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Job 32:11-13

Context

32:11 Look, I waited for you to speak; 1 

I listened closely to your wise thoughts, 2 while you were searching for words.

32:12 Now I was paying you close attention, 3 

yet 4  there was no one proving Job wrong, 5 

not one of you was answering his statements!

32:13 So do not say, 6  ‘We have found wisdom!

God will refute 7  him, not man!’

1 tn Heb “for your words.”

2 tn The word means “understanding.” It refers to the faculty of perception and comprehension; but it also can refer to what that produces, especially when it is in the plural (see Ps 49:4). See R. Gordis, Job, 368. Others translate it “reasonings,” “arguments,” etc.

3 tn The verb again is from בִּין (bin, “to perceive; to understand”); in this stem it means to “to pay close attention.”

4 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “behold”) has a deictic force here, calling attention to the thought that is now presented.

5 tn The participle מוֹכִיחַ (mokhiakh) is from the verb יָכַח (yakhakh) that has been used frequently in the book of Job. It means “to argue; to contend; to debate; to prove; to dispute.” The usage of the verb shows that it can focus on the beginning of an argument, the debating itself, or the resolution of the conflict. Here the latter is obviously meant, for they did argue and contend and criticize – but could not prove Job wrong.

6 tn Heb “lest you say.” R. Gordis (Job, 368) calls this a breviloquence: “beware lest [you say].” He then suggests the best reading for their quote to be, “We have attained wisdom, but only God can refute him, not man.” H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 209) suggests the meaning is a little different, namely, that they are saying they have found wisdom in Job, and only God can deal with it. Elihu is in effect saying that they do not need God, for he is quite capable for this.

7 tn The root is נָדַף (nadaf, “to drive away; to drive off”). Here it is in the abstract sense of “succeed in doing something; confound,” and so “refute; rebut.” Dhorme wants to change the meaning of the word with a slight emendation in the text, deriving it from אָלַף (’alaf, “instruct”) the form becoming יַלְּפֶנוּ (yallÿfenu) instead of יִדְּפֶנּוּ (yiddÿfenu), obtaining the translation “God will instruct us.” This makes a smoother reading, but does not have much support for it.



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