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Job 29:12-16

Context

29:12 for I rescued the poor who cried out for help,

and the orphan who 1  had no one to assist him;

29:13 the blessing of the dying man descended on me, 2 

and I made the widow’s heart rejoice; 3 

29:14 I put on righteousness and it clothed me, 4 

my just dealing 5  was like a robe and a turban;

29:15 I was eyes for the blind

and feet for the lame;

29:16 I was a father 6  to the needy,

and I investigated the case of the person I did not know;

1 tn The negative introduces a clause that serves as a negative attribute; literally the following clause says, “and had no helper” (see GKC 482 §152.u).

2 tn The verb is simply בּוֹא (bo’, “to come; to enter”). With the preposition עַל (’al, “upon”) it could mean “came to me,” or “came upon me,” i.e., descended (see R. Gordis, Job, 320).

3 tn The verb אַרְנִן (’arnin) is from רָנַן (ranan, “to give a ringing cry”) but here “cause to give a ringing cry,” i.e., shout of joy. The rejoicing envisioned in this word is far greater than what the words “sing” or “rejoice” suggest.

4 tn Both verbs in this first half-verse are from לָבַשׁ (lavash, “to clothe; to put on clothing”). P. Joüon changed the vowels to get a verb “it adorned me” instead of “it clothed me” (Bib 11 [1930]: 324). The figure of clothing is used for the character of the person: to wear righteousness is to be righteous.

5 tn The word מִשְׁפָּטִי (mishpati) is simply “my justice” or “my judgment.” It refers to the decisions he made in settling issues, how he dealt with other people justly.

6 sn The word “father” does not have a wide range of meanings in the OT. But there are places that it is metaphorical, especially in a legal setting like this where the poor need aid.



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