכַב [vayyukhav] instead of וָאֶקּוֹב [vaeqqov]; see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 51).

186 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse describe the condition of the accursed situation. Some commentators follow the LXX and take these as jussives, making this verse the curse that the man pronounced upon the fool. Rashi adds “This is the malediction with which I have cursed him.” That would make the speaker the one calling down the judgment on the fool rather than responding by observation how God destroyed the habitation of the fool.

187 tn The verb יִדַּכְּאוּ (yiddakkÿu) could be taken as the passive voice, or in the reciprocal sense (“crush one another”) or reflexive (“crush themselves”). The context favors the idea that the children of the foolish person will be destroyed because there is no one who will deliver them.

188 tn Heb “in the gate.” The city gate was the place of both business and justice. The sense here seems to fit the usage of gates as the place of legal disputes, so the phrase “at the place of judgment” has been used in the translation.

189 tn The text simply says “and there is no deliverer.” The entire clause could be subordinated to the preceding clause, and rendered simply “without a deliverer.”

190 sn The hungry are other people, possibly the hungry poor to whom the wealthy have refused to give bread (22:7). The sons are so helpless that even the poor take their property.

191 tn The MT reads “whose harvest the hungry eat up.” Some commentators want to follow the LXX and repoint קְצִירוֹ (qÿtsiro, “his harvest”) to קָצְרוּ (qatsÿru, “[what] they have reaped”; cf. NAB). The reference as it stands in the MT seems to be to the image of taking root in v. 3; whatever took root – the prosperity of his life – will not belong to him or his sons to enjoy. If the emendation is accepted, then the reference would be immediately to the “sons” in the preceding verse.

192 tn The line is difficult; the Hebrew text reads literally “and unto from thorns he takes it.” The idea seems to be that even from within an enclosed hedge of thorns other people will take the harvest. Many commentators either delete the line altogether or try to repoint it to make more sense out of it. G. R. Driver had taken the preposition אֶל (’el, “towards”) as the noun אֵל (’el, “strong man”) and the noun צִנִּים (tsinnim, “thorns”) connected to Aramaic צִנָּה (tsinnah, “basket”); he read it as “a strong man snatches it from the baskets” (G. R. Driver, “on Job 5:5,” TZ 12 [1956]: 485-86). E. Dhorme (Job, 60) changed the word slightly to מַצְפֻּנִים (matspunim, “hiding places”), instead of מִצִּנִּים (mitsinnim, “out of the thorns”), to get the translation “and unto hiding places he carries it.” This fits the use of the verb לָקַח (laqakh, “to take”) with the preposition אֶל (’el, “towards”) meaning “carry to” someplace. There seems to be no easy solution to the difficulty of the line.

193 tn The word צַמִּים (tsammim) has been traditionally rendered “robbers.” But it has been connected by some of the ancient versions to the word for “thirst,” making a nice parallel with “hungry.” This would likely be pointed צְמֵאִים (tsÿmeim).

194 tn The verb has been given many different renderings, some more radical than others: “engulf,” “draws,” “gather,” “swallow” (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 53). The idea of “swallow” is found in Job 20:15. The general sense of the line is clear, in spite of the difficulties of determining the exact meaning of the verb.

195 tn The LXX has several variations for the line. It reads something like the following: “for what they have collected the just shall eat, but they shall not be delivered out of calamities; let their strength be utterly exhausted.” The LXX may have gotten the idea of the “righteous” as those who suffer from hunger. Instead of “thorns” the LXX has the idea of “trouble.” The Targum to Job interprets it with “shield” and adds “warriors” as the subject.

196 sn The previous discussion shows how trouble rises, namely, from the rebelliousness of the fool. Here Eliphaz simply summarizes the points made with this general principle – trouble does not come from outside man, nor does it come as a part of the natural order, but rather it comes from the evil nature of man.

197 tn Heb “man [is].” Because “man” is used in a generic sense for humanity here, the generic “people” has been used in the translation.

198 tn There is a slight difficulty here in that vv. 6 and 7 seem to be saying the opposite thing. Many commentators, therefore, emend the the Niphal יוּלָּד (yullad, “is born”) to an active participle יוֹלֵד (yoled, “begets”) to place the source of trouble in man himself. But the LXX seems to retain the passive idea: “man is born to trouble.” The contrast between the two verses does not seem too difficult, for it still could imply that trouble’s source is within the man.

199 tn For the Hebrew בְנֵי־רֶשֶׁף (bÿne reshef, “sons of the flame”) the present translation has the rendering “sparks.” E. Dhorme (Job, 62) thinks it refers to some kind of bird, but renders it “sons of the lightning” because the eagle was associated with lightning in ancient interpretations. Sparks, he argues, do not soar high above the earth. Other suggestions include Resheph, the Phoenician god of lightning (Pope), the fire of passion (Buttenwieser), angels (Peake), or demons (Targum Job). None of these are convincing; the idea of sparks flying upward fits the translation well and makes clear sense in the passage.

200 tn The simple translation of the last two words is “fly high” or “soar aloft” which would suit the idea of an eagle. But, as H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 53) concludes, the argument to identify the expression preceding this with eagles is far-fetched.

201 tn The LXX has the name of a bird here: “the vulture’s young seek the high places.” The Targum to Job has “sons of demons” or “the sparks which shoot from coals of fire.”

202 sn Eliphaz affirms that if he were in Job’s place he would take refuge in God, but Job has to acknowledge that he has offended God and accept this suffering as his chastisement. Job eventually will submit to God in the end, but not in the way that Eliphaz advises here, for Job does not agree that the sufferings are judgments from God.

203 tn The word אוּלָם (’ulam) is a strong adversative “but.” This forms the contrast with what has been said previously and so marks a new section.

204 tn The independent personal pronoun here adds emphasis to the subject of the verb, again strengthening the contrast with what Job is doing (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 22, §106).

205 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse express not so much what Eliphaz does as what he would do if he were in Job’s place (even though in 13:3 we have the affirmation). The use fits the category of the imperfect used in conditional clauses (see GKC 319 §107.x).

206 tn The verb דָּרַשׁ (darash, “to seek”) followed by the preposition אֶל (’el, “towards”) has the meaning of addressing oneself to (God). See 8:19 and 40:10.

207 tn The Hebrew employs אֵל (’el) in the first line and אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) in the second for “God”, but the LXX uses κύριος (kurio", “Lord”) in both places in this verse. However, in the second colon it also has “Lord of all.” This is replaced in the Greek version of Aquila by παντοκράτωρ (pantokratwr, traditionally translated “Almighty”). On the basis of this information, H. M. Orlinsky suggests that the second name for God in the verses should be “Shaddai” (JQR 25 [1934/35]: 271).

208 tn The Hebrew simply has “my word”; but in this expression that uses שִׂים (sim) with the meaning of “lay before” or “expound a cause” in a legal sense, “case” or “cause” would be a better translation.

209 tn Heb “who does.” It is common for such doxologies to begin with participles; they follow the pattern of the psalms in this style. Because of the length of the sentence in Hebrew and the conventions of English style, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

210 tn The Hebrew has וְאֵין חֵקֶר (vÿen kheqer), literally, “and no investigation.” The use of the conjunction on the expression follows a form of the circumstantial clause construction, and so the entire expression describes the great works as “unsearchable.”

211 tn The preposition in עַד־אֵין (’aden, “until there was no”) is stereotypical; it conveys the sense of having no number (see Job 9:10; Ps 40:13).

212 sn H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 54) notes that the verse fits Eliphaz’s approach very well, for he has good understanding of the truth, but has difficulty in making the correct conclusions from it.

213 tn Heb “who gives.” The participle continues the doxology here. But the article is necessary because of the distance between this verse and the reference to God.

sn He gives rain. The use of the verb “gives” underscores the idea that rain is a gift from God. This would be more keenly felt in the Middle East where water is scarce.

214 tn In both halves of the verse the literal rendering would be “upon the face of the earth” and “upon the face of the fields.”

215 tn The second participle is simply coordinated to the first and therefore does not need the definite article repeated (see GKC 404 §126.b).

216 tn The Hebrew term חוּצוֹת (khutsot) basically means “outside,” or what is outside. It could refer to streets if what is meant is outside the house; but it refers to fields here (parallel to the more general word) because it is outside the village. See Ps 144:13 for the use of the expression for “countryside.” The LXX gives a much wider interpretation: “what is under heaven.”

217 tn Heb “setting.” The infinitive construct clause is here taken as explaining the nature of God, and so parallel to the preceding descriptions. If read simply as a purpose clause after the previous verse, it would suggest that the purpose of watering the earth was to raise the humble (cf. NASB, “And sends water on the fields, // So that He sets on high those who are lowly”). A. B. Davidson (Job, 39) makes a case for this interpretation, saying that God’s gifts in nature have the wider purpose of blessing man, but he prefers to see the line as another benevolence, parallel to v. 10, and so suggests a translation “setting up” rather than “to set up.”

218 tn The word שְׁפָלִים (shÿfalim) refers to “those who are down.” This refers to the lowly and despised of the earth. They are the opposite of the “proud” (see Ps 138:6). Here there is a deliberate contrast between “lowly” and “on high.”

219 tn The meaning of the word is “to be dark, dirty”; therefore, it refers to the ash-sprinkled head of the mourner (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 54). The custom was to darken one’s face in sorrow (see Job 2:12; Ps 35:14; 38:7).

220 tn The perfect verb may be translated “be set on high; be raised up.” E. Dhorme (Job, 64) notes that the perfect is parallel to the infinitive of the first colon, and so he renders it in the same way as the infinitive, comparing the construction to that of 28:25.

221 tn The Hiphil form מֵפֵר (mefer) is the participle from פָּרַר (parar, “to annul; to frustrate; to break”). It continues the doxological descriptions of God; but because of the numerous verses in this section, it may be clearer to start a new sentence with this form (rather than translating it “who…”).

222 tn The word is related to the verb “to think; to plan; to devise,” and so can mean “thoughts; plans; imagination.” Here it refers to the plan of the crafty that must be frustrated (see also Isa 44:25 for the contrast).

223 tn The word עֲרוּמִים (’arumim) means “crafty” or “shrewd.” It describes the shrewdness of some to achieve their ends (see Gen 3:1, where the serpent is more cunning than all the creatures, that is, he knows where the dangers are and will attempt to bring down the innocent). In the next verse it describes the clever plans of the wise – those who are wise in their own sight.

224 tn The consecutive clause showing result or purpose is simply introduced with the vav and the imperfect/jussive (see GKC 504-5 §166.a).

225 tn The word תּוּשִׁיָּה (tushiyyah) is a technical word from wisdom literature. It has either the idea of the faculty of foresight, or of prudence in general (see 12:6; 26:3). It can be parallel in the texts to “wisdom,” “counsel,” “help,” or “strength.” Here it refers to what has been planned ahead of time.

226 tn The participles continue the description of God. Here he captures or ensnares the wise in their wickedly clever plans. See also Ps 7:16, where the wicked are caught in the pit they have dug – they are only wise in their own eyes.

227 sn This is the only quotation from the Book of Job in the NT (although Rom 11:35 seems to reflect 41:11, and Phil 1:19 is similar to 13:6). Paul cites it in 1 Cor 3:19.

228 tn The etymology of נִפְתָּלִים (niftalim) suggests a meaning of “twisted” (see Prov 8:8) in the sense of tortuous. See Gen 30:8; Ps 18:26 [27].

229 tn The Niphal of מָהַר (mahar) means “to be hasty; to be irresponsible.” The meaning in the line may be understood in this sense: The counsel of the wily is hastened, that is, precipitated before it is ripe, i.e., frustrated (A. B. Davidson, Job, 39).

230 sn God so confuses the crafty that they are unable to fulfill their plans – it is as if they encounter darkness in broad daylight. This is like the Syrians in 2 Kgs 6:18-23.

231 tn The verb מָשַׁשׁ (mashash) expresses the idea of groping about in the darkness. This is part of the fulfillment of Deut 28:29, which says, “and you shall grope at noonday as the blind grope in darkness.” This image is also in Isa 59:10.

232 sn The verse provides a picture of the frustration and bewilderment in the crafty who cannot accomplish their ends because God thwarts them.

233 tn The verb, the Hiphil preterite of יָשַׁע (yasha’, “and he saves”) indicates that by frustrating the plans of the wicked God saves the poor. So the vav (ו) consecutive shows the result in the sequence of the verses.

234 tn The juxtaposition of “from the sword from their mouth” poses translation difficulties. Some mss do not have the preposition on “their mouth,” but render the expression as a construct: “from the sword of their mouth.” This would mean their tongue, and by metonymy, what they say. The expression “from their mouth” corresponds well with “from the hand” in the next colon. And as E. Dhorme (Job, 67) notes, what is missing is a parallel in the first part with “the poor” in the second. So he follows Cappel in repointing “from the sword” as a Hophal participle, מֹחֳרָב (mokhorav), meaning “the ruined.” If a change is required, this has the benefit of only changing the pointing. The difficulty with this is that the word “desolate, ruined” is not used for people, but only to cities, lands, or mountains. The sense of the verse can be supported from the present pointing: “from the sword [which comes] from their mouth”; the second phrase could also be in apposition, meaning, “from the sword, i.e., from their mouth.”

235 tn If the word “poor” is to do double duty, i.e., serving as the object of the verb “saves” in the first colon as well as the second, then the conjunction should be explanatory.

236 tn Other translations render this “injustice” (NIV, NRSV, CEV) or “unrighteousness” (NASB).

237 tn The verse summarizes the result of God’s intervention in human affairs, according to Eliphaz’ idea that even-handed justice prevails. Ps 107:42 parallels v. 16b.

238 tn The particle “therefore” links this section to the preceding; it points this out as the logical consequence of the previous discussion, and more generally, as the essence of Job’s suffering.

239 tn The word אַשְׁרֵי (’ashre, “blessed”) is often rendered “happy.” But “happy” relates to what happens. “Blessed” is a reference to the heavenly bliss of the one who is right with God.

240 tn The construction is an implied relative clause. The literal rendering would simply be “the man God corrects him.” The suffix on the verb is a resumptive pronoun, completing the use of the relative clause. The verb יָכַח (yakhakh) is a legal term; it always has some sense of a charge, dispute, or conflict. Its usages show that it may describe a strife breaking out, a charge or quarrel in progress, or the settling of a dispute (Isa 1:18). The derived noun can mean “reproach; recrimination; charge” (13:6; 23:4). Here the emphasis is on the consequence of the charge brought, namely, the correction.

241 tn The noun מוּסַר (musar) is parallel to the idea of the first colon. It means “discipline, correction” (from יָסַר, yasar). Prov 3:11 says almost the same thing as this line.

242 sn The name Shaddai occurs 31 times in the book. This is its first occurrence. It is often rendered “Almighty” because of the LXX and some of the early fathers. The etymology and meaning of the word otherwise remains uncertain, in spite of attempts to connect it to “mountains” or “breasts.”

243 sn Verses 18-23 give the reasons why someone should accept the chastening of God – the hand that wounds is the same hand that heals. But, of course, the lines do not apply to Job because his suffering is not due to divine chastening.

244 tn The addition of the independent pronoun here makes the subject emphatic, as if to say, “For it is he who makes….”

245 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse describe the characteristic activities of God; the classification as habitual imperfect fits the idea and is to be rendered with the English present tense.

246 tn The verb is the Hiphil imperfect of נָצַל (natsal, “deliver”). These verbs might have been treated as habitual imperfects if it were not for the use of the numerical images – “six calamities…in seven.” So the nuance is specific future instead.

247 tn The use of a numerical ladder as we have here – “six // seven” is frequent in wisdom literature to show completeness. See Prov 6:16; Amos 1:3, Mic 5:5. A number that seems to be sufficient for the point is increased by one, as if to say there is always one more. By using this Eliphaz simply means “in all troubles” (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 56).

248 sn Targum Job here sees an allusion to the famine of Egypt and the war with Amalek.

249 tn Heb “from the hand of the sword.” This is idiomatic for “the power of the sword.” The expression is also metonymical, meaning from the effect of the sword, which is death.

250 tn The Hebrew verb essentially means “you will be hidden.” In the Niphal the verb means “to be hidden, to be in a hiding place,” and protected (Ps 31:20).

251 tn Heb “from the lash [i.e., whip] of the tongue.” Sir 26:9 and 51:2 show usages of these kinds of expressions: “the lash of the tongue” or “the blow of the tongue.” The expression indicates that a malicious gossip is more painful than a blow.

sn The Targum saw here a reference to Balaam and the devastation brought on by the Midianites.

252 tn The word here is שׁוֹד (shod); it means “destruction,” but some commentators conjecture alternate readings: שׁוֹאָה (shoah, “desolation”); or שֵׁד (shed, “demon”). One argument for maintaining שׁוֹד (shod) is that it fits the assonance within the verse שׁוֹדלָשׁוֹןשׁוֹט (shotlashonshod).

253 tc The repetition of “destruction” and “famine” here has prompted some scholars to delete the whole verse. Others try to emend the text. The LXX renders them as “the unrighteous and the lawless.” But there is no difficulty in having the repetition of the words as found in the MT.

tn The word for “famine” is an Aramaic word found again in 30:3. The book of Job has a number of Aramaisms that are used to form an alternative parallel expression (see notes on “witness” in 16:19).

254 tn The negated jussive is used here to express the conviction that something cannot or should not happen (GKC 322 §109.e).

255 tn Heb “your covenant is with the stones of the field.” The line has been variously interpreted and translated. It is omitted in the LXX. It seems to mean there is a deep sympathy between man and nature. Some think it means that the boundaries will not be violated by enemies; Rashi thought it represented some species of beings, like genii of the field, and so read אֲדֹנֵי (’adone, “lords”) for אַבְנֵי (’avne, “stones”). Ball takes the word as בְּנֵי (bÿne, “sons”), as in “sons of the field,” to get the idea that the reference is to the beasts. E. Dhorme (Job, 71) rejects these ideas as too contrived; he says to have a pact with the stones of the field simply means the stones will not come and spoil the ground, making it less fertile.

256 tn Heb “the beasts of the field.”

257 tn This is the only occurrence of the Hophal of the verb שָׁלֵם (shalem, “to make or have peace” with someone). Compare Isa 11:6-9 and Ps 91:13. The verb form is the perfect; here it is the perfect consecutive following a noun clause (see GKC 494 §159.g).

258 sn Verses 19-23 described the immunity from evil and trouble that Job would enjoy – if he were restored to peace with God. Now, v. 24 describes the safety and peace of the homestead and his possessions if he were right with God.

259 tn The verb is again the perfect, but in sequence to the previous structure so that it is rendered as a future. This would be the case if Job were right with God.

260 tn Heb “tent.”

261 tn The word שָׁלוֹם (shalom) means “peace; safety; security; wholeness.” The same use appears in 1 Sam 25:6; 2 Sam 20:9.

262 tn The verb is פָּקַד (paqad, “to visit”). The idea here is “to gather together; to look over; to investigate,” or possibly even “to number” as it is used in the book of Numbers. The verb is the perfect with the vav consecutive; it may be subordinated to the imperfect verb that follows to form a temporal clause.

263 tn The verb is usually rendered “to sin”; but in this context the more specific primary meaning of “to miss the mark” or “to fail to find something.” Neither Job’s tent nor his possessions will be lost.

264 tn Heb “your seed.”

265 tn The word means “your shoots” and is parallel to “your seed” in the first colon. It refers here (as in Isa 34:1 and 42:5) to the produce of the earth. Some commentators suggest that Eliphaz seems to have forgotten or was insensitive to Job’s loss of his children; H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 57) says his conventional theology is untouched by human feeling.

266 tn The word translated “in a full age” has been given an array of meanings: “health; integrity”; “like a new blade of corn”; “in your strength [or vigor].” The numerical value of the letters in the word בְכֶלָח (bÿkhelakh, “in old age”) was 2, 20, 30, and 8, or 60. This led some of the commentators to say that at 60 one would enter the ripe old age (E. Dhorme, Job, 73).

267 tn To make a better parallelism, some commentators have replaced the imperative with another finite verb, “we have found it.”

268 tn The preposition with the suffix (referred to as the ethical dative) strengthens the imperative. An emphatic personal pronoun also precedes the imperative. The resulting force would be something like “and you had better apply it for your own good!”

269 sn With this the speech by Eliphaz comes to a close. His two mistakes with it are: (1) that the tone was too cold and (2) the argument did not fit Job’s case (see further, A. B. Davidson, Job, 42).

270 tn Heb “answered and said.”

271 tn The conjunction לוּ (lu, “if, if only”) introduces the wish – an unrealizable wish – with the Niphal imperfect.

272 tn Job pairs כַּעְסִי (kasi, “my grief”) and הַיָּתִי (hayyati, “my misfortune”). The first word, used in Job 4:2, refers to Job’s whole demeanor that he shows his friends – the impatient and vexed expression of his grief. The second word expresses his misfortune, the cause of his grief. Job wants these placed together in the balances so that his friends could see the misfortune is greater than the grief. The word for “misfortune” is a Kethib-Qere reading. The two words have essentially the same meaning; they derive from the verb הָוַה (havah, “to fall”) and so mean a misfortune.

273 tn The Qal infinitive absolute is here used to intensify the Niphal imperfect (see GKC 344-45 §113.w). The infinitive absolute intensifies the wish as well as the idea of weighing.

274 tn The third person plural verb is used here; it expresses an indefinite subject and is treated as a passive (see GKC 460 §144.g).

275 tn The adverb normally means “together,” but it can also mean “similarly, too.” In this verse it may not mean that the two things are to be weighed together, but that the whole calamity should be put on the scales (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 43).

276 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 76) notes that כִּי־עַתָּה (kiattah) has no more force than “but”; and that the construction is the same as in 17:4; 20:19-21; 23:14-15. The initial clause is causative, and the second half of the verse gives the consequence (“because”…“that is why”). Others take 3a as the apodosis of v. 2, and translate it “for now it would be heavier…” (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 43).

277 sn The point of the comparison with the sand of the sea is that the sand is immeasurable. So the grief of Job cannot be measured.

278 tn The verb לָעוּ (lau) is traced by E. Dhorme (Job, 76) to a root לָעָה (laah), cognate to an Arabic root meaning “to chatter.” He shows how modern Hebrew has a meaning for the word “to stammer out.” But that does not really fit Job’s outbursts. The idea in the context is rather that of speaking wildly, rashly, or charged with grief. This would trace the word to a hollow or geminate word and link it to Arabic “talk wildly” (see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 158). In the older works the verb was taken from a geminate root meaning “to suck” or “to swallow” (cf. KJV), but that yields a very difficult sense to the line.

279 sn Job uses an implied comparison here to describe his misfortune – it is as if God had shot poisoned arrows into him (see E. Dhorme, Job, 76-77 for a treatment of poisoned arrows in the ancient world).

280 sn Job here clearly states that his problems have come from the Almighty, which is what Eliphaz said. But whereas Eliphaz said Job provoked the trouble by his sin, Job is perplexed because he does not think he did.

281 tn Most commentators take “my spirit” as the subject of the participle “drinks” (except the NEB, which follows the older versions to say that the poison “drinks up [or “soaks in”] the spirit.”) The image of the poisoned arrow represents the calamity or misfortune from God, which is taken in by Job’s spirit and enervates him.

282 tn The LXX translators knew that a liquid should be used with the verb “drink”; but they took the line to be “whose violence drinks up my blood.” For the rest of the verse they came up with, “whenever I am going to speak they pierce me.”

283 tn The word translated “sudden terrors” is found only here and in Ps 88:16 [17]. G. R. Driver notes that the idea of suddenness is present in the root, and so renders this word as “sudden assaults” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 73).

284 tn The verb עָרַךְ (’arakh) means “to set in battle array.” The suffix on the verb is dative (see GKC 369 §117.x). Many suggestions have been made for changing this word. These seem unnecessary since the MT pointing yields a good meaning: but for the references to these suggestions, see D. J. A. Clines, Job (WBC), 158. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 59), nonetheless, follows the suggestion of Driver that connects it to a root meaning “wear me down.” This change of meaning requires no change in the Hebrew text. The image is of a beleaguering army; the host is made up of all the terrors from God. The reference is to the terrifying and perplexing thoughts that assail Job (A. B. Davidson, Job, 44).

285 tn There have been suggestions to identify this animal as something other than a wild donkey, but the traditional interpretation has been confirmed (see P. Humbert, “En marge du dictionnaire hébraïque,” ZAW 62 [1950]: 199-207).

286 tn The verb נָהַק (nahaq, “bray”) occurs in Arabic and Aramaic and only in Job 30:7 in Hebrew, where it refers to unfortunate people in the wilderness who utter cries like the hungry wild donkey.

287 sn In this brief section Job indicates that it would be wiser to seek the reason for the crying than to complain of the cry. The wild donkey will bray when it finds no food (see Jer 14:6).

288 tn The construction forms a double question (אִם...הֲ, ha…’im) but not to express mutually exclusive questions in this instance. Instead, it is used to repeat the same question in different words (see GKC 475 §150.h).

289 tc The LXX captures the meaning of the verse, but renders it in a more expansive way.

tn This word occurs here and in Isa 30:24. In contrast to the grass that grows on the fields for the wild donkey, this is fodder prepared for the domesticated animals.

290 tn Heb “a tasteless thing”; the word “food” is supplied from the context.

291 tn Some commentators are not satisfied with the translation “white of an egg”; they prefer something connected to “slime of purslane” (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 59; cf. NRSV “juice of mallows”). This meaning is based on the Syriac and Arabic version of Sa`adia. The meaning “white of the egg” comes from the rabbinic interpretation of “slime of the yolk.” Others carry the idea further and interpret it to mean “saliva of dreams” or after the LXX “in dream words.” H. H. Rowley does not think that the exact edible object can be identified. The idea of the slimy glaring white around the yolk of an egg seems to fit best. This is another illustration of something that is tasteless or insipid.

292 tn The traditional rendering of נַפְשִׁי (nafshi) is “my soul.” But since נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) means the whole person, body and soul, it is best to translate it with its suffix simply as an emphatic pronoun.

293 tn For the explanation of the perfect verb with its completed action in the past and its remaining effects, see GKC 311 §106.g.

294 tn The phrase “such things” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied.

295 tn The second colon of the verse is difficult. The word דְּוֵי (dÿve) means “sickness of” and yields a meaning “like the sickness of my food.” This could take the derived sense of דָּוָה (davah) and mean “impure” or “corrupt” food. The LXX has “for I loathe my food as the smell of a lion” and so some commentators emend “they” (which has no clear antecedent) to mean “I loathe it [like the sickness of my food].” Others have more freely emended the text to “my palate loathes my food” (McNeile) or “my bowels resound with suffering” (I. Eitan, “An unknown meaning of RAHAMIÝM,” JBL 53 [1934]: 271). Pope has “they are putrid as my flesh [= my meat].” D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 159) prefers the suggestion in BHS, “it [my soul] loathes them as my food.” E. Dhorme (Job, 80) repoints the second word of the colon to get כְּבֹדִי (kÿvodi, “my glory”): “my heart [glory] loathes/is sickened by my bread.”

296 tn The Hebrew expresses the desire (desiderative clause) with “who will give?” (see GKC 477 §151.d).

297 tn The verb בּוֹא (bo’, “go”) has the sense of “to be realized; to come to pass; to be fulfilled.” The optative “Who will give [that] my request be realized?” is “O that my request would be realized.”

298 tn The text has תִקְוָתִי (tiqvati, “hope”). There is no reason to change the text to “my desire” (as Driver and others do) if the word is interpreted metonymically – it means “what I hope for.” What Job hopes for and asks for is death.

sn See further W. Riggans, “Job 6:8-10: Short Comments,” ExpTim 99 (1987): 45-46.

299 tn The verb יָאַל (yaal) in the Hiphil means “to be willing, to consent, to decide.” It is here the jussive followed by the dependent verb with a (ו) vav: “that God would be willing and would crush me” means “to crush me.” Gesenius, however, says that the conjunction introduces coordination rather than subordination; he says the principal idea is introduced in the second verb, the first verb containing the definition of the manner of the action (see GKC 386 §120.d).

300 tn The verb is used for loosening shoe straps in Isa 58:6, and of setting prisoners free in Pss 105:20 and 146:7. Job thinks that God’s hand has been restrained for some reason, and so desires that God be free to destroy him.

301 tn The final verb is an imperfect (or jussive) following the jussive (of נָתַר, natar); it thus expresses the result (“and then” or “so that”) or the purpose (“in order that”). Job longs for death, but it must come from God.

302 tn Heb “and cut me off.” The LXX reads this verse as “Let the Lord begin and wound me, but let him not utterly destroy me.” E. Dhorme (Job, 81) says the LXX is a paraphrase based on a pun with “free hand.” Targum Job has, “God has begun to make me poor; may he free his hand and make me rich,” apparently basing the reading on a metaphorical interpretation.

303 tn Heb “and it will/may be yet my comfort.” The comfort or consolation that he seeks, that he wishes for, is death. The next colon in the verse simply intensifies this thought, for he affirms if that should happen he would rejoice, in spite of what death involves. The LXX, apparently confusing letters (reading עִיר [’ir, “city”] instead of עוֹד [’od, “yet”], which then led to the mistake in the next colon, חֵילָה [khelah, “its wall”] for חִילָה [khilah, “suffering”]), has “Let the grave be my city, upon the walls of which I have leaped.”

304 tn In the apodosis of conditional clauses (which must be supplied from the context preceding), the cohortative expresses the consequence (see GKC 320 §108.d).

305 tn The Piel verb סִלֵּד (silled) is a hapax legomenon. BDB 698 s.v. סָלַד gives the meaning “to spring [i.e., jump] for joy,” which would certainly fit the passage. Others have emended the text, but unnecessarily. The LXX “I jumped” and Targum Job’s “exult” support the sense in the dictionaries, although the jumping is for joy and not over a wall (as the LXX has). D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 159) follows Driver in thinking this is untenable, choosing a meaning “recoiled in pain” for the line.

306 tn The word חִילָה (khilah) also occurs only here, but is connected to the verb חִיל / חוּל (khil / khul, “to writhe in pain”). E. Dhorme says that by extension the meaning denotes the cause of this trembling or writhing – terrifying pain. The final clause, לֹא יַחְמוֹל (loyakhmol, “it has no pity”), serves as a kind of epithet, modifying “pain” in general. If that pain has no pity or compassion, it is a ruthless pain (E. Dhorme, Job, 82).

307 tn The כִּי (ki, “for”) functions here to explain “my comfort” in the first colon; the second colon simply strengthens the first.

308 sn The “words” are the divine decrees of God’s providence, the decisions that he makes in his dealings with people. Job cannot conceal these – he knows what they are. What Job seems to mean by this clause in this verse is that there is nothing that would hinder his joy of dying for he has not denied or disobeyed God’s plan.

309 tn Several commentators delete the colon as having no meaning in the verse, and because (in their view) it is probably the addition of an interpolator who wants to make Job sound more pious. But Job is at least consoling himself that he is innocent, and at the most anticipating a worth-while afterlife (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 60).

310 sn Now, in vv. 11-13, Job proceeds to describe his hopeless condition. In so doing, he is continuing his defense of his despair and lament. The section begins with these rhetorical questions in which Job affirms that he does not have the strength to wait for the blessings that Eliphaz is talking about.

311 tn The word translated “my end” is קִצִּי (qitsi). It refers to the termination of his life. In Ps 39:5 it is parallel to “the measure of my days.” In a sense, Job is asking what future he has. To him, the “end” of his affliction can only be death.

312 sn The questions imply negative answers. Job is saying that it would take great strength to hold up under these afflictions, but he is only flesh and bone. The sufferings have almost completely overwhelmed him. To endure all of this to the end he would need a strength he does not have.

313 tn For the use of the particle אִם (’im) in this kind of interrogative clause, see GKC 475 §150.g, note.

314 tn The word means something like “recovery,” or the powers of recovery; it was used in Job 5:12. In 11:6 it applies to a condition of the mind, such as mental resource. Job is thinking not so much of relief or rescue from his troubles, but of strength to bear them.

315 tn In this context חֶסֶד (khesed) could be taken as “loyalty” (“loyalty should be shown by his friend”).

316 tn The Hebrew of this verse is extremely difficult, and while there are many suggestions, none of them has gained a consensus. The first colon simply has “to the despairing // from his friend // kindness.” Several commentators prefer to change the first word לַמָּס (lammas, “to the one in despair”) to some sort of verb; several adopt the reading “the one who withholds/he withholds mercy from his friend forsakes….” The point of the first half of the verse seems to be that one should expect kindness (or loyalty) from a friend in times of suffering.

317 tn The relationship of the second colon to the first is difficult. The line just reads literally “and the fear of the Almighty he forsakes.” The ו (vav) could be interpreted in several different ways: “else he will forsake…,” “although he forsakes…,” “even the one who forsakes…,” or “even if he forsakes…” – the reading adopted here. If the first colon receives the reading “His friend has scorned compassion,” then this clause would be simply coordinated with “and forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” The sense of the verse seems to say that kindness/loyalty should be shown to the despairing, even to the one who is forsaking the fear of the Lord, meaning, saying outrageous things, like Job has been doing.

318 sn Here the brothers are all his relatives as well as these intimate friends of Job. In contrast to what a friend should do (show kindness/loyalty), these friends have provided no support whatsoever.

319 tn The verb בָּגְדוּ (bagÿdu, “dealt treacherously) has been translated “dealt deceitfully,” but it is a very strong word. It means “to act treacherously [or deceitfully].” The deception is the treachery, because the deception is not innocent – it is in the place of a great need. The imagery will compare it to the brook that may or may not have water. If one finds no water when one expected it and needed it, there is deception and treachery. The LXX softens it considerably: “have not regarded me.”

320 tn The Hebrew term used here is נָחַל (nakhal); this word differs from words for rivers or streams in that it describes a brook with an intermittent flow of water. A brook where the waters are not flowing is called a deceitful brook (Jer 15:18; Mic 1:14); one where the waters flow is called faithful (Isa 33:16).

321 tn Heb “and as a stream bed of brooks/torrents.” The word אָפִיק (’afiq) is the river bed or stream bed where the water flows. What is more disconcerting than finding a well-known torrent whose bed is dry when one expects it to be gushing with water (E. Dhorme, Job, 86)?

322 tn The verb is rather simple – יַעֲבֹרוּ (yaavoru). But some translate it “pass away” or “flow away,” and others “overflow.” In the rainy season they are deep and flowing, or “overflow” their banks. This is a natural sense to the verb, and since the next verse focuses on this, some follow this interpretation (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 15). But this idea does not parallel the first part of v. 15. So it makes better sense to render it “flow away” and see the reference to the summer dry spells when one wants the water but is disappointed.

323 tn The article on the participle joins this statement to the preceding noun; it can have the sense of “they” or “which.” The parallel sense then can be continued with a finite verb (see GKC 404 §126.b).

324 tn The participle הַקֹּדְרים (haqqodÿrim), often rendered “which are black,” would better be translated “dark,” for it refers to the turbid waters filled with melting ice or melting snow, or to the frozen surface of the water, but not waters that are muddied. The versions failed to note that this referred to the waters introduced in v. 15.

325 tn The verb יִתְעַלֶּם (yitallem) has been translated “is hid” or “hides itself.” But this does not work easily in the sentence with the preposition “upon them.” Torczyner suggested “pile up” from an Aramaic root עֲלַם (’alam), and E. Dhorme (Job, 87) defends it without changing the text, contending that the form we have was chosen for alliterative value with the prepositional phrase before it.

326 tn The LXX paraphrases the whole verse: “They who used to reverence me now come against me like snow or congealed ice.”

327 tn The verb יְזֹרְבוּ (yÿzorÿvu, “burnt, scorched”) occurs only here. A good number of interpretations take the root as a by-form of צָרַב (tsarav) which means in the Niphal “to be burnt” (Ezek 21:3). The expression then would mean “in the time they are burnt,” a reference to the scorching heat of the summer (“when the great heat comes”) and the rivers dry up. Qimchi connected it to the Arabic “canal,” and this has led to the suggestion by E. Dhorme (Job, 88) that the root זָרַב (zarav) would mean “to flow.” In the Piel it would be “to cause to flow,” and in the passive “to be made to flow,” or “melt.” This is attractive, but it does require the understanding (or supplying) of “ice/snow” as the subject. G. R. Driver took the same meaning but translated it “when they (the streams) pour down in torrents, they (straightway) die down” (ZAW 65 [1953]: 216-17). Both interpretations capture the sense of the brooks drying up.

328 tn The verb נִדְעֲכוּ (nidakhu) literally means “they are extinguished” or “they vanish” (cf. 18:5-6; 21:17). The LXX, perhaps confusing the word with the verb יָדַע (yada’, “to know”) has “and it is not known what it was.”

329 tn This is the usual rendering of the Hebrew אָרְחוֹת (’orkhot, “way, path”). It would mean that the course of the wadi would wind down and be lost in the sand. Many commentators either repoint the text to אֹרְחוֹת (’orÿkhot) when in construct (as in Isa 21:13), or simply redefine the existing word to mean “caravans” as in the next verse, and translate something like “caravans deviate from their route.” D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 160-61) allows that “caravans” will be introduced in the next verse, but urges retention of the usual sense here. The two verses together will yield the same idea in either case – the river dries up and caravans looking for the water deviate from their course looking for it.

330 tn The verb literally means “to go up,” but here no real ascent is intended for the wasteland. It means that they go inland looking for the water. The streams wind out into the desert and dry up in the sand and the heat. A. B. Davidson (Job, 47) notes the difficulty with the interpretation of this verse as a reference to caravans is that Ibn Ezra says that it is not usual for caravans to leave their path and wander inland in search of water.

331 tn The word תֹּהוּ (tohu) was used in Genesis for “waste,” meaning without shape or structure. Here the term refers to the trackless, unending wilderness (cf. 12:24).

332 sn If the term “paths” (referring to the brook) is the subject, then this verb would mean it dies in the desert; if caravaneers are intended, then when they find no water they perish. The point in the argument would be the same in either case. Job is saying that his friends are like this water, and he like the caravaneer was looking for refreshment, but found only that the brook had dried up.

333 sn Tema is the area of the oasis SE of the head of the Gulf of Aqaba; Sheba is in South Arabia. In Job 1:15 the Sabeans were raiders; here they are traveling merchants.

334 tn The verb נָבַט (navat) means “to gaze intently”; the looking is more intentional, more of a close scrutiny. It forms a fine parallel to the idea of “hope” in the second part. The NIV translates the second verb קִוּוּ (qivvu) as “look in hope.” In the previous verbs the imperfect form was used, expressing what generally happens (so the English present tense was used). Here the verb usage changes to the perfect form. It seems that Job is narrating a typical incident now – they looked, but were disappointed.

335 tn The words “for these streams” are supplied from context to complete the thought and make the connection with the preceding context.

336 tn In Ps 68:24 this word has the meaning of “processions”; here that procession is of traveling merchants forming convoys or caravans.

337 tn The verb בּוֹשׁ (bosh) basically means “to be ashamed”; however, it has a wider range of meaning such as “disappointed” or “distressed.” The feeling of shame or distress is because of their confidence that they knew what they were doing. The verb is strengthened here with the parallel חָפַר (khafar, “to be confounded, disappointed”).

338 tn The perfect verb has the nuance of past perfect here, for their confidence preceded their disappointment. Note the contrast, using these verbs, in Ps 22:6: “they trusted in you and they were not put to shame [i.e., disappointed].”

339 tn The LXX misread the prepositional phrase as the noun “their cities”; it gives the line as “They too that trust in cities and riches shall come to shame.”

340 tn There is a textual problem in this line, an issue of Kethib-Qere. Some read the form with the Qere as the preposition with a suffix referring to “the river,” with the idea “you are like it.” Others would read the form with the Kethib as the negative “not,” meaning “for now you are nothing.” The LXX and the Syriac read the word as “to me.” RSV follows this and changes כִּי (ki, “for”) to כֵּן (ken, “thus”). However, such an emendation is unnecessary since כִּי (ki) itself can be legitimately employed as an emphatic particle. In that case, the translation would be, “Indeed, now you are” in the sense of “At this time you certainly are behaving like those streams.” The simplest reading is “for now you have become [like] it.” The meaning seems clear enough in the context that the friends, like the river, proved to be of no use. But D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 161) points out that the difficulty with this is that all references so far to the rivers have been in the plural.

341 tn The perfect of הָיָה (hayah) could be translated as either “are” or “have been” rather than “have become” (cf. Joüon 2:373 §113.p with regard to stative verbs). “Like it” refers to the intermittent stream which promises water but does not deliver. The LXX has a paraphrase: “But you also have come to me without pity.”

342 tn The word חֲתַת (khatat) is a hapax legomenon. The word חַת (khat) means “terror” in 41:25. The construct form חִתַּת (khittat) is found in Gen 35:5; and חִתִּית (khittit) is found in Ezek 26:17, 32:23). The Akkadian cognate means “terror.” It probably means that in Job’s suffering they recognized some dreaded thing from God and were afraid to speak any sympathy toward him.

343 tn The Hebrew הֲכִי (hakhi) literally says “Is it because….”

344 sn For the next two verses Job lashes out in sarcasm against his friends. If he had asked for charity, for their wealth, he might have expected their cold response. But all he wanted was sympathy and understanding (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 63).

345 tn The word כֹּחַ (koakh) basically means “strength, force”; but like the synonym חַיִל (khayil), it can also mean “wealth, fortune.” E. Dhorme notes that to the Semitic mind, riches bring power (Job, 90).

346 tn Or “bribes.” The verb שִׁחֲדוּ (shikhadu) means “give a שֹׁחַד (shokhad, “bribe”).” The significance is simply “make a gift” (especially in the sense of corrupting an official [Ezek 16:33]). For the spelling of the form in view of the guttural, see GKC 169 §64.a.

347 tn The verse now gives the ultimate reason why Job might have urged his friends to make a gift – if it were possible. The LXX, avoiding the direct speech in the preceding verse and this, does make this verse the purpose statement – “to deliver from enemies….”

348 tn Heb “hand,” as in the second half of the verse.

349 tn The עָרִיצִים (’aritsim) are tyrants, the people who inspire fear (Job 15:20; 27:13); the root verb עָרַץ (’arats) means “to terrify” (Job 13:25).

350 tn The verb now is the imperfect; since it is parallel to the imperative in the first half of the verse it is imperfect of instruction, much like English uses the future for instruction. The verb פָּדָה (padah) means “to ransom, redeem,” often in contexts where payment is made.

351 tn The verb “teach” or “instruct” is the Hiphil הוֹרוּנִי (horuni), from the verb יָרָה (yarah); the basic idea of “point, direct” lies behind this meaning. The verb is cognate to the noun תּוֹרָה (torah, “instruction, teaching, law”).

352 tn The independent personal pronoun makes the subject of the verb emphatic: “and I will be silent.”

353 tn The verb is הָבִינוּ (havinu, “to cause someone to understand”); with the ל (lamed) following, it has the sense of “explain to me.”

354 tn The verb שָׁגָה (shagah) has the sense of “wandering, getting lost, being mistaken.”

355 tn The word נִּמְרְצוּ (nimrÿtsu, “[they] painful are”) may be connected to מָרַץ (marats, “to be ill”). This would give the idea of “how distressing,” or “painful” in this stem. G. R. Driver (JTS 29 [1927/28]: 390-96) connected it to an Akkadian cognate “to be ill” and rendered it “bitter.” It has also been linked with מָרַס (maras), meaning “to be hard, strong,” giving the idea of “how persuasive” (see N. S. Doniach and W. E. Barnes, “Job 4:25: The Root Maras,” JTS [1929/30]: 291-92). There seems more support for the meaning “to be ill” (cf. Mal 2:10). Others follow Targum Job “how pleasant [to my palate are your words]”; E. Dhorme (Job, 92) follows this without changing the text but noting that the word has an interchange of letter with מָלַץ (malats) for מָרַץ (marats).

356 tn The וּ (vav) here introduces the antithesis (GKC 484-85 §154.a).

357 tn The infinitive הוֹכֵחַ (hokheakh, “reproof,” from יָכַח [yakhakh, “prove”]) becomes the subject of the verb from the same root, יוֹכִיהַ (yokhiakh), and so serves as a noun (see GKC 340 §113.b). This verb means “to dispute, quarrel, argue, contend” (see BDB 406-7 s.v. יָכַח). Job is saying, “What does reproof from you prove?”

358 tn The LXX again paraphrases this line: “But as it seems, the words of a true man are vain, because I do not ask strength of you.” But the rest of the versions are equally divided on the verse.

359 tn This, in the context, is probably the meaning, although the Hebrew simply has the line after the first half of the verse read: “and as/to wind the words of a despairing man.” The line could be translated “and the words of a despairing man, [which are] as wind.” But this translation follows the same approach as RSV, NIV, and NAB, which take the idiom of the verb (“think, imagine”) with the preposition on “wind” to mean “reckon as wind” – “and treat the words of a despairing man as wind.”

360 tn The word “lots” is not in the text; the verb is simply תַּפִּילוּ (tappilu, “you cast”). But the word “lots” is also omitted in 1 Sam 14:42. Some commentators follow the LXX and repoint the word and divide the object of the preposition to read “and fall upon the blameless one.” Fohrer deletes the verse. Peake transfers it to come after v. 23. Even though it does not follow quite as well here, it nonetheless makes sense as a strong invective against their lack of sympathy, and the lack of connection could be the result of emotional speech. He is saying they are the kind of people who would cast lots over the child of a debtor, who, after the death of the father, would be sold to slavery.

361 tn The verb תִכְרוּ (tikhru) is from כָּרָה (karah), which is found in 40:30 with עַל (’al), to mean “to speculate” on an object. The form is usually taken to mean “to barter for,” which would be an expression showing great callousness to a friend (NIV). NEB has “hurl yourselves,” perhaps following the LXX “rush against.” but G. R. Driver thinks that meaning is very precarious. As for the translation, “to speculate about [or “over”] a friend” could be understood to mean “engage in speculation concerning,” so the translation “auction off” has been used instead.

362 tn The second verb, the imperative “turn,” is subordinated to the first imperative even though there is no vav present (see GKC 385-87 §120.a, g).

363 tn The line has “and now, be pleased, turn to me [i.e., face me].” The LXX reverses the idea, “And now, having looked upon your countenances, I will not lie.” The expression “turn to me” means essentially to turn the eyes toward someone to look at him.

364 tn The construction uses אִם (’im) as in a negative oath to mark the strong negative. He is underscoring his sincerity here. See M. R. Lehmann, “Biblical Oaths,” ZAW 81 (1969): 74-92.

365 tn The Hebrew verb שֻׁבוּ (shuvu) would literally be “return.” It has here the sense of “to begin again; to adopt another course,” that is, proceed on another supposition other than my guilt (A. B. Davidson, Job, 49). The LXX takes the word from יָשַׁב (yashav, “sit, dwell”) reading “sit down now.”

366 tn The word עַוְלָה (’avlah) is sometimes translated “iniquity.” The word can mean “perversion, wickedness, injustice” (cf. 16:11). But here he means in regard to words. Unjust or wicked words would be words that are false and destroy.

367 tn The verb here is also שֻׁבוּ (shuvu), although there is a Kethib-Qere reading. See R. Gordis, “Some Unrecognized Meanings of the Root Shub,JBL 52 (1933): 153-62.

368 tn The text has simply “yet my right is in it.” A. B. Davidson (Job, 49, 50) thinks this means that in his plea against God, Job has right on his side. It may mean this; it simply says “my righteousness is yet in it.” If the “in it” does not refer to Job’s cause, then it would simply mean “is present.” It would have very little difference either way.

369 tn The word עַוְלָה (’avlah) is repeated from the last verse. Here the focus is clearly on wickedness or injustice spoken.

sn These words make a fitting transition to ch. 7, which forms a renewed cry of despair from Job. Job still feels himself innocent, but in the hands of cruel fate which is out to destroy him.

370 tn Heb “my palate.” Here “palate” is used not so much for the organ of speech (by metonymy) as of discernment. In other words, what he says indicates what he thinks.

371 tn The final word, הַוּוֹת (havvot) is usually understood as “calamities.” He would be asking if he could not discern his misfortune. But some argue that the word has to be understood in the parallelism to “wickedness” of words (D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 162). Gordis connects it to Mic 7:3 and Ps 5:10 [9] where the meaning “deceit, falsehood” is found. The LXX has “and does not my throat meditate understanding?”

372 tn The word צָבָא (tsava’) is actually “army”; it can be used for the hard service of military service as well as other toil. As a military term it would include the fixed period of duty (the time) and the hard work (toil). Job here is considering the lot of all humans, not just himself.

373 tn The שָׂכִיר (sakhir) is a hired man, either a man who works for wages, or a mercenary soldier (Jer 46:21). The latter sense may be what is intended here in view of the parallelism, although the next verse seems much broader.

374 tn This term עֶבֶד (’eved) is the servant or the slave. He is compelled to work through the day, in the heat; but he longs for evening, when he can rest from the slavery.

375 tn The expression יִשְׁאַף־צֵל (yishaf tsel, “longing for the evening shadow”) could also be taken as a relative clause (without the relative pronoun): “as a servant [who] longs for the evening shadow” (see GKC 487 §155.g). In either case, the expressions in v. 2 emphasize the point of the comparison, which will be summed up in v. 3.

376 tn The two verbs in this verse stress the eager expectation and waiting. The first, שָׁאַף (shaaf), means “to long for; to desire”; and the second, קָוָה (qavah), has the idea of “to hope for; to look for; to wait.” The words would give the sense that the servant or hired man had the longing on his mind all day.

377 tn The word פֹּעַל (poal) means “work.” But here the word should be taken as a metonymy, meaning the pay for the work that he has done (compare Jer 22:13).

378 tn “Thus” indicates a summary of vv. 1 and 2: like the soldier, the mercenary, and the slave, Job has labored through life and looks forward to death.

379 tn The form is the Hophal perfect of נָחַל (nakhal): “I have been made to inherit,” or more simply, “I have inherited.” The form occurs only here. The LXX must have confused the letters or sounds, a ו (vav) for the ן (nun), for it reads “I have endured.” As a passive the form technically has two accusatives (see GKC 388 §121.c). Job’s point is that his sufferings have been laid on him by another, and so he has inherited them.

380 tn The word is שָׁוְא (shav’, “vanity, deception, nothingness, futility”). His whole life – marked here in months to show its brevity – has been futile. E. Dhorme (Job, 98) suggests the meaning “disillusionment,” explaining that it marks the deceptive nature of mortal life. The word describes life as hollow, insubstantial.

381 tn “Sorrow” is עָמָל (’amal), used in 3:10. It denotes anxious toil, labor, troublesome effort. It may be that the verse expresses the idea that the nights are when the pains of his disease are felt the most. The months are completely wasted; the nights are agonizing.

382 tn The verb is literally “they have appointed”; the form with no expressed subject is to be interpreted as a passive (GKC 460 §144.g). It is therefore not necessary to repoint the verb to make it passive. The word means “to number; to count,” and so “to determine; to allocate.”

383 tn This is the main clause, and not part of the previous conditional clause; it is introduced by the conjunction אִם (’im) (see GKC 336 §

384 tn The verb מָדַד (madad) normally means “to measure,” and here in the Piel it has been given the sense of “to extend.” But this is not well attested and not widely accepted. There are many conjectural emendations. Of the most plausible one might mention the view of Gray, who changes מִדַּד (middad, Piel of מָדַּד) to מִדֵּי (midde, comprising the preposition מִן [min] plus the noun דַּי [day], meaning “as often as”): “as often as evening comes.” Dhorme, following the LXX to some extent, adds the word “day” after “when/if” and replaces מִדַּד (middad) with מָתַי (matay, “when”) to read “If I lie down, I say, ‘When comes the morning?’ If I rise up, I say, ‘How long till evening?’” The LXX, however, may be based more on a recollection of Deut 28:67. One can make just as strong a case for the reading adopted here, that the night seems to drag on (so also NIV).

385 tn The Hebrew term נְדֻדִים (nÿdudim, “tossing”) refers to the restless tossing and turning of the sick man at night on his bed. The word is a hapax legomenon derived from the verb נָדַד (nadad, “to flee; to wander; to be restless”). The plural form here sums up the several parts of the actions (GKC 460 §144.f). E. Dhorme (Job, 99) argues that because it applies to both his waking hours and his sleepless nights, it may have more of the sense of wanderings of the mind. There is no doubt truth to the fact that the mind wanders in all this suffering; but there is no need to go beyond the contextually clear idea of the restlessness of the night.

386 tn Heb “my flesh.”

387 tn The implied comparison is vivid: the dirty scabs cover his entire body like a garment – so he is clothed with them.

388 sn The word for “worms” (רִמָּה, rimmah, a collective noun), is usually connected with rotten food (Exod 16:24), or the grave (Isa 14:11). Job’s disease is a malignant ulcer of some kind that causes the rotting of the flesh. One may recall that both Antiochus Epiphanes (2 Macc 9:9) and Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:23) were devoured by such worms in their diseases.

389 tn The text has “clods of dust.” The word גִּישׁ (gish, “dirty scabs”) is a hapax legomenon from גּוּשׁ (gush, “clod”). Driver suggests the word has a medical sense, like “pustules” (G. R. Driver, “Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 73) or “scabs” (JB, NEB, NAB, NIV). Driver thinks “clods of dust” is wrong; he repoints “dust” to make a new verb “to cover,” cognate to Arabic, and reads “my flesh is clothed with worms, and scab covers my skin.” This refers to the dirty scabs that crusted over the sores all over his body. The LXX links this with the second half of the verse: “And my body has been covered with loathsome worms, and I waste away, scraping off clods of dirt from my eruption.”

390 tn The meaning of רָגַע (raga’) is also debated here. D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 163) does not think the word can mean “cracked” because scabs show evidence of the sores healing. But E. Dhorme (Job, 100) argues that the usage of the word shows the idea of “splitting, separating, making a break,” or the like. Here then it would mean “my skin splits” and as a result festers. This need not be a reference to the scabs, but to new places. Or it could mean that the scabbing never heals, but is always splitting open.

391 sn The first five verses described the painfulness of his malady, his life; now, in vv. 6-10 he will focus on the brevity of his life, and its extinction with death. He introduces the subject with “my days,” a metonymy for his whole life and everything done on those days. He does not mean individual days – they drag on endlessly.

392 tn The verb קָלַל (qalal) means “to be light” (40:4), and then by extension “to be swift; to be rapid” (Jer 4:13; Hab 1:8).

393 sn The shuttle is the part which runs through the meshes of the web. In Judg 16:14 it is a loom (see BDB 71 s.v. אֶרֶג), but here it must be the shuttle. Hezekiah uses the imagery of the weaver, the loom, and the shuttle for the brevity of life (see Isa 38:12). The LXX used, “My life is lighter than a word.”

394 tn The text includes a wonderful wordplay on this word. The noun is תִּקְוָה (tiqvah, “hope”). But it can also have the meaning of one of its cognate nouns, קַו (qav, “thread, cord,” as in Josh 2:18,21). He is saying that his life is coming to an end for lack of thread/for lack of hope (see further E. Dhorme, Job, 101).

395 sn Job is probably turning here to God, as is clear from v. 11 on. The NIV supplies the word “God” for clarification. It was God who breathed breath into man’s nostrils (Gen 2:7), and so God is called to remember that man is but a breath.

396 tn The word “that” is supplied in the translation.

397 tn The verb with the infinitive serves as a verbal hendiadys: “return to see” means “see again.”

398 sn The meaning of the verse is that God will relent, but it will be too late. God now sees him with a hostile eye; when he looks for him, or looks upon him in friendliness, it will be too late.

399 tn This verse is omitted in the LXX and so by several commentators. But the verb שׁוּר (shur, “turn, return”) is so characteristic of Job (10 times) that the verse seems appropriate here.

400 tn The comparison is implied; “as” is therefore supplied in the translation.

401 tn The two verbs כָּלַה (kalah) and הָלַךְ (halakh) mean “to come to an end” and “to go” respectively. The picture is of the cloud that breaks up, comes to an end, is dispersed so that it is no longer a cloud; it then fades away or vanishes. This line forms a good simile for the situation of a man who comes to his end and disappears.

402 tn The noun שְׁאוֹל (shÿol) can mean “the grave,” “death,” or “Sheol” – the realm of departed spirits. In Job this is a land from which there is no return (10:21 and here). It is a place of darkness and gloom (10:21-22), a place where the dead lie hidden (14:13); as a place appointed for all no matter what their standing on earth might have been (30:23). In each case the precise meaning has to be determined. Here the grave makes the most sense, for Job is simply talking about death.

403 sn It is not correct to try to draw theological implications from this statement or the preceding verse (Rashi said Job was denying the resurrection). Job is simply stating that when people die they are gone – they do not return to this present life on earth. Most commentators and theologians believe that theological knowledge was very limited at such an early stage, so they would not think it possible for Job to have bodily resurrection in view. (See notes on ch. 14 and 19:25-27.)

404 tn M. Dahood suggests the meaning is the same as “his abode” (“Hebrew-Ugaritic Lexicography V,” Bib 48 [1967]: 421-38).

405 tn The verb means “to recognize” by seeing. “His place,” the place where he was living, is the subject of the verb. This personification is intended simply to say that the place where he lived will not have him any more. The line is very similar to Ps 103:16b – when the wind blows the flower away, its place knows it no more.

406 tn “Also I” has been rendered frequently as “therefore,” introducing a conclusion. BDB 168-69 s.v. גַמּ lists Ps 52:7 [5] as a parallel, but it also could be explained as an adversative.

407 sn “Mouth” here is metonymical for what he says – he will not withhold his complaints. Peake notes that in this section Job comes very close to doing what Satan said he would do. If he does not curse God to his face, he certainly does cast off restraints to his lament. But here Job excuses himself in advance of the lament.

408 tn The verb is not limited to mental musing; it is used for pouring out a complaint or a lament (see S. Mowinckel, “The Verb siah and the Nouns siah, siha,ST 15 [1961]: 1-10).

409 tn The word תַּנִּין (tannin) could be translated “whale” as well as the more mythological “dragon” or “monster of the deep” (see E. Dhorme, Job, 105). To the Hebrews this was part of God’s creation in Gen 1; in the pagan world it was a force to be reckoned with, and so the reference would be polemical. The sea is a symbol of the tumultuous elements of creation; in the sea were creatures that symbolized the powerful forces of chaos – Leviathan, Tannin, and Rahab. They required special attention.

410 tn The imperfect verb here receives the classification of obligatory imperfect. Job wonders if he is such a threat to God that God must do this.

411 tn The word מִשְׁמָר (mishmar) means “guard; barrier.” M. Dahood suggested “muzzle” based on Ugaritic, but that has proven to be untenable (“Mismar, ‘Muzzle,’ in Job 7:12,” JBL 80 [1961]: 270-71).

412 tn The particle כִּי (ki) could also be translated “when,” but “if” might work better to introduce the conditional clause and to parallel the earlier reasoning of Job in v. 4 (using אִם, ’im). See GKC 336-37 §112.hh.

413 tn The verb literally means “say,” but here the connotation must be “think” or “say to oneself” – “when I think my bed….”

414 sn Sleep is the recourse of the troubled and unhappy. Here “bed” is metonymical for sleep. Job expects sleep to give him the comfort that his friends have not.

415 tn The verb means “to lift up; to take away” (נָשָׂא, nasa’). When followed by the preposition בּ (bet) with the complement of the verb, the idea is “to bear a part; to take a share,” or “to share in the burden” (cf. Num 11:7). The idea then would be that the sleep would ease the complaint. It would not end the illness, but the complaining for a while.

416 tn The Piel of חָתַת (khatat) occurs only here and in Jer 51:56 (where it is doubtful). The meaning is clearly “startle, scare.” The perfect verb with the ו (vav) is fitting in the apodosis of the conditional sentence.

sn Here Job is boldly saying that it is God who is behind the horrible dreams that he is having at night.

417 tn The Piel of בָּעַת (baat, “terrify”) is one of the characteristic words in the book of Job; it occurs in 3:5; 9:34; 13:11, 21; 15:24; 18:11; and 33:7.

418 tn The prepositions בּ (bet) and מִן (min) interchange here; they express the instrument of causality. See N. Sarna, “The Interchange of the Prepositions bet and min in Biblical Hebrew,” JBL 78 (1959): 310-16. Emphasis on the instruments of terror in this verse is highlighted by the use of chiasm in which the prepositional phrases comprise the central elements (ab//b’a’). Verse 18 contains another example.

419 tn The word נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is often translated “soul.” But since Hebrew thought does not make such a distinction between body and soul, it is usually better to translate it with “person.” When a suffix is added to the word, then that pronoun would serve as the better translation, as here with “my soul” = “I” (meaning with every fiber of my being).

420 tn The verb בָּחַר (bakhar, “choose”) followed by the preposition בּ (bet) can have the sense of “prefer.”

421 tn The meaning of the term מַחֲנָק (makhanaq, “strangling”), a hapax legomenon, is clear enough; the verb חָנַק (khanaq) in the Piel means “to strangle” (Nah 2:13), and in the Niphal “to strangle oneself” (2 Sam 17:23). This word has tempted some commentators to take נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) in a very restricted sense of “throat.”

422 tn The conjunction “and” is supplied in the translation. “Death” could also be taken in apposition to “strangling,” providing the outcome of the strangling.

423 tn This is one of the few words recognizable in the LXX: “You will separate life from my spirit, and yet keep my bones from death.”

424 tn The comparative min (מִן) after the verb “choose” will here have the idea of preferring something before another (see GKC 429-30 §133.b).

425 tn The word מֵעַצְמוֹתָי (meatsmotay) means “more than my bones” (= life or being). The line is poetic; “bones” is often used in scripture metonymically for the whole living person, so there is no need here for conjectural emendation. Nevertheless, there have been several suggestions made. The simplest and most appealing for those who desire a change is the repointing to מֵעַצְּבוֹתָי (meatsÿvotay, “my sufferings,” adopted by NAB, JB, Moffatt, Driver-Gray, E. Dhorme, H. H. Rowley, and others). Driver obtains this idea by positing a new word based on Arabic without changing the letters; it means “great” – but he has to supply the word “sufferings.”

426 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 107-8) thinks the idea of loathing or despising is problematic since there is no immediate object. He notes that the verb מָאַס (maas, “loathe”) is parallel to מָסַס (masas, “melt”) in the sense of “flow, drip” (Job 42:6). This would give the idea “I am fading away” or “I grow weaker,” or as Dhorme chooses, “I am pining away.”

427 tn There is no object for the verb in the text. But the most likely object would be “my life” from the last verse, especially since in this verse Job will talk about not living forever. Some have thought the object should be “death,” meaning that Job despised death more than the pains. But that is a forced meaning; besides, as H. H. Rowley points out, the word here means to despise something, to reject it. Job wanted death.

428 tn Heb “cease from me.” This construction means essentially “leave me in peace.”

429 tn This word הֶבֶל (hevel) is difficult to translate. It means “breath; puff of air; vapor” and then figuratively, “vanity.” Job is saying that his life is but a breath – it is brief and fleeting. Compare Ps 144:4 for a similar idea.

430 tn The verse is a rhetorical question; it is intended to mean that man is too little for God to be making so much over him in all this.

431 tn The Piel verb is a factitive meaning “to magnify.” The English word “magnify” might not be the best translation here, for God, according to Job, is focusing inordinately on him. It means to magnify in thought, appreciate, think highly of. God, Job argues, is making too much of mankind by devoting so much bad attention on them.

432 tn The expression “set your heart on” means “concentrate your mind on” or “pay attention to.”

433 tn The verb פָּקַד (paqad) is a very common one in the Bible; while it is frequently translated “visit,” the “visit” is never comparable to a social call. When God “visits” people it always means a divine intervention for blessing or cursing – but the visit always changes the destiny of the one visited. Here Job is amazed that God Almighty would be so involved in the life of mere human beings.

434 tn Now the verb “to test” is introduced and gives further explanation to the purpose of the “visit” in the parallel line (see the same parallelism in Ps 17:3). The verb בָּחַן (bakhan) has to do with passing things through the fire or the crucible to purify the metal (see Job 23:10; Zech 13:3); metaphorically it means “to examine carefully” and “to purify by testing.”

435 sn The amazing thing is the regularity of the testing. Job is at first amazed that God would visit him; but even more is he amazed that God is testing him every moment. The employment of a chiasm with the two temporal adverbial phrases as the central elements emphasizes the regularity.

436 tn Heb “according to what [= how long] will you not look away from me.”

437 tn The verb שָׁעָה (shaah, “to look”) with the preposition מִן (min) means “to look away from; to avert one’s gaze.” Job wonders if God would not look away from him even briefly, for the constant vigilance is killing him.

438 tn The Hiphil of רָפָה (rafah) means “to leave someone alone.”

439 tn The simple perfect verb can be used in a conditional sentence without a conditional particle present (see GKC 494 §159.h).

440 sn Job is not here saying that he has sinned; rather, he is posing the hypothetical condition – if he had sinned, what would that do to God? In other words, he has not really injured God.

441 sn In the Bible God is often described as watching over people to protect them from danger (see Deut 32:10; Ps 31:23). However, here it is a hostile sense, for God may detect sin and bring it to judgment.

442 tn This word is a hapax legomenon from the verb פָּגָע (paga’, “meet, encounter”); it would describe what is hit or struck (as nouns of this pattern can indicate the place of the action) – the target.

443 tn In the prepositional phrase עָלַי (’alay) the results of a scribal change is found (these changes were called tiqqune sopherim, “corrections of the scribes” made to avoid using improper language about God). The prepositional phrase would have been עָלֶךָ (’alekha, “to you,” as in the LXX). But it offended the Jews to think of Job’s being burdensome to God. Job’s sin could have repercussions on him, but not on God.

444 tn The LXX has, “for now I will depart to the earth.”

445 tn The verb שָׁחַר (shakhar) in the Piel has been translated “to seek early in the morning” because of the possible link with the word “dawn.” But the verb more properly means “to seek diligently” (by implication).

446 sn This speech of Bildad ignores Job’s attack on his friends and focuses rather on Job’s comments about God’s justice. Bildad cannot even imagine saying that God is unjust. The only conclusion open to him is that Job’s family brought this on themselves, and so the only recourse is for Job to humble himself and make supplication to God. To make his point, Bildad will appeal to the wisdom of the ancients, for his theology is traditional. The speech has three parts: vv. 2-7 form his affirmation of the justice of God; vv. 8-19 are his appeal to the wisdom of the ancients, and vv. 20-22 are his summation. See N. C. Habel, “Appeal to Ancient Tradition as a Literary Form,” ZAW 88 (1976): 253-72; W. A. Irwin, “The First Speech of Bildad,” ZAW 51 (1953): 205-16.

447 sn “These things” refers to all of Job’s speech, the general drift of which seems to Bildad to question the justice of God.

448 tn The second colon of the verse simply says “and a strong wind the words of your mouth.” The simplest way to treat this is to make it an independent nominal sentence: “the words of your mouth are a strong wind.” Some have made it parallel to the first by apposition, understanding “how long” to do double duty. The line beginning with the ו (vav) can also be subordinated as a circumstantial clause, as here.

449 tn The word כַּבִּיר (kabbir, “great”) implies both abundance and greatness. Here the word modifies “wind”; the point of the analogy is that Job’s words are full of sound but without solid content.

450 tn See, however, G. R. Driver’s translation, “the breath of one who is mighty are the words of your mouth” (“Hebrew Studies,” JRAS 1948: 170).

451 tn The Piel verb יְעַוֵּת (yÿavvet) means “to bend; to cause to swerve from the norm; to deviate; to pervert.” The LXX renders the first colon as “will the Lord be unjust when he judges?”

452 tn The first word is מִשְׁפָּת (mishpat, “justice”). It can mean an act of judgment, place of judgment, or what is just, that is, the outcome of the decision. It basically describes an umpire’s decision. The parallel word is צֶדֶק (tsedeq, “righteousness,” or “what is right”). The basic idea here is that which conforms to the standard, what is right. See S. H. Scholnick, “The Meaning of Mishpat in the Book of Job,” JBL 101 (1982): 521-29.

453 tn Some commentators think that the second verb should be changed in order to avoid the repetition of the same word and to reflect the different words in the versions. The suggestion is to read יְעַוֵּה (yÿavveh) instead; this would mean “to cause someone to deviate,” for the root means “to bend.” The change is completely unwarranted; the LXX probably chose different words for stylistic reasons (see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 198). The repetition in the Hebrew text is a common type; it strengthens the enormity of the charge Job seems to be making.

454 tn The AV and RV take the protasis down to the middle of v. 6. The LXX changes the “if” at the beginning of v. 5 to “then” and makes that verse the apodosis. If the apodosis comes in the second half of v. 4, then v. 4 would be a complete sentence (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 71; A. B. Davidson, Job, 60). The particle אִם (’im) has the sense of “since” in this section.

455 tn The verb is a Piel preterite with a vav (ו) consecutive. The ו (vav) need not be translated if the second half of the verse is the apodosis of the first – since they sinned…he did this. The verb שִׁלֵּחַ (shilleakh) means “to expel; to thrust out” normally; here the sense of “deliver up” or “deliver over” fits the sentence well. The verse is saying that sin carries its own punishment, and so God merely delivered the young people over to it.

456 tn Heb “into the hand of their rebellion.” The word “hand” often signifies “power.” The rebellious acts have the power to destroy, and so that is what happened – according to Bildad. Bildad’s point is that Job should learn from what happened to his family.

457 tn “But” is supplied to show the contrast between this verse and the preceding line.

458 tn The verb שִׁחַר (shikhar) means “to seek; to seek earnestly” (see 7:21). With the preposition אֶל (’el) the verb may carry the nuance of “to address; to have recourse to” (see E. Dhorme, Job, 114). The LXX connected it etymologically to “early” and read, “Be early in prayer to the Lord Almighty.”

459 tn The verb תִּתְחַנָּן (titkhannan) means “to make supplication; to seek favor; to seek grace” (from חָנַן, khanan). Bildad is saying that there is only one way for Job to escape the same fate as his children – he must implore God’s mercy. Job’s speech had spoken about God’s seeking him and not finding him; but Bildad is speaking of the importance of Job’s seeking God.

460 tn A verb form needs to be supplied here. Bildad is not saying to Job, “If you are pure [as you say you are].” Bildad is convinced that Job is a sinner. Therefore, “If you become pure” makes more sense here.

461 tn Or “innocent” (i.e., acquitted).

462 tn Many commentators delete this colon as a moralizing gloss on v. 5; but the phrase makes good sense, and simply serves as another condition. Besides, the expression is in the LXX.

463 tn The verb יָעִיר (yair, “rouse, stir up”) is a strong anthropomorphism. The LXX has “he will answer your prayer” (which is probably only the LXX’s effort to avoid the anthropomorphism [D. J. A. Clines, Job (WBC), 198]). A reading of “watch over you” has been adopted because of parallel texts (see H. L. Ginsberg, “Two North Canaanite Letters from Ugarit,” BASOR 72 [1938]: 18-19; and H. N. Richardson, “A Ugaritic Letter of a King to His Mother,” JBL 66 [1947]: 321-24). Others suggest “his light will shine on you” or “he will bestow health on you.” But the idea of “awake” is common enough in the Bible to be retained here.

464 tn The Piel of שָׁלַם (shalam) means “to make good; to repay; to restore something to its wholeness; to reestablish.” The best understanding here would be “restore [Job] to his place.” Some take the verb in the sense of “reward [Job himself] with a righteous habitation.”

465 tn The construct נְוַת (nÿvat) is feminine; only the masculine occurs in Hebrew. But the meaning “abode of your righteousness” is clear enough. The righteousness of Job is pictured as inhabiting an estate, or it pictures the place where Job lives as a righteous man. A translation “rightful habitation” would mean “the habitation that you deserve” – if you are righteous.

466 tn The reference to “your beginning” is a reference to Job’s former estate of wealth and peace. The reference to “latter end” is a reference to conditions still in the future. What Job had before will seem so small in comparison to what lies ahead.

467 tn The verb has the idea of “to grow”; here it must mean “to flourish; to grow considerably” or the like. The statement is not so much a prophecy; rather Bildad is saying that “if Job had recourse to God, then….” This will be fulfilled, of course, at the end of the book.

468 sn Bildad is not calling for Job to trace through the learning of antiquity, but of the most recent former generation. Hebrews were fond of recalling what the “fathers” had taught, for each generation recalled what their fathers had taught.

469 tn The verb כוֹנֵן (khonen, from כּוּן, kun) normally would indicate “prepare yourself” or “fix” one’s heart on something, i.e., give attention to it. The verb with the ל (lamed) preposition after it does mean “to think on” or “to meditate” (Isa 51:13). But some commentators wish to change the כּ (kaf) to a בּ (bet) in the verb to get “to consider” (from בִּין, bin). However, M. Dahood shows a connection between כּנן (knn) and שׁאל (shl) in Ugaritic (“Hebrew-Ugaritic Lexicography,” Bib 46 [1965]: 329).

470 tn The Hebrew has “the search of their fathers,” but the word is probably intended to mean what that observation or search yielded (so “search” is a metonymy of cause).

471 tn Heb “fathers.”

472 tn The Hebrew has “we are of yesterday,” the adverb functioning as a predicate. Bildad’s point is that they have not had time to acquire great knowledge because they are recent.

473 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 116) observes that the shadow is the symbol of ephemeral things (14:2; 17:7; Ps 144:4). The shadow passes away quickly (116).

474 tn The sentence begins emphatically: “Is it not they.”

475 tn The “and” is not present in the line. The second clause seems to be in apposition to the first, explaining it more thoroughly: “Is it not they [who] will instruct you, [who] will speak to you.”

476 tn The noun may have been left indeterminate for the sake of emphasis (GKC 401-2 §125.c), meaning “important words.”

477 tn Heb “from their heart.”

478 sn H. H. Rowley observes the use of the words for plants that grow in Egypt and suspects that Bildad either knew Egypt or knew that much wisdom came from Egypt. The first word refers to papyrus, which grows to a height of six feet (so the verb means “to grow tall; to grow high”). The second word refers to the reed grass that grows on the banks of the river (see Gen 41:2, 18).

479 tn The two verbs, גָּאָה (gaah) and שָׂגָה (sagah), have almost the same meanings of “flourish, grow, become tall.”

480 tn The word has been traditionally translated “greenness” (so KJV, ASV), but some modern commentators argue for “in flower.” The word is found only in Song 6:11 (where it may be translated “blossoms”). From the same root is אָבִיב (’aviv, “fresh young ears of barley”). Here the word refers to the plant that is still in its early stages of flowering. It should not be translated to suggest the plant is flowering (cf. NRSV), but translating as if the plant is green (so NASB) is also problematic.

481 sn The idea is that as the plant begins to flower, but before it is to be cut down, there is no sign of withering or decay in it. But if the water is withdrawn, it will wither sooner than any other herb. The point Bildad will make of this is that when people rebel against God and his grace is withheld, they perish more swiftly than the water reed.

482 tn The imperfect verb here is the modal use of potential, “can wither away” if the water is not there.

483 tn Heb “before.”

484 tn The LXX interprets the line: “does not any herb wither before it has received moisture?”

485 tn The word אָרְחוֹת (’orkhot) means “ways” or “paths” in the sense of tracks of destiny or fate. The word דֶּרֶךְ (derekh, “way, road, path”) is used in a similar way (Isa 40:27; Ps 37:5). However, many commentators emend the text to read אַחֲרִית (’akharit, “end”) in harmony with the LXX. But Prov 1:19 (if not emended as well) confirms the primary meaning here without changing the text (see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 199).

486 tn The word חָנֵף (khanef) is often translated “hypocrite.” But the root verb means “to be profane,” and this would be done by idolatry or bloodshed. It describes an irreligious person, a godless person. In Dan 11:32 the word seems to mean “make someone pagan.” The word in this verse is parallel to “those who forget God.”

487 tn The relative pronoun introduces the verse as a relative clause, working with the “godless person” of the preceding verse. The relative pronoun is joined to the resumptive pronoun in the translation: “who + his trust” = “whose trust.”

488 tn The noun כֶּסֶל (kesel) in this half of the verse must correspond to “his security” in the second half. The meaning must be “his trust” (see 4:6). The two words will again be parallel in 31:24.

489 tn The word יָקוֹט (yaqot) is not known anywhere else; here it looks like it should be a noun to parallel “spider’s house” in the next colon. But scholars have tried to identify it as a verb, perhaps an imperfect of קוֹט (qot, BDB 876 s.v.), or related to an Arabic qatta, “to cut.” Some versions have “break in sunder” (KJV, RV); others “cut off” (RSV). Apart from verbs, some commentators follow Sa`adia’s Arabic translation “sun cords,” meaning “gossamer.” Accordingly, there are emendations like “threads,” “threads of summer,” “spider threads,” and the like. D. J. A. Clines agrees with those who conclude that emendations based on Sa`adia’s translation lack a sound philological basis. E. Dhorme “somewhat timidly” suggests יַלְקוּט (yalqut), the shepherd’s bag or scrip (1 Sam 17:40). He suggests that an empty bag would be a symbol of something unstable and futile. It seems impossible to determine exactly what the word meant. One can only conclude that it means something like “fragile” or “futile.” The LXX is of no help: “for his house shall be without inhabitants.”

490 sn The second half of the verse is very clear. What the godless person relies on for security is as fragile as a spider’s web – he may as well have nothing. The people of the Middle East view the spider’s web as the frailest of all “houses.”

491 tn The verb עָמַד (’amad, “to stand”) is almost synonymous with the parallel קוּם (qum, “to rise; to stand”). The distinction is that the former means “to remain standing” (so it is translated here “hold up”), and the latter “rise, stand up.”

492 sn The idea is that he grabs hold of the house, not to hold it up, but to hold himself up or support himself. But it cannot support him. This idea applies to both the spider’s web and the false security of the pagan.

493 tn The figure now changes to a plant that is flourishing and spreading and then suddenly cut off. The word רָטַב (ratav) means “to be moist; to be watered.” The word occurs in Arabic, Aramaic, and Akkadian, but only twice in the Bible: here as the adjective and in 24:8 as the verb.

494 tn The Hebrew is לִפְנֵי (lifne, “before”). Does this mean “in the presence of the sun,” i.e., under a sweltering sun, or “before” the sun rises? It seems more natural to take לִפְנֵי (lifne) as “in the presence of” or “under.”

495 tn Heb “its shoot goes out.”

496 tc Some have emended this phrase to obtain “over the roofs.” The LXX has “out of his corruption.” H. M. Orlinsky has shown that this reading arose from an internal LXX change, saprias having replaced prasias, “garden” (JQR 26 [1935/36]: 134-35).

497 tn Cheyne reads “spring” or “well” rather than “heap.” However, this does not fit the parallelism very well, and so he emends the second half as well. Nevertheless the Hebrew text needs no emending here.

498 tn The expression “of stones” is added for clarification of what the heap would be. It refers to the object around which the roots would grow. The parallelism with “house of stones” makes this reading highly probable.

499 tn The idea is that the plant grows, looking for a place to grow among the stones. Some trees grow so tightly around the rocks and stones that they are impossible to uproot. The rocky ground where it grows forms “a house of stones.” The LXX supports an emendation from יְחֱזֶה (yÿkhezeh, “it looks”) to יִחְיֶה (yikhyeh, “it lives”). Others have tried to emend the text in a variety of ways: “pushes” (Budde), “cleave” (Gordis), “was opposite” (Driver), or “run against” (NEB, probably based on G. R. Driver). If one were to make a change, the reading with the LXX would be the easiest to defend, but there is no substantial reason to do that. The meaning is about the same without such a change.

500 sn The idea seems to be that the stones around which the roots of the tree wrap themselves suggest strength and security for the tree, but uprooting comes to it nevertheless (v. 18). The point is that the wicked may appear to be living in security and flourishing, yet can be quickly destroyed (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 74).

501 tc Ball reads אֵל (’el, “God”) instead of אִם (’im, “if”): “God destroys it” – but there is no reason for this. The idea would be implied in the context. A. B. Davidson rightly points out that who destroys it is not important, but the fact that it is destroyed.

tn The Hebrew has “if one destroys it”; the indefinite subject allows for a passive interpretation. The verb means “swallow” in the Qal, but in the Piel it means “to engulf; to destroy; to ruin” (2:3; 10:8). It could here be rendered “removed from its place” (the place where it is rooted); since the picture is that of complete destruction, “uprooted” would be a good rendering.

502 tn Heb “it”; the referent (“his place” in the preceding line) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn The place where the plant once grew will deny ever knowing it. Such is the completeness of the uprooting that there is not a trace left.

503 tn Here “saying” is supplied in the translation.

504 tn This line is difficult. If the MT stands as it is, the expression must be ironic. It would be saying that the joy (all the security and prosperity) of its way (its life) is short-lived – that is the way its joy goes. Most commentators are not satisfied with this. Dhorme, for one, changes מְשׂוֹשׂ (mÿsos, “joy”) to מְסוֹס (mÿsos, “rotting”), and gets “behold him lie rotting on the path.” The sibilants can interchange this way. But Dhorme thinks the MT was written the way it was because the word was thought to be “joy,” when it should have been the other way. The word “way” then becomes an accusative of place. The suggestion is rather compelling and would certainly fit the context. The difficulty is that a root סוּס (sus, “to rot”) has to be proposed. E. Dhorme does this by drawing on Arabic sas, “to be eaten by moths or worms,” thus “worm-eaten; decaying; rotting.” Cf. NIV “its life withers away”; also NAB “there he lies rotting beside the road.”

505 tn Heb “dust.”

506 sn As with the tree, so with the godless man – his place will soon be taken by another.

507 sn This is the description that the book gave to Job at the outset, a description that he deserved according to God’s revelation. The theme “God will not reject the blameless man” becomes Job’s main point (see 9:20,21; 10:3).

508 sn The idiom “to grasp the hand” of someone means to support or help the person.

509 tn The word עַד (’ad, “until”) would give the reading “until he fills your mouth with laughter,” subordinating the verse to the preceding with some difficulty in interpretation. It would be saying that God will not reject the blameless man until he filled Job with joy. Almost all commentators and modern versions change the pointing to עוֹד (’od, “yet”), forming a hope for the future blessing of joy for Job.

510 sn “Laughter” (and likewise “gladness”) will here be metonymies of effect or adjunct, being put in place of the reason for the joy – restoration.

511 sn These verses show several points of similarity with the style of the Book of Psalms. “Those who hate you” and the “evil-doers” are fairly common words to describe the ungodly in the Psalms. “Those who hate you” are enemies of the righteous man because of the parallelism in the verse. By this line Bildad is showing Job that he and his friends are not among those who are his enemies, and that Job himself is really among the righteous. It is an appealing way to end the discourse. See further G. W. Anderson, “Enemies and Evil-doers in the Book of Psalms,” BJRL 48 (1965/66): 18-29.

512 tn “Shame” is compared to a garment that can be worn. The “shame” envisioned here is much more than embarrassment or disgrace – it is utter destruction. For parallels in the Psalms, see Pss 35:26; 132:18; 109:29.

513 sn This speech of Job in response to Bildad falls into two large sections, chs. 9 and 10. In ch. 9 he argues that God’s power and majesty prevent him from establishing his integrity in his complaint to God. And in ch. 10 Job tries to discover in God’s plan the secret of his afflictions. The speech seems to continue what Job was saying to Eliphaz more than it addresses Bildad. See K. Fullerton, “On Job 9 and 10,” JBL 53 (1934): 321-49.

514 tn The adverb אָמְנָם (’omnam, “in truth”) is characteristic of the Book of Job (12:2; 19:4; 34:12; 36:4). The friends make commonplace statements, general truths, and Job responds with “truly I know this is so.” Job knows as much about these themes as his friends do.

515 sn The interrogative is used to express what is an impossibility.

516 tn The attempt to define אֱנוֹשׁ (’enosh) as “weak” or “mortal” man is not compelling. Such interpretations are based on etymological links without the clear support of usage (an issue discussed by J. Barr, Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament). This seems to be a poetic word for “human” (the only nonpoetic use is in 2 Chr 14:10).

517 tn The preposition is אִם (’im, “with, before, in the presence of”). This is more specific than מִן (min) in 4:17.

518 sn The point of Job’s rhetorical question is that man cannot be justified as against God, because God is too powerful and too clever – he controls the universe. He is discussing now the question that Eliphaz raised in 4:17. Peake observes that Job is raising the question of whether something is right because God says it is right, or that God declares it right because it is right.

519 tn Some commentators take God to be the subject of this verb, but it is more likely that it refers to the mortal who tries to challenge God in a controversy. The verb is used of Job in 13:3.

520 tn The verb רִיב (riv) is a common one; it has the idea of “contention; dispute; legal dispute or controversy; go to law.” With the preposition אִם (’im) the idea must be “to contend with” or “to dispute with.” The preposition reflects the prepositional phrase “with God” in v. 2, supporting the view that man is the subject.

521 tn This use of the imperfect as potential imperfect assumes that the human is the subject, that in a dispute with God he could not answer one of God’s questions (for which see the conclusion of the book when God questions Job). On the other hand, if the interpretation were that God does not answer the demands of mortals, then a simple progressive imperfect would be required. In support of this is the frustration of Job that God does not answer him.

522 tn The genitive phrase translated “in heart” would be a genitive of specification, specifying that the wisdom of God is in his intelligent decisions.

sn The heart is the seat of intelligence and understanding, the faculty of decision making.

523 sn The words אַמִּיץ (’ammits) and כֹּחַ (koakh) are synonyms, the first meaning “sturdy; mighty; robust,” and the second “strength.” It too can be interpreted as a genitive of specification – God is mighty with respect to his power. But that comes close to expressing a superlative idea (like “song of songs” or “anger of his wrath”).

524 tn The first half of the verse simply has “wise of heart and mighty of strength.” The entire line is a casus pendens that will refer to the suffix on אֵלָיו (’elayv) in the second colon. So the question is “Who has resisted the one who is wise of heart and mighty of strength?” Again, the rhetorical question is affirming that no one has done this.

525 tn The verb is the Hiphil of the verb קָשָׁה (qashah, “to be hard”). It frequently is found with the word for “neck,” describing people as “stiff-necked,” i.e., stubborn, unbending. So the idea of resisting God fits well. The fact that this word occurs in Exodus with the idea of hardening the heart against God may indicate that there is an allusion to Pharaoh here.

526 tn The use of שָׁלֵם (shalem) in the Qal is rare. It has been translated “remain safe” by E. Dhorme, “survived” by the NEB, “remained unscathed” by the NAB and NIV, or “succeeded” by KJV, G. R. Driver.

527 tn The verb is plural: “they do not know it.” This suggests that the mountains would not know it. Some follow the Syriac with a singular verb, i.e., God does not know it, meaning, it is so trifling to God that he can do it without thinking. But the better interpretation may be “suddenly.” This would be interpreted from the MT as it stands; it would imply “before they know anything,” thus “suddenly” (Gray, Dhorme, Buttenwieser, et. al.). D. W. Thomas connects the meaning to another verb based on Arabic and translates it, “ so that they are no longer still” (“Additional Notes on the Root yada` in Hebrew,” JTS 15 [1964]: 54-57). J. A. Emerton works with a possible root יָדַע (yada’) meaning “be still” (“A Consideration of Some Alleged Meanings of yada` in Hebrew,” JSS 15 [1970]: 145-80).

528 sn This line beginning with the relative pronoun can either be read as a parallel description of God, or it can be subordinated by the relative pronoun to the first (“they do not know who overturned them”).

529 sn Shakes the earth out of its place probably refers to earthquakes, although some commentators protest against this in view of the idea of the pillars. In the ancient world the poetical view of the earth is that it was a structure on pillars, with water around it and under it. In an earthquake the pillars were shaken, and the earth moved.

530 tn The verb הִתְפַלָּצ (hitfallats) is found only here, but the root seems clearly to mean “to be tossed; to be thrown about,” and so in the Hitpael “quiver; shake; tremble.” One of the three nouns from this root is פַּלָּצוּת (pallatsut), the “shudder” that comes with terror (see Job 21:6; Isa 21:4; Ezek 7:18; and Ps 55:6).

531 tn The form could also be subordinated, “that it shine not” (see further GKC 323 §109.g).

532 tn The verb זָרַח (zarakh) means “rise.” This is the ordinary word for the sunrise. But here it probably has the idea of “shine; glisten,” which is also attested in Hebrew and Aramaic.

sn There are various views on the meaning of this line in this verse. Some think it refers to some mysterious darkness like the judgment in Egypt (Exod 10:21-23), or to clouds building (3:5), often in accompaniment of earthquakes (see Joel 2:10, 3:15-16; Isa 13:10-13). It could also refer to an eclipse. All this assumes that the phenomenon here is limited to the morning or the day; but it could simply be saying that God controls light and darkness.

533 tn The verb חָתַם (khatam) with בְּעַד (bÿad) before its complement, means “to seal; to wall up; to enclose.” This is a poetic way of saying that God prevents the stars from showing their light.

534 tn Or “marches forth.”

535 tn The reference is probably to the waves of the sea. This is the reading preserved in NIV and NAB, as well as by J. Crenshaw, “Wÿdorek `al-bamoteares,” CBQ 34 (1972): 39-53. But many see here a reference to Canaanite mythology. The marginal note in the RSV has “the back of the sea dragon.” The view would also see in “sea” the Ugaritic god Yammu.

536 sn The Hebrew has עָשׁ (’ash), although in 38:32 it is עַיִשׁ (’ayish). This has been suggested to be Aldebaran, a star in the constellation Taurus, but there have been many other suggestions put forward by the commentaries.

537 sn There is more certainty for the understanding of this word as Orion, even though there is some overlap of the usage of the words in the Bible. In classical literature we have the same stereotypical reference to these three (see E. Dhorme, Job, 131).

538 sn The identification of this as the Pleiades is accepted by most (the Vulgate has “Hyades”). In classical Greek mythology, the seven Pleiades were seven sisters of the Hyades who were pursued by Orion until they were changed into stars by Zeus. The Greek myth is probably derived from an older Semitic myth.

539 tn Heb “and the chambers of the south.”

540 tn Only slight differences exist between this verse and 5:9 which employs the simple ו (vav) conjunction before אֵין (’eyn) in the first colon and omits the ו (vav) conjunction before נִפְלָאוֹת (niflaot, “wonderful things”) in the second colon.

sn There is probably great irony in Job’s using this same verse as in 5:9. But Job’s meaning here is different than Eliphaz.

541 tn The NIV has “when” to form a temporal clause here. For the use of “if,” see GKC 497 §159.w.

542 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse are consistent with the clauses. In the conditional clauses a progressive imperfect is used, but in the following clauses the verbs are potential imperfects.

543 tn The pronoun “him” is supplied here; it is not in MT, but the Syriac and Vulgate have it (probably for translation purposes as well).

544 sn Like the mountains, Job knows that God has passed by and caused him to shake and tremble, but he cannot understand or perceive the reasons.

545 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 133) surveys the usages and concludes that the verb חָתַף (khataf) normally describes the wicked actions of a man, especially by treachery or trickery against another. But a verb חָתַף (khataf) is found nowhere else; a noun “robber” is found in Prov 23:28. Dhorme sees no reason to emend the text, because he concludes that the two verbs are synonymous. Job is saying that if God acts like a plunderer, there is no one who can challenge what he does.

546 tn The verb is the Hiphil imperfect (potential again) from שׁוּב (shuv). In this stem it can mean “turn back, refute, repel” (BDB 999 s.v. Hiph.5).

547 sn The meaning of the line is that God’s anger will continue until it has accomplished its purpose (23:13-14).

548 sn “Rahab” is not to be confused with the harlot of the same name from Jericho. “Rahab” is identified with Tiamat of the Babylonian creation epic, or Leviathan of the Canaanite myths. It is also used in parallelism to the sea (26:12), or the Red Sea (Ps 74:13), and so comes to symbolize Egypt (Isa 30:7). In the Babylonian Creation Epic there is reference to the helpers of Tiamat. In the Bible the reference is only to the raging sea, which the Lord controlled at creation.

549 tn The verb שָׁחַח (shakhakh) means “to be prostrate” or “to crouch.” Here the enemies are prostrate under the feet of God – they are crushed.

550 tn The construction אַף כִּי־אָנֹכִי (’af kianokhi) is an expression that means either “how much more” or “how much less.” Here it has to mean “how much less,” for if powerful forces like Rahab are crushed beneath God’s feet, how could Job contend with him?

551 tn The imperfect verb here is to be taken with the nuance of a potential imperfect. The idea of “answer him” has a legal context, i.e., answering God in a court of law. If God is relentless in his anger toward greater powers, then Job realizes it is futile for him.

552 sn In a legal controversy with God it would be essential to choose the correct words very carefully (humanly speaking); but the calmness and presence of mind to do that would be shattered by the overwhelming terror of God’s presence.

553 tn The verb is supplied in this line.

554 tn The preposition אִם (’im, “with”) carries the idea of “in contest with” in a number of passages (compare vv. 2, 3; 16:21).

555 tn The LXX goes a different way after changing the first person to the third: “Oh then that he would hearken to me, or judge my cause.”

556 tn The line begins with אֲשֶׁר (’asher, “which”), which is omitted in the LXX and the Syriac. The particle אִם (’im) can introduce a concessive clause (GKC 498 §160.a) or a conditional clause (GKC 495 §159.n). The idea here seems to be “even if I were…I could not….”

557 tn The verb is צָדַקְתִּי (tsadaqti, “I am right [or “righteous”]”). The term here must be forensic, meaning “in the right” or “innocent” (see 11:2; 13:18; 33:12; 40:8). Job is claiming to be in the right, but still has difficulty speaking to God.

558 tn The form is the Qal imperfect of the verb “answer.” As the text stands, Job is saying that he cannot answer or could not answer (contend with) God if given a chance. Some commentators think a Niphal fits better here: “I am not answered,” meaning God does not reply to him. This has the LXX, the Syriac, and Theodotion in support of it. The advantage would be to avoid the repetition of the same word from v. 14. But others rightly reject this, because all Job is saying here is that he would be too overwhelmed by God to answer him in court. The LXX change to a passive is understandable in that it would be seeking a different idea in this verse and without vocalization might have assumed a passive voice here.

559 tn The verb אֶתְחַנָּן (’etkhannan) is the Hitpael of חָנַן (khanan), meaning “seek favor,” make supplication,” or “plead for mercy.” The nuance would again be a modal nuance; if potential, then the translation would be “I could [only] plead for mercy.”

560 tn The word מְשֹׁפְטִי (mÿshofti) appears to be simply “my judge.” But most modern interpretations take the po‘el participle to mean “my adversary in a court of law.” Others argue that the form is at least functioning as a noun and means “judge” (see 8:5). This would fit better with the idea of appealing for mercy from God. The dilemma of Job, of course, is that the Lord would be both his adversary in the case and his judge.

561 sn The idea of “answer” in this line is that of responding to the summons, i.e., appearing in court. This preterite and the perfect before it have the nuance of hypothetical perfects since they are in conditional clauses (GKC 330 §111.x). D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 219) translates literally, “If I should call and he should answer.”

562 tn The Hiphil imperfect in the apodosis of this conditional sentence expresses what would (not) happen if God answered the summons.

563 tn The relative pronoun indicates that this next section is modifying God, the Judge. Job does not believe that God would respond or listen to him, because this is the one who is crushing him.

564 tn The verb יְשׁוּפֵנִי (yÿshufeni) is the same verb that is used in Gen 3:15 for the wounding of the serpent. The Targum to Job, the LXX, and the Vulgate all translate it “to crush; to pound,” or “to bruise.” The difficulty for many exegetes is that this is to be done “with a tempest.” The Syriac and Targum Job see a different vocalization and read “with a hair.” The text as it stands is understandable and so no change is needed. The fact that the word “tempest” is written with a different sibilant in other places in Job is not greatly significant in this consideration.

565 tn חִנָּם (khinnam) is adverbial, meaning “gratuitously, without a cause, for no reason, undeservedly.” See its use in 2:4.

566 tn The verb נָתַן (natan) essentially means “to give”; but followed by the infinitive (without the ל [lamed] here) it means “to permit; to allow.”

567 tn The Hiphil of the verb means “to bring back”; with the object “my breath,” it means “get my breath” or simply “breathe.” The infinitive is here functioning as the object of the verb (see GKC 350 §114.m).

568 sn The meaning of the word is “to satiate; to fill,” as in “drink to the full, be satisfied.” Job is satiated – in the negative sense – with bitterness. There is no room for more.

569 tn The MT has only “if of strength.”

570 tn “Most certainly” translates the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh).

571 tn The question could be taken as “who will summon me?” (see Jer 49:19 and 50:44). This does not make immediate sense. Some have simply changed the suffix to “who will summon him.” If the MT is retained, then supplying something like “he will say” could make the last clause fit the whole passage. Another option is to take it as “Who will reveal it to me?” – i.e., Job could be questioning his friends’ qualifications for being God’s emissaries to bring God’s charges against him (cf. KJV, NKJV; and see 10:2 where Job uses the same verb in the Hiphil to request that God reveal what his sin has been that has led to his suffering).

sn Job is saying that whether it is a trial of strength or an appeal to justice, he is unable to go against God.

572 tn The idea is the same as that expressed in v. 15, although here the imperfect verb is used and not the perfect. Once again with the concessive clause (“although I am right”) Job knows that in a legal dispute he would be confused and would end up arguing against himself.

573 tn Some commentators wish to change this to “his mouth,” meaning God’s response to Job’s complaints. But the MT is far more expressive, and “my mouth” fits the context in which Job is saying that even though he is innocent, if he spoke in a court setting in the presence of God he would be overwhelmed, confused, and no doubt condemn himself.

574 tn The verb has the declarative sense in the Hiphil, “to declare guilty [or wicked]” or “to condemn.”

575 tn The verb עָקַשׁ (’aqash) means “to be twisted; to be tortuous.” The Piel has a meaning “to bend; to twist” (Mic 3:9) and “to pervert” (Jer 59:8). The form here is classified as a Hiphil, with the softening of the vowel i (see GKC 147 §53.n). It would then also be a declarative use of the Hiphil.

576 tn Dhorme, in an effort to avoid tautology, makes this a question: “Am I blameless?” The next clause then has Job answering that he does not know. But through the last section Job has been proclaiming his innocence. The other way of interpreting these verses is to follow NIV and make all of them hypothetical (“If I were blameless, he would pronounce me guilty”) and then come to this verse with Job saying, “I am blameless.” The second clause of this verse does not fit either view very well. In vv. 20, 21, and 22 Job employs the same term for “blameless” (תָּם, tam) as in the prologue (1:1). God used it to describe Job in 1:8 and 2:3. Bildad used it in 8:20. These are the final occurrences in the book.

577 tn The meaning of the expression “I do not know myself” seems to be, “I do not care.” NIV translates it, “I have no concern for my life.”

sn Job believes he is blameless and not deserving of all this suffering; he will hold fast to that claim, even if the future is uncertain, especially if that future involved a confrontation with God.

578 tc The LXX omits the phrase “It is all one.” Modern scholars either omit it or transpose it for clarity.

sn The expression “it is one” means that God’s dealings with people is undiscriminating. The number “one” could also be taken to mean “the same” – “it is all the same.” The implication is that it does not matter if Job is good or evil, if he lives or dies. This is the conclusion of the preceding section.

579 tn The relationships of these clauses is in some question. Some think that the poet has inverted the first two, and so they should read, “That is why I have said: ‘It is all one.’” Others would take the third clause to be what was said.

580 tc The LXX contains a paraphrase: “for the worthless die, but the righteous are laughed to scorn.”

sn The point of these verses is to show – rather boldly – that God does not distinguish between the innocent and the guilty.

581 sn This bold anthropomorphism means that by his treatment of the despair of the innocent, God is in essence mocking them.

582 tn The term מַסַּת (massat), a hapax legomenon, was translated “trial” in the older versions; but it is not from נָסָה (nasah, “to tempt; to test; to try”), but from מָסַס (masas, “to flow”). It is used in the Niphal to speak of the heart “melting” in suffering. So the idea behind this image is that of despair. This is the view that most interpreters adopt; it requires no change of the text whatsoever.

583 sn Job uses this word to refute Eliphaz; cf. 4:7.

584 tn Some would render this “earth,” meaning the whole earth, and having the verse be a general principle for all mankind. But Job may have in mind the more specific issue of individual land.

585 sn The details of the verse are not easy to explain, but the meaning of the whole verse seems to be about the miscarriage of justice in the courts and the failure of God to do anything about it.

586 tn The subject of the verb is God. The reasoning goes this way: it is the duty of judges to make sure that justice prevails, that restitution and restoration are carried through; but when the wicked gain control of the land of other people, and the judges are ineffective to stop it, then God must be veiling their eyes.

587 sn That these words are strong, if not wild, is undeniable. But Job is only taking the implications of his friends’ speeches to their logical conclusion – if God dispenses justice in the world, and there is no justice, then God is behind it all. The LXX omitted these words, perhaps out of reverence for God.

588 tn This seems to be a broken-off sentence (anacoluthon), and so is rather striking. The scribes transposed the words אֵפוֹא (’efo’) and הוּא (hu’) to make the smoother reading: “If it is not he, who then is it?”

589 tn The text has “and my days” following the thoughts in the previous section.

590 sn Job returns to the thought of the brevity of his life (7:6). But now the figure is the swift runner instead of the weaver’s shuttle.

591 tn Heb “they flee.”

592 tn The word אֵבֶה (’eveh) means “reed, papyrus,” but it is a different word than was in 8:11. What is in view here is a light boat made from bundles of papyrus that glides swiftly along the Nile (cf. Isa 18:2 where papyrus vessels and swiftness are associated).

593 tn The verb יָטוּשׂ (yatus) is also a hapax legomenon; the Aramaic cognate means “to soar; to hover in flight.” The sentence here requires the idea of swooping down while in flight.

594 tn Heb “food.”

595 tn The construction here uses the infinitive construct with a pronominal suffix – “if my saying” is this, or “if I say.” For the conditional clause using אִם (’im) with a noun clause, see GKC 496 §159.u.

596 tn The verbal form is a cohortative of resolve: “I will forget” or “I am determined to forget.” The same will be used in the second colon of the verse.

597 tn Heb “I will abandon my face,” i.e., change my expression. The construction here is unusual; G. R. Driver connected it to an Arabic word ‘adaba, “made agreeable” (IV), and so interpreted this line to mean “make my countenance pleasant” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 76). M. Dahood found a Ugaritic root meaning “make, arrange” (“The Root ’zb II in Job,” JBL 78 [1959]: 303-9), and said, “I will arrange my face.” But see H. G. Williamson, “A Reconsideration of `azab II in Ugaritic,” ZAW 87 (1985): 74-85; Williamson shows it is probably not a legitimate cognate. D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 219) observes that with all these suggestions there are too many homonyms for the root. The MT construction is still plausible.

598 tn In the Hiphil of בָּלַג (balag) corresponds to Arabic balija which means “to shine” and “to be merry.” The shining face would signify cheerfulness and smiling. It could be translated “and brighten [my face].”

599 tn The word was used in Job 3:25; it has the idea of “dread, fear, tremble at.” The point here is that even if Job changes his appearance, he still dreads the sufferings, because he knows that God is treating him as a criminal.

600 sn See Job 7:15; see also the translation by G. Perles, “I tremble in every nerve” (“The Fourteenth Edition of Gesenius-Buhl’s Dictionary,” JQR 18 [1905/06]: 383-90).

601 tn The conjunction “for” is supplied in the translation.

602 sn A. B. Davidson (Job, 73) appropriately notes that Job’s afflictions were the proof of his guilt in the estimation of God. If God held him innocent, he would remove the afflictions.

603 tn The clause simply has “I am guilty.” It is the same type of construction found in v. 24. It is also the opposite of that in v. 20. GKC 317 §107.n lists this as an example of the use of the imperfect to express an obligation or necessity according to the judgment of others; it would therefore mean “if I am to be guilty.”

604 tn The demonstrative pronoun is included to bring particular emphasis to the question, as if to say, “Why in the world…” (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 24, §118).

605 tn The verb means “tire oneself”; see 3:17.

606 tn Here הֶבֶל (hevel, “breath, vapor, vanity”) is used as an adverb (adverbial accusative).

607 tn The Syriac and Targum Job read with the Qere “with water of [בְמֵי, bÿme] snow.” The Kethib simply has “in [בְמוֹ, bÿmo] snow.” In Ps 51:9 and Isa 1:18 snow forms a simile for purification. Some protest that snow water is not necessarily clean; but if fresh melting snow is meant, then the runoff would be very clear. The image would work well here. Nevertheless, others have followed the later Hebrew meaning for שֶׁלֶג (sheleg) – “soap” (so NIV, NRSV, NLT). Even though that makes a nice parallelism, it is uncertain whether that meaning was in use at the time this text was written.

608 tn The word בֹּר (bor, “lye, potash”) does not refer to purity (Syriac, KJV, ASV), but refers to the ingredient used to make the hands pure or clean. It has the same meaning as בֹּרִית (borit), the alkali or soda made from the ashes of certain plants.

609 tn The pointing in the MT gives the meaning “pit” or “ditch.” A number of expositors change the pointing to שֻׁחוֹת (shukhot) to obtain the equivalent of שֻׂחוֹת (sukhot) / סֻחוֹת (sukhot): “filth” (Isa 5:25). This would make the contrast vivid – Job has just washed with pure water and soap, and now God plunges him into filth. M. H. Pope argues convincingly that the word “pit” in the MT includes the idea of “filth,” making the emendation unnecessary (“The Word sahat in Job 9:31,” JBL 83 [1964]: 269-78).

610 tn The personal pronoun that would be expected as the subject of a noun clause is sometimes omitted (see GKC 360 §116.s). Here it has been supplied.

611 tn The consecutive clause is here attached without the use of the ו (vav), but only by simple juxtaposition (see GKC 504-5 §166.a).

612 tn The sense of the verb “come” with “together in judgment” means “to confront one another in court.” See Ps 143:2.

613 tn The participle מוֹכִיחַ (mokhiakh) is the “arbiter” or “mediator.” The word comes from the verb יָכַח (yakhakh, “decide, judge”), which is concerned with legal and nonlegal disputes. The verbal forms can be used to describe the beginning of a dispute, the disputation in progress, or the settling of it (here, and in Isa 1:18).

sn The old translation of “daysman” came from a Latin expression describing the fixing of a day for arbitration.

614 tn The relative pronoun is understood in this clause.

615 tn The jussive in conditional sentences retains its voluntative sense: let something be so, and this must happen as a consequence (see GKC 323 §109.i).

616 sn The idiom of “lay his hand on the two of us” may come from a custom of a judge putting his hands on the two in order to show that he is taking them both under his jurisdiction. The expression can also be used for protection (see Ps 139:5). Job, however, has a problem in that the other party is God, who himself will be arbiter in judgment.

617 tn The verse probably continues the description from the last verse, and so a relative pronoun may be supplied here as well.

618 tn According to some, the reference of this suffix would be to God. The arbiter would remove the rod of God from Job. But others take it as a separate sentence with God removing his rod.

619 sn The “rod” is a symbol of the power of God to decree whatever judgments and afflictions fall upon people.

620 tn “His terror” is metonymical; it refers to the awesome majesty of God that overwhelms Job and causes him to be afraid.

621 tn There is no conjunction with this cohortative; but the implication from the context is that if God’s rod were withdrawn, if the terror were removed, then Job would speak up without fear.

622 tn The last half of the verse is rather cryptic: “but not so I with me.” NIV renders it “but as it now stands with me, I cannot.” This is very smooth and interpretive. Others transpose the two halves of the verse to read, “Since it is not so, I with myself // will commune and not fear him.” Job would be saying that since he cannot contend with God on equal terms, and since there is no arbiter, he will come on his own terms. English versions have handled this differently: “for I know I am not what I am thought to be” (NEB); “since this is not the case with me” (NAB); “I do not see myself like that at all” (JB).

623 tn The Hebrew has נַפְשִׁי (nafshi), usually rendered “my soul.”

624 tn The verb is pointed like a Qal form but is originally a Niphal from קוּט (qut). Some wish to connect the word to Akkadian cognates for a meaning “I am in anguish”; but the meaning “I am weary” fits the passage well.

625 tn The verb עָזַב (’azav) means “to abandon.” It may have an extended meaning of “to let go” or “to let slip.” But the expression “abandon to myself” means to abandon all restraint and give free course to the complaint.

626 tn The negated jussive is the Hiphil jussive of רָשַׁע (rasha’); its meaning then would be literally “do not declare me guilty.” The negated jussive stresses the immediacy of the request.

627 tn The Hiphil imperative of יָדַע (yada’) would more literally be “cause me to know.” It is a plea for God to help him understand the afflictions.

628 tn The verb is רִיב (riv), meaning “to dispute; to contend; to strive; to quarrel” – often in the legal sense. The precise words chosen in this verse show that the setting is legal. The imperfect verb here is progressive, expressing what is currently going on.

629 tn Or “Does it give you pleasure?” The expression could also mean, “Is it profitable for you?” or “Is it fitting for you?”

630 tn The construction uses כִּי (ki) with the imperfect verb – “that you oppress.” Technically, this clause serves as the subject, and “good” is the predicate adjective. In such cases one often uses an English infinitive to capture the point: “Is it good for you to oppress?” The LXX changes the meaning considerably: “Is it good for you if I am unrighteous, for you have disowned the work of your hands.”

631 tn Heb “that you despise.”

632 tn Now, in the second half of the verse, there is a change in the structure. The conjunction on the preposition followed by the perfect verb represents a circumstantial clause.

633 tn The Hiphil of the verb יָפַע (yafa’) means “shine.” In this context the expression “you shine upon” would mean “have a glowing expression,” be radiant, or smile.

634 tn Here “flesh” is the sign of humanity. The expression “eyes of flesh” means essentially “human eyes,” i.e., the outlook and vision of humans.

635 sn The verb translated “see” could also include the figurative category of perceive as well. The answer to Job’s question is found in 1 Sam 16:7: “The Lord sees not as a man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

636 sn In this verse Job asks whether or not God is liable to making mistakes or errors of judgment. He wonders if God has no more insight than his friends have. Of course, the questions are rhetorical, for he knows otherwise. But his point is that God seems to be making a big mistake here.

637 tn The Hebrew has repeated here “like the days of,” but some scholars think that this was an accidental replacement of what should be here, namely, “like the years of.” D. J. A. Clines notes that such repetition is not uncommon in Job, but suggests that the change should be made for English style even if the text is not emended (Job [WBC], 221). This has been followed in the present translation.

sn The question Job asks concerns the mode of life and not just the length of it (see Job 7:1). Humans spend their days and years watching each other and defending themselves. But there is also the implication that if God is so limited like humans he may not uncover Job’s sins before he dies.

638 tn The clause seems to go naturally with v. 4: do you have eyes of flesh…that you have to investigate? For that reason some like Duhm would delete v. 5. But v. 5 adds to the premise: are you also like a human running out of time that you must try to find out my sin?

639 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse are best given modal nuances. Does God have such limitations that he must make such an investigation? H. H. Rowley observes that Job implies that God has not yet found the iniquity, or extracted a confession from him (Job [NCBC], 84).

640 tn Heb עַל־דַּעְתְּךָ (’al datÿkha, “upon your knowledge”). The use of the preposition means basically “in addition to your knowledge,” or “in spite of your knowledge,” i.e., “notwithstanding” or “although” (see GKC 383 §119.aa, n. 2).

641 tn Heb “and there is no deliverer.”

sn The fact is that humans are the work of God’s hands. They are helpless in the hand of God. But it is also unworthy of God to afflict his people.

642 tn The root עָצַב (’atsav) is linked by some to an Arabic word meaning “to cut out, hew.” The derived word עֲצַבִּים (’atsabbim) means “idols.” Whatever the precise meaning, the idea is that God formed or gave shape to mankind in creation.

643 tn The verb in this part is a preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive. However, here it has merely an external connection with the preceding perfects, so that in reality it presents an antithesis (see GKC 327 §111.e).

644 tn Heb “together round about and you destroy me.” The second half of this verse is very difficult. Most commentators follow the LXX and connect the first two words with the second colon as the MT accents indicate (NJPS, “then destroyed every part of me”), rather than with the first colon (“and made me complete,” J. E. Hartley, Job [NICOT], 185). Instead of “together” some read “after.” Others see in סָבִיב (saviv) not so much an adjectival use but a verbal or adverbial use: “you turn and destroy” or “you destroy utterly (all around).” This makes more sense than “turn.” In addition, the verb form in the line is the preterite with vav consecutive; this may be another example of the transposition of the copula (see 4:6). For yet another option (“You have engulfed me about altogether”), see R. Fuller, “Exodus 21:22: The Miscarriage Interpretation and the Personhood of the Fetus,” JETS 37 (1994): 178.

645 tn The preposition “like” creates a small tension here. So some ignore the preposition and read “clay” as an adverbial accusative of the material (GKC 371 §117.hh but cf. 379 §119.i with reference to beth essentiae: “as it were, by clay”). The NIV gets around the problem with a different meaning for the verb: “you molded me like clay.” Some suggest the meaning was “as [with] clay” (in the same manner that we have “as [in] the day of Midian” [Isa 9:4]).

646 tn The text has a conjunction: “and to dust….”

647 tn The verb נָתַךְ (natakh) means “to flow,” and in the Hiphil, “to cause to flow.”

648 tn This verb קָפָא (qafa’) means “to coagulate.” In the Hiphil it means “to stiffen; to congeal.”

649 tn The verbs in v. 10 are prefixed conjugations; since the reference is to the womb, these would need to be classified as preterites.

sn These verses figuratively describe the formation of the embryo in the womb.

650 tn The skin and flesh form the exterior of the body and so the image of “clothing” is appropriate. Once again the verb is the prefixed conjugation, expressing what God did.

651 tn This verb is found only here (related nouns are common) and in the parallel passage of Ps 139:13. The word סָכַךְ (sakhakh), here a Poel prefixed conjugation (preterite), means “to knit together.” The implied comparison is that the bones and sinews form the tapestry of the person (compare other images of weaving the life).

652 tn Heb “you made with me.”

653 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 150) suggests that the relation between these two words is like a hendiadys. In other words, “life,” which he says is made prominent by the shift of the copula, specifies the nature of the grace. He renders it “the favor of life.” D. J. A. Clines at least acknowledges that the expression “you showed loyal love with me” is primary. There are many other attempts to improve the translation of this unusual combination.

654 tn The noun פְּקָָֻדּה (pÿquddah), originally translated “visitation,” actually refers to any divine intervention for blessing on the life. Here it would include the care and overseeing of the life of Job. “Providence” may be too general for the translation, but it is not far from the meaning of this line. The LXX has “your oversight.”

655 sn “These things” refers to the affliction that God had brought on Job. They were concealed by God from the beginning.

656 sn The meaning of the line is that this was God’s purpose all along. “These things” and “this” refer to the details that will now be given in the next few verses.

657 sn The contradiction between how God had provided for and cared for Job’s life and how he was now dealing with him could only be resolved by Job with the supposition that God had planned this severe treatment from the first as part of his plan.

658 sn The verbs “guilty” and “innocent” are actually the verbs “I am wicked,” and “I am righteous.”

659 tn The exclamation occurs only here and in Mic 7:1.

660 sn The action of lifting up the head is a symbol of pride and honor and self-respect (Judg 8:28) – like “hold your head high.” In 11:15 the one who is at peace with God lifts his head (face).

661 tn The expression שְׂבַע קָלוֹן (sÿvaqalon) may be translated “full of shame.” The expression literally means “sated of ignominy” (or contempt [קַלַל, qalal]).

662 tn The last clause is difficult to fit into the verse. It translates easily enough: “and see my affliction.” Many commentators follow the suggestion of Geiger to read רְוֶה (rÿveh, “watered with”) instead of רְאֵה (rÿeh, “see”). This could then be interpreted adjectivally and parallel to the preceding line: “steeped/saturated with affliction.” This would also delete the final yod as dittography (E. Dhorme, Job, 152). But D. J. A. Clines notes more recent interpretations that suggest the form in the text is an orthographic variant of raweh meaning “satiated.” This makes any emendation unnecessary (and in fact that idea of “steeped” was not helpful any way because it indicated imbibing rather than soaking). The NIV renders it “and drowned in my affliction” although footnoting the other possibility from the MT, “aware of my affliction” (assuming the form could be adjectival). The LXX omits the last line.

663 tn The MT has the 3rd person of the verb, “and he lifts himself up.” One might assume that the subject is “my head” – but that is rather far removed from the verb. It appears that Job is talking about himself in some way. Some commentators simply emend the text to make it first person. This has the support of Targum Job, which would be expected since it would be interpreting the passage in its context (see D. M. Stec, “The Targum Rendering of WYG’H in Job X 16,” VT 34 [1984]: 367-8). Pope and Gordis make the word adjectival, modifying the subject: “proudly you hunt me,” but support is lacking. E. Dhorme thinks the line should be parallel to the two preceding it, and so suggests יָגֵּעַ (yagea’, “exhausted”) for יִגְאֶה (yigeh, “lift up”). The contextual argument is that Job has said that he cannot raise his head, but if he were to do so, God would hunt him down. God could be taken as the subject of the verb if the text is using enallage (shifting of grammatical persons within a discourse) for dramatic effect. Perhaps the initial 3rd person was intended with respect within a legal context of witnesses and a complaint, but was switched to 2nd person for direct accusation.

664 sn There is some ambiguity here: Job could be the lion being hunted by God, or God could be hunting Job like a lion hunts its prey. The point of the line is clear in either case.

665 tn The text uses two verbs without a coordinating conjunction: “then you return, you display your power.” This should be explained as a verbal hendiadys, the first verb serving adverbially in the clause (see further GKC 386-87 §120.g).

666 tn The form is the Hitpael of פָּלָא (pala’, “to be wonderful; to be surpassing; to be extraordinary”). Here in this stem it has the sense of “make oneself admirable, surpassing” or “render oneself powerful, glorious.” The text is ironic; the word that described God’s marvelous creation of Job is here used to describe God’s awesome destruction of Job.

667 tn The text has “you renew/increase your witnesses.” This would probably mean Job’s sufferings, which were witness to his sins. But some suggested a different word here, one that is cognate to Arabic ’adiya, “to be an enemy; to be hostile”: thus “you renew your hostility against me.” Less convincing are suggestions that the word is cognate to Ugaritic “troops” (see W. G. E. Watson, “The Metaphor in Job 10,17,” Bib 63 [1982]: 255-57).

668 tn The Hebrew simply says “changes and a host are with me.” The “changes and a host” is taken as a hendiadys, meaning relieving troops (relief troops of the army). The two words appear together again in 14:14, showing that emendation is to be avoided. The imagery depicts blow after blow from God – always fresh attacks.

669 tn The two imperfect verbs in this section are used to stress regrets for something which did not happen (see GKC 317 §107.n).

670 sn This means “If only I had never come into existence.”

671 tn Heb “are not my days few; cease/let it cease….” The versions have “the days of my life” (reading יְמֵי חֶלְדִי [yÿme kheldi] instead of יָמַי וַחֲדָל [yamay vakhadal]). Many commentators and the RSV, NAB, and NRSV accept this reading. The Kethib is an imperfect or jussive, “let it cease/ it will cease.” The Qere is more intelligible for some interpreters – “cease” (as in 7:16). For a discussion of the readings, see D. W. Thomas, “Some Observations on the Hebrew Root hadal,” VTSup 4 [1057]: 14). But the text is not impossible as it stands.

672 tn Taking the form as the imperative with the ו (vav), the sentence follows the direct address to God (as in v. 18 as well as 7:16). This requires less changes. See the preceding note regarding the plausibility of the jussive. The point of the verse is clear in either reading – his life is short, and he wants the suffering to stop.

673 tn In the different suggestions for the line, the י (yod) of this word is believed to belong to the preceding word making “my life.” That would here leave an imperative rather than an imperfect. But if the Qere is read, then it would be an imperative anyway, and there would be no reason for the change.

674 tn Heb “put from me,” an expression found nowhere else. The Qere has a ו (vav) and not a י (yod), forming an imperative rather than an imperfect. H. H. Rowley suggests that there is an ellipsis here, “hand” needing to be supplied. Job wanted God to take his hand away from him. That is plausible, but difficult.

675 tn The verb בָּלַג (balag) in the Hiphil means “to have cheer [or joy]” (see 7:27; Ps 39:14). The cohortative following the imperatives shows the purpose or result – “in order that.”

676 sn The verbs are simple, “I go” and “I return”; but Job clearly means before he dies. A translation of “depart” comes closer to communicating this. The second verb may be given a potential imperfect translation to capture the point. The NIV offered more of an interpretive paraphrase: “before I go to the place of no return.”

677 tn See Job 3:5.

678 tn The word סֵדֶר (seder, “order”) occurs only here in the Bible. G. R. Driver found a new meaning in Arabic sadira, “dazzled by the glare” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 76-77); this would mean “without a ray of light.” This is accepted by those who see chaos out of place in this line. But the word “order” is well-attested in later Hebrew (see J. Carmignac, “Précisions aportées au vocabulaire d’hébreu biblique par La guerre des fils de lumière contre les fils de ténèbres,” VT 5 [1955]: 345-65).

679 tn The Hebrew word literally means “it shines”; the feminine verb implies a subject like “the light” (but see GKC 459 §144.c).

680 tn The verse multiplies images for the darkness in death. Several commentators omit “as darkness, deep darkness” (כְּמוֹ אֹפֶל צַלְמָוֶת, kÿmoofel tsalmavet) as glosses on the rare word עֵיפָתָה (’efatah, “darkness”) drawn from v. 21 (see also RSV). The verse literally reads: “[to the] land of darkness, like the deep darkness of the shadow of death, without any order, and the light is like the darkness.”

681 sn Zophar begins with a strong rebuke of Job with a wish that God would speak (2-6); he then reflects for a few verses on the unsearchable wisdom of God (7-12); and finally, he advises Job that the way to restoration is repentance (13-20).

682 tc The LXX, Targum Job, Symmachus, and Vulgate all assume that the vocalization of רֹב (rov, “abundance”) should be רַב (rav, “great”): “great of words.” This would then mean “one who is abundant of words,” meaning, “a man of many words,” and make a closer parallel to the second half. But the MT makes good sense as it stands.

tn There is no article or demonstrative with the word; it has been added here simply to make a smoother connection between the chapters.

683 tn The Niphal verb יֵעָנֶה (yeaneh, “he answered”) would normally require a personal subject, but “abundance” functions as the subject in this sentence. The nuance of the imperfect is obligatory.

684 tn The word is supplied here also for clarification.

685 tn The bound construction “man of lips” means “a boaster” or “proud talker” (attributive genitive; and see GKC 417 §128.t). Zophar is saying that Job pours out this stream of words, but he is still not right.

686 tn The word is literally “be right, righteous.” The idea of being right has appeared before for this word (cf. 9:15). The point here is that just because Job talks a lot does not mean he is right or will be shown to be right through it all.

687 tn The word means “chatter, pratings, boastings” (see Isa 16:6; Jer 48:30).

688 tn The verb חָרַשׁ (kharash) in the Hiphil means “to silence” (41:4); here it functions in a causative sense, “reduce to silence.”

689 tn The form מַכְלִם (makhlim, “humiliating, mocking”) is the Hiphil participle. The verb כָּלַם (kalam) has the meaning “cover with shame, insult” (Job 20:3).

690 tn The construction shows the participle to be in the circumstantial clause: “will you mock – and [with] no one rebuking.”

691 tn The word translated “teaching” is related etymologically to the Hebrew word “receive,” but that does not restrict the teaching to what is received.

692 tn The wish formula מִי־יִתֵּן (mi yitten, “who will give”; see GKC 477 §151.b) is followed here by an infinitive (Exod 16:3; 2 Sam 19:1).

693 sn Job had expressed his eagerness to challenge God; Zophar here wishes that God would take up that challenge.

694 tn The text seems to be saying “that it [wisdom] is double in understanding.” The point is that it is different than Job conceived it – it far exceeded all perception. But some commentators have thought this still too difficult, and so have replaced the word כִפְלַיִם (khiflayim, “two sides”) with כִפְלָאִים (khiflaim, “like wonders,” or, more simply, “wonders” without the preposition). But it is still a little strange to talk about God’s wisdom being like wonders. Others have had more radical changes in the text; J. J. Slotki has “for sound wisdom is his. And know that double [punishment] shall God exact of you” (“Job 11:6,” VT 35 [1985]: 229-30).

695 tn The verb is the imperative with a ו (vav). Following the jussive, this clause would be subordinated to the preceding (see GKC 325 §110.i).

696 tn Heb “God causes to be forgotten for you part of your iniquity.” The meaning is that God was exacting less punishment from Job than Job deserved, for Job could not remember all his sins. This statement is fitting for Zophar, who is the cruelest of Job’s friends (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 88). Others in an attempt to improve the text make too many unwarranted changes. Some would read יִשְׁאָלְךָ (yishalkha, “he asks of you”) instead of יַשֶּׂה לְךָ (yasseh lÿka, “he causes to be forgotten for you”). This would mean that God demands an account of Job’s sin. But, as D. J. A. Clines says, this change is weak and needless (Job [WBC], 254-55).

697 tn The verb is מָצָא (matsa’, “to find; to discover”). Here it should be given the nuance of potential imperfect. And, in the rhetorical question it is affirming that Job cannot find out the essence of God.

698 tn The word means “search; investigation”; but it here means what is discovered in the search (so a metonymy of cause for the effect).

699 tn The same verb is now found in the second half of the verse, with a slightly different sense – “attain, reach.” A. R. Ceresko notes this as an example of antanaclasis (repetition of a word with a lightly different sense – “find/attain”). See “The Function of Antanaclasis in Hebrew Poetry,” CBQ 44 (1982): 560-61.

700 tn The abstract תַּכְלִית (takhlit) from כָּלָה (kalah, “to be complete; to be perfect”) may mean the end or limit of something, perhaps to perfection. So the NIV has “can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” The LXX has: “have you come to the end of that which the Almighty has made?”

701 tn The Hebrew says “heights of heaven, what can you do?” A. B. Davidson suggested this was an exclamation and should be left that way. But most commentators will repoint גָּבְהֵי שָׁמַיִם (govhe shamayim, “heights of heaven”) to גְּבֹהָה מִשָּׁמַיִם (gÿvohah mishamayim, “higher than the heavens”) to match the parallel expression. The LXX may have rearranged the text: “heaven is high.”

702 tn Or “deeper than hell.” The word “Sheol” always poses problems for translation. Here because it is the opposite of heaven in this merism, “hell” would be a legitimate translation. It refers to the realm of the dead – the grave and beyond. The language is excessive; but the point is that God’s wisdom is immeasurable – and Job is powerless before it.

703 tn The verb יַחֲלֹף (yakhalof) is literally “passes by/through” (NIV “comes along” in the sense of “if it should so happen”). Many accept the emendation to יַחְתֹּף (yakhtof, “he seizes,” cf. Gordis, Driver), but there is not much support for these.

704 tn The verb is the Hiphil of סָגַר (sagar, “to close; to shut”) and so here in this context it probably means something like “to shut in; to confine.” But this is a difficult meaning, and the sentence is cryptic. E. Dhorme (Job, 162) thinks this word and the next have to be antithetical, and so he suggests from a meaning “to keep confined” the idea of keeping a matter secret; and with the next verb, “to convene an assembly,” he offers “to divulge it.”

705 tn The pronoun “you” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation.

706 tn The denominative Hiphil of קָהָל (qahal, “an assembly”) has the idea of “to convene an assembly.” In this context there would be the legal sense of convening a court, i.e., calling Job to account (D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 255). See E. Ullendorff, “The Meaning of QHLT,” VT 12 (1962): 215; he defines the verb also as “argue, rebuke.”

707 tn The verb means “turn him back.” Zophar uses Job’s own words (see 9:12).

708 tn The pronoun is emphatic implying that Zophar indicates that God indeed knows Job’s sin even if Job does not.

709 tn The expression is literally “men of emptiness” (see Ps 26:4). These are false men, for שָׁוְא (shavÿ’) can mean “vain, empty, or false, deceitful.”

710 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 162) reads the prepositional phrase “to him” rather than the negative; he translates the line as “he sees iniquity and observes it closely.”

711 tn Some commentators do not take this last clause as a question, but simply as a statement, namely, that when God sees evil he does not need to ponder or consider it – he knows it instantly. In that case it would be a circumstantial clause: “without considering it.” D. J. A. Clines lists quite an array of other interpretations for the line (Job [WBC], 255); for example, “and he is himself unobserved”; taking the word לֹא (lo’) as an emphatic; taking the negative as a noun, “considering them as nothing”; and others that change the verb to “they do not understand it.” But none of these are compelling; they offer no major improvement.

712 tn As A. B. Davidson (Job, 84) says, the one thing will happen when the other happens – which is never. The word “empty” נָבוּב (navuv) means “hollow; witless,” and “become wise” (יִלָּבֵב, yillavev) is “will get heart” (not to “lack heart” as Driver suggested”). Many commentators do not like the last line of the verse, and so offer even more emendations. E. F. Sutcliffe wanted to change פֶּרֶא (pere’, “donkey”) to פֶּרֶד (pered, “stallion”), rendering “a witless wight may get wit when a mule is born a stallion” (“Notes on Job, textual and exegetical,” Bib 30 [1949]: 70-71); and others approached the verse by changing the verb from יִוָּלֵד (yivvaled, “is born”) to יִלָּמֵד (yillamed, “is taught”), resulting in “a hollow man may get understanding, and a wild donkey’s colt may be taught [= tamed]” (cf. NAB).

713 tn The pronoun is emphatic, designed to put Job in a different class than the hollow men – at least to raise the possibility of his being in a different class.

714 tn The Hebrew uses the perfect of כּוּן (kun, “establish”) with the object “your heart.” The verb can be translated “prepare, fix, make firm” your heart. To fix the heart is to make it faithful and constant, the heart being the seat of the will and emotions. The use of the perfect here does not refer to the past, but should be given a future perfect sense – if you shall have fixed your heart, i.e., prove faithful. Job would have to make his heart secure, so that he was no longer driven about by differing views.

715 tn This half-verse is part of the protasis and not, as in the RSV, the apodosis to the first half. The series of “if” clauses will continue through these verses until v. 15.

716 sn This is the posture of prayer (see Isa 1:15). The expression means “spread out your palms,” probably meaning that the one praying would fall to his knees, put his forehead to the ground, and spread out his hands in front of him on the ground.

717 tn Verse 14 should be taken as a parenthesis and not a continuation of the protasis, because it does not fit with v. 13 in that way (D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 256).

718 tn Many commentators follow the Vulgate and read the line “if you put away the sin that is in your hand.” They do this because the imperative comes between the protasis (v. 13) and the apodosis (v. 15) and does not appear to be clearly part of the protasis. The idea is close to the MT, but the MT is much more forceful – if you find sin in your hand, get rid of it.

719 tn The absolute certainty of the statement is communicated with the addition of כִּי (ki) (see GKC 498 §

720 tn For this use of the preposition מִן (min) see GKC 382 §119.w.

721 tn The word “lift up” is chosen to recall Job’s statement that he could not lift up his head (10:15); and the words “without spot” recall his words “filled with shame.” The sentence here says that he will lift up his face in innocence and show no signs of God’s anger on him.

722 tn The form מֻצָק (mutsaq) is a Hophal participle from יָצַק (yatsaq, “to pour”). The idea is that of metal being melted down and then poured to make a statue, and so hard, firm, solid. The LXX reads the verse, “for thus your face shall shine again, like pure water, and you shall divest yourself of uncleanness, and shall not fear.”

723 tn For a second time (see v. 13) Zophar employs the emphatic personal pronoun. Could he be providing a gentle reminder that Job might have forgotten the sin that has brought this trouble? After all, there will come a time when Job will not remember this time of trial.

724 sn It is interesting to note in the book that the resolution of Job’s trouble did not come in the way that Zophar prescribed it.

725 tn The perfect verb forms an abbreviated relative clause (without the pronoun) modifying “water.”

726 tn Some translations add the pronoun to make it specifically related to Job (“your life”), but this is not necessary. The word used here has the nuance of lasting life.

727 tn Heb “and more than the noonday life will arise.” The present translation is an interpretation in the context. The connotation of “arise” in comparison with the noonday, and in contrast with the darkness, supports the interpretation.

728 tn The form in the MT is the 3fsg imperfect verb, “[though] it be dark.” Most commentators revocalize the word to make it a noun (תְּעֻפָה, tÿufah), giving the meaning “the darkness [of your life] will be like the morning.” The contrast is with Job 10:22; here the darkness will shine like the morning.

729 tn The Hebrew verb means “to dig”; but this does not provide a good meaning for the verse. A. B. Davidson offers an interpretation of “search,” suggesting that before retiring at night Job would search and find everything in order. Some offer a better solution, namely, redefining the word on the basis of Arabic hafara, “to protect” and repointing it to וְחֻפַרְתָּ (vÿkhufarta, “you will be protected”). Other attempts to make sense of the line have involved the same process, but they are less convincing (for some of the more plausible proposals, see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 257).

730 tn The clause that reads “and there is no one making you afraid,” is functioning circumstantially here (see 5:4; 10:7).

731 tn Heb “they will stroke your face,” a picture drawn from the domestic scene of a child stroking the face of the parent. The verb is a Piel, meaning “stroke, make soft.” It is used in the Bible of seeking favor from God (supplication); but it may on the human level also mean seeking to sway people by flattery. See further D. R. Ap-Thomas, “Notes on Some Terms Relating to Prayer,” VT 6 (1956): 225-41.

732 tn The verb כָּלָה (kalah) means “to fail, cease, fade away.” The fading of the eyes, i.e., loss of sight, loss of life’s vitality, indicates imminent death.

733 tn Heb a “place of escape” (with this noun pattern). There is no place to escape to because they all perish.

734 tn The word is to be interpreted as a metonymy; it represents what is hoped for.

735 tn Heb “the breathing out of the soul”; cf. KJV, ASV “the giving up of the ghost.” The line is simply saying that the brightest hope that the wicked have is death.

736 sn This long speech of Job falls into three parts: in 12:2-25 Job expresses his resentment at his friends’ attitude of superiority and acknowledges the wisdom of God; then, in 13:1-28 Job expresses his determination to reason with God, expresses his scorn for his friends’ advice, and demands to know what his sins are; and finally, in 14:1-22 Job laments the brevity of life and the finality of death.

737 tn The expression “you are the people” is a way of saying that the friends hold the popular opinion – they represent it. The line is sarcastic. Commentators do not think the parallelism is served well by this, and so offer changes for “people.” Some have suggested “you are complete” (based on Arabic), “you are the strong one” (based on Ugaritic), etc. J. A. Davies tried to solve the difficulty by making the second clause in the verse a paratactic relative clause: “you are the people with whom wisdom will die” (“Note on Job 12:2,” VT 25 [1975]: 670-71).

738 sn The sarcasm of Job admits their claim to wisdom, as if no one has it besides them. But the rest of his speech will show that they do not have a monopoly on it.

739 tn The word is literally “heart,” meaning a mind or understanding.

740 tn Because this line is repeated in 13:2, many commentators delete it from this verse (as does the LXX). The Syriac translates נֹפֵל (nofel) as “little,” and the Vulgate “inferior.” Job is saying that he does not fall behind them in understanding.

741 tn Heb “With whom are not such things as these?” The point is that everyone knows the things that these friends have been saying – they are commonplace.

742 tn Some are troubled by the disharmony with “I am” and “to his friend.” Even though the difficulty is not insurmountable, some have emended the text. Some simply changed the verb to “he is,” which was not very compelling. C. D. Isbell argued that אֶהְיֶה (’ehyeh, “I am”) is an orthographic variant of יִהְיֶה (yihyeh, “he will”) – “a person who does not know these things would be a laughingstock” (JANESCU 37 [1978]: 227-36). G. R. Driver suggests the meaning of the MT is something like “(One that is) a mockery to his friend I am to be.”

743 tn The word simply means “laughter”; but it can also mean the object of laughter (see Jer 20:7). The LXX jumps from one “laughter” to the next, eliminating everything in between, presumably due to haplography.

744 tn Heb “his friend.” A number of English versions (e.g., NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) take this collectively, “to my friends.”

745 tn Heb “one calling to God and he answered him.” H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 92) contends that because Job has been saying that God is not answering him, these words must be part of the derisive words of his friends.

746 tn The two words, צַדִּיק תָּמִים (tsadiq tamim), could be understood as a hendiadys (= “blamelessly just”) following W. G. E. Watson (Classical Hebrew Poetry, 327).

747 tn The first word, לַפִּיד (lapid), could be rendered “a torch of scorn,” but this gives no satisfying meaning. The ל (lamed) is often taken as an otiose letter, and the noun פִּיד (pid) is “misfortune, calamity” (cf. Job 30:24; 31:29).

748 tn The noun עַשְׁתּוּת (’ashtut, preferably עַשְׁתּוֹת, ’ashtot) is an abstract noun from עָשַׁת (’ashat, “to think”). The word שַׁאֲנָן (shaanan) means “easy in mind, carefree,” and “happy.”

749 tn The form has traditionally been taken to mean “is ready” from the verb כּוּן (kun, “is fixed, sure”). But many commentators look for a word parallel to “calamity.” So the suggestion has been put forward that נָכוֹן (nakhon) be taken as a noun from נָכָה (nakhah, “strike, smite”): “a blow” (Schultens, Dhorme, Gordis), “thrust” or “kick” (HALOT 698 s.v. I נָכוֹן).

750 tn The verse gives the other side of the coin now, the fact that the wicked prosper.

751 tn The plural is used to suggest the supreme degree of arrogant confidence (E. Dhorme, Job, 171).

752 sn The line is perhaps best understood as describing one who thinks he is invested with the power of God.

753 sn As J. E. Hartley (Job [NICOT], 216) observes, in this section Job argues that respected tradition “must not be accepted uncritically.”

754 tn The singular verb is used here with the plural collective subject (see GKC 464 §145.k).

755 tn The word in the MT means “to complain,” not simply “to speak,” and one would expect animals as the object here in parallel to the last verse. So several commentators have replaced the word with words for animals or reptiles – totally different words (cf. NAB, “reptiles”). The RSV and NRSV have here the word “plants” (see 30:4, 7; and Gen 21:15).

756 tn A. B. Davidson (Job, 90) offers a solution by taking “earth” to mean all the lower forms of life that teem in the earth (a metonymy of subject).

757 tn This line could also be translated “by all these,” meaning “who is not instructed by nature?” (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 93). But D. J. A. Clines points out that the verses have presented the animals as having knowledge and communicating it, so the former reading would be best (Job [WBC], 279).

758 tc Some commentators have trouble with the name “Yahweh” in this verse, which is not the pattern in the poetic section of Job. Three mss of Kennicott and two of de Rossi have “God.” If this is so the reminiscence of Isaiah 41:20 led the copyist to introduce the tetragrammaton. But one could argue equally that the few mss with “God” were the copyists’ attempt to correct the text in accord with usage elsewhere.

759 sn The expression “has done this” probably refers to everything that has been discussed, namely, the way that God in his wisdom rules over the world, but specifically it refers to the infliction of suffering in the world.

760 tn The construction with the relative clause includes a resumptive pronoun referring to God: “who in his hand” = “in whose hand.”

761 tn The two words נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) and רוּחַ (ruakh) are synonymous in general. They could be translated “soul” and “spirit,” but “soul” is not precise for נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh), and so “life” is to be preferred. Since that is the case for the first half of the verse, “breath” will be preferable in the second part.

762 tn Human life is made of “flesh” and “spirit.” So here the line reads “and the spirit of all flesh of man.” If the text had simply said “all flesh,” that would have applied to all flesh in which there is the breath of life (see Gen 6:17; 7:15). But to limit this to human beings requires the qualification with “man.”

763 tn The ו (vav) introduces the comparison here (see 5:7; 11:12); see GKC 499 §161.a.

764 tn Heb “the palate.”

765 tn The final preposition with its suffix is to be understood as a pleonastic dativus ethicus and not translated (see GKC 439 §135.i).

sn In the rest of the chapter Job turns his attention away from creation to the wisdom of ancient men. In Job 13:1 when Job looks back to this part, he refers to both the eye and the ear. In vv. 13-25 Job refers to many catastrophes which he could not have seen, but must have heard about.

766 tn The statement in the Hebrew Bible simply has “among the aged – wisdom.” Since this seems to be more the idea of the friends than of Job, scholars have variously tried to rearrange it. Some have proposed that Job is citing his friends: “With the old men, you say, is wisdom” (Budde, Gray, Hitzig). Others have simply made it a question (Weiser). But others take לֹא (lo’) from the previous verse and make it the negative here, to say, “wisdom is not….” But Job will draw on the wisdom of the aged, only with discernment, for ultimately all wisdom is with God.

767 tn Heb “him”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

768 sn A. B. Davidson (Job, 91) says, “These attributes of God’s [sic] confound and bring to nought everything bearing the same name among men.”

769 tn The use of הֵן (hen, equivalent to הִנֵּה, hinneh, “behold”) introduces a hypothetical condition.

770 tn The verse employs antithetical ideas: “tear down” and “build up,” “imprison” and “escape.” The Niphal verbs in the sentences are potential imperfects. All of this is to say that humans cannot reverse the will of God.

771 tc The LXX has a clarification: “he will dry the earth.”

772 sn The verse is focusing on the two extremes of drought and flood. Both are described as being under the power of God.

773 tn The verb הָפַךְ (hafakh) means “to overthrow; to destroy; to overwhelm.” It was used in Job 9:5 for “overturning” mountains. The word is used in Genesis for the destruction of Sodom.

774 tn The word תּוּשִׁיָּה (tushiyyah) is here rendered “prudence.” Some object that God’s power is intended here, and so a word for power and not wisdom should be included. But v. 13 mentioned wisdom. The point is that it is God’s efficient wisdom that leads to success. One could interpret this as a metonymy of cause, the intended meaning being victory or success.

775 tn The Hebrew text uses a wordplay here: שֹׁגֵג (shogeg) is “the one going astray,” i.e., the one who is unable to guard and guide his life. The second word is מַשְׁגֶּה (mashgeh), from a different but historically related root שָׁגָה (shagah), which here in the Hiphil means “the one who misleads, causes to go astray.” These two words are designed to include everybody – all are under the wisdom of God.

776 tn The personal pronoun normally present as the subject of the participle is frequently omitted (see GKC 381 §119.s).

777 tn GKC 361-62 §116.x notes that almost as a rule a participle beginning a sentence is continued with a finite verb with or without a ו (vav). Here the participle (“leads”) is followed by an imperfect (“makes fools”) after a ו (vav).

778 tn The word שׁוֹלָל (sholal), from the root שָׁלַל (shalal, “to plunder; to strip”), is an adjective expressing the state (and is in the singular, as if to say, “in the state of one naked” [GKC 375 §118.o]). The word is found in military contexts (see Mic 1:8). It refers to the carrying away of people in nakedness and shame by enemies who plunder (see also Isa 8:1-4). They will go away as slaves and captives, deprived of their outer garments. Some (cf. NAB) suggest “barefoot,” based on the LXX of Mic 1:8; but the meaning of that is uncertain. G. R. Driver wanted to derive the word from an Arabic root “to be mad; to be giddy,” forming a better parallel.

779 sn The judges, like the counselors, are nobles in the cities. God may reverse their lot, either by captivity or by shame, and they cannot resist his power.

780 tn Some translate this “makes mad” as in Isa 44:25, but this gives the wrong connotation today; more likely God shows them to be fools.

781 tn The verb may be classified as a gnomic perfect, or possibly a potential perfect – “he can loosen.” The Piel means “to untie; to unbind” (Job 30:11; 38:31; 39:5).

782 tc There is a potential textual difficulty here. The MT has מוּסַר (musar, “discipline”), which might have replaced מוֹסֵר (moser, “bond, chain”) from אָסַר (’asar, “to bind”). Or מוּסַר might be an unusual form of אָסַר (an option noted in HALOT 557 s.v. *מוֹסֵר). The line is saying that if the kings are bound, God can set them free, and in the second half, if they are free, he can bind them. Others take the view that this word “bond” refers to the power kings have over others, meaning that God can reduce kings to slavery.

783 tn Some commentators want to change אֵזוֹר (’ezor, “girdle”) to אֵסוּר (’esur, “bond”) because binding the loins with a girdle was an expression for strength. But H. H. Rowley notes that binding the king’s loins this way would mean so that he would do servitude, menial tasks. Such a reference would certainly indicate troubled times.

784 tn Except for “priests,” the phraseology is identical to v. 17a.

785 tn The verb has to be defined by its context: it can mean “falsify” (Exod 23:8), “make tortuous” (Prov 19:3), or “plunge” into misfortune (Prov 21:12). God overthrows those who seem to be solid.

786 tn The original meaning of אֵיתָן (’eytan) is “perpetual.” It is usually an epithet for a torrent that is always flowing. It carries the connotations of permanence and stability; here applied to people in society, it refers to one whose power and influence does not change. These are the pillars of society.

787 tn The Hebrew נֶאֱמָנִים (neemanim) is the Niphal participle; it is often translated “the faithful” in the Bible. The Rabbis rather fancifully took the word from נְאֻם (nÿum, “oracle, utterance”) and so rendered it “those who are eloquent, fluent in words.” But that would make this the only place in the Bible where this form came from that root or any other root besides אָמַן (’aman, “confirm, support”). But to say that God takes away the speech of the truthful or the faithful would be very difficult. It has to refer to reliable men, because it is parallel to the elders or old men. The NIV has “trusted advisers,” which fits well with kings and judges and priests.

788 tn Heb “he removes the lip of the trusted ones.”

789 tn Heb “taste,” meaning “opinion” or “decision.”

790 tn The expression in Hebrew uses מְזִיחַ (mÿziakh, “belt”) and the Piel verb רִפָּה (rippah, “to loosen”) so that “to loosen the belt of the mighty” would indicate “to disarm/incapacitate the mighty.” Others have opted to change the text: P. Joüon emends to read “forehead” – “he humbles the brow of the mighty.”

791 tn The word אָפַק (’afaq, “to be strong”) is well-attested, and the form אָפִיק (’afiq) is a normal adjective formation. So a translation like “mighty” (KJV, NIV) or “powerful” is acceptable, and further emendations are unnecessary.

792 tn The Hebrew word is traditionally rendered “shadow of death” (so KJV, ASV); see comments at Job 3:3.

793 tn The word מַשְׂגִּיא (masgi’, “makes great”) is a common Aramaic word, but only occurs in Hebrew here and in Job 8:11 and 36:24. Some mss have a change, reading the form from שָׁגָה (shagah, “leading astray”). The LXX omits the line entirely.

794 tn The difficulty with the verb נָחָה (nakhah) is that it means “to lead; to guide,” but not “to lead away” or “to disperse,” unless this passage provides the context for such a meaning. Moreover, it never has a negative connotation. Some vocalize it וַיַּנִּיחֶם (vayyannikhem), from נוּחַ (nuakh), the causative meaning of “rest,” or “abandon” (Driver, Gray, Gordis). But even there it would mean “leave in peace.” Blommerde suggests the second part is antithetical parallelism, and so should be positive. So Ball proposed וַיִּמְחֶם (vayyimkhem) from מָחָה (makhah): “and he cuts them off.”

795 sn The rise and fall of nations, which does not seem to be governed by any moral principle, is for Job another example of God’s arbitrary power.

796 tn Heb “the heads of the people of the earth.”

797 tn Heb “heart.”

798 tn The text has בְּתֹהוּ לֹא־דָרֶךְ (bÿtohu lodarekh): “in waste – no way,” or “in a wasteland [where there is] no way,” thus, “trackless” (see the discussion of negative attributes using לֹא [lo’] in GKC 482 §152.u).

799 tn The word is an adverbial accusative.

800 tn The verb is the same that was in v. 24, “He makes them [the leaders still] wander” (the Hiphil of תָּעָה, taah). But in this passage some commentators emend the text to a Niphal of the verb and put it in the plural, to get the reading “they reel to and fro.” But even if the verse closes the chapter and there is no further need for a word of divine causation, the Hiphil sense works well here – causing people to wander like a drunken man would be the same as making them stagger.

801 sn Chapter 13 records Job’s charges against his friends for the way they used their knowledge (1-5), his warning that God would find out their insincerity (6-12), and his pleading of his cause to God in which he begs for God to remove his hand from him and that he would not terrify him with his majesty and that he would reveal the sins that caused such great suffering (13-28).

802 tn Hebrew has כֹּל (kol, “all”); there is no reason to add anything to the text to gain a meaning “all this.”

803 tn Heb “Like your knowledge”; in other words Job is saying that his knowledge is like their knowledge.

804 tn The pronoun makes the subject emphatic and stresses the contrast: “I know – I also.”

805 tn The verb “fall” is used here as it was in Job 4:13 to express becoming lower than someone, i.e., inferior.

806 tn The verb is simply the Piel imperfect אֲדַבֵּר (’adabber, “I speak”). It should be classified as a desiderative imperfect, saying, “I desire to speak.” This is reinforced with the verb “to wish, desire” in the second half of the verse.

807 tn The Hebrew title for God here is אֶל־שַׁדַּי (’el shadday, “El Shaddai”).

808 tn The infinitive absolute functions here as the direct object of the verb “desire” (see GKC 340 §113.b).

809 tn The infinitive הוֹכֵחַ (hokheakh) is from the verb יָכַח (yakhakh), which means “to argue, plead, debate.” It has the legal sense here of arguing a case (cf. 5:17).

810 tn The טֹפְלֵי־שָׁקֶר (tofÿle shaqer) are “plasterers of lies” (Ps 119:69). The verb means “to coat, smear, plaster.” The idea is that of imputing something that is not true. Job is saying that his friends are inventors of lies. The LXX was influenced by the next line and came up with “false physicians.”

811 tn The literal rendering of the construct would be “healers of worthlessness.” Ewald and Dillmann translated it “patchers” based on a meaning in Arabic and Ethiopic; this would give the idea “botchers.” But it makes equally good sense to take “healers” as the meaning, for Job’s friends came to minister comfort and restoration to him – but they failed. See P. Humbert, “Maladie et medicine dans l’AT,” RHPR 44 (1964): 1-29.

812 tn The construction is the imperfect verb in the wish formula preceded by the infinitive that intensifies it. The Hiphil is not directly causative here, but internally – “keep silent.”

813 tn The text literally reads, “and it would be for you for wisdom,” or “that it would become your wisdom.” Job is rather sarcastic here, indicating if they shut up they would prove themselves to be wise (see Prov 17:28).

814 sn Job first will argue with his friends. His cause that he will plead with God begins in v. 13. The same root יָכַח (yakhakh, “argue, plead”) is used here as in v. 3b (see note). Synonymous parallelism between the two halves of this verse supports this translation.

815 tn The Hebrew word רִבוֹת (rivot, “disputes, contentions”) continues the imagery of presenting a legal case. The term is used of legal disputations and litigation. See, also, v. 19a.

816 tn The construction literally reads “speak iniquity.” The form functions adverbially. The noun עַוְלָה (’avlah) means “perversion; injustice; iniquity; falsehood.” Here it is parallel to רְמִיָּה (rÿmiyyah, “fraud; deceit; treachery”).

817 tn The expression “for God” means “in favor of God” or “on God’s behalf.” Job is amazed that they will say false things on God’s behalf.

818 sn The idiom used here is “Will you lift up his face?” Here Job is being very sarcastic, for this expression usually means that a judge is taking a bribe. Job is accusing them of taking God’s side.

819 tn The same root is used here (רִיב, riv, “dispute, contention”) as in v. 6b (see note).

820 tn The verb חָפַר (khafar) means “to search out, investigate, examine.” In the conditional clause the imperfect verb expresses the hypothetical case.

821 tn Both the infinitive and the imperfect of תָּלַל (talal, “deceive, mock”) retain the ה (he) (GKC 148 §53.q). But for the alternate form, see F. C. Fensham, “The Stem HTL in Hebrew,” VT 9 (1959): 310-11. The infinitive is used here in an adverbial sense after the preposition.

822 tn The verbal idea is intensified with the infinitive absolute. This is the same verb used in v. 3; here it would have the sense of “rebuke, convict.”

sn Peake’s observation is worth noting, namely, that as Job attacks the unrighteousness of God boldly he nonetheless has confidence in God’s righteousness that would not allow liars to defend him.

823 sn The use of the word “in secret” or “secretly” suggests that what they do is a guilty action (31:27a).

824 sn The word translated “his majesty” or “his splendor” (שְׂאֵתוֹ, sÿeto) forms a play on the word “show partiality” (תִּשָּׂאוּן, tissaun) in the last verse. They are both from the verb נָשַׂא (nasa’, “to lift up”).

825 tn On this verb in the Piel, see 7:14.

826 tn Heb “His dread”; the suffix is a subjective genitive.

827 tn The word is זִכְרֹנֵיכֶם (zikhronekhem, “your remembrances”). The word זִכָּרֹן (zikkaron) not only can mean the act of remembering, but also what is remembered – what provokes memory or is worth being remembered. In the plural it can mean all the memorabilia, and in this verse all the sayings and teachings. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 99) suggests that in Job’s speech it could mean “all your memorized sayings.”

828 tn The parallelism of “dust” and “ashes” is fairly frequent in scripture. But “proverbs of ashes” is difficult. The genitive is certainly describing the proverbs; it could be classified as a genitive of apposition, proverbs that are/have become ashes. Ashes represent something that at one time may have been useful, but now has been reduced to what is worthless.

829 tn There is a division of opinion on the source of this word. Some take it from “answer”, related to Arabic, Aramaic, and Syriac words for “answer,” and so translate it “responses” (JB). Others take it from a word for “back,” with a derived meaning of the “boss” of the shield, and translate it bulwark or “defenses” (NEB, RSV, NIV). The idea of “answers” may fit the parallelism better, but “defenses” can be taken figuratively to refer to verbal defenses.

830 sn Any defense made with clay would crumble on impact.

831 tn The Hebrew has a pregnant construction: “be silent from me,” meaning “stand away from me in silence,” or “refrain from talking with me.” See GKC 384 §119.ff. The LXX omits “from me,” as do several commentators.

832 tn The verb is the Piel cohortative; following the imperative of the first colon this verb would show purpose or result. The inclusion of the independent personal pronoun makes the focus emphatic – “so that I (in my turn) may speak.”

833 tn The verb עָבַר (’avar, “pass over”) is used with the preposition עַל (’al, “upon”) to express the advent of misfortune, namely, something coming against him.

834 tn The interrogative pronoun מָה (mah) is used in indirect questions, here introducing a clause [with the verb understood] as the object – “whatever it be” (see GKC 443-44 §137.c).

835 tc Most editors reject עַל־מָה (’al mah) as dittography from the last verse.

836 tn Heb “why do I take my flesh in my teeth?” This expression occurs nowhere else. It seems to be drawn from animal imagery in which the wild beast seizes the prey and carries it off to a place of security. The idea would then be that Job may be destroying himself. An animal that fights with its flesh (prey) in its mouth risks losing it. Other commentators do not think this is satisfactory, but they are unable to suggest anything better.

837 tn There is a textual difficulty here that factors into the interpretation of the verse. The Kethib is לֹא (lo’, “not”), but the Qere is לוֹ (lo, “to him”). The RSV takes the former: “Behold, he will slay me, I have no hope.” The NIV takes it as “though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” Job is looking ahead to death, which is not an evil thing to him. The point of the verse is that he is willing to challenge God at the risk of his life; and if God slays him, he is still confident that he will be vindicated – as he says later in this chapter. Other suggestions are not compelling. E. Dhorme (Job, 187) makes a slight change of אֲיַחֵל (’ayakhel, “I will hope”) to אַחִיל (’akhil, “I will [not] tremble”). A. B. Davidson (Job, 98) retains the MT, but interprets the verb more in line with its use in the book: “I will not wait” (cf. NLT).

838 tn On אַךְ (’akh, “surely”) see GKC 483 §153 on intensive clauses.

839 tn The verb once again is יָכָה (yakhah, in the Hiphil, “argue a case, plead, defend, contest”). But because the word usually means “accuse” rather than “defend,” I. L. Seeligmann proposed changing “my ways” to “his ways” (“Zur Terminologie für das Gerichtsverfahren im Wortschatz des biblischen Hebräisch,” VTSup 16 [1967]: 251-78). But the word can be interpreted appropriately in the context without emendation.

840 sn The fact that Job will dare to come before God and make his case is evidence – to Job at least – that he is innocent.

841 tn The infinitive absolute intensifies the imperative, which serves here with the force of an immediate call to attention. In accordance with GKC 342 §113.n, the construction could be translated, “Keep listening” (so ESV).

842 tn The verb has to be supplied in this line, for the MT has “and my explanation in your ears.” In the verse, both “word” and “explanation” are Aramaisms (the latter appearing in Dan 5:12 for the explanation of riddles).

843 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) functions almost as an imperative here, calling attention to what follows: “look” (archaic: behold).

844 tn The verb עָרַךְ (’arakh) means “to set in order, set in array [as a battle], prepare” in the sense here of arrange and organize a lawsuit.

845 tn The pronoun is added because this is what the verse means.

846 tn The word מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat) usually means “judgment; decision.” Here it means “lawsuit” (and so a metonymy of effect gave rise to this usage; see Num 27:5; 2 Sam 15:4).

847 tn The pronoun is emphatic before the verb: “I know that it is I who am right.” The verb means “to be right; to be righteous.” Some have translated it “vindicated,” looking at the outcome of the suit.

848 tn The interrogative is joined with the emphatic pronoun, stressing “who is he [who] will contend,” or more emphatically, “who in the world will contend.” Job is confident that no one can bring charges against him. He is certain of success.

849 sn Job is confident that he will be vindicated. But if someone were to show up and have proof of sin against him, he would be silent and die (literally “keep silent and expire”).

850 tn The line reads “do not do two things.”

851 tn “God” is supplied to the verse, for the address is now to him. Job wishes to enter into dispute with God, but he first appeals that God not take advantage of him with his awesome power.

852 tn The imperative הַרְחַק (harkhaq, “remove”; GKC 98 §29.q), from רָחַק (rakhaq, “far, be far”) means “take away [far away]; to remove.”

853 sn This is a common, but bold, anthropomorphism. The fact that the word used is כַּף (kaf, properly “palm”) rather than יָד (yad, “hand,” with the sense of power) may stress Job’s feeling of being trapped or confined (see also Ps 139:5, 7).

854 tn See Job 9:34.

855 tn The imperatives in the verse function like the future tense in view of their use for instruction or advice. The chiastic arrangement of the verb forms is interesting: imperative + imperfect, imperfect + imperative. The imperative is used for God, but the imperfect is used when Job is the subject. Job is calling for the court to convene – he will be either the defendant or the prosecutor.

856 tn The pronoun “my” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied here in the translation.

857 sn Job uses three words for sin here: “iniquities,” which means going astray, erring; “sins,” which means missing the mark or the way; and “transgressions,” which are open rebellions. They all emphasize different kinds of sins and different degrees of willfulness. Job is demanding that any sins be brought up. Both Job and his friends agree that great afflictions would have to indicate great offenses – he wants to know what they are.

858 sn The anthropomorphism of “hide the face” indicates a withdrawal of favor and an outpouring of wrath (see Ps 30:7 [8]; Isa 54:8; Ps 27:9). Sometimes God “hides his face” to make himself invisible or aloof (see 34:29). In either case, if God covers his face it is because he considers Job an enemy – at least this is what Job thinks.

859 tn The verb תַּעֲרוֹץ (taarots, “you torment”) is from עָרַץ (’arats), which usually means “fear; dread,” but can also mean “to make afraid; to terrify” (Isa 2:19,21). The imperfect is here taken as a desiderative imperfect: “why do you want to”; but it could also be a simple future: “will you torment.”

860 tn The word נִדָּף (niddaf) is “driven” from the root נָדַף (nadaf, “drive”). The words “by the wind” or the interpretation “windblown” has to be added for the clarification. Job is comparing himself to this leaf (so an implied comparison, called hypocatastasis) – so light and insubstantial that it is amazing that God should come after him. Guillaume suggests that the word is not from this root, but from a second root נָדַף (nadaf), cognate to Arabic nadifa, “to dry up” (A. Guillaume, “A Note on Isaiah 19:7,” JTS 14 [1963]: 382-83). But as D. J. A. Clines notes (Job [WBC], 283), a dried leaf is a driven leaf – a point Guillaume allows as he says there is ambiguity in the term.

861 tn The word קַשׁ (qash) means “chaff; stubble,” or a wisp of straw. It is found in Job 41:20-21 for that which is so worthless and insignificant that it is hardly worth mentioning. If dried up or withered, it too will be blown away in the wind.

862 tn The meaning is that of writing down a formal charge against someone (cf. Job 31:15).

863 sn Job acknowledges sins in his youth, but they are trifling compared to the suffering he now endures. Job thinks it unjust of God to persecute him now for those – if that is what is happening.

864 tn The word occurs here and in Job 33:11. It could be taken as “stocks,” in which the feet were held fast; or it could be “shackles,” which allowed the prisoner to move about. The parallelism favors the latter, if the two lines are meant to be referring to the same thing.

865 tn The word means “ways; roads; paths,” but it is used here in the sense of the “way” in which one goes about his activities.

866 tn The verb תִּתְחַקֶּה (titkhaqqeh) is a Hitpael from the root חָקָה (khaqah, parallel to חָקַק, khaqaq). The word means “to engrave” or “to carve out.” This Hitpael would mean “to imprint something on oneself” (E. Dhorme [Job, 192] says on one’s mind, and so derives the meaning “examine.”). The object of this is the expression “on the roots of my feet,” which would refer to where the feet hit the ground. Since the passage has more to do with God’s restricting Job’s movement, the translation “you set a boundary to the soles of my feet” would be better than Dhorme’s view. The image of inscribing or putting marks on the feet is not found elsewhere. It may be, as Pope suggests, a reference to marking the slaves to make tracking them easier. The LXX has “you have penetrated to my heels.”

867 tn Heb “and he.” Some of the commentators move the verse and put it after Job 14:2, 3 or 6.

868 tn The word רָקָב (raqav) is used elsewhere in the Bible of dry rot in a house, or rotting bones in a grave. It is used in parallelism with “moth” both here and in Hos 5:12. The LXX has “like a wineskin.” This would be from רֹקֶב (roqev, “wineskin”). This word does not occur in the Hebrew Bible, but is attested in Sir 43:20 and in Aramaic. The change is not necessary.

869 tn The first of the threefold apposition for אָדָם (’adam, “man”) is “born of a woman.” The genitive (“woman”) after a passive participle denotes the agent of the action (see GKC 359 §116.l).

870 tn The second description is simply “[is] short of days.” The meaning here is that his life is short (“days” being put as the understatement for “years”).

871 tn The third expression is “consumed/full/sated – with/of – trouble/restlessness.” The latter word, רֹגֶז (rogez), occurred in Job 3:17; see also the idea in 10:15.

872 tn Heb יָצָא (yatsa’, “comes forth”). The perfect verb expresses characteristic action and so is translated by the present tense (see GKC 329 §111.s).

873 tn The verb וַיִּמָּל (vayyimmal) is from the root מָלַל (malal, “to languish; to wither”) and not from a different root מָלַל (malal, “to cut off”).

874 tn The verb is “and he does not stand.” Here the verb means “to stay fixed; to abide.” The shadow does not stay fixed, but continues to advance toward darkness.

875 tn Heb “open the eye on,” an idiom meaning to prepare to judge someone.

876 tn The verse opens with אַף־עַל־זֶה (’af-al-zeh), meaning “even on such a one!” It is an exclamation of surprise.

877 tn The text clearly has “me” as the accusative; but many wish to emend it to say “him” (אֹתוֹ, ’oto). But D. J. A. Clines rightly rejects this in view of the way Job is written, often moving back and forth from his own tragedy and others’ tragedies (Job [WBC], 283).

878 tn The expression is מִי־יִתֵּן (mi-yitten, “who will give”; see GKC 477 §151.b). Some commentators (H. H. Rowley and A. B. Davidson) wish to take this as the optative formula: “O that a clean might come out of an unclean!” But that does not fit the verse very well, and still requires the addition of a verb. The exclamation here simply implies something impossible – man is unable to attain purity.

879 sn The point being made is that the entire human race is contaminated by sin, and therefore cannot produce something pure. In this context, since man is born of woman, it is saying that the woman and the man who is brought forth from her are impure. See Ps 51:5; Isa 6:5; and Gen 6:5.

880 tn Heb “his days.”

881 tn The passive participle is from חָרַץ (kharats), which means “determined.” The word literally means “cut” (Lev 22:22, “mutilated”). E. Dhorme, (Job, 197) takes it to mean “engraved” as on stone; from a custom of inscribing decrees on tablets of stone he derives the meaning here of “decreed.” This, he argues, is parallel to the way חָקַק (khaqaq, “engrave”) is used. The word חֹק (khoq) is an “ordinance” or “statute”; the idea is connected to the verb “to engrave.” The LXX has “if his life should be but one day on the earth, and his months are numbered by him, you have appointed him for a time and he shall by no means exceed it.”

882 tn Heb “[is] with you.” This clearly means under God’s control.

883 tn The word חֹק (khoq) has the meanings of “decree, decision, and limit” (cf. Job 28:26; 38:10).

sn Job is saying that God foreordains the number of the days of man. He foreknows the number of the months. He fixes the limit of human life which cannot be passed.

884 tn The verb חָדַל (khadal) means “to desist; to cease.” The verb would mean here “and let him desist,” which some take to mean “and let him rest.” But since this is rather difficult in the line, commentators have suggested other meanings. Several emend the text slightly to make it an imperative rather than an imperfect; this is then translated “and desist.” The expression “from him” must be added. Another suggestion that is far-fetched is that of P. J. Calderone (“CHDL-II in poetic texts,” CBQ 23 [1961]: 451-60) and D. W. Thomas (VTSup 4 [1957]: 8-16), having a new meaning of “be fat.”

885 tn There are two roots רָצַה (ratsah). The first is the common word, meaning “to delight in; to have pleasure in.” The second, most likely used here, means “to pay; to acquit a debt” (cf. Lev 26:34, 41, 43). Here with the mention of the simile with the hired man, the completing of the job is in view.

886 tn The genitive after the construct is one of advantage – it is hope for the tree.

887 sn The figure now changes to a tree for the discussion of the finality of death. At least the tree will sprout again when it is cut down. Why, Job wonders, should what has been granted to the tree not also be granted to humans?

888 tn The Hiphil of זָקַן (zaqan, “to be old”) is here an internal causative, “to grow old.”

889 tn The Hiphil is here classified as an inchoative Hiphil (see GKC 145 §53.e), for the tree only begins to die. In other words, it appears to be dead, but actually is not completely dead.

890 tn The LXX translates “dust” [soil] with “rock,” probably in light of the earlier illustration of the tree growing in the rocks.

sn Job is thinking here of a tree that dies or decays because of a drought rather than being uprooted, because the next verse will tell how it can revive with water.

891 tn The personification adds to the comparison with people – the tree is credited with the sense of smell to detect the water.

892 tn The sense of “flourish” for this verb is found in Ps 92:12,13[13,14], and Prov 14:11. It makes an appropriate parallel with “bring forth boughs” in the second half.

893 tn Heb “and will make.”

894 tn There are two words for “man” in this verse. The first (גֶּבֶר, gever) can indicate a “strong” or “mature man” or “mighty man,” the hero; and the second (אָדָם, ’adam) simply designates the person as mortal.

895 tn The word חָלַשׁ (khalash) in Aramaic and Syriac means “to be weak” (interestingly, the Syriac OT translated חָלַשׁ [khalash] with “fade away” here). The derived noun “the weak” would be in direct contrast to “the mighty man.” In the transitive sense the verb means “to weaken; to defeat” (Exod 17:13); here it may have the sense of “be lifeless, unconscious, inanimate” (cf. E. Dhorme, Job, 199). Many commentators emend the text to יַחֲלֹף (yakhalof, “passes on; passes away”). A. Guillaume tries to argue that the form is a variant of the other, the letters שׁ (shin) and פ (pe) being interchangeable (“The Use of halas in Exod 17:13, Isa 14:12, and Job 14:10,” JTS 14 [1963]: 91-92). G. R. Driver connected it to Arabic halasa, “carry off suddenly” (“The Resurrection of Marine and Terrestrial Creatures,” JSS 7 [1962]: 12-22). But the basic idea of “be weak, powerless” is satisfactory in the text. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 105) says, “Where words are so carefully chosen, it is gratuitous to substitute less expressive words as some editors do.”

896 tn This break to a question adds a startling touch to the whole verse. The obvious meaning is that he is gone. The LXX weakens it: “and is no more.”

897 tn The comparative clause may be signaled simply by the context, especially when facts of a moral nature are compared with the physical world (see GKC 499 §161.a).

898 tn The Hebrew word יָם (yam) can mean “sea” or “lake.”

899 tc The Hebrew construction is “until not,” which is unusual if not impossible; it is found in only one other type of context. In its six other occurrences (Num 21:35; Deut 3:3; Josh 8:22; 10:33; 11:8; 2 Kgs 10:11) the context refers to the absence of survivors. Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, Syriac, and Vulgate all have “till the heavens wear out.” Most would emend the text just slightly from עַד־בִּלְתִּי (’ad-bilti, “are no more”) to עַד בְּלוֹת (’ad bÿlot, “until the wearing out of,” see Ps 102:26 [27]; Isa 51:6). Gray rejects emendation here, finding the unusual form of the MT in its favor. Orlinsky (p. 57) finds a cognate Arabic word meaning “will not awake” and translates it “so long as the heavens are not rent asunder” (H. M. Orlinsky, “The Hebrew and Greek Texts of Job 14:12,” JQR 28 [1937/38]: 57-68). He then deletes the last line of the verse as a later gloss.

900 tn The verb is plural because the subject, אִישׁ (’ish), is viewed as a collective: “mankind.” The verb means “to wake up; to awake”; another root, קוּץ (quts, “to split open”) cognate to Arabic qada and Akkadian kasu, was put forward by H. M. Orlinsky (“The Hebrew and Greek Texts of Job 14:12,” JQR 28 [1937-38]: 57-68) and G. R. Driver (“Problems in the Hebrew Text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 72-93).

901 tn The optative mood is introduced here again with מִי יִתֵּן (mi yitten), literally, “who will give?”

sn After arguing that man will die without hope, Job expresses his desire that there be a resurrection, and what that would mean. The ancients all knew that death did not bring existence to an end; rather, they passed into another place, but they continued to exist. Job thinks that death would at least give him some respite from the wrath of God; but this wrath would eventually be appeased, and then God would remember the one he had hidden in Sheol just as he remembered Noah. Once that happened, it would be possible that Job might live again.

902 sn Sheol in the Bible refers to the place where the dead go. But it can have different categories of meaning: death in general, the grave, or the realm of the departed spirits [hell]. A. Heidel shows that in the Bible when hell is in view the righteous are not there – it is the realm of the departed spirits of the wicked. When the righteous go to Sheol, the meaning is usually the grave or death. See chapter 3 in A. Heidel, The Gilgamesh Epic and the Old Testament Parallels.

903 tn The construction used here is the preposition followed by the infinitive construct followed by the subjective genitive, forming an adverbial clause of time.

904 tn This is the same word used in v. 5 for “limit.”

905 tn The verb זָכַר (zakhar) means more than simply “to remember.” In many cases, including this one, it means “to act on what is remembered,” i.e., deliver or rescue (see Gen 8:1, “and God remembered Noah”). In this sense, a prayer “remember me” is a prayer for God to act upon his covenant promises.

906 tc The LXX removes the interrogative and makes the statement affirmative, i.e., that man will live again. This reading is taken by D. H. Gard (“The Concept of the Future Life according to the Greek Translator of the Book of Job,” JBL 73 [1954]: 137-38). D. J. A. Clines follows this, putting both of the expressions in the wish clause: “if a man dies and could live again…” (Job [WBC], 332). If that is the way it is translated, then the verbs in the second half of the verse and in the next verse would all be part of the apodosis, and should be translated “would.” The interpretation would not greatly differ; it would be saying that if there was life after death, Job would long for his release – his death. If the traditional view is taken and the question was raised whether there was life after death (the implication of the question being that there is), then Job would still be longing for his death. The point the line is making is that if there is life after death, that would be all the more reason for Job to eagerly expect, to hope for, his death.

907 tn See Job 7:1.

908 tn The verb אֲיַחֵל (’ayakhel) may be rendered “I will/would wait” or “I will/would hope.” The word describes eager expectation and longing hope.

909 tn The construction is the same as that found in the last verse: a temporal preposition עַד (’ad) followed by the infinitive construct followed by the subjective genitive “release/relief.” Due, in part, to the same verb (חָלַף, khalaf) having the meaning “sprout again” in v. 7, some take “renewal” as the meaning here (J. E. Hartley, Alden, NIV, ESV).

910 sn The idea would be that God would sometime in the future call Job into his fellowship again when he longed for the work of his hands (cf. Job 10:3).

911 tn The independent personal pronoun is emphatic, as if to say, “and I on my part will answer.”

912 tn The word כָּסַף (kasaf) originally meant “to turn pale.” It expresses the sentiment that causes pallor of face, and so is used for desire ardently, covet. The object of the desire is always introduced with the ל (lamed) preposition (see E. Dhorme, Job, 202).

913 tn Heb “long for the work of your hands.”

914 sn The hope for life after death is supported now by a description of the severity with which God deals with people in this life.

915 tn If v. 16a continues the previous series, the translation here would be “then” (as in RSV). Others take it as a new beginning to express God’s present watch over Job, and interpret the second half of the verse as a question, or emend it to say God does not pass over his sins.

916 sn Compare Ps 130:3-4, which says, “If you should mark iniquity O Lord, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, in order that you might be feared.”

917 tn The second colon of the verse can be contrasted with the first, the first being the present reality and the second the hope looked for in the future. This seems to fit the context well without making any changes at all.

918 tn The passive participle חָתֻם (khatum), from חָתַם (khatam, “seal”), which is used frequently in the Bible, means “sealed up.” The image of sealing sins in a bag is another of the many poetic ways of expressing the removal of sin from the individual (see 1 Sam 25:29). Since the term most frequently describes sealed documents, the idea here may be more that of sealing in a bag the record of Job’s sins (see D. J. A. Clines, Job [WBC], 334).

919 tn The idea has been presented that the background of putting tally stones in a bag is intended (see A. L. Oppenheim, “On an Operational Device in Mesopotamian Bureaucracy,” JNES 18 [1959]: 121-28).

920 tn This verb was used in Job 13:4 for “plasterers of lies.” The idea is probably that God coats or paints over the sins so that they are forgotten (see Isa 1:18). A. B. Davidson (Job, 105) suggests that the sins are preserved until full punishment is exacted. But the verse still seems to be continuing the thought of how the sins would be forgotten in the next life.

921 tn The indication that this is a simile is to be obtained from the conjunction beginning 19c (see GKC 499 §161.a).

922 tn The word יִבּוֹל (yibbol) usually refers to a flower fading and so seems strange here. The LXX and the Syriac translate “and will fall”; most commentators accept this and repoint the preceding word to get “and will surely fall.” Duhm retains the MT and applies the image of the flower to the falling mountain. The verb is used of the earth in Isa 24:4, and so NIV, RSV, and NJPS all have the idea of “crumble away.”

923 tn Heb “the overflowings of it”; the word סְפִיחֶיהָ (sÿfikheyha) in the text is changed by just about everyone. The idea of “its overflowings” or more properly “its aftergrowths” (Lev 25:5; 2 Kgs 19:29; etc.) does not fit here at all. Budde suggested reading סְחִפָה (sÿkhifah), which is cognate to Arabic sahifeh, “torrential rain, rainstorm” – that which sweeps away” the soil. The word סָחַף (sakhaf) in Hebrew might have a wider usage than the effects of rain.

924 tn Heb “[the] dust of [the] earth.”

925 sn The meaning for Job is that death shatters all of man’s hopes for the continuation of life.

926 tn D. W. Thomas took נֵצַח (netsakh) here to have a superlative meaning: “You prevail utterly against him” (“Use of netsach as a superlative in Hebrew,” JSS 1 [1956]: 107). Death would be God’s complete victory over him.

927 tn The subject of the participle is most likely God in this context. Some take it to be man, saying “his face changes.” Others emend the text to read an imperfect verb, but this is not necessary.

928 tn The clause may be interpreted as a conditional clause, with the second clause beginning with the conjunction serving as the apodosis.

929 tn There is no expressed subject for the verb “they honor,” and so it may be taken as a passive.

930 sn Death is separation from the living, from the land of the living. And ignorance of what goes on in this life, good or bad, is part of death. See also Eccl 9:5-6, which makes a similar point.

931 tn The verb is בִּין (bin, “to perceive; to discern”). The parallelism between “know” and “perceive” stress the point that in death a man does not realize what is happening here in the present life.

932 tn The prepositional phrases using עָלָיו (’alayv, “for him[self]”) express the object of the suffering. It is for himself that the dead man “grieves.” So this has to be joined with אַךְ (’akh), yielding “only for himself.” Then, “flesh” and “soul/person” form the parallelism for the subjects of the verbs.

933 sn In this verse Job is expressing the common view of life beyond death, namely, that in Sheol there is no contact with the living, only separation, but in Sheol there is a conscious awareness of the dreary existence.

934 sn In the first round of speeches, Eliphaz had emphasized the moral perfection of God, Bildad his unwavering justice, and Zophar his omniscience. Since this did not bring the expected response from Job, the friends see him as a menace to true religion, and so they intensify their approach. Eliphaz, as dignified as ever, rebukes Job for his arrogance and warns about the judgment the wicked bring on themselves. The speech of Eliphaz falls into three parts: the rebuke of Job for his irreverence (2-6); the analysis of Job’s presumption about wisdom (7-16), and his warning about the fate of the wicked (17-35).

935 tn The Hebrew is דַעַת־רוּחַ (daat-ruakh). This means knowledge without any content, vain knowledge.

936 tn The image is rather graphic. It is saying that he puffs himself up with the wind and then brings out of his mouth blasts of this wind.

937 tn The word for “east wind,” קָדִים (qadim), is parallel to “spirit/wind” also in Hos 12:2. The east wind is maleficent, but here in the parallelism it is so much hot air.

938 tn The infinitive absolute in this place is functioning either as an explanatory adverb or as a finite verb.

sn Eliphaz draws on Job’s claim with this word (cf. Job 13:3), but will declare it hollow.

939 tn The verb סָכַן (sakhan) means “to be useful, profitable.” It is found 5 times in the book with this meaning. The Hiphil of יָעַל (yaal) has the same connotation. E. LipinÃski offers a new meaning on a second root, “incur danger” or “run risks” with words, but this does not fit the parallelism (FO 21 [1980]: 65-82).

940 tn The word פָּרַר (parar) in the Hiphil means “to annul; to frustrate; to destroy; to break,” and this fits the line quite well. The NEB reflects G. R. Driver’s suggestion of an Arabic cognate meaning “to expel; to banish” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 77).

941 tn Heb “fear,” “reverence.”

942 tn The word גָּרַע (gara’) means “to diminish,” regard as insignificant, occasionally with the sense of “pull down” (Deut 4:2; 13:1). It is here that Eliphaz is portraying Job as a menace to the religion of society because they dissuade people from seeking God.

943 tn The word שִׂיחָה (sikhah) is “complaint; cry; meditation.” Job would be influencing people to challenge God and not to meditate before or pray to him.

944 tn The verb אַלֵּף (’allef) has the meaning of “to teach; to instruct,” but it is unlikely that the idea of revealing is intended. If the verb is understood metonymically, then “to inspire; to prompt” will be sufficient. Dahood and others find another root, and render the verb “to increase,” reversing subject and object: “your mouth increases your iniquity.”

945 tn Heb “tongue.”

946 tn The word means “shrewd; crafty; cunning” (see Gen 3:1). Job uses clever speech that is misleading and destructive.

947 tn The Hiphil of this root means “declare wicked, guilty” (a declarative Hiphil), and so “condemns.”

948 tn The verb עָנָה (’anah) with the ל (lamed) preposition following it means “to testify against.” For Eliphaz, it is enough to listen to Job to condemn him.

949 tn The meaning of סוֹד (sod) is “confidence.” In the context the implication is “secret counsel” of the Lord God (see Jer 23:18). It is a question of confidence on the part of God, that only wisdom can know (see Prov 8:30,31). Job seemed to them to claim to have access to the mind of God.

950 tn In v. 4 the word meant “limit”; here it has a slightly different sense, namely, “to reserve for oneself.”

951 tn The last clause simply has “and it is not with us.” It means that one possesses something through knowledge. Note the parallelism of “know” and “with me” in Ps 50:11.

952 tn The participle שָׂב (sav), from שִׂיב (siv, “to have white hair”; 1 Sam 12:2), only occurs elsewhere in the Bible in the Aramaic sections of Ezra. The word יָשִׁישׁ (yashish, “aged”) occurred in 12:12.

953 tn Heb “with us.”

954 tn The line reads: “[men] greater than your father [in] days.” The expression “in days” underscores their age – they were older than Job’s father, and therefore wiser.

955 sn The word תַּנְחֻמוֹת (tankhumot) occurs here and only in Job 21:34. The words of comfort and consolation that they have been offering to Job are here said to be “of God.” But Job will call them miserable comforters (16:2).

956 tn The formula “is it too little for you” or “is it too slight a matter for you” is also found in Isa 7:13 (see GKC 430 §133.c).

957 tn The word “spoken” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation.

958 tn The interrogative מָה (mah) here has the sense of “why?” (see Job 7:21).

959 tn The verb simply means “to take.” The RSV has “carry you away.” E. Dhorme (Job, 212-13) goes further, saying that it implies being unhinged by passion, to be carried away by the passions beyond good sense (pp. 212-13). Pope and Tur-Sinai suggest that the suffix on the verb is datival, and translate it, “What has taken from you your mind?” But the parallelism shows that “your heart” and “your eyes” are subjects.

960 tn Here is another word that occurs only here, and in the absence of a completely convincing suggestion, probably should be left as it is. The verb is רָזַם (razam, “wink, flash”). Targum Job and the Syriac equate it with a verb found in Aramaic and postbiblical Hebrew with the same letters but metathesized – רָמַז (ramaz). It would mean “to make a sign” or “to wink.” Budde, following the LXX probably, has “Why are your eyes lofty?” Others follow an Arabic root meaning “become weak.”

961 tn The Hebrew is רוּחֶךָ (rukhekha, “your spirit” or “your breath”). But the fact that this is turned “against God,” means that it must be given a derived meaning, or a meaning that is metonymical. It is used in the Bible in the sense of anger – what the spirit vents (see Judg 8:3; Prov 16:32; and Job 4:9 with “blast”).

962 tn The verb is a Hiphil perfect of yasa, “to go out, proceed, issue forth.”

963 tn Eliphaz here reiterates the point made in Job 4:18.

964 sn The question here is whether the reference is to material “heavens” (as in Exod 24:10 and Job 25:5), or to heavenly beings. The latter seems preferable in this context.

965 tn The two descriptions here used are “abominable,” meaning “disgusting” (a Niphal participle with the value of a Latin participle [see GKC 356-57 §116.e]), and “corrupt” (a Niphal participle which occurs only in Pss 14:3 and 53:4), always in a moral sense. On the significance of the first description, see P. Humbert, “Le substantif toáe„ba„ et le verbe táb dans l’Ancien Testament,” ZAW 72 [1960]: 217ff.). On the second word, G. R. Driver suggests from Arabic, “debauched with luxury, corrupt” (“Some Hebrew Words,” JTS 29 [1927/28]: 390-96).

966 sn Man commits evil with the same ease and facility as he drinks in water – freely and in large quantities.

967 tn The demonstrative pronoun is used here as a nominative, to introduce an independent relative clause (see GKC 447 §138.h).

968 tn Here the vav (ו) apodosis follows with the cohortative (see GKC 458 §143.d).

969 tn The word “tradition” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation.

970 tn Heb “their fathers.” Some commentators change one letter and follow the reading of the LXX: “and their fathers have not hidden.” Pope tries to get the same reading by classifying the מ (mem) as an enclitic mem. The MT on first glance would read “and did not hide from their fathers.” Some take the clause “and they did not hide” as adverbial and belonging to the first part of the verse: “what wise men declare, hiding nothing, according to the tradition of their fathers.”

971 sn Eliphaz probably thinks that Edom was the proverbial home of wisdom, and so the reference here would be to his own people. If, as many interpret, the biblical writer is using these accounts to put Yahwistic ideas into the discussion, then the reference would be to Canaan at the time of the fathers. At any rate, the tradition of wisdom to Eliphaz has not been polluted by foreigners, but has retained its pure and moral nature from antiquity.

972 tn Heb “all the days of the wicked, he suffers.” The word “all” is an adverbial accusative of time, stating along with its genitives (“of the days of a wicked man”) how long the individual suffers. When the subject is composed of a noun in construct followed by a genitive, the predicate sometimes agrees with the genitive (see GKC 467 §146.a).

973 tn The Hebrew term מִתְחוֹלֵל (mitkholel) is a Hitpolel participle from חִיל (khil, “to tremble”). It carries the idea of “torment oneself,” or “be tormented.” Some have changed the letter ח (khet) for a letter ה (he), and obtained the meaning “shows himself mad.” Theodotion has “is mad.” Syriac (“behave arrogantly,” apparently confusing Hebrew חול with חלל; Heidi M. Szpek, Translation Technique in the Peshitta to Job [SBLDS], 277), Symmachus, and Vulgate have “boasts himself.” But the reading of the MT is preferable.

974 tn It is necessary, with Rashi, to understand the relative pronoun before the verb “they are stored up/reserved.”

975 tn This has been translated with the idea of “oppressor” in Job 6:23; 27:13.

976 tn The word “fill” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation.

977 tn The word שׁוֹדֵד (shoded) means “a robber; a plunderer” (see Job 12:6). With the verb bo’ the sentence means that the robber pounces on or comes against him (see GKC 373 §118.f). H. H. Rowley observes that the text does not say that he is under attack, but that the sound of fears is in his ears, i.e., that he is terrified by thoughts of this.

978 tn This is the meaning of the Hiphil imperfect negated: “he does not believe” or “he has no confidence.” It is followed by the infinitive construct functioning as the direct object – he does not expect to return (to escape) from darkness.

sn The meaning of this line is somewhat in question. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 111) thinks it could mean that he is afraid he will not wake up from the night, or he dreads misfortune, thinking it will be final for him.

979 sn In the context of these arguments, “darkness” probably refers to calamity, and so the wicked can expect a calamity that is final.

980 tn Heb “he is watched [or waited for] by the sword.” G. R. Driver reads it, “he is marked down for the sword” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 78). Ewald suggested “laid up for the sword.” Ball has “looks for the sword.” The MT has a passive participle from צָפָה (tsafah, “to observe, watch”) which can be retained in the text; the meaning of the form can then be understood as the result of the inspection (E. Dhorme, Job, 217).

981 tn The MT has “he wanders about for food – where is it?” The LXX has “he has been appointed for food for vultures,” reading אַיָּה (’ayyah, “vulture”) for אַיֵּה (’ayyeh, “where is it?”). This would carry on the thought of the passage – he sees himself destined for the sword and food for vultures. Many commentators follow this reading while making a number of smaller changes in נֹדֵד (noded, “wandering”) such as נִתַּן (nittan, “is given”), נוֹעַד (noad, “is appointed”), נוֹדַע (noda’, “is known”), or something similar. The latter involves no major change in consonants. While the MT “wandering” may not be as elegant as some of the other suggestions, it is not impossible. But there is no reading of this verse that does not involve some change. The LXX has “and he has been appointed for food for vultures.”

982 tn This line is fraught with difficulties (perceived or real), which prompt numerous suggestions. The reading of the MT is “he knows that a day of darkness is fixed in his hand,” i.e., is certain. Many commentators move “day of darkness” to the next verse, following the LXX. Then, suggestions have been offered for נָכוֹן (nakhon, “ready”), such as נֵכֶר (nekher, “disaster”); and for בְּיָדוֹ (bÿyado, “in his hand”) a number of ideas – לְאֵיד (lÿed, “calamity”) or פִּידוֹ (pido, “his disaster”). Wright takes this last view and renders it “he knows that misfortune is imminent,” leaving the “day of darkness” to the next verse.

983 tn If “day and darkness” are added to this line, then this verse is made into a tri-colon – the main reason for transferring it away from the last verse. But the newly proposed reading follows the LXX structure precisely, as if that were the approved construction. The Hebrew of MT has “distress and anguish terrify him.”

984 tn This last colon is deleted by some, moved to v. 26 by others, and the NEB puts it in brackets. The last word (translated here as “launch an attack”) occurs only here. HALOT 472 s.v. כִּידוֹר links it to an Arabic root kadara, “to rush down,” as with a bird of prey. J. Reider defines it as “perturbation” from the same root (“Etymological Studies in Biblical Hebrew,” VT 2 [1952]: 127).

985 sn The symbol of the outstretched hand is the picture of attempting to strike someone, or shaking a fist at someone; it is a symbol of a challenge or threat (see Isa 5:25; 9:21; 10:4).

986 tn The Hitpael of גָּבַר (gavar) means “to act with might” or “to behave like a hero.” The idea is that the wicked boldly vaunts himself before the Lord.

987 tn Heb “he runs against [or upon] him with the neck.” The RSV takes this to mean “with a stiff neck.” Several commentators, influenced by the LXX’s “insolently,” have attempted to harmonize with some idiom for neck (“outstretched neck,” for example). Others have made more extensive changes. Pope and Anderson follow Tur-Sinai in accepting “with full battle armor.” But the main idea seems to be that of a headlong assault on God.

988 tn Heb “with the thickness of the bosses of his shield.” The bosses are the convex sides of the bucklers, turned against the foe. This is a defiant attack on God.

989 sn This verse tells us that he is not in any condition to fight, because he is bloated and fat from luxurious living.

990 tn D. W. Thomas defends a meaning “cover” for the verb עָשָׂה (’asah). See “Translating Hebrew `asah,” BT 17 [1966]: 190-93.

991 tn The term פִּימָה (pimah), a hapax legomenon, is explained by the Arabic faima, “to be fat.” Pope renders this “blubber.” Cf. KJV “and maketh collops of fat on his flanks.”

992 sn K&D 11:266 rightly explains that these are not cities that he, the wicked, has destroyed, but that were destroyed by a judgment on wickedness. Accordingly, Eliphaz is saying that the wicked man is willing to risk such a curse in his confidence in his prosperity (see further H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 113).

993 tn The verbal idea serves here to modify “houses” as a relative clause; so a relative pronoun is added.

994 tn The Hebrew has simply “they are made ready for heaps.” The LXX translates it, “what they have prepared, let others carry away.” This would involve a complete change of the last word.

995 tn This word מִנְלָם (minlam) also is a hapax legomenon, although almost always interpreted to mean “possession” (with Arabic manal) and repointed as מְנֹלָם (mÿnolam). M. Dahood further changes “earth” to the netherworld, and interprets it to mean “his possessions will not go down to the netherworld (“Value of Ugaritic for Textual Criticism,” Bib 40 [1959]: 164-66). Others suggest it means “ear of grain,” either from the common word for “ears of grain” or a hapax legomenon in Deuteronomy 23:26 [25].

996 tn Some editions and commentators delete the first line of this verse, arguing that it is simply a paraphrase of v. 22a, and that it interrupts the comparison with a tree that falls (although that comparison only starts next).

997 tn This last line in the verse is the difficult one. The MT has “he shall depart by the breath of his mouth.” If this reading stands, then it must be understood that it is the breath of God’s mouth that is intended. In place of “his mouth” the LXX has “flower” (reading פִּרהוֹ [pirho, properly, “his fruit”] instead of פִּיו piv), and “fall” instead of “depart.” Modern commentators and a number of English versions (e.g., RSV, NRSV, TEV) alter יָסוּר (yasur, “depart”) to something like יְסֹעַר (yÿsoar, from סָעַר [saar, “to drive away”]), or the like, to get “will be swept away.” The result is a reading: “and his blossom will be swept away by the wind.” The LXX may have read the Hebrew exactly, but harmonized it with v. 33 (see H. Heater, A Septuagint Translation Technique in the Book of Job [CBQMS]: 61-62).

998 tn The word, although difficult in its form, is “vanity,” i.e., that which is worthless. E. Dhorme (Job, 224) thinks that the form שָׁוְא (shav’) conceals the word שִׁיאוֹ (shio, “his stature”). But Dhorme reworks most of the verse. He changes נִתְעָה (nitah, “deceived”) to נֵדַע (neda’, “we know”) to arrive at “we know that it is vanity.” The last two words of the verse are then moved to the next. The LXX has “let him not think that he shall endure, for his end shall be vanity.”

999 tn This word is found in Job 20:18 with the sense of “trading.” It can mean the exchange of goods or the profit from them. Some commentators change תְמוּרָתוֹ (tÿmurato, “his reward”) because they wish to put it with the next verse as the LXX seems to have done (although the LXX does not represent this). Suggestions include תִּמֹרָתוֹ (timorato, “his palm tree”) and זְמֹרָתוֹ (zÿmorato, “his vine shoot”). A number of writers simply delete all of v. 31. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 115) suggests the best reading (assuming one were going to make changes) would be, “Let him not trust in his stature, deceiving himself, for it is vanity.” And then put “his palm tree” with the next verse, he thinks that achieves the proper balance.

1000 tn Heb “before his day.”

1001 tn Those who put the last colon of v. 31 with v. 32 also have to change the verb תִּמָּלֵא (timmale’, “will be fulfilled”). E. Dhorme (Job, 225) says, “a mere glance at the use of yimmal…abundantly proves that the original text had timmal (G, Syr., Vulg), which became timmale’ through the accidental transposition of the ‘alep of bÿsio…in verse 31….” This, of course, is possible, if all the other changes up to now are granted. But the meaning of a word elsewhere in no way assures it should be the word here. The LXX has “his harvest shall perish before the time,” which could translate any number of words that might have been in the underlying Hebrew text. A commercial metaphor is not out of place here, since parallelism does not demand that the same metaphor appear in both lines.

1002 tn Now, in the second half of the verse, the metaphor of a tree with branches begins.

1003 tn The verb means “to treat violently” or “to wrong.” It indicates that the vine did not nourish the grapes well enough for them to grow, and so they dry up and drop off.

1004 sn The point is that like the tree the wicked man shows signs of life but produces nothing valuable. The olive tree will have blossoms in the years that it produces no olives, and so eventually drops the blossoms.

1005 tn The LXX renders this line: “for death is the witness of an ungodly man. “Death” represents “barren/sterile,” and “witness” represents “assembly.”

1006 sn This may refer to the fire that struck Job (cf. 1:16).

1007 tn Heb “the tents of bribery.” The word “bribery” can mean a “gift,” but most often in the sense of a bribe in court. It indicates that the wealth and the possessions that the wicked man has gained may have been gained unjustly.

1008 tn Infinitives absolute are used in this verse in the place of finite verbs. They lend a greater vividness to the description, stressing the basic meaning of the words.

1009 tn At the start of the speech Eliphaz said Job’s belly was filled with the wind; now it is there that he prepares deception. This inclusio frames the speech.

1010 sn In the next two chapters we have Job’s second reply to Eliphaz. Job now feels abandoned by God and by his friends, and so complains that this all intensifies his sufferings. But he still holds to his innocence as he continues his appeal to God as his witness. There are four sections to this speech: in vv. 2-5 he dismisses the consolation his friends offered; in vv. 6-17 he laments that he is abandoned by God and man; in 16:817:9 he makes his appeal to God in heaven as a witness; and finally, in 10-16 he anticipates death.

1011 tn The expression uses the Piel participle in construct: מְנַחֲמֵי עָמָל (mÿnahameamal, “comforters of trouble”), i.e., comforters who increase trouble instead of relieving it. D. W. Thomas translates this “breathers out of trouble” (“A Note on the Hebrew Root naham,ExpTim 44 [1932/33]: 192).

1012 tn Disjunctive questions are introduced with the sign of the interrogative; the second part is introduced with אוֹ (’o, see GKC 475 §150.g).

1013 tn In v. 3 the second person singular is employed rather than the plural as in vv. 2 and 4. The singular might be an indication that the words of v. 3 were directed at Eliphaz specifically.

1014 tn Heb “words of wind.”

1015 tn The Hiphil of מָרַץ (marats) does not occur anywhere else. The word means “to compel; to force” (see 6:25).

1016 tn The LXX seems to have gone a different way: “What, is there any reason in vain words, or what will hinder you from answering?”

1017 tn For the use of the cohortative in the apodosis of conditional sentences, see GKC 322 §109.f.

1018 tn The conjunction לוּ (lu) is used to introduce the optative, a condition that is incapable of fulfillment (see GKC 494-95 §159.l).

1019 tn This verb אַחְבִּירָה (’akhbirah) is usually connected to חָבַר (khavar, “to bind”). There are several suggestions for this word. J. J. Finkelstein proposed a second root, a homonym, meaning “to make a sound,” and so here “to harangue” (“Hebrew habar and Semitic HBR,JBL 75 [1956]: 328-31; see also O. Loretz, “HBR in Job 16:4,” CBQ 23 [1961]: 293-94, who renders it “I could make noisy speeches”). Other suggestions have been for new meanings based on cognate studies, such as “to make beautiful” (i.e., make polished speeches).

1020 sn The action is a sign of mockery (see Ps 22:7[8]; Isa 37:22; Matt 27:39).

1021 tn “But” has been added in the translation to strengthen the contrast.

1022 tn The Piel of אָמַץ (’amats) means “to strengthen, fortify.”

1023 tn Heb “my mouth.”

1024 tn The verb יַחְשֹׂךְ (yakhsokh) means “to restrain; to withhold.” There is no object, so many make it first person subject, “I will not restrain.” The LXX and the Syriac have a different person – “I would not restrain.” G. R. Driver, arguing that the verb is intransitive here, made it “the solace of my lips would not [added] be withheld” (see JTS 34 [1933]: 380). D. J. A. Clines says that what is definitive is the use of the verb in the next line, where it clearly means “soothed, assuaged.”

1025 tn “But” is supplied in the translation to strengthen the contrast.

1026 tn The Niphal יֵחָשֵׂךְ (yekhasekh) means “to be soothed; to be assuaged.”

1027 tn Some argue that מָה (mah) in the text is the Arabic ma, the simple negative. This would then mean “it does not depart far from me.” The interrogative used rhetorically amounts to the same thing, however, so the suggestion is not necessary.

1028 tn In poetic discourse there is often an abrupt change from person to another. See GKC 462 §144.p. Some take the subject of this verb to be God, others the pain (“surely now it has worn me out”).

1029 tn The verb is קָמַט (qamat) which is used only here and in 22:16; it means “to seize; to grasp.” By God’s seizing him, Job means his afflictions.

1030 tn The subject is “my calamity.”

1031 tn The verb is used in Ps 109:24 to mean “to be lean”; and so “leanness” is accepted here for the noun by most. Otherwise the word is “lie, deceit.” Accordingly, some take it here as “my slanderer” or “my liar” (gives evidence against me).

1032 tn The referent of these pronouns in v. 9 (“his anger…he has gnashed…his teeth…his eyes”) is best taken as God.

1033 sn The figure used now is that of a wild beast. God’s affliction of Job is compared to the attack of such an animal. Cf. Amos 1:11.

1034 tn The verb שָׂטַם (satam) is translated “hate” in the RSV, but this is not accepted by very many. Many emend it to שָׁמט (shamat), reading “and he dropped me” (from his mouth). But that suggests escape. D. J. A. Clines notes that usage shows it reflects ongoing hatred represented by an action such as persecution or attack (Job [WBC], 370).

1035 tn The verb is used of sharpening a sword in Ps 7:12; here it means “to look intently” as an animal looks for prey. The verse describes God’s relentless pursuit of Job.

1036 tn “People” is supplied; the Hebrew verb is third plural. The colon reads, “they have opened against me with [the preposition is instrumental] their mouth.” The gestures here follow the animal imagery; they reflect destructive opposition and attack (see Ps 22:13 among others).

1037 tn This is an “insult” or a “reproach.”

1038 tn The verb יִתְמַלָּאוּן (yitmallaun) is taken from מָלֵא (male’), “to be full,” and in this stem, “to pile up; to press together.” The term has a military connotation, such as “to mobilize” (see D. W. Thomas, “ml'w in Jeremiah 4:5 : a military term,” JJS 3 [1952]: 47-52). Job sees himself surrounded by enemies who persecute him and mock him.

1039 tn The word עֲוִיל (’avil) means “child,” and this cannot be right here. If it is read as עַוָּל (’avval) as in Job 27:7 it would be the unrighteous.

1040 sn Job does not refer here to his friends, but more likely to the wicked men who set about to destroy him and his possessions, or to the rabble in ch. 30.

1041 tn The word יִרְטֵנִי (yirteni) does not derive from the root רָטָה (ratah) as would fit the pointing in the MT, but from יָרַט (yarat), cognate to Arabic warrata, “to throw; to hurl.” E. Dhorme (Job, 236) thinks that since the normal form would have been יִירְטֵנִי (yirÿteni), it is probable that one of the yods (י) would have affected the word עֲוִיל (’avil) – but that does not make much sense.

1042 tn The verb פָּרַר (parar) means “to shake.” In the Hiphil it means “to break; to shatter” (5:12; 15:4). The Pilpel means “to break in pieces,” and in the Poel in Jer 23:29 “to smash up.” So Job was living at ease, and God shattered his life.

1043 tn Here is another Pilpel, now from פָּצַץ (patsats) with a similar meaning to the other verb. It means “to dash into pieces” and even scatter the pieces. The LXX translates this line, “he took me by the hair of the head and plucked it out.”

1044 tn The meaning of “his archers” is supported for רַבָּיו (rabbayv) in view of Jer 50:29. The LXX, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum Job, followed by several translations and commentators prefer “arrows.” They see this as a more appropriate figure without raising the question of who the archers might be (see 6:4). The point is an unnecessary distinction, for the figure is an illustration of the affliction that God has brought on him.

1045 tn Heb “and he does not pity,” but the clause is functioning adverbially in the line.

1046 tn The verb פָּלַח (palakh) in the Piel means “to pierce” (see Prov 7:23). A fuller comparison should be made with Lam 3:12-13.

1047 tn This word מְרֵרָתִי (mÿrerati, “my gall”) is found only here. It is close to the form in Job 13:26, “bitter things.” In Job 20:14 it may mean “poison.” The thought is also found in Lam 2:11.

1048 tn The word פָּרַץ (parats) means “to make a breach” in a wall (Isa 5:5; Ps 80:13). It is used figuratively in the birth and naming of Peres in Gen 38:29. Here the image is now of a military attack that breaks through a wall. The text uses the cognate accusative, and then with the addition of עַל־פְּנֵי (’al-pÿne, “in addition”) it repeats the cognate noun. A smooth translation that reflects the three words is difficult. E. Dhorme (Job, 237) has “he batters me down, breach upon breach.”

1049 tn Heb “runs.”

1050 sn The language is hyperbolic; Job is saying that the sackcloth he has put on in his lamentable state is now stuck to his skin as if he had stitched it into the skin. It is now a habitual garment that he never takes off.

1051 tn The Poel עֹלַלְתִּי (’olalti) from עָלַל (’alal, “to enter”) has here the meaning of “to thrust in.” The activity is the opposite of “raising high the horn,” a picture of dignity and victory.

1052 tn There is no English term that captures exactly what “horn” is meant to do. Drawn from the animal world, the image was meant to convey strength and pride and victory. Some modern commentators have made other proposals for the line. Svi Rin suggested from Ugaritic that the verb be translated “lower” or “dip” (“Ugaritic – Old Testament Affinities,” BZ 7 [1963]: 22-33).

1053 tn An intensive form, a Qetaltal form of the root חָמַר (khamar, “red”) is used here. This word has as probable derivatives חֹמֶר (khomer, “[red] clay”) and חֲמוֹר (khamor, “[red] ass”) and the like. Because of the weeping, his whole complexion has been reddened (the LXX reads “my belly”).

1054 sn A. B. Davidson (Job, 122) notes that spontaneous and repeated weeping is one of the symptoms of elephantiasis.

1055 sn See Job 3:5. Just as joy brings light and life to the eyes, sorrow and suffering bring darkness. The “eyelids” here would be synecdoche, reflecting the whole facial expression as sad and sullen.

1056 tn For the use of the preposition עַל (’al) to introduce concessive clauses, see GKC 499 §160.c.

1057 sn Job knows that he will die, and that his death, signified here by blood on the ground, will cry out for vindication.

1058 tn The word is simply “a place,” but in the context it surely means a hidden place, a secret place that would never be discovered (see 18:21).

1059 sn The witness in heaven must be God, to whom the cries and prayers come. Job’s dilemma is serious, but common to the human experience: the hostility of God toward him is baffling, but he is conscious of his innocence and can call on God to be his witness.

1060 tn The parallelism now uses the Aramaic word “my advocate” – the one who testifies on my behalf. The word again appears in Gen 31:47 for Laban’s naming of the “heap of witness” in Aramaic – “Sahadutha.”

1061 tn The first two words of this verse are problematic: מְלִיצַי רֵעָי (mÿlitsay reay, “my scorners are my friends”). The word מֵלִיץ (melits), from or related to the word for “scorner” (לִיץ, lits) in wisdom literature especially, can also mean “mediator” (Job 33:23), “interpreter” (Gen 42:23). This gives the idea that “scorn” has to do with the way words are used. It may be that the word here should have the singular suffix and be taken as “my spokesman.” This may not be from the same root as “scorn” (see N. H. Richardson, “Some Notes on lis and Its Derivatives,” VT 5 [1955]: 434-36). This is the view of the NIV, NJPS, JB, NAB, as well as a number of commentators. The idea of “my friends are scorners” is out of place in this section, unless taken as a parenthesis. Other suggestions are not convincing. The LXX has “May my prayer come to the Lord, and before him may my eye shed tears.” Some have tried to change the Hebrew to fit this. The word “my friends” also calls for some attention. Instead of a plural noun suffix, most would see it as a singular, a slight vocalic change. But others think it is not the word “friend.” D. J. A. Clines accepts the view that it is not “friends” but “thoughts” (רֵעַ, rea’). E. Dhorme takes it as “clamor,” from רוּעַ (rua’) and so interprets “my claimant word has reached God.” J. B. Curtis tries “My intercessor is my shepherd,” from רֹעִי (roi). See “On Job’s Witness in Heaven,” JBL 102 [1983]: 549-62.

1062 tn The Hebrew verb means “to drip; to stream; to flow”; the expression is cryptic, but understandable: “my eye flows [with tears as I cry out] to God.” But many suggestions have been made for this line too. Driver suggested in connection with cognate words that it be given the meaning “sleepless” (JTS 34 [1933]: 375-85), but this would also require additional words for a smooth reading. See also E. A. Speiser, “The Semantic Range of dalapu,JCS 5 (1951): 64-66, for the Akkadian connection. But for the retention of “dripping eyes” based on the Talmudic use, see J. C. Greenfield, “Lexicographical Notes I,” HUCA 29 (1958): 203-28.

1063 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 240) alters this slightly to read “Would that” or “Ah! if only.”

1064 tn This is the simple translation of the expression “son of man” in Job. But some commentators wish to change the word בֵּן (ben, “son”) to בֵּין (ben, “between”). It would then be “[as] between a man and [for] his friend.” Even though a few mss have this reading, it is to be rejected. But see J. Barr, “Some Notes on ‘ben’ in Classical Hebrew,” JSS 23 (1978): 1-22.

1065 tn The verb is supplied from the parallel clause.