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Job 40:1-5

Context
Job’s Reply to God’s Challenge

40:1 Then the Lord answered Job:

40:2 “Will the one who contends 1  with the Almighty correct him? 2 

Let the person who accuses God give him an answer!”

40:3 Then Job answered the Lord:

40:4 “Indeed, I am completely unworthy 3  – how could I reply to you?

I put 4  my hand over my mouth to silence myself. 5 

40:5 I have spoken once, but I cannot answer;

twice, but I will say no more.” 6 

1 tn The form רֹב (rov) is the infinitive absolute from the verb רִיב (riv, “contend”). Dhorme wishes to repoint it to make it the active participle, the “one who argues with the Almighty.”

2 tn The verb יִסּוֹר (yissor) is found only here, but comes from a common root meaning “to correct; to reprove.” Several suggestions have been made to improve on the MT. Dhorme read it יָסוּר (yasur) in the sense of “to turn aside; to yield.” Ehrlich read this emendation as “to come to an end.” But the MT could be read as “to correct; to instruct.”

3 tn The word קַלֹּתִי (qalloti) means “to be light; to be of small account; to be unimportant.” From this comes the meaning “contemptible,” which in the causative stem would mean “to treat with contempt; to curse.” Dhorme tries to make the sentence a conditional clause and suggests this meaning: “If I have been thoughtless.” There is really no “if” in Job’s mind.

4 tn The perfect verb here should be classified as an instantaneous perfect; the action is simultaneous with the words.

5 tn The words “to silence myself” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “I will not add.”



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