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Job 42

Job’s Confession

42:1 Then Job answered the Lord:

42:2 “I know that you can do all things;

no purpose of yours can be thwarted;

42:3 you asked, 1 

‘Who is this who darkens counsel

without knowledge?’

But 2  I have declared without understanding 3 

things too wonderful for me to know. 4 

42:4 You said, 5 

‘Pay attention, and I will speak;

I will question you, and you will answer me.’

42:5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

but now my eye has seen you. 6 

42:6 Therefore I despise myself, 7 

and I repent in dust and ashes!

VII. The Epilogue (42:7-17)

42:7 After the Lord had spoken these things to Job, he 8  said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is stirred up 9  against you and your two friends, because you have not spoken about me what is right, 10  as my servant Job has. 42:8 So now take 11  seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job will intercede 12  for you, and I will respect him, 13  so that I do not deal with you 14  according to your folly, 15  because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 16 

42:9 So they went, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, and did just as the Lord had told them; and the Lord had respect for Job. 17 

42:10 So the Lord 18  restored what Job had lost 19  after he prayed for his friends, 20  and the Lord doubled 21  all that had belonged to Job. 42:11 So they came to him, all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they dined 22  with him in his house. They comforted him and consoled him for all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver 23  and a gold ring. 24 

42:12 So the Lord blessed the second part of Job’s life more than the first. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 42:13 And he also had seven sons 25  and three daughters. 42:14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, 26  the second Keziah, 27  and the third Keren-Happuch. 28  42:15 Nowhere in all the land could women be found who were as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance alongside their brothers.

42:16 After this Job lived 140 years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 42:17 And so Job died, old and full of days.

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1 tn The expression “you asked” is added here to clarify the presence of the line to follow. Many commentators delete it as a gloss from Job 38:2. If it is retained, then Job has to be recalling God’s question before he answers it.

2 tn The word לָכֵן (lakhen) is simply “but,” as in Job 31:37.

3 tn Heb “and I do not understand.” The expression serves here in an adverbial capacity. It also could be subordinated as a complement: “I have declared [things that] I do not understand.”

4 tn The last clause is “and I do not know.” This is also subordinated to become a dependent clause.

5 tn This phrase, “you said,” is supplied in the translation to introduce the recollection of God’s words.

6 sn This statement does not imply there was a vision. He is simply saying that this experience of God was real and personal. In the past his knowledge of God was what he had heard – hearsay. This was real.

7 tn Or “despise what I said.” There is no object on the verb; Job could be despising himself or the things he said (see L. J. Kuyper, “Repentance of Job,” VT 9 [1959]: 91-94).

8 tn Heb “the Lord.” The title has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

9 tn Heb “is kindled.”

10 tn The form נְכוֹנָה (nÿkhonah) is from כּוּן (kun, “to be firm; to be fixed; to be established”). Here it means “the right thing” or “truth.” The Akkadian word kenu (from כּוּן, kun) connotes justice and truth.

11 tn The imperatives in this verse are plural, so all three had to do this together.

12 tn The verb “pray” is the Hitpael from the root פָּלַל (palal). That root has the main idea of arbitration; so in this stem it means “to seek arbitration [for oneself],” or “to pray,” or “to intercede.”

13 tn Heb “I will lift up his face,” meaning, “I will regard him.”

14 tn This clause is a result clause, using the negated infinitive construct.

15 tn The word “folly” can also be taken in the sense of “disgrace.” If the latter is chosen, the word serves as the direct object. If the former, then it is an adverbial accusative.

16 sn The difference between what they said and what Job said, therefore, has to do with truth. Job was honest, spoke the truth, poured out his complaints, but never blasphemed God. For his words God said he told the truth. He did so with incomplete understanding, and with all the impatience and frustration one might expect. Now the friends, however, did not tell what was right about God. They were not honest; rather, they were self-righteous and condescending. They were saying what they thought should be said, but it was wrong.

17 tn The expression “had respect for Job” means God answered his prayer.

18 tn The paragraph begins with the disjunctive vav, “Now as for the Lord, he….”

19 sn The expression here is interesting: “he returned the captivity of Job,” a clause used elsewhere in the Bible of Israel (see e.g., Ps 126). Here it must mean “the fortunes of Job,” i.e., what he had lost. There is a good deal of literature on this; for example, see R. Borger, “Zu sub sb(i)t,” ZAW 25 (1954): 315-16; and E. Baumann, ZAW 6 (1929): 17ff.

20 tn This is a temporal clause, using the infinitive construct with the subject genitive suffix. By this it seems that this act of Job was also something of a prerequisite for restoration – to pray for them.

21 tn The construction uses the verb “and he added” with the word “repeat” (or “twice”).

22 tn Heb “ate bread.”

23 tn The Hebrew word קְשִׂיטָה (qÿsitah) is generally understood to refer to a unit of money, but the value is unknown.

sn The Hebrew word refers to a piece of silver, yet uncoined. It is the kind used in Gen 33:19 and Josh 24:32. It is what would be expected of a story set in the patriarchal age.

24 sn This gold ring was worn by women in the nose, or men and women in the ear.

25 tn The word for “seven” is spelled in an unusual way. From this some have thought it means “twice seven,” or fourteen sons. Several commentators take this view; but it is probably not warranted.

26 sn The Hebrew name Jemimah means “dove.”

27 sn The Hebrew name Keziah means “cassia.”

28 sn The Hebrew name Keren-Happuch means “horn of eye-paint.”

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