Do you wish to torment 1 a windblown 2 leaf and chase after dry chaff? 3
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The verb תַּעֲרוֹץ (ta’arots, “you torment”) is from עָרַץ (’arats), which usually means “fear; dread,” but can also mean “to make afraid; to terrify” (Isa 2:19,21). The imperfect is here taken as a desiderative imperfect: “why do you want to”; but it could also be a simple future: “will you torment.”
2 tn The word נִדָּף (niddaf) is “driven” from the root נָדַף (nadaf, “drive”). The words “by the wind” or the interpretation “windblown” has to be added for the clarification. Job is comparing himself to this leaf (so an implied comparison, called hypocatastasis) – so light and insubstantial that it is amazing that God should come after him. Guillaume suggests that the word is not from this root, but from a second root נָדַף (nadaf), cognate to Arabic nadifa, “to dry up” (A. Guillaume, “A Note on Isaiah 19:7,” JTS 14 : 382-83). But as D. J. A. Clines notes (Job [WBC], 283), a dried leaf is a driven leaf – a point Guillaume allows as he says there is ambiguity in the term.
3 tn The word קַשׁ (qash) means “chaff; stubble,” or a wisp of straw. It is found in Job 41:20-21 for that which is so worthless and insignificant that it is hardly worth mentioning. If dried up or withered, it too will be blown away in the wind.