12:2 “Without a doubt you are the people, 1
and wisdom will die with you. 2
19:4 But even if it were 3 true that I have erred, 4
my error 5 remains solely my concern!
34:12 Indeed, in truth, God does not act wickedly,
and the Almighty does not pervert justice.
36:4 For in truth, my words are not false;
it is one complete 6 in knowledge
who is with you.
1 tn The expression “you are the people” is a way of saying that the friends hold the popular opinion – they represent it. The line is sarcastic. Commentators do not think the parallelism is served well by this, and so offer changes for “people.” Some have suggested “you are complete” (based on Arabic), “you are the strong one” (based on Ugaritic), etc. J. A. Davies tried to solve the difficulty by making the second clause in the verse a paratactic relative clause: “you are the people with whom wisdom will die” (“Note on Job 12:2,” VT 25 : 670-71).
2 sn The sarcasm of Job admits their claim to wisdom, as if no one has it besides them. But the rest of his speech will show that they do not have a monopoly on it.
3 tn Job has held to his innocence, so the only way that he could say “I have erred” (שָׁגִיתִי, shagiti) is in a hypothetical clause like this.
4 tn There is a long addition in the LXX: “in having spoken words which it is not right to speak, and my words err, and are unreasonable.”
5 tn The word מְשׁוּגָה (mÿshugah) is a hapax legomenon. It is derived from שׁוּג (shug, “to wander; to err”) with root paralleling שָׁגַג (shagag) and שָׁגָה (shagah). What Job is saying is that even if it were true that he had erred, it did not injure them – it was solely his concern.
6 tn The word is תְּמִים (tÿmim), often translated “perfect.” It is the same word used of Job in 2:3. Elihu is either a complete stranger to modesty or is confident regarding the knowledge that he believes God has revealed to him for this situation. See the note on the heading before 32:1.