Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Job 4:15

Context
NETBible

Then a breath of air 1  passes 2  by my face; it makes 3  the hair of my flesh stand up.

XREF

Ps 104:4; Isa 13:8; Isa 21:3,4; Da 5:6; Mt 14:26; Lu 24:37-39; Heb 1:7,14

NET © Notes

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).

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.

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).



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