Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Job 3:5

Context
NETBible

Let darkness and the deepest shadow 1  claim it; 2  let a cloud settle on it; let whatever blackens the day 3  terrify it!

XREF

De 4:11; Job 10:21,22; Job 16:16; Job 24:17; Job 28:3; Job 38:17; Ps 23:4; Ps 44:19; Ps 107:10,14; Isa 9:2; Jer 2:6; Jer 4:28; Jer 13:16; Eze 30:3; Eze 34:12; Joe 2:2; Am 5:8; Am 8:10; Mt 4:16; Lu 1:79; Heb 12:18

NET © Notes

sn The translation of צַלְמָוֶת (tsalmavet, “shadow of death”) has been traditionally understood to indicate a dark, death shadow (supported in the LXX), but many scholars think it may not represent the best etymological analysis of the word. The word may be connected to an Arabic word which means “to be dark,” and an Akkadian word meaning “black.” It would then have to be repointed throughout its uses to צַלְמוּת (tsalmut) forming an abstract ending. It would then simply mean “darkness” rather than “shadow of death.” Or the word can be understood as an idiomatic expression meaning “gloom” that is deeper than חֹשֶׁךְ (khoshekh; see HALOT 1029 s.v. צַלְמָוֶת). Since “darkness” has already been used in the line, the two together could possibly form a nominal hendiadys: “Let the deepest darkness….” There is a significant amount of literature on this; one may begin with W. L. Michel, “SLMWT, ‘Deep Darkness’ or ‘Shadow of Death’?” BR 29 (1984): 5-20.

tn The verb is גָּאַל (gaal, “redeem, claim”). Some have suggested that the verb is actually the homonym “pollute.” This is the reading in the Targum, Syriac, Vulgate, and Rashi, who quotes from Mal 1:7,12. See A. R. Johnson, “The Primary Meaning of gaal,” VTSup 1 (1953): 67-77.

tn The expression “the blackness of the day” (כִּמְרִירֵי יוֹם, kimrire yom) probably means everything that makes the day black, such as supernatural events like eclipses. Job wishes that all ominous darknesses would terrify that day. It comes from the word כָּמַר (kamar, “to be black”), related to Akkadian kamaru (“to overshadow, darken”). The versions seem to have ignored the first letter and connected the word to מָרַר (marar, “be bitter”).



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