When a scourge brings sudden death, he mocks the despair of the innocent.
"If the scourge kills suddenly, He mocks the despair of the innocent.
He laughs when a plague suddenly kills the innocent.
When calamity hits and brings sudden death, he folds his arms, aloof from the despair of the innocent.
If death comes suddenly through disease, he makes sport of the fate of those who have done no wrong.
When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity of the innocent.
If the scourge slays suddenly, He laughs at the plight of the innocent.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tc The LXX contains a paraphrase: “for the worthless die, but the righteous are laughed to scorn.”
sn The point of these verses is to show – rather boldly – that God does not distinguish between the innocent and the guilty.
2 sn This bold anthropomorphism means that by his treatment of the despair of the innocent, God is in essence mocking them.
3 tn The term מַסַּת (massat), a hapax legomenon, was translated “trial” in the older versions; but it is not from נָסָה (nasah, “to tempt; to test; to try”), but from מָסַס (masas, “to flow”). It is used in the Niphal to speak of the heart “melting” in suffering. So the idea behind this image is that of despair. This is the view that most interpreters adopt; it requires no change of the text whatsoever.
4 sn Job uses this word to refute Eliphaz; cf. 4:7.