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Job 7:3

Context

7:3 thus 1  I have been made to inherit 2 

months of futility, 3 

and nights of sorrow 4 

have been appointed 5  to me.

Job 7:16

Context

7:16 I loathe 6  it; 7  I do not want to live forever;

leave me alone, 8  for my days are a vapor! 9 

1 tn “Thus” indicates a summary of vv. 1 and 2: like the soldier, the mercenary, and the slave, Job has labored through life and looks forward to death.

2 tn The form is the Hophal perfect of נָחַל (nakhal): “I have been made to inherit,” or more simply, “I have inherited.” The form occurs only here. The LXX must have confused the letters or sounds, a ו (vav) for the ן (nun), for it reads “I have endured.” As a passive the form technically has two accusatives (see GKC 388 §121.c). Job’s point is that his sufferings have been laid on him by another, and so he has inherited them.

3 tn The word is שָׁוְא (shav’, “vanity, deception, nothingness, futility”). His whole life – marked here in months to show its brevity – has been futile. E. Dhorme (Job, 98) suggests the meaning “disillusionment,” explaining that it marks the deceptive nature of mortal life. The word describes life as hollow, insubstantial.

4 tn “Sorrow” is עָמָל (’amal), used in 3:10. It denotes anxious toil, labor, troublesome effort. It may be that the verse expresses the idea that the nights are when the pains of his disease are felt the most. The months are completely wasted; the nights are agonizing.

5 tn The verb is literally “they have appointed”; the form with no expressed subject is to be interpreted as a passive (GKC 460 §144.g). It is therefore not necessary to repoint the verb to make it passive. The word means “to number; to count,” and so “to determine; to allocate.”

6 tn E. Dhorme (Job, 107-8) thinks the idea of loathing or despising is problematic since there is no immediate object. He notes that the verb מָאַס (maas, “loathe”) is parallel to מָסַס (masas, “melt”) in the sense of “flow, drip” (Job 42:6). This would give the idea “I am fading away” or “I grow weaker,” or as Dhorme chooses, “I am pining away.”

7 tn There is no object for the verb in the text. But the most likely object would be “my life” from the last verse, especially since in this verse Job will talk about not living forever. Some have thought the object should be “death,” meaning that Job despised death more than the pains. But that is a forced meaning; besides, as H. H. Rowley points out, the word here means to despise something, to reject it. Job wanted death.

8 tn Heb “cease from me.” This construction means essentially “leave me in peace.”

9 tn This word הֶבֶל (hevel) is difficult to translate. It means “breath; puff of air; vapor” and then figuratively, “vanity.” Job is saying that his life is but a breath – it is brief and fleeting. Compare Ps 144:4 for a similar idea.



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