Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defences are defences of clay.
"Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, Your defenses are defenses of clay.
Your statements have about as much value as ashes. Your defense is as fragile as a clay pot.
Your wise sayings are knickknack wisdom, good for nothing but gathering dust.
Your wise sayings are only dust, and your strong places are only earth.
Your maxims are proverbs of ashes, your defenses are defenses of clay.
Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes, Your defenses are defenses of clay.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The word is זִכְרֹנֵיכֶם (zikhronekhem, “your remembrances”). The word זִכָּרֹן (zikkaron) not only can mean the act of remembering, but also what is remembered – what provokes memory or is worth being remembered. In the plural it can mean all the memorabilia, and in this verse all the sayings and teachings. H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 99) suggests that in Job’s speech it could mean “all your memorized sayings.”
2 tn The parallelism of “dust” and “ashes” is fairly frequent in scripture. But “proverbs of ashes” is difficult. The genitive is certainly describing the proverbs; it could be classified as a genitive of apposition, proverbs that are/have become ashes. Ashes represent something that at one time may have been useful, but now has been reduced to what is worthless.
3 tn There is a division of opinion on the source of this word. Some take it from “answer”, related to Arabic, Aramaic, and Syriac words for “answer,” and so translate it “responses” (JB). Others take it from a word for “back,” with a derived meaning of the “boss” of the shield, and translate it bulwark or “defenses” (NEB, RSV, NIV). The idea of “answers” may fit the parallelism better, but “defenses” can be taken figuratively to refer to verbal defenses.
4 sn Any defense made with clay would crumble on impact.