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Job 42:3-6


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!

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).

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