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Job 4:10-11


4:10 There is 1  the roaring of the lion 2 

and the growling 3  of the young lion,

but the teeth of the young lions are broken. 4 

4:11 The mighty lion 5  perishes 6  for lack of prey,

and the cubs of the lioness 7  are scattered.

1 tn “There is” has been supplied to make a smoother translation out of the clauses.

2 sn Eliphaz takes up a new image here to make the point that the wicked are destroyed – the breaking up and scattering of a den of lions. There are several words for “lion” used in this section. D. J. A. Clines observes that it is probably impossible to distinguish them (Job [WBC], 109, 110, which records some bibliography of those who have tried to work on the etymologies and meanings). The first is אַרְיֵה (’aryeh) the generic term for “lion.” It is followed by שַׁחַל (shakhal) which, like כְּפִיר (kÿfir), is a “young lion.” Some have thought that the שַׁחַל (shakhal) is a lion-like animal, perhaps a panther or leopard. KBL takes it by metathesis from Arabic “young one.” The LXX for this verse has “the strength of the lion, and the voice of the lioness and the exulting cry of serpents are quenched.”

3 tn Heb “voice.”

4 tn The verb belongs to the subject “teeth” in this last colon; but it is used by zeugma (a figure of speech in which one word is made to refer to two or more other words, but has to be understood differently in the different contexts) of the three subjects (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 46-47).

5 tn The word לַיִשׁ (layish) traditionally rendered “strong lion,” occurs only here and in Prov 30:30 and Isa 30:6. It has cognates in several of the Semitic languages, and so seems to indicate lion as king of the beasts.

6 tn The form of the verb is the Qal active participle; it stresses the characteristic action of the verb as if a standard universal truth.

7 tn The text literally has “sons of the lioness.”

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