Reading Plan 

Bible Reading May 22

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Job 28:1--31:40

Context

III. Job’s Search for Wisdom (28:1-28)

No Known Road to Wisdom 1 

28:1 “Surely 2  there is a mine 3  for silver,

and a place where gold is refined. 4 

28:2 Iron is taken from the ground, 5 

and rock is poured out 6  as copper.

28:3 Man puts an end to the darkness; 7 

he searches the farthest recesses

for the ore in the deepest darkness. 8 

28:4 Far from where people live 9  he sinks a shaft,

in places travelers have long forgotten, 10 

far from other people he dangles and sways. 11 

28:5 The earth, from which food comes,

is overturned below as though by fire; 12 

28:6 a place whose stones are sapphires 13 

and which contains dust of gold; 14 

28:7 a hidden path 15  no bird of prey knows –

no falcon’s 16  eye has spotted it.

28:8 Proud beasts 17  have not set foot on it,

and no lion has passed along it.

28:9 On the flinty rock man has set to work 18  with his hand;

he has overturned mountains at their bases. 19 

28:10 He has cut out channels 20  through the rocks;

his eyes have spotted 21  every precious thing.

28:11 He has searched 22  the sources 23  of the rivers

and what was hidden he has brought into the light.

No Price Can Buy Wisdom

28:12 “But wisdom – where can it be found?

Where is the place of understanding?

28:13 Mankind does not know its place; 24 

it cannot be found in the land of the living.

28:14 The deep 25  says, ‘It is not with 26  me.’

And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’

28:15 Fine gold cannot be given in exchange for it,

nor can its price be weighed out in silver.

28:16 It cannot be measured out for purchase 27  with the gold of Ophir,

with precious onyx 28  or sapphires.

28:17 Neither gold nor crystal 29  can be compared with it,

nor can a vase 30  of gold match its worth.

28:18 Of coral and jasper no mention will be made;

the price 31  of wisdom is more than pearls. 32 

28:19 The topaz of Cush 33  cannot be compared with it;

it cannot be purchased with pure gold.

God Alone Has Wisdom

28:20 “But wisdom – where does it come from? 34 

Where is the place of understanding?

28:21 For 35  it has been hidden

from the eyes of every living creature,

and from the birds of the sky it has been concealed.

28:22 Destruction 36  and Death say,

‘With our ears we have heard a rumor about where it can be found.’ 37 

28:23 God understands the way to it,

and he alone knows its place.

28:24 For he looks to the ends of the earth

and observes everything under the heavens.

28:25 When he made 38  the force of the wind

and measured 39  the waters with a gauge.

28:26 When he imposed a limit 40  for the rain,

and a path for the thunderstorm, 41 

28:27 then he looked at wisdom 42  and assessed its value; 43 

he established 44  it and examined it closely. 45 

28:28 And he said to mankind,

‘The fear of the Lord 46  – that is wisdom,

and to turn away from evil is understanding.’” 47 

IV. Job’s Concluding Soliloquy (29:1-31:40)

Job Recalls His Former Condition 48 

29:1 Then Job continued 49  his speech:

29:2 “O that I could be 50  as 51  I was

in the months now gone, 52 

in the days 53  when God watched 54  over me,

29:3 when 55  he caused 56  his lamp 57 

to shine upon my head,

and by his light

I walked 58  through darkness; 59 

29:4 just as I was in my most productive time, 60 

when God’s intimate friendship 61  was experienced in my tent,

29:5 when the Almighty 62  was still with me

and my children were 63  around me;

29:6 when my steps 64  were bathed 65  with butter 66 

and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil! 67 

29:7 When I went out to the city gate

and secured my seat in the public square, 68 

29:8 the young men would see me and step aside, 69 

and the old men would get up and remain standing;

29:9 the chief men refrained from talking

and covered their mouths with their hands;

29:10 the voices of the nobles fell silent, 70 

and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.

Job’s Benevolence

29:11 “As soon as the ear heard these things, 71  it blessed me, 72 

and when the eye saw them, it bore witness to me,

29:12 for I rescued the poor who cried out for help,

and the orphan who 73  had no one to assist him;

29:13 the blessing of the dying man descended on me, 74 

and I made the widow’s heart rejoice; 75 

29:14 I put on righteousness and it clothed me, 76 

my just dealing 77  was like a robe and a turban;

29:15 I was eyes for the blind

and feet for the lame;

29:16 I was a father 78  to the needy,

and I investigated the case of the person I did not know;

29:17 I broke the fangs 79  of the wicked,

and made him drop 80  his prey from his teeth.

Job’s Confidence

29:18 “Then I thought, ‘I will die in my own home, 81 

my days as numerous as the grains of sand. 82 

29:19 My roots reach the water,

and the dew lies on my branches all night long.

29:20 My glory 83  will always be fresh 84  in me,

and my bow ever new in my hand.’

Job’s Reputation

29:21 “People 85  listened to me and waited silently; 86 

they kept silent for my advice.

29:22 After I had spoken, they did not respond;

my words fell on them drop by drop. 87 

29:23 They waited for me as people wait 88  for the rain,

and they opened their mouths 89 

as for 90  the spring rains.

29:24 If I smiled at them, they hardly believed it; 91 

and they did not cause the light of my face to darken. 92 

29:25 I chose 93  the way for them 94 

and sat as their chief; 95 

I lived like a king among his troops;

I was like one who comforts mourners. 96 

Job’s Present Misery

30:1 “But now they mock me, those who are younger 97  than I,

whose fathers I disdained too much 98 

to put with my sheep dogs. 99 

30:2 Moreover, the strength of their 100  hands –

what use was it to me?

Men whose strength 101  had perished;

30:3 gaunt 102  with want and hunger,

they would gnaw 103  the parched land,

in former time desolate and waste. 104 

30:4 By the brush 105  they would gather 106  herbs from the salt marshes, 107 

and the root of the broom tree was their food.

30:5 They were banished from the community 108 

people 109  shouted at them

like they would shout at thieves 110 

30:6 so that they had to live 111 

in the dry stream beds, 112 

in the holes of the ground, and among the rocks.

30:7 They brayed 113  like animals among the bushes

and were huddled together 114  under the nettles.

30:8 Sons of senseless and nameless people, 115 

they were driven out of the land with whips. 116 

Job’s Indignities

30:9 “And now I have become their taunt song;

I have become a byword 117  among them.

30:10 They detest me and maintain their distance; 118 

they do not hesitate to spit in my face.

30:11 Because God has untied 119  my tent cord and afflicted me,

people throw off all restraint in my presence. 120 

30:12 On my right the young rabble 121  rise up;

they drive me from place to place, 122 

and build up siege ramps 123  against me. 124 

30:13 They destroy 125  my path;

they succeed in destroying me 126 

without anyone assisting 127  them.

30:14 They come in as through a wide breach;

amid the crash 128  they come rolling in. 129 

30:15 Terrors are turned loose 130  on me;

they drive away 131  my honor like the wind,

and like a cloud my deliverance has passed away.

Job’s Despondency

30:16 “And now my soul pours itself out within me; 132 

days of suffering take hold of me.

30:17 Night pierces 133  my bones; 134 

my gnawing pains 135  never cease.

30:18 With great power God 136  grasps my clothing; 137 

he binds me like the collar 138  of my tunic.

30:19 He has flung me into the mud,

and I have come to resemble dust and ashes.

30:20 I cry out to you, 139  but you do not answer me;

I stand up, 140  and you only look at me. 141 

30:21 You have become cruel to me; 142 

with the strength of your hand you attack me. 143 

30:22 You pick me up on the wind and make me ride on it; 144 

you toss me about 145  in the storm. 146 

30:23 I know that you are bringing 147  me to death,

to the meeting place for all the living.

The Contrast With the Past

30:24 “Surely one does not stretch out his hand

against a broken man 148 

when he cries for help in his distress. 149 

30:25 Have I not wept for the unfortunate? 150 

Was not my soul grieved for the poor?

30:26 But when I hoped for good, trouble came;

when I expected light, then darkness came.

30:27 My heart 151  is in turmoil 152  unceasingly; 153 

the days of my affliction confront me.

30:28 I go about blackened, 154  but not by the sun;

in the assembly I stand up and cry for help.

30:29 I have become a brother to jackals

and a companion of ostriches. 155 

30:30 My skin has turned dark on me; 156 

my body 157  is hot with fever. 158 

30:31 My harp is used for 159  mourning

and my flute for the sound of weeping.

Job Vindicates Himself

31:1 “I made a covenant with 160  my eyes;

how then could I entertain thoughts against a virgin? 161 

31:2 What then would be one’s lot from God above,

one’s heritage from the Almighty 162  on high?

31:3 Is it not misfortune for the unjust,

and disaster for those who work iniquity?

31:4 Does he not see my ways

and count all my steps?

31:5 If 163  I have walked in falsehood,

and if 164  my foot has hastened 165  to deceit –

31:6 let him 166  weigh me with honest 167  scales;

then God will discover 168  my integrity.

31:7 If my footsteps have strayed from the way,

if my heart has gone after my eyes, 169 

or if anything 170  has defiled my hands,

31:8 then let me sow 171  and let another eat,

and let my crops 172  be uprooted.

31:9 If my heart has been enticed by a woman,

and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door, 173 

31:10 then let my wife turn the millstone 174  for another man,

and may other men have sexual relations with her. 175 

31:11 For I would have committed 176  a shameful act, 177 

an iniquity to be judged. 178 

31:12 For it is a fire that devours even to Destruction, 179 

and it would uproot 180  all my harvest.

31:13 “If I have disregarded the right of my male servants

or my female servants

when they disputed 181  with me,

31:14 then what will I do when God confronts me in judgment; 182 

when he intervenes, 183 

how will I respond to him?

31:15 Did not the one who made me in the womb make them? 184 

Did not the same one form us in the womb?

31:16 If I have refused to give the poor what they desired, 185 

or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,

31:17 If I ate my morsel of bread myself,

and did not share any of it with orphans 186 

31:18 but from my youth I raised the orphan 187  like a father,

and from my mother’s womb 188 

I guided the widow! 189 

31:19 If I have seen anyone about to perish for lack of clothing,

or a poor man without a coat,

31:20 whose heart did not bless me 190 

as he warmed himself with the fleece of my sheep, 191 

31:21 if I have raised my hand 192  to vote against the orphan,

when I saw my support in the court, 193 

31:22 then 194  let my arm fall from the shoulder, 195 

let my arm be broken off at the socket. 196 

31:23 For the calamity from God was a terror to me, 197 

and by reason of his majesty 198  I was powerless.

31:24 “If I have put my confidence in gold

or said to pure gold,

‘You are my security!’

31:25 if I have rejoiced because of the extent of my wealth,

or because of the great wealth my hand had gained,

31:26 if I looked at the sun 199  when it was shining,

and the moon advancing as a precious thing,

31:27 so that my heart was secretly enticed,

and my hand threw them a kiss from my mouth, 200 

31:28 then this 201  also would be iniquity to be judged, 202 

for I would have been false 203  to God above.

31:29 If 204  I have rejoiced over the misfortune of my enemy 205 

or exulted 206  because calamity 207  found him –

31:30 I 208  have not even permitted my mouth 209  to sin

by asking 210  for his life through a curse –

31:31 if 211  the members of my household 212  have never said, 213 

‘If only there were 214  someone

who has not been satisfied from Job’s 215  meat!’ –

31:32 But 216  no stranger had to spend the night outside,

for I opened my doors to the traveler 217 

31:33 if 218  I have covered my transgressions as men do, 219 

by hiding 220  iniquity in my heart, 221 

31:34 because I was terrified 222  of the great multitude, 223 

and the contempt of families terrified me,

so that I remained silent

and would not go outdoors – 224 

Job’s Appeal

31:35 “If only I had 225  someone to hear me!

Here is my signature – 226 

let the Almighty answer me!

If only I had an indictment 227 

that my accuser had written. 228 

31:36 Surely 229  I would wear it proudly 230  on my shoulder,

I would bind 231  it on me like a crown;

31:37 I would give him an accounting of my steps;

like a prince I would approach him.

Job’s Final Solemn Oath 232 

31:38 “If my land cried out against me 233 

and all its furrows wept together,

31:39 if I have eaten its produce without paying, 234 

or caused the death 235  of its owners, 236 

31:40 then let thorns sprout up in place of wheat,

and in place of barley, weeds!” 237 

The words of Job are ended.

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[28:1]  1 sn As the book is now arranged, this chapter forms an additional speech by Job, although some argue that it comes from the writer of the book. The mood of the chapter is not despair, but wisdom; it anticipates the divine speeches in the end of the book. This poem, like many psalms in the Bible, has a refrain (vv. 12 and 20). These refrains outline the chapter, giving three sections: there is no known road to wisdom (1-11); no price can buy it (12-19); and only God has it, and only by revelation can man posses it (20-28).

[28:1]  2 tn The poem opens with כִּי (ki). Some commentators think this should have been “for,” and that the poem once stood in another setting. But there are places in the Bible where this word occurs with the sense of “surely” and no other meaning (cf. Gen 18:20).

[28:1]  3 tn The word מוֹצָא (motsa’, from יָצָא [yatsa’, “go out”]) is the word for “mine,” or more simply, “source.” Mining was not an enormous industry in the land of Canaan or Israel; mined products were imported. Some editors have suggested alternative readings: Dahood found in the word the root for “shine” and translated the MT as “smelter.” But that is going too far. P. Joüon suggested “place of finding,” reading מִמְצָא (mimtsa’) for מוֹצָא (motsa’; see Bib 11 [1930]: 323).

[28:1]  4 tn The verb יָזֹקּוּ (yazoqqu) translated “refined,” comes from זָקַק (zaqaq), a word that basically means “to blow.” From the meaning “to blow; to distend; to inflate” derives the meaning for refining.

[28:2]  5 tn Heb “from dust.”

[28:2]  6 tn The verb יָצוּק (yatsuq) is usually translated as a passive participle “is smelted” (from יָצַק [yatsaq, “to melt”]): “copper is smelted from the ore” (ESV) or “from the stone, copper is poured out” (as an imperfect from צוּק [tsuq]). But the rock becomes the metal in the process. So according to R. Gordis (Job, 304) the translation should be: “the rock is poured out as copper.” E. Dhorme (Job, 400), however, defines the form in the text as “hard,” and simply has it “hard stone becomes copper.”

[28:3]  7 sn The text appears at first to be saying that by opening up a mine shaft, or by taking lights down below, the miner dispels the darkness. But the clause might be more general, meaning that man goes deep into the earth as if it were day.

[28:3]  8 tn The verse ends with “the stone of darkness and deep darkness.” The genitive would be location, describing the place where the stones are found.

[28:4]  9 tc The first part of this verse, “He cuts a shaft far from the place where people live,” has received a lot of attention. The word for “live” is גָּר (gar). Some of the proposals are: “limestone,” on the basis of the LXX; “far from the light,” reading נֵר (ner); “by a foreign people,” taking the word to means “foreign people”; “a foreign people opening shafts”; or taking gar as “crater” based on Arabic. Driver puts this and the next together: “a strange people who have been forgotten cut shafts” (see AJSL 3 [1935]: 162). L. Waterman had “the people of the lamp” (“Note on Job 28:4,” JBL 71 [1952]: 167ff). And there are others. Since there is really no compelling argument in favor of one of these alternative interpretations, the MT should be preserved until shown to be wrong.

[28:4]  10 tn Heb “forgotten by the foot.” This means that there are people walking above on the ground, and the places below, these mines, are not noticed by the pedestrians above.

[28:4]  11 sn This is a description of the mining procedures. Dangling suspended from a rope would be a necessary part of the job of going up and down the shafts.

[28:5]  12 sn The verse has been properly understood, on the whole, as comparing the earth above and all its produce with the upheaval down below.

[28:6]  13 tn It is probably best to take “place” in construct to the rest of the colon, with an understood relative clause: “a place, the rocks of which are sapphires.”

[28:6]  14 sn H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 181) suggests that if it is lapis lazuli, then the dust of gold would refer to the particles of iron pyrite found in lapis lazuli which glitter like gold.

[28:7]  15 tn The “path” could refer to the mine shaft or it could refer to wisdom. The former seems more likely in the present context; the word “hidden is supplied in the translation to indicate the mines are “hidden” from sharp-eyed birds of prey above.

[28:7]  16 sn The kind of bird mentioned here is debated. The LXX has “vulture,” and so some commentaries follow that. The emphasis on the sight favors the view that it is the falcon.

[28:8]  17 tn Heb “the sons of pride.” In Job 41:26 the expression refers to carnivorous wild beasts.

[28:9]  18 tn The Hebrew verb is simply “to stretch out; to send” (שָׁלח, shalakh). With יָדוֹ (yado, “his hand”) the idea is that of laying one’s hand on the rock, i.e., getting to work on the hardest of rocks.

[28:9]  19 tn The Hebrew מִשֹּׁרֶשׁ (mishoresh) means “from/at [their] root [or base].” In mining, people have gone below ground, under the mountains, and overturned rock and dirt. It is also interesting that here in a small way humans do what God does – overturn mountains (cf. 9:5).

[28:10]  20 tn Or “tunnels.” The word is יְאֹרִים (yÿorim), the word for “rivers” and in the singular, the Nile River. Here it refers to tunnels or channels through the rocks.

[28:10]  21 tn Heb “his eye sees.”

[28:11]  22 tc The translation “searched” follows the LXX and Vulgate; the MT reads “binds up” or “dams up.” This latter translation might refer to the damming of water that might seep into a mine (HALOT 289 s.v. חבשׁ; cf. ESV, NJPS, NASB, REB, NLT).

[28:11]  23 tc The older translations had “he binds the streams from weeping,” i.e., from trickling (מִבְּכִי, mibbÿkhi). But the Ugaritic parallel has changed the understanding, reading “toward the spring of the rivers” (`m mbk nhrm). Earlier than that discovery, the versions had taken the word as a noun as well. Some commentators had suggested repointing the Hebrew. Some chose מַבְּכֵי (mabbÿkhe, “sources”). Now there is much Ugaritic support for the reading (see G. M. Landes, BASOR 144 [1956]: 32f.; and H. L. Ginsberg, “The Ugaritic texts and textual criticism,” JBL 62 [1943]: 111).

[28:13]  24 tc The LXX has “its way, apparently reading דַּרְכָה (darkhah) in place of עֶרְכָּהּ (’erkah, “place”). This is adopted by most modern commentators. But R. Gordis (Job, 308) shows that this change is not necessary, for עֶרֶךְ (’erekh) in the Bible means “order; row; disposition,” and here “place.” An alternate meaning would be “worth” (NIV, ESV).

[28:14]  25 sn The תְּהוֹם (tÿhom) is the “deep” of Gen 1:2, the abyss or primordial sea. It was always understood to be a place of darkness and danger. As remote as it is, it asserts that wisdom is not found there (personification). So here we have the abyss and the sea, then death and destruction – but they are not the places that wisdom resides.

[28:14]  26 tn The בּ (bet) preposition is taken here to mean “with” in the light of the parallel preposition.

[28:16]  27 tn The word actually means “weighed,” that is, lifted up on the scale and weighed, in order to purchase.

[28:16]  28 tn The exact identification of these stones is uncertain. Many recent English translations, however, have “onyx” and “sapphires.”

[28:17]  29 tn The word is from זָכַךְ (zakhakh, “clear”). It describes a transparent substance, and so “glass” is an appropriate translation. In the ancient world it was precious and so expensive.

[28:17]  30 tc The MT has “vase”; but the versions have a plural here, suggesting jewels of gold.

[28:18]  31 tn The word מֶשֶׁךְ (meshekh) comes from a root meaning “to grasp; to seize; to hold,” and so the derived noun means “grasping; acquiring; taking possession,” and therefore, “price” (see the discussion in R. Gordis, Job, 309). Gray renders it “acquisition” (so A. Cohen, AJSL 40 [1923/24]: 175).

[28:18]  32 tn In Lam 4:7 these are described as red, and so have been identified as rubies (so NIV) or corals.

[28:19]  33 tn Or “Ethiopia.” In ancient times this referred to the region of the upper Nile, rather than modern Ethiopia (formerly known as Abyssinia).

[28:20]  34 tn The refrain is repeated, except now the verb is תָּבוֹא (tavo’, “come”).

[28:21]  35 tn The vav on the verb is unexpressed in the LXX. It should not be overlooked, for it introduces a subordinate clause of condition (R. Gordis, Job, 310).

[28:22]  36 tn Heb “Abaddon.”

[28:22]  37 tn Heb “heard a report of it,” which means a report of its location, thus “where it can be found.”

[28:25]  38 tn Heb “he gave weight to the wind.” The form is the infinitive construct with the ל (lamed) preposition. Some have emended it to change the preposition to the temporal בּ (bet) on the basis of some of the versions (e.g., Latin and Syriac) that have “who made.” This is workable, for the infinitive would then take on the finite tense of the previous verbs. An infinitive of purpose does not work well, for that would be saying God looked everywhere in order to give wind its proper weight (see R. Gordis, Job, 310).

[28:25]  39 tn The verb is the Piel perfect, meaning “to estimate the measure” of something. In the verse, the perfect verb continues the function of the infinitive preceding it, as if it had a ו (vav) prefixed to it. Whatever usage that infinitive had, this verb is to continue it (see GKC 352 §114.r).

[28:26]  40 tn Or “decree.”

[28:26]  41 tn Or “thunderbolt,” i.e., lightning. Heb “the roaring of voices/sounds,” which describes the nature of the storm.

[28:27]  42 tn Heb “it”; the referent (wisdom) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[28:27]  43 tn The verb סָפַר (safar) in the Piel basically means “to tell; to declare; to show” or “to count; to number.” Many commentators offer different suggestions for the translation. “Declared” (as in the RSV, NASB, and NRSV) would be the simplest – but to whom did God declare it? Besides “appraised” which is the view of Pope, Dhorme and others (cf. NAB, NIV), J. Reider has suggested “probed” (“Etymological studies in biblical Hebrew,” VT 2 [1952]: 127), Strahan has “studied,” and Kissane has “reckoned.” The difficulty is that the line has a series of verbs, which seem to build to a climax; but without more details it is hard to know how to translate them when they have such a range of meaning.

[28:27]  44 tc The verb כּוּן (kun) means “to establish; to prepare” in this stem. There are several mss that have the form from בִּין (bin, “discern”), giving “he discerned it,” making more of a parallel with the first colon. But the weight of the evidence supports the traditional MT reading.

[28:27]  45 tn The verb חָקַר (khaqar) means “to examine; to search out.” Some of the language used here is anthropomorphic, for the sovereign Lord did not have to research or investigate wisdom. The point is that it is as if he did this human activity, meaning that as in the results of such a search God knows everything about wisdom.

[28:28]  46 tc A number of medieval Hebrew manuscripts have YHWH (“Lord”); BHS has אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “Lord”). As J. E. Hartley (Job [NICOT], 383) points out, this is the only occurrence of אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “Lord”) in the book of Job, creating doubt for retaining it. Normally, YHWH is avoided in the book. “Fear of” (יִרְאַת, yirat) is followed by שַׁדַּי (shadday, “Almighty”) in 6:14 – the only other occurrence of this term for “fear” in construct with a divine title.

[28:28]  47 tc Many commentators delete this verse because (1) many read the divine name Yahweh (translated “Lord”) here, and (2) it is not consistent with the argument that precedes it. But as H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 185) points out, there is inconsistency in this reasoning, for many of the critics have already said that this chapter is an interpolation. Following that line of thought, then, one would not expect it to conform to the rest of the book in this matter of the divine name. And concerning the second difficulty, the point of this chapter is that wisdom is beyond human comprehension and control. It belongs to God alone. So the conclusion that the fear of the Lord is wisdom is the necessary conclusion. Rowley concludes: “It is a pity to rob the poem of its climax and turn it into the expression of unrelieved agnosticism.”

[29:1]  48 sn Now that the debate with his friends is over, Job concludes with a soliloquy, just as he had begun with one. Here he does not take into account his friends or their arguments. The speech has three main sections: Job’s review of his former circumstances (29:1-25); Job’s present misery (30:1-31); and Job’s vindication of his life (31:1-40).

[29:1]  49 tn The verse uses a verbal hendiadys: “and he added (וַיֹּסֶף, vayyosef)…to raise (שְׂאֵת, sÿet) his speech.” The expression means that he continued, or he spoke again.

[29:2]  50 tn The optative is here expressed with מִי־יִתְּנֵנִי (mi-yittÿneni, “who will give me”), meaning, “O that I [could be]…” (see GKC 477 §151.b).

[29:2]  51 tn The preposition כּ (kaf) is used here in an expression describing the state desired, especially in the former time (see GKC 376 §118.u).

[29:2]  52 tn The expression is literally “months of before [or of old; or past].” The word קֶדֶם (qedem) is intended here to be temporal and not spatial; it means days that preceded the present.

[29:2]  53 tn The construct state (“days of”) governs the independent sentence that follows (see GKC 422 §130.d): “as the days of […] God used to watch over me.”

[29:2]  54 tn The imperfect verb here has a customary nuance – “when God would watch over me” (back then), or “when God used to watch over me.”

[29:3]  55 tn This clause is in apposition to the preceding (see GKC 426 §131.o). It offers a clarification.

[29:3]  56 tn The form בְּהִלּוֹ (bÿhillo) is unusual; it should be parsed as a Hiphil infinitive construct with the elision of the ה (he). The proper spelling would have been with a ַ (patakh) under the preposition, reflecting הַהִלּוֹ (hahillo). If it were Qal, it would just mean “when his light shone.”

[29:3]  57 sn Lamp and light are symbols of God’s blessings of life and all the prosperous and good things it includes.

[29:3]  58 tn Here too the imperfect verb is customary – it describes action that was continuous, but in a past time.

[29:3]  59 tn The accusative (“darkness”) is here an adverbial accusative of place, namely, “in the darkness,” or because he was successfully led by God’s light, “through the darkness” (see GKC 374 §118.h).

[29:4]  60 tn Heb “in the days of my ripeness.” The word חֹרֶף (khoref) denotes the time when the harvest is gathered in because the fruit is ripe. Since this is the autumn, many translate that way here – but “autumn” has a different connotation now. The text is pointing to a time when the righteous reaps what he has sown, and can enjoy the benefits. The translation “most productive time” seems to capture the point better than “autumn” or even “prime.”

[29:4]  61 tc The word סוֹד (sod) in this verse is an infinitive construct, prefixed with the temporal preposition and followed by a subjective genitive. It forms a temporal clause. There is some disagreement about the form and its meaning. The confusion in the versions shows that they were paraphrasing to get the general sense. In the Bible the derived noun (from יָסַד, yasad) means (a) a circle of close friends; (b) intimacy. Others follow the LXX and the Syriac with a meaning of “protect,” based on a change from ד (dalet) to כּ (kaf), and assuming the root was סָכַךְ (sakhakh). This would mean, “when God protected my tent” (cf. NAB). D. W. Thomas tries to justify this meaning without changing the text (“The Interpretation of BSOÝD in Job 29:4,” JBL 65 [1946]: 63-66).

[29:5]  62 tn Heb “Shaddai.”

[29:5]  63 tc Some commentators suggest that עִמָּדִי (’immadi, “with me”) of the second colon of v. 6 (which is too long) belongs to the second colon of v. 5, and should be pointed as the verb עָמָדוּ (’amadu, “they stood”), meaning the boys stood around him (see, e.g., E. Dhorme, Job, 417). But as R. Gordis (Job, 319) notes, there is a purpose for the imbalance of the metric pattern at the end of a section.

[29:6]  64 tn The word is a hapax legomenon, but the meaning is clear enough. It refers to the walking, the steps, or even the paths where one walks. It is figurative of his course of life.

[29:6]  65 tn The Hebrew word means “to wash; to bathe”; here it is the infinitive construct in a temporal clause, “my steps” being the genitive: “in the washing of my steps in butter.”

[29:6]  66 tn Again, as in Job 21:17, “curds.”

[29:6]  67 tn The MT reads literally, “and the rock was poured out [passive participle] for me as streams of oil.” There are some who delete the word “rock” to shorten the line because it seems out of place. But olive trees thrive in rocky soil, and the oil presses are cut into the rock; it is possible that by metonymy all this is intended here (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 186).

[29:7]  68 sn In the public square. The area referred to here should not be thought of in terms of modern western dimensions. The wide space, plaza, or public square mentioned here is the open area in the gate complex where legal and business matters were conducted. The area could be as small as a few hundred square feet.

[29:8]  69 tn The verb means “to hide; to withdraw.” The young men out of respect would withdraw or yield the place of leadership to Job (thus the translation “step aside”). The old men would rise and remain standing until Job took his seat – a sign of respect.

[29:10]  70 tn The verb here is “hidden” as well as in v. 8. But this is a strange expression for voices. Several argue that the word was erroneously inserted from 8a and needs to be emended. But the word “hide” can have extended meanings of “withdraw; be quiet; silent” (see Gen 31:27). A. Guillaume relates the Arabic habia, “the fire dies out,” applying the idea of “silent” only to v. 10 (it is a form of repetition of words with different senses, called jinas). The point here is that whatever conversation was going on would become silent or hushed to hear what Job had to say.

[29:11]  71 tn The words “these things” and “them” in the next colon are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation for clarity.

[29:11]  72 tn The main clause is introduced by the preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive (see GKC 327 §111.h); the clause before it is therefore temporal and circumstantial to the main clause.

[29:12]  73 tn The negative introduces a clause that serves as a negative attribute; literally the following clause says, “and had no helper” (see GKC 482 §152.u).

[29:13]  74 tn The verb is simply בּוֹא (bo’, “to come; to enter”). With the preposition עַל (’al, “upon”) it could mean “came to me,” or “came upon me,” i.e., descended (see R. Gordis, Job, 320).

[29:13]  75 tn The verb אַרְנִן (’arnin) is from רָנַן (ranan, “to give a ringing cry”) but here “cause to give a ringing cry,” i.e., shout of joy. The rejoicing envisioned in this word is far greater than what the words “sing” or “rejoice” suggest.

[29:14]  76 tn Both verbs in this first half-verse are from לָבַשׁ (lavash, “to clothe; to put on clothing”). P. Joüon changed the vowels to get a verb “it adorned me” instead of “it clothed me” (Bib 11 [1930]: 324). The figure of clothing is used for the character of the person: to wear righteousness is to be righteous.

[29:14]  77 tn The word מִשְׁפָּטִי (mishpati) is simply “my justice” or “my judgment.” It refers to the decisions he made in settling issues, how he dealt with other people justly.

[29:16]  78 sn The word “father” does not have a wide range of meanings in the OT. But there are places that it is metaphorical, especially in a legal setting like this where the poor need aid.

[29:17]  79 tn The word rendered “fangs” actually means “teeth,” i.e., the molars probably; it is used frequently of the teeth of wild beasts. Of course, the language is here figurative, comparing the oppressing enemy to a preying animal.

[29:17]  80 tn “I made [him] drop.” The verb means “to throw; to cast,” throw in the sense of “to throw away.” But in the context with the figure of the beast with prey in its mouth, “drop” or “cast away” is the idea. Driver finds another cognate meaning “rescue” (see AJSL 52 [1935/36]: 163).

[29:18]  81 tc The expression in the MT is “with my nest.” The figure is satisfactory for the context – a home with all the young together, a picture of unity and safety. In Isa 16:2 the word can mean “nestlings,” and with the preposition “with” that might be the meaning here, except that his children had grown up and lived in their own homes. The figure cannot be pushed too far. But the verse apparently has caused enormous problems, because the versions offer a variety of readings and free paraphrases. The LXX has “My age shall grow old as the stem of a palm tree, I shall live a long time.” The Vulgate has, “In my nest I shall die and like the palm tree increase my days.” G. R. Driver found an Egyptian word meaning “strength” (“Birds in the Old Testament,” PEQ 87 [1955]: 138-39). Several read “in a ripe old age” instead of “in my nest” (Pope, Dhorme; see P. P. Saydon, “Philological and Textual Notes to the Maltese Translation of the Old Testament,” CBQ 23 [1961]: 252). This requires the verb זָקַן (zaqan, “be old”), i.e., בִּזְקוּנַי (bizqunay, “in my old age”) instead of קִנִּי (qinni, “my nest”). It has support from the LXX.

[29:18]  82 tc For חוֹל (khol, “sand”) the LXX has a word that is “like the palm tree,” but which could also be translated “like the phoenix” (cf. NAB, NRSV). This latter idea was developed further in rabbinical teaching (see R. Gordis, Job, 321). See also M. Dahood, “Nest and phoenix in Job 29:18,” Bib 48 (1967): 542-44. But the MT yields an acceptable sense here.

[29:20]  83 tn The word is “my glory,” meaning his high respect and his honor. Hoffmann proposed to read כִּידוֹן (kidon) instead, meaning “javelin” (as in 1 Sam 17:6), to match the parallelism (RQ 3 [1961/62]: 388). But the parallelism does not need to be so tight.

[29:20]  84 tn Heb “new.”

[29:21]  85 tn “People” is supplied; the verb is plural.

[29:21]  86 tc The last verb of the first half, “wait, hope,” and the first verb in the second colon, “be silent,” are usually reversed by the commentators (see G. R. Driver, “Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 86). But if “wait” has the idea of being silent as they wait for him to speak, then the second line would say they were silent for the reason of his advice. The reading of the MT is not impossible.

[29:22]  87 tn The verb simply means “dropped,” but this means like the rain. So the picture of his words falling on them like the gentle rain, drop by drop, is what is intended (see Deut 32:2).

[29:23]  88 tn The phrase “people wait for” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation.

[29:23]  89 sn The analogy is that they received his words eagerly as the dry ground opens to receive the rains.

[29:23]  90 tn The כּ (kaf) preposition is to be supplied by analogy with the preceding phrase. This leaves a double proposition, “as for” (but see Job 29:2).

[29:24]  91 tn The connection of this clause with the verse is difficult. The line simply reads: “[if] I would smile at them, they would not believe.” Obviously something has to be supplied to make sense out of this. The view adopted here makes the most sense, namely, that when he smiled at people, they could hardly believe their good fortune. Other interpretations are strained, such as Kissane’s, “If I laughed at them, they believed not,” meaning, people rejected the views that Job laughed at.

[29:24]  92 tn The meaning, according to Gordis, is that they did nothing to provoke Job’s displeasure.

[29:25]  93 tn All of these imperfects describe what Job used to do, and so they all fit the category of customary imperfect.

[29:25]  94 tn Heb “their way.”

[29:25]  95 tn The text simply has “and I sat [as their] head.” The adverbial accusative explains his role, especially under the image of being seated. He directed the deliberations as a king directs an army.

[29:25]  96 tc Most commentators think this last phrase is odd here, and so they either delete it altogether, or emend it to fit the idea of the verse. Ewald, however, thought it appropriate as a transition to the next section, reminding his friends that unlike him, they were miserable comforters. Herz made the few changes in the text to get the reading “where I led them, they were willing to go” (ZAW 20 [1900]: 163). The two key words in the MT are אֲבֵלִים יְנַחֵם (’avelim yÿnakhem, “he [one who] comforts mourners”). Following Herz, E. Dhorme (Job, 422) has these changed to אוֹבִילֵם יִנַּחוּ (’ovilem yinnakhu). R. Gordis has “like one leading a camel train” (Job, 324). But Kissane also retains the line as a summary of the chapter, noting its presence in the versions.

[30:1]  97 tn Heb “smaller than I for days.”

[30:1]  98 tn Heb “who I disdained their fathers to set…,” meaning “whose fathers I disdained to set.” The relative clause modifies the young fellows who mock; it explains that Job did not think highly enough of them to put them with the dogs. The next verse will explain why.

[30:1]  99 sn Job is mocked by young fellows who come from low extraction. They mocked their elders and their betters. The scorn is strong here – dogs were despised as scavengers.

[30:2]  100 tn The reference is to the fathers of the scorners, who are here regarded as weak and worthless.

[30:2]  101 tn The word כֶּלַח (kelakh) only occurs in Job 5:26; but the Arabic cognate gives this meaning “strength.” Others suggest כָּלַח (kalakh, “old age”), ֹכּל־חַיִל (kol-khayil, “all vigor”), כֹּל־לֵחַ (kol-leakh, “all freshness”), and the like. But there is no reason for such emendation.

[30:3]  102 tn This word, גַּלְמוּד (galmud), describes something as lowly, desolate, bare, gaunt like a rock.

[30:3]  103 tn The form is the plural participle with the definite article – “who gnaw.” The article, joined to the participle, joins on a new statement concerning a preceding noun (see GKC 404 §126.b).

[30:3]  104 tn The MT has “yesterday desolate and waste.” The word “yesterday” (אֶמֶשׁ, ’emesh) is strange here. Among the proposals for אֶמֶשׁ (’emesh), Duhm suggested יְמַשְּׁשׁוּ (yÿmashÿshu, “they grope”), which would require darkness; Pope renders “by night,” instead of “yesterday,” which evades the difficulty; and Fohrer suggested with more reason אֶרֶץ (’erets), “a desolate and waste land.” R. Gordis (Job, 331) suggests יָמִישׁוּ / יָמֻשׁוּ (yamishu/yamushu), “they wander off.”

[30:4]  105 tn Or “the leaves of bushes” (ESV), a possibility dating back to Saadia and discussed by G. R. Driver and G. B. Gray (Job [ICC], 2:209) in their philological notes.

[30:4]  106 tn Here too the form is the participle with the article.

[30:4]  107 tn Heb “gather mallow,” a plant which grows in salt marshes.

[30:5]  108 tn The word גֵּו (gev) is an Aramaic term meaning “midst,” indicating “midst [of society].” But there is also a Phoenician word that means “community” (DISO 48).

[30:5]  109 tn The form simply is the plural verb, but it means those who drove them from society.

[30:5]  110 tn The text merely says “as thieves,” but it obviously compares the poor to the thieves.

[30:6]  111 tn This use of the infinitive construct expresses that they were compelled to do something (see GKC 348-49 §114.h, k).

[30:6]  112 tn The adjectives followed by a partitive genitive take on the emphasis of a superlative: “in the most horrible of valleys” (see GKC 431 §133.h).

[30:7]  113 tn The verb נָהַק (nahaq) means “to bray.” It has cognates in Arabic, Aramaic, and Ugaritic, so there is no need for emendation here. It is the sign of an animal’s hunger. In the translation the words “like animals” are supplied to clarify the metaphor for the modern reader.

[30:7]  114 tn The Pual of the verb סָפַח (safakh, “to join”) also brings out the passivity of these people – “they were huddled together” (E. Dhorme, Job, 434).

[30:8]  115 tn The “sons of the senseless” (נָבָל, naval) means they were mentally and morally base and defective; and “sons of no-name” means without honor and respect, worthless (because not named).

[30:8]  116 tn Heb “they were whipped from the land” (cf. ESV) or “they were cast out from the land” (HALOT 697 s.v. נכא). J. E. Hartley (Job [NICOT], 397) follows Gordis suggests that the meaning is “brought lower than the ground.”

[30:9]  117 tn The idea is that Job has become proverbial, people think of misfortune and sin when they think of him. The statement uses the ordinary word for “word” (מִלָּה, millah), but in this context it means more: “proverb; byword.”

[30:10]  118 tn Heb “they are far from me.”

[30:11]  119 tn The verb פָּתַח (patakh) means “to untie [or undo]” a rope or bonds. In this verse יִתְרוֹ (yitro, the Kethib, LXX, and Vulgate) would mean “his rope” (see יֶתֶר [yeter] in Judg 16:7-9). The Qere would be יִתְרִי (yitri, “my rope [or cord]”), meaning “me.” The word could mean “rope,” “cord,” or “bowstring.” If the reading “my cord” is accepted, the cord would be something like “my tent cord” (as in Job 29:20), more than K&D 12:147 “cord of life.” This has been followed in the present translation. If it were “my bowstring,” it would give the sense of disablement. If “his cord” is taken, it would signify that the restraint that God had in afflicting Job was loosened – nothing was held back.

[30:11]  120 sn People throw off all restraint in my presence means that when people saw how God afflicted Job, robbing him of his influence and power, then they turned on him with unrestrained insolence (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 193).

[30:12]  121 tn This Hebrew word occurs only here. The word פִּרְחַח (pirkhakh, “young rabble”) is a quadriliteral, from פָּרַח (parakh, “to bud”) The derivative אֶפְרֹחַ (’efroakh) in the Bible refers to a young bird. In Arabic farhun means both “young bird” and “base man.” Perhaps “young rabble” is the best meaning here (see R. Gordis, Job, 333).

[30:12]  122 tn Heb “they cast off my feet” or “they send my feet away.” Many delete the line as troubling and superfluous. E. Dhorme (Job, 438) forces the lines to say “they draw my feet into a net.”

[30:12]  123 tn Heb “paths of their destruction” or “their destructive paths.”

[30:12]  124 sn See Job 19:12.

[30:13]  125 tn This verb נָתְסוּ (natÿsu) is found nowhere else. It is probably a variant of the verb in Job 19:10. R. Gordis (Job, 333-34) notes the Arabic noun natsun (“thorns”), suggesting a denominative idea “they have placed thorns in my path.” Most take it to mean they ruin the way of escape.

[30:13]  126 tc The MT has “they further my misfortune.” The line is difficult, with slight textual problems. The verb יֹעִילוּ (yoilu) means “to profit,” and so “to succeed” or “to set forward.” Good sense can be made from the MT as it stands, and many suggested changes are suspect.

[30:13]  127 tn The sense of “restraining” for “helping” was proposed by Dillmann and supported by G. R. Driver (see AJSL 52 [1935/36]: 163).

[30:14]  128 tn The MT has “under the crash,” with the idea that they rush in while the stones are falling around them (which is continuing the figure of the military attack). G. R. Driver took the expression to mean in a temporal sense “at the moment of the crash” (AJSL 52 [1935/36]: 163-64). Guillaume, drawing from Arabic, has “where the gap is made.”

[30:14]  129 tn The verb, the Hitpalpel of גָּלַל (galal), means “they roll themselves.” This could mean “they roll themselves under the ruins” (Dhorme), “they roll on like a storm” (Gordis), or “they roll on” as in waves of enemy attackers (see H. H. Rowley). This particular verb form is found only here (but see Amos 5:24).

[30:15]  130 tn The passive singular verb (Hophal) is used with a plural subject (see GKC 388 §121.b).

[30:15]  131 tc This translation assumes that “terrors” (in the plural) is the subject. Others emend the text in accordance with the LXX, which has, “my hope is gone like the wind.”

[30:16]  132 tn This line can either mean that Job is wasting away (i.e., his life is being poured out), or it can mean that he is grieving. The second half of the verse gives the subordinate clause of condition for this.

[30:17]  133 tn The subject of the verb “pierces” can be the night (personified), or it could be God (understood), leaving “night” to be an adverbial accusative of time – “at night he pierces.”

[30:17]  134 tc The MT concludes this half-verse with “upon me.” That phrase is not in the LXX, and so many commentators delete it as making the line too long.

[30:17]  135 tn Heb “my gnawers,” which is open to several interpretations. The NASB and NIV take it as “gnawing pains”; cf. NRSV “the pain that gnaws me.” Some suggest worms in the sores (7:5). The LXX has “my nerves,” a view accepted by many commentators.

[30:18]  136 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[30:18]  137 tc This whole verse is difficult. The first problem is that this verb in the MT means “is disguised [or disfigured],” indicating that Job’s clothes hang loose on him. But many take the view that the verb is a phonetic variant of חָבַשׁ (khavash, “to bind; to seize”) and that the Hitpael form is a conflation of the third and second person because of the interchange between them in the passage (R. Gordis, Job, 335). The commentaries list a number of conjectural emendations, but the image in the verse is probably that God seizes Job by the garment and throws him down.

[30:18]  138 tn The phrase “like the collar” is difficult, primarily because their tunics did not have collars. A translation of “neck” would suit better. Some change the preposition to בּ (bet), getting a translation “by the neck of my tunic.”

[30:20]  139 sn The implication from the sentence is that this is a cry to God for help. The sudden change from third person (v. 19) to second person (v. 20) is indicative of the intense emotion of the sufferer.

[30:20]  140 sn The verb is simple, but the interpretation difficult. In this verse it probably means he stands up in prayer (Jer 15:1), but it could mean that he makes his case to God. Others suggest a more figurative sense, like the English expression “stand pat,” meaning “remain silent” (see Job 29:8).

[30:20]  141 tn If the idea of prayer is meant, then a pejorative sense to the verb is required. Some supply a negative and translate “you do not pay heed to me.” This is supported by one Hebrew ms and the Vulgate. The Syriac has the whole colon read with God as the subject, “you stand and look at me.”

[30:21]  142 tn The idiom uses the Niphal verb “you are turned” with “to cruelty.” See Job 41:20b, as well as Isa 63:10.

[30:21]  143 tc The LXX reads this verb as “you scourged/whipped me.” But there is no reason to adopt this change.

[30:22]  144 sn Here Job changes the metaphor again, to the driving storm. God has sent his storms, and Job is blown away.

[30:22]  145 tn The verb means “to melt.” The imagery would suggest softening the ground with the showers (see Ps 65:10 [11]). The translation “toss…about” comes from the Arabic cognate that is used for the surging of the sea.

[30:22]  146 tc The Qere is תּוּשִׁיָּה (tushiyyah, “counsel”), which makes no sense here. The Kethib is a variant orthography for תְּשֻׁאָה (tÿshuah, “storm”).

[30:23]  147 tn The imperfect verb would be a progressive imperfect, it is future, but it is also already underway.

[30:24]  148 tc Here is another very difficult verse, as is attested by the differences among commentaries and translations. The MT has “surely not against a ruinous heap will he [God] put forth his [God’s] hand.” But A. B. Davidson takes Job as the subject, reading “does not one stretch out his hand in his fall?” The RSV suggests a man walking in the ruins and using his hand for support. Dillmann changed it to “drowning man” to say “does not a drowning man stretch out his hand?” Beer has “have I not given a helping hand to the poor?” Dhorme has, “I did not strike the poor man with my hand.” Kissane follows this but retains the verb form, “one does not strike the poor man with his hand.”

[30:24]  149 tc The second colon is also difficult; it reads, “if in his destruction to them he cries.” E. Dhorme (Job, 425-26) explains how he thinks “to them” came about, and he restores “to me.” This is the major difficulty in the line, and Dhorme’s suggestion is the simplest resolution.

[30:25]  150 tn Heb “for the hard of day.”

[30:27]  151 tn Heb “my loins,” “my bowels” (archaic), “my innermost being.” The latter option is reflected in the translation; some translations take the inner turmoil to be literal (NIV: “The churning inside me never stops”).

[30:27]  152 tn Heb “boils.”

[30:27]  153 tn The last clause reads “and they [it] are not quiet” or “do not cease.” The clause then serves adverbially for the sentence – “unceasingly.”

[30:28]  154 tn The construction uses the word קֹדֵר (qoder) followed by the Piel perfect of הָלַךְ (halakh, “I go about”). The adjective “blackened” refers to Job’s skin that has been marred by the disease. Adjectives are often used before verbs to describe some bodily condition (see GKC 374-75 §118.n).

[30:29]  155 sn The point of this figure is that Job’s cries of lament are like the howls and screeches of these animals, not that he lives with them. In Job 39:13 the female ostrich is called “the wailer.”

[30:30]  156 tn The MT has “become dark from upon me,” prompting some editions to supply the verb “falls from me” (RSV, NRSV), or “peels” (NIV).

[30:30]  157 tn The word “my bones” may be taken as a metonymy of subject, the bony framework indicating the whole body.

[30:30]  158 tn The word חֹרֶב (khorev) also means “heat.” The heat in this line is not that of the sun, but obviously a fever.

[30:31]  159 tn The verb הָיָה (hayah, “to be”) followed by the preposition ל (lamed) means “to serve the purpose of” (see Gen 1:14ff., 17:7, etc.).

[31:1]  160 tn The idea of cutting a covenant for something may suggest a covenant that is imposed, except that this construction elsewhere argues against it (see 2 Chr 29:10).

[31:1]  161 tn This half-verse is the effect of the covenant. The interrogative מָה (mah) may have the force of the negative, and so be translated “not to pay attention.”

[31:2]  162 tn Heb “lot of Shaddai,” which must mean “the lot from Shaddai,” a genitive of source.

[31:5]  163 tn The normal approach is to take this as the protasis, and then have it resumed in v. 7 after a parenthesis in v. 6. But some take v. 6 as the apodosis and a new protasis in v. 7.

[31:5]  164 tn The “if” is understood by the use of the consecutive verb.

[31:5]  165 sn The verbs “walk” and “hasten” (referring in the verse to the foot) are used metaphorically for the manner of life Job lived.

[31:6]  166 tn “God” is undoubtedly the understood subject of this jussive. However, “him” is retained in the translation at this point to avoid redundancy since “God” occurs in the second half of the verse.

[31:6]  167 tn The word צֶדֶךְ (tsedeq, “righteousness”) forms a fitting genitive for the scales used in trade or justice. The “scales of righteousness” are scales that conform to the standard (see the illustration in Deut 25:13-15). They must be honest scales to make just decisions.

[31:6]  168 tn The verb is וְיֵדַע (vÿyeda’, “and [then] he [God] will know”). The verb could also be subordinated to the preceding jussive, “so that God may know.” The meaning of “to know” here has more the idea of “to come to know; to discover.”

[31:7]  169 sn The meaning is “been led by what my eyes see.”

[31:7]  170 tc The word מֻאוּם (muum) could be taken in one of two ways. One reading is to represent מוּם (mum, “blemish,” see the Masorah); the other is for מְאוּמָה (mÿumah, “anything,” see the versions and the Kethib). Either reading fits the passage.

[31:8]  171 tn The cohortative is often found in the apodosis of the conditional clause (see GKC 320 §108.f).

[31:8]  172 tn The word means “what sprouts up” (from יָצָא [yatsa’] with the sense of “sprout forth”). It could refer metaphorically to children (and so Kissane and Pope), as well as in its literal sense of crops. The latter fits here perfectly.

[31:9]  173 tn Gordis notes that the word פֶּתַח (petakh, “door”) has sexual connotations in rabbinic literature, based on Prov 7:6ff. (see b. Ketubbot 9b). See also the use in Song 4:12 using a synonym.

[31:10]  174 tn Targum Job interpreted the verb טָחַן (takhan, “grind”) in a sexual sense, and this has influenced other versions and commentaries. But the literal sense fits well in this line. The idea is that she would be a slave for someone else. The second line of the verse then might build on this to explain what kind of a slave – a concubine (see A. B. Davidson, Job, 215).

[31:10]  175 tn Heb “bow down over her,” an idiom for sexual relations.

[31:11]  176 tn Heb “for that [would be].” In order to clarify the referent of “that,” which refers to v. 9 rather than v. 10, the words “I have committed” have been supplied in the translation.

[31:11]  177 tn The word for “shameful act” is used especially for sexual offenses (cf. Lev 18:27).

[31:11]  178 tc Some have deleted this verse as being short and irrelevant, not to mention problematic. But the difficulties are not insurmountable, and there is no reason to delete it. There is a Kethib-Qere reading in each half verse; in the first the Kethib is masculine for the subject but the Qere is feminine going with “shameless deed.” In the second colon the Kethib is the feminine agreeing with the preceding noun, but the Qere is masculine agreeing with “iniquity.”

[31:12]  179 tn Heb “to Abaddon.”

[31:12]  180 tn The verb means “to root out,” but this does not fit the parallelism with fire. Wright changed two letters and the vowels in the verb to get the root צָרַף (tsaraf, “to burn”). The NRSV has “burn to the root.”

[31:13]  181 tn This construction is an adverbial clause using the temporal preposition, the infinitive from רִיב (riv, “contend”), and the suffix which is the subjective genitive.

[31:14]  182 tn Heb “arises.” The LXX reads “takes vengeance,” an interpretation that is somewhat correct but unnecessary. The verb “to rise” would mean “to confront in judgment.”

[31:14]  183 tn The verb פָקַד (paqad) means “to visit,” but with God as the subject it means any divine intervention for blessing or cursing, anything God does that changes a person’s life. Here it is “visit to judge.”

[31:15]  184 tn Heb “him,” but the plural pronoun has been used in the translation to indicate that the referent is the servants mentioned in v. 13 (since the previous “him” in v. 14 refers to God).

[31:16]  185 tn Heb “kept the poor from [their] desire.”

[31:17]  186 tn Heb “and an orphan did not eat from it.”

[31:18]  187 tn Heb “he grew up with me.” Several commentators have decided to change the pronoun to “I,” and make it causative.

[31:18]  188 tn The expression “from my mother’s womb” is obviously hyperbolic. It is a way of saying “all his life.”

[31:18]  189 tn Heb “I guided her,” referring to the widow mentioned in v. 16.

[31:20]  190 tn The MT has simply “if his loins did not bless me.” In the conditional clause this is another protasis. It means, “if I saw someone dying and if he did not thank me for clothing them.” It is Job’s way of saying that whenever he saw a need he met it, and he received his share of thanks – which prove his kindness. G. R. Driver has it “without his loins having blessed me,” taking “If…not” as an Aramaism, meaning “except” (AJSL 52 [1935/36]: 164f.).

[31:20]  191 tn This clause is interpreted here as a subordinate clause to the first half of the verse. It could also be a separate clause: “was he not warmed…?”

[31:21]  192 tn The expression “raised my hand” refers to a threatening manner or gesture in the court rather than a threat of physical violence in the street. Thus the words “to vote” are supplied in the translation to indicate the setting.

[31:21]  193 tn Heb “gate,” referring to the city gate where judicial decisions were rendered in the culture of the time. The translation uses the word “court” to indicate this to the modern reader, who might not associate a city gate complex with judicial functions.

[31:22]  194 sn Here is the apodosis, the imprecation Job pronounces on himself if he has done any of these things just listed.

[31:22]  195 tn The point is that if he has raised his arm against the oppressed it should be ripped off at the joint. The MT has “let fall my shoulder [כְּתֵפִי, kÿtefi] from the nape of the neck [or shoulder blade (מִשִּׁכְמָה, mishikhmah)].”

[31:22]  196 tn The word קָנֶה (qaneh) is “reed; shaft; beam,” and here “shoulder joint.” All the commentaries try to explain how “reed” became “socket; joint.” This is the only place that it is used in such a sense. Whatever the exact explanation – and there seems to be no convincing view – the point of the verse is nonetheless clear.

[31:23]  197 tc The LXX has “For the terror of God restrained me.” Several commentators changed it to “came upon me.” Driver had “The fear of God was burdensome.” I. Eitan suggested “The terror of God was mighty upon me” (“Two unknown verbs: etymological studies,” JBL 42 [1923]: 22-28). But the MT makes clear sense as it stands.

[31:23]  198 tn The form is וּמִשְּׂאֵתוֹ (umissÿeto); the preposition is causal. The form, from the verb נָשָׂא (nasa’, “to raise; to lift high”), refers to God’s exalted person, his majesty (see Job 13:11).

[31:26]  199 tn Heb “light”; but parallel to the moon it is the sun. This section speaks of false worship of the sun and the moon.

[31:27]  200 tn Heb “and my hand kissed my mouth.” The idea should be that of “my mouth kissed my hand.” H. H. Rowley suggests that the hand was important in waving or throwing the kisses of homage to the sun and the moon, and so it receives the focus. This is the only place in the OT that refers to such a custom. Outside the Bible it was known, however.

[31:28]  201 tn Heb “it.”

[31:28]  202 tn See v. 11 for the construction. In Deut 17:2ff. false worship of heavenly bodies is a capital offense. In this passage, Job is talking about just a momentary glance at the sun or moon and the brief lapse into a pagan thought. But it is still sin.

[31:28]  203 tn The verb כָּחַשׁ (kakhash) in the Piel means “to deny.” The root meaning is “to deceive; to disappoint; to grow lean.” Here it means that he would have failed or proven unfaithful because his act would have been a denial of God.

[31:29]  204 tn The problem with taking this as “if,” introducing a conditional clause, is finding the apodosis, if there is one. It may be that the apodosis is understood, or summed up at the end. This is the view taken here. But R. Gordis (Job, 352) wishes to take this word as the indication of the interrogative, forming the rhetorical question to affirm he has never done this. However, in that case the parenthetical verses inserted become redundant.

[31:29]  205 sn The law required people to help their enemies if they could (Exod 23:4; also Prov 20:22). But often in the difficulties that ensued, they did exult over their enemies’ misfortune (Pss 54:7; 59:10 [11], etc.). But Job lived on a level of purity that few ever reach. Duhm said, “If chapter 31 is the crown of all ethical developments of the O.T., verse 29 is the jewel in that crown.”

[31:29]  206 tn The Hitpael of עוּר (’ur) has the idea of “exult.”

[31:29]  207 tn The word is רָע (ra’, “evil”) in the sense of anything that harms, interrupts, or destroys life.

[31:30]  208 tn This verse would then be a parenthesis in which he stops to claim his innocence.

[31:30]  209 tn Heb “I have not given my palate.”

[31:30]  210 tn The infinitive construct with the ל (lamed) preposition (“by asking”) serves in an epexegetical capacity here, explaining the verb of the first colon (“permitted…to sin”). To seek a curse on anyone would be a sin.

[31:31]  211 tn Now Job picks up the series of clauses serving as the protasis.

[31:31]  212 tn Heb “the men of my tent.” In context this refers to members of Job’s household.

[31:31]  213 sn The line is difficult to sort out. Job is saying it is sinful “if his men have never said, ‘O that there was one who has not been satisfied from his food.’” If they never said that, it would mean there were people out there who needed to be satisfied with his food.

[31:31]  214 tn The optative is again expressed with “who will give?”

[31:31]  215 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Job) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[31:32]  216 tn This verse forms another parenthesis. Job stops almost at every point now in the conditional clauses to affirm his purity and integrity.

[31:32]  217 tn The word in the MT, אֹרחַ (’orakh, “way”), is a contraction from אֹרֵחַ (’oreakh, “wayfarer”); thus, “traveler.” The same parallelism is found in Jer 14:8. The reading here “on/to the road” is meaningless otherwise.

[31:33]  218 tn Now the protasis continues again.

[31:33]  219 sn Some commentators suggest taking the meaning here to be “as Adam,” referring to the Paradise story of the sin and denial.

[31:33]  220 tn The infinitive is epexegetical, explaining the first line.

[31:33]  221 tn The MT has “in my bosom.” This is the only place in the OT where this word is found. But its meaning is well attested from Aramaic.

[31:34]  222 tn Here too the verb will be the customary imperfect – it explains what he continually did in past time.

[31:34]  223 tn Heb “the great multitude.” But some commentators take רַבָּה (rabbah) adverbially: “greatly” (see RSV).

[31:34]  224 sn There is no clear apodosis for all these clauses. Some commentators transfer the verses around to make them fit the constructions. But the better view is that there is no apodosis – that Job broke off here, feeling it was useless to go further. Now he will address God and not men. But in vv. 38-40b he does return to a self-imprecation. However, there is not sufficient reason to start rearranging all the verses.

[31:35]  225 tn The optative is again introduced with “who will give to me hearing me? – O that someone would listen to me!”

[31:35]  226 tn Heb “here is my ‘tav’” (הֵן תָּוִי, hen tavi). The letter ת (tav) is the last letter of the alphabet in Hebrew. In paleo-Hebrew the letter was in the form of a cross or an “X,” and so used for one making a mark or a signature. In this case Job has signed his statement and delivered it to the court – but he has yet to be charged. Kissane thought that this being the last letter of the alphabet, Job was saying, “This is my last word.” Others take the word to mean “desire” – “this is my desire, that God would answer me” (see E. F. Sutcliffe, “Notes on Job, textual and exegetical,” Bib 30 [1949]: 71-72; G. R. Driver, AJSL 3 [1935/36]: 166; P. P. Saydon, “Philological and Textual Notes to the Maltese Translation of the Old Testament,” CBQ 23 [1961]: 252). R. Gordis (Job, 355) also argues strongly for this view.

[31:35]  227 tn Heb “a scroll,” in the context referring to a scroll containing the accusations of Job’s legal adversary (see the next line).

[31:35]  228 tn The last line is very difficult; it simply says, “a scroll [that] my [legal] adversary had written.” The simplest way to handle this is to see it as a continuation of the optative (RSV).

[31:36]  229 tn The clause begins with the positive oath formula, אִם־לֹא (’im-lo’).

[31:36]  230 tn The word “proudly” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied (note the following line).

[31:36]  231 tn This verb is only found in Prov 6:21. But E. Dhorme (Job, 470) suggests that (with metathesis) we have a derivative מַעֲדַנּוֹת (maadannot, “bonds; ties”) in 38:31.

[31:38]  232 sn Many commentators place vv. 38-40b at the end of v. 34, so that there is no return to these conditional clauses after his final appeal.

[31:38]  233 sn Some commentators have suggested that the meaning behind this is that Job might not have kept the year of release (Deut 15:1), and the law against mixing seed (Lev 19:19). But the context will make clear that the case considered is obtaining the land without paying for it and causing the death of its lawful owner (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 206). Similar to this would be the case of Naboth’s vineyard.

[31:39]  234 tn Heb “without silver.”

[31:39]  235 tc The versions have the verb “grieved” here. The Hebrew verb means “to breathe,” but the form is Hiphil. This verb in that stem could mean something of a contemptuous gesture, like “sniff” in Mal 1:13. But with נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) in Job 11:20 it means “to cause death,” i.e., “to cause to breathe out; to expire.” This is likely the meaning here, although it is possible that it only meant “to cause suffering” to the people.

[31:39]  236 tn There is some debate over the meaning of בְּעָלֶיהָ (bÿaleyha), usually translated “its owners.” Dahood, following others (although without their emendations), thought it referred to “laborers” (see M. Dahood, Bib 41 [1960]: 303; idem, Bib 43 [1962]: 362).

[31:40]  237 tn The word בָּאְשָׁה (boshah, from בָּאַשׁ [baas, “to have a foul smell”]) must refer to foul smelling weeds.



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