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Job 9:20

Context

9:20 Although I am innocent, 1 

my mouth 2  would condemn me; 3 

although I am blameless,

it would declare me perverse. 4 

Job 9:32-33

Context

9:32 For he 5  is not a human being like I am,

that 6  I might answer him,

that we might come 7  together in judgment.

9:33 Nor is there an arbiter 8  between us,

who 9  might lay 10  his hand on us both, 11 

1 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.

2 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.

3 tn The verb has the declarative sense in the Hiphil, “to declare guilty [or wicked]” or “to condemn.”

4 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.

5 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.

6 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).

7 tn The sense of the verb “come” with “together in judgment” means “to confront one another in court.” See Ps 143:2.

8 tn The participle מוֹכִיחַ (mokhiakh) is the “arbiter” or “mediator.” The word comes from the verb יָכַח (yakhakh, “decide, judge”), which is concerned with legal and nonlegal disputes. The verbal forms can be used to describe the beginning of a dispute, the disputation in progress, or the settling of it (here, and in Isa 1:18).

sn The old translation of “daysman” came from a Latin expression describing the fixing of a day for arbitration.

9 tn The relative pronoun is understood in this clause.

10 tn The jussive in conditional sentences retains its voluntative sense: let something be so, and this must happen as a consequence (see GKC 323 §109.i).

11 sn The idiom of “lay his hand on the two of us” may come from a custom of a judge putting his hands on the two in order to show that he is taking them both under his jurisdiction. The expression can also be used for protection (see Ps 139:5). Job, however, has a problem in that the other party is God, who himself will be arbiter in judgment.



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