Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Job 6:21


For now 1  you have become like these streams that are no help; 2  you see a terror, 3  and are afraid.


Job 2:11-13; Job 6:15; Job 13:4; Ps 38:11; Ps 62:9; Pr 19:7; Isa 2:22; Jer 17:5,6; Jer 51:9; Mt 26:31,56; 2Ti 4:16; Re 18:9,10,17,18

NET © Notes

tn There is a textual problem in this line, an issue of Kethib-Qere. Some read the form with the Qere as the preposition with a suffix referring to “the river,” with the idea “you are like it.” Others would read the form with the Kethib as the negative “not,” meaning “for now you are nothing.” The LXX and the Syriac read the word as “to me.” RSV follows this and changes כִּי (ki, “for”) to כֵּן (ken, “thus”). However, such an emendation is unnecessary since כִּי (ki) itself can be legitimately employed as an emphatic particle. In that case, the translation would be, “Indeed, now you are” in the sense of “At this time you certainly are behaving like those streams.” The simplest reading is “for now you have become [like] it.” The meaning seems clear enough in the context that the friends, like the river, proved to be of no use. But D. J. A. Clines (Job [WBC], 161) points out that the difficulty with this is that all references so far to the rivers have been in the plural.

tn The perfect of הָיָה (hayah) could be translated as either “are” or “have been” rather than “have become” (cf. Joüon 2:373 §113.p with regard to stative verbs). “Like it” refers to the intermittent stream which promises water but does not deliver. The LXX has a paraphrase: “But you also have come to me without pity.”

tn The word חֲתַת (khatat) is a hapax legomenon. The word חַת (khat) means “terror” in 41:25. The construct form חִתַּת (khittat) is found in Gen 35:5; and חִתִּית (khittit) is found in Ezek 26:17, 32:23). The Akkadian cognate means “terror.” It probably means that in Job’s suffering they recognized some dreaded thing from God and were afraid to speak any sympathy toward him.

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