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Job 27:2-6


27:2 “As surely as God lives, 1  who has denied me justice, 2 

the Almighty, who has made my life bitter 3 

27:3 for while 4  my spirit 5  is still in me,

and the breath from God is in my nostrils,

27:4 my 6  lips will not speak wickedness,

and my tongue will whisper 7  no deceit.

27:5 I will never 8  declare that you three 9  are in the right;

until I die, I will not set aside my integrity!

27:6 I will maintain my righteousness

and never let it go;

my conscience 10  will not reproach me

for as long as I live. 11 

1 tn The expression חַי־אֵל (khay-el) is the oath formula: “as God lives.” In other words, the speaker is staking God’s life on the credibility of the words. It is like saying, “As truly as God is alive.”

2 tn “My judgment” would here, as before, be “my right.” God has taken this away by afflicting Job unjustly (A. B. Davidson, Job, 187).

3 tn The verb הֵמַר (hemar) is the Hiphil perfect from מָרַר (marar, “to be bitter”) and hence, “to make bitter.” The object of the verb is “my soul,” which is better translated as “me” or “my life.”

4 tn The adverb עוֹד (’od) was originally a noun, and so here it could be rendered “all the existence of my spirit.” The word comes between the noun in construct and its actual genitive (see GKC 415 §128.e).

5 tn The word נְשָׁמָה (nÿshamah) is the “breath” that was breathed into Adam in Gen 2:7. Its usage includes the animating breath, the spiritual understanding, and the functioning conscience – so the whole spirit of the person. The other word in this verse, רוּחַ (ruakh), may be translated as “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit/Spirit” depending on the context. Here, since it talks about the nostrils, it should be translated “breath.”

6 tn The verse begins with אִם (’im), the formula used for the content of the oath (“God lives…if I do/do not…”). Thus, the content of the oath proper is here in v. 4.

7 tn The verb means “to utter; to mumble; to meditate.” The implication is that he will not communicate deceitful things, no matter how quiet or subtle.

8 tn The text uses חָלִילָה לִּי (khalilah li) meaning “far be it from me,” or more strongly, something akin to “sacrilege.”

9 tn In the Hebrew text “you” is plural – a reference to Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad. To make this clear, “three” is supplied in the translation.

10 tn Heb “my heart.”

11 tn The prepositional phrase “from my days” probably means “from the days of my birth,” or “all my life.”

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