How painful are honest words! But what do your arguments prove?
"How painful are honest words! But what does your argument prove?
Honest words are painful, but what do your criticisms amount to?
Honest words never hurt anyone, but what's the point of all this pious bluster?
How pleasing are upright words! but what force is there in your arguments?
How forceful are honest words! But your reproof, what does it reprove?
How forceful are right words! But what does your arguing prove?
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The word נִּמְרְצוּ (nimrÿtsu, “[they] painful are”) may be connected to מָרַץ (marats, “to be ill”). This would give the idea of “how distressing,” or “painful” in this stem. G. R. Driver (JTS 29 [1927/28]: 390-96) connected it to an Akkadian cognate “to be ill” and rendered it “bitter.” It has also been linked with מָרַס (maras), meaning “to be hard, strong,” giving the idea of “how persuasive” (see N. S. Doniach and W. E. Barnes, “Job 4:25: The Root Maras,” JTS [1929/30]: 291-92). There seems more support for the meaning “to be ill” (cf. Mal 2:10). Others follow Targum Job “how pleasant [to my palate are your words]”; E. Dhorme (Job, 92) follows this without changing the text but noting that the word has an interchange of letter with מָלַץ (malats) for מָרַץ (marats).
2 tn The וּ (vav) here introduces the antithesis (GKC 484-85 §154.a).
3 tn The infinitive הוֹכֵחַ (hokheakh, “reproof,” from יָכַח [yakhakh, “prove”]) becomes the subject of the verb from the same root, יוֹכִיהַ (yokhiakh), and so serves as a noun (see GKC 340 §113.b). This verb means “to dispute, quarrel, argue, contend” (see BDB 406-7 s.v. יָכַח). Job is saying, “What does reproof from you prove?”
4 tn The LXX again paraphrases this line: “But as it seems, the words of a true man are vain, because I do not ask strength of you.” But the rest of the versions are equally divided on the verse.