Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Job 1:21


He said, “Naked 1  I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there. 2  The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. 3  May the name of the Lord 4  be blessed!”


Ge 3:19; Ge 30:2; Ge 45:5; 1Sa 3:18; 2Sa 16:12; 1Ki 12:15; 2Ki 20:19; Job 1:11; Job 2:10; Ps 34:1; Ps 39:9; Ps 49:17; Ps 89:38-52; Ec 5:15; Ec 5:19; Ec 12:7; Isa 24:15; Isa 42:24; Isa 45:7; La 3:38; Am 3:6; Mt 20:15; Ac 4:28; Eph 5:20; 1Th 5:18; 1Ti 6:7; Jas 1:17

NET © Notes

tn The adjective “naked” is functioning here as an adverbial accusative of state, explicative of the state of the subject. While it does include the literal sense of nakedness at birth, Job is also using it symbolically to mean “without possessions.”

sn While the first half of the couplet is to be taken literally as referring to his coming into this life, this second part must be interpreted only generally to refer to his departure from this life. It is parallel to 1 Tim 6:7, “For we have brought nothing into this world and so we cannot take a single thing out either.”

tn The two verbs are simple perfects. (1) They can be given the nuance of gnomic imperfect, expressing what the sovereign God always does. This is the approach taken in the present translation. Alternatively (2) they could be referring specifically to Job’s own experience: “Yahweh gave [definite past, referring to his coming into this good life] and Yahweh has taken away” [present perfect, referring to his great losses]. Many English versions follow the second alternative.

sn Some commentators are troubled by the appearance of the word “Yahweh” on the lips of Job, assuming that the narrator inserted his own name for God into the story-telling. Such thinking is based on the assumption that Yahweh was only a national god of Israel, unknown to anyone else in the ancient world. But here is a clear indication that a non-Israelite, Job, knew and believed in Yahweh.

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