"A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
"For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.
"One should be kind to a fainting friend, but you have accused me without the slightest fear of the Almighty.
"When desperate people give up on God Almighty, their friends, at least, should stick with them.
He whose heart is shut against his friend has given up the fear of the Ruler of all.
"Those who withhold kindness from a friend forsake the fear of the Almighty.
"To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn In this context חֶסֶד (khesed) could be taken as “loyalty” (“loyalty should be shown by his friend”).
2 tn The Hebrew of this verse is extremely difficult, and while there are many suggestions, none of them has gained a consensus. The first colon simply has “to the despairing // from his friend // kindness.” Several commentators prefer to change the first word לַמָּס (lammas, “to the one in despair”) to some sort of verb; several adopt the reading “the one who withholds/he withholds mercy from his friend forsakes….” The point of the first half of the verse seems to be that one should expect kindness (or loyalty) from a friend in times of suffering.
3 tn The relationship of the second colon to the first is difficult. The line just reads literally “and the fear of the Almighty he forsakes.” The ו (vav) could be interpreted in several different ways: “else he will forsake…,” “although he forsakes…,” “even the one who forsakes…,” or “even if he forsakes…” – the reading adopted here. If the first colon receives the reading “His friend has scorned compassion,” then this clause would be simply coordinated with “and forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” The sense of the verse seems to say that kindness/loyalty should be shown to the despairing, even to the one who is forsaking the fear of the