Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Job 4:17

Context
NETBible

“Is 1  a mortal man 2  righteous 3  before 4  God? Or a man pure 5  before his Creator? 6 

XREF

Ge 18:25; Job 8:3; Job 9:2; Job 9:30,31; Job 14:4; Job 15:14; Job 25:4; Job 35:2; Job 40:8; Ps 143:2; Ps 145:17; Ec 7:20; Jer 12:1; Jer 17:9; Mr 7:20-23; Ro 2:5; Ro 3:4-7; Ro 9:20; Ro 11:33; Re 4:8

NET © Notes

tn The imperfect verbs in this verse express obvious truths known at all times (GKC 315 §107.f).

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.

tn The imperfect verb in this interrogative sentence could also be interpreted with a potential nuance: “Can a man be righteous?”

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].

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”).

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).



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