9:19 If it is a matter of strength, 1
most certainly 2 he is the strong one!
And if it is a matter of justice,
he will say, ‘Who will summon me?’ 3
9:20 Although I am innocent, 4
my mouth 5 would condemn me; 6
although I am blameless,
it would declare me perverse. 7
9:32 For he 8 is not a human being like I am,
that 9 I might answer him,
that we might come 10 together in judgment.
1 tn The MT has only “if of strength.”
2 tn “Most certainly” translates the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh).
3 tn The question could be taken as “who will summon me?” (see Jer 49:19 and 50:44). This does not make immediate sense. Some have simply changed the suffix to “who will summon him.” If the MT is retained, then supplying something like “he will say” could make the last clause fit the whole passage. Another option is to take it as “Who will reveal it to me?” – i.e., Job could be questioning his friends’ qualifications for being God’s emissaries to bring God’s charges against him (cf. KJV, NKJV; and see 10:2 where Job uses the same verb in the Hiphil to request that God reveal what his sin has been that has led to his suffering).
sn Job is saying that whether it is a trial of strength or an appeal to justice, he is unable to go against God.
4 tn The idea is the same as that expressed in v. 15, although here the imperfect verb is used and not the perfect. Once again with the concessive clause (“although I am right”) Job knows that in a legal dispute he would be confused and would end up arguing against himself.
5 tn Some commentators wish to change this to “his mouth,” meaning God’s response to Job’s complaints. But the MT is far more expressive, and “my mouth” fits the context in which Job is saying that even though he is innocent, if he spoke in a court setting in the presence of God he would be overwhelmed, confused, and no doubt condemn himself.
6 tn The verb has the declarative sense in the Hiphil, “to declare guilty [or wicked]” or “to condemn.”
7 tn The verb עָקַשׁ (’aqash) means “to be twisted; to be tortuous.” The Piel has a meaning “to bend; to twist” (Mic 3:9) and “to pervert” (Jer 59:8). The form here is classified as a Hiphil, with the softening of the vowel i (see GKC 147 §53.n). It would then also be a declarative use of the Hiphil.
8 tn The personal pronoun that would be expected as the subject of a noun clause is sometimes omitted (see GKC 360 §116.s). Here it has been supplied.
9 tn The consecutive clause is here attached without the use of the ו (vav), but only by simple juxtaposition (see GKC 504-5 §166.a).
10 tn The sense of the verb “come” with “together in judgment” means “to confront one another in court.” See Ps 143:2.