"Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?
"Why did I not die at birth, Come forth from the womb and expire?
"Why didn’t I die at birth as I came from the womb?
"Why didn't I die at birth, my first breath out of the womb my last?
Why did death not take me when I came out of my mother’s body, why did I not, when I came out, give up my last breath?
"Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?
"Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 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.
2 tn The negative only occurs with the first clause, but it extends its influence to the parallel second clause (GKC 483 §152.z).
3 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.
4 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.
5 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.”