V. The Speeches of Elihu (32:1-37:24)Elihu’s First Speech 1
32:1 So these three men refused to answer 2 Job further, because he was righteous in his 3 own eyes. 32:2 Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry. 4 He was angry 5 with Job for justifying 6 himself rather than God. 7 32:3 With Job’s 8 three friends he was also angry, because they could not find 9 an answer, and so declared Job guilty. 10 32:4 Now Elihu had waited before speaking 11 to Job, because the others 12 were older than he was. 32:5 But when Elihu saw 13 that the three men had no further reply, 14 he became very angry.
“I am young, 16 but you are elderly;
that is why I was fearful, 17
and afraid to explain 18 to you what I know.
and length of years 21 should make wisdom known.’
32:8 But it is a spirit in people,
the breath 22 of the Almighty,
that makes them understand.
nor old men who understand what is right.
I, even I, will explain what I know.’
I listened closely to your wise thoughts, 26 while you were searching for words.
not one of you was answering his statements!
God will refute 31 him, not man!’
and so I will not reply to him with your arguments. 34
they have nothing left to say. 37
because they stand there and answer no more,
32:17 I too will answer my part,
I too will explain what I know.
32:18 For I am full of words,
like new wineskins 42 ready to burst!
I will open my lips, so that I may answer.
nor will I confer a title 45 on any man.
33:1 “But now, O Job, listen to my words,
my tongue in my mouth has spoken. 52
and my lips will utter knowledge sincerely. 54
33:4 The Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 55
33:5 Reply to me, if you can;
set your arguments 56 in order before me
and take your stand!
33:6 Look, I am just like you in relation to God;
I too have been molded 57 from clay.
33:7 Therefore no fear of me should terrify you,
(I heard the sound of the words!):
I am clean 62 and have no iniquity.
he regards me as his enemy!
he watches closely all my paths.’
for God is greater than a human being. 68
33:13 Why do you contend against him,
that he does not answer all a person’s 69 words?
33:14 “For God speaks, the first time in one way,
the second time in another,
though a person does not perceive 70 it.
33:15 In a dream, a night vision,
when deep sleep falls on people
as they sleep in their beds.
and terrifies them with warnings, 72
and to cover a person’s pride. 74
his very life from crossing over 76 the river.
and with the continual strife of his bones, 78
33:20 so that his life loathes food,
and his soul rejects appetizing fare. 79
33:21 His flesh wastes away from sight,
and his bones, which were not seen,
are easily visible. 80
and his life to the messengers of death. 82
33:23 If there is an angel beside him,
one mediator 83 out of a thousand,
to tell a person what constitutes his uprightness; 84
‘Spare 87 him from going down
to the place of corruption,
I have found a ransom for him,’ 88
he returns to the days of his youthful vigor. 90
he sees God’s face 92 with rejoicing,
‘I have sinned and falsified what is right,
but I was not punished according to what I deserved. 97
from going down to the place of corruption,
and my life sees the light!’
33:29 “Indeed, God does all these things,
twice, three times, in his dealings 100 with a person,
33:30 to turn back his life from the place of corruption,
that he may be enlightened with the light of life.
33:31 Pay attention, Job – listen to me;
be silent, and I will speak.
speak, for I want to justify you. 102
33:33 If not, you listen to me;
be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”
34:1 Elihu answered:
34:2 “Listen to my words, you wise men;
as the mouth 107 tastes food.
let us come to know among ourselves what is good.
but God turns away my right.
My wound 112 is incurable,
although I am without transgression.’ 113
34:7 What man is like Job,
34:9 For he says, ‘It does not profit a man
when he makes his delight with God.’ 120
Far be it from 122 God to do wickedness,
from the Almighty to do evil.
and according to the conduct of a person,
he causes the consequences to find him. 124
34:12 Indeed, in truth, God does not act wickedly,
and the Almighty does not pervert justice.
And who put him over 126 the whole world?
and gather in his spirit and his breath,
34:15 all flesh would perish together
and human beings would return to dust.
hear what I have to say. 130
that one who hates justice can govern? 132
And will you declare guilty
the supremely righteous 133 One,
and to nobles, ‘Wicked men,’
34:19 who shows no partiality to princes,
and does not take note of 136 the rich more than the poor,
because all of them are the work of his hands?
The mighty are removed effortlessly. 140
34:21 For his eyes are on the ways of an individual,
he observes all a person’s 141 steps.
34:22 There is no darkness, and no deep darkness,
where evildoers can hide themselves. 142
that he should come before God in judgment.
and sets up others in their place.
34:25 Therefore, he knows their deeds,
and they are crushed.
in a place where people can see, 148
34:27 because they have turned away from following him,
and have not understood 149 any of his ways,
to come before him,
so that he hears 151 the cry of the needy.
If he hides his face, then who can see him?
34:30 so that the godless man should not rule,
and not lay snares for the people. 156
34:31 “Has anyone said to God,
‘I have endured chastisement, 157
but I will not act wrongly any more.
If I have done evil, I will do so no more.’
because you reject this? 161
But you must choose, and not I,
so tell us what you know.
34:34 Men of understanding say to me –
any wise man listening to me says –
and his words are without understanding. 163
because his answers are like those of wicked men.
in our midst he claps his hands, 166
and multiplies his words against God.”
1 sn There are now four speeches from another friend of Job, Elihu. But Job does not reply to any of these, nor does the
2 tn The form is the infinitive construct (“answer”) functioning as the object of the preposition; the phrase forms the complement of the verb “they ceased to answer” (= “they refused to answer further”).
3 tc The LXX, Syriac, and Symmachus have “in their eyes.” This is adopted by some commentators, but it does not fit the argument.
4 tn The verse begins with וַיִּחַר אַף (vayyikhar ’af, “and the anger became hot”), meaning Elihu became very angry.
5 tn The second comment about Elihu’s anger comes right before the statement of its cause. Now the perfect verb is used: “he was angry.”
6 tn The explanation is the causal clause עַל־צַדְּקוֹ נַפְשׁוֹ (’al-tsadd˙qo nafsho, “because he justified himself”). It is the preposition with the Piel infinitive construct with a suffixed subjective genitive.
7 tc The LXX and Latin versions soften the expression slightly by saying “before God.”
8 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Job) has been specified in the translation to indicate whose friends they were.
9 tn The perfect verb should be given the category of potential perfect here.
10 tc This is one of the eighteen “corrections of the scribes” (tiqqune sopherim); it originally read, “and they declared God [in the wrong].” The thought was that in abandoning the debate they had conceded Job’s point.
11 tc This reading requires repointing the word בִּדְבָרִים (bidbarim, “with words”) to בְּדָבְּרָם (b˙dabb˙ram, “while they spoke [with Job]”). If the MT is retained, it would mean “he waited for Job with words,” which while understandable is awkward.
12 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the other friends) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
13 tn The first clause beginning with a vav (ו) consecutive and the preterite can be subordinated to the next similar verb as a temporal clause.
14 tn Heb “that there was no reply in the mouth of the three men.”
15 tn Heb “answered and said.”
16 tn The text has “small in days.”
17 tn The verb זָחַלְתִּי (zakhalti) is found only here in the OT, but it is found in a ninth century Aramaic inscription as well as in Biblical Aramaic. It has the meaning “to be timid” (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 208).
18 tn The Piel infinitive with the preposition (מֵחַוֹּת, mekhavvot) means “from explaining.” The phrase is the complement: “explain” what Elihu feared.
19 tn Heb “days.”
20 tn The imperfect here is to be classified as an obligatory imperfect.
21 tn Heb “abundance of years.”
22 tn This is the word נְשָׁמָה (n˙shamah, “breath”); according to Gen 2:7 it was breathed into Adam to make him a living person (“soul”). With that divine impartation came this spiritual understanding. Some commentators identify the רוּחַ (ruakh) in the first line as the Spirit of God; this “breath” would then be the human spirit. Whether Elihu knew that much, however, is hard to prove.
23 tn The MT has “the great” or “the many,” meaning great in years according to the parallelism.
24 tc In most Hebrew
25 tn Heb “for your words.”
26 tn The word means “understanding.” It refers to the faculty of perception and comprehension; but it also can refer to what that produces, especially when it is in the plural (see Ps 49:4). See R. Gordis, Job, 368. Others translate it “reasonings,” “arguments,” etc.
27 tn The verb again is from בִּין (bin, “to perceive; to understand”); in this stem it means to “to pay close attention.”
28 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “behold”) has a deictic force here, calling attention to the thought that is now presented.
29 tn The participle מוֹכִיחַ (mokhiakh) is from the verb יָכַח (yakhakh) that has been used frequently in the book of Job. It means “to argue; to contend; to debate; to prove; to dispute.” The usage of the verb shows that it can focus on the beginning of an argument, the debating itself, or the resolution of the conflict. Here the latter is obviously meant, for they did argue and contend and criticize – but could not prove Job wrong.
30 tn Heb “lest you say.” R. Gordis (Job, 368) calls this a breviloquence: “beware lest [you say].” He then suggests the best reading for their quote to be, “We have attained wisdom, but only God can refute him, not man.” H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 209) suggests the meaning is a little different, namely, that they are saying they have found wisdom in Job, and only God can deal with it. Elihu is in effect saying that they do not need God, for he is quite capable for this.
31 tn The root is נָדַף (nadaf, “to drive away; to drive off”). Here it is in the abstract sense of “succeed in doing something; confound,” and so “refute; rebut.” Dhorme wants to change the meaning of the word with a slight emendation in the text, deriving it from אָלַף (’alaf, “instruct”) the form becoming יַלְּפֶנוּ (yall˙fenu) instead of יִדְּפֶנּוּ (yidd˙fenu), obtaining the translation “God will instruct us.” This makes a smoother reading, but does not have much support for it.
32 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Job) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
33 tn The verb עַרַךְ (’arakh) means “to arrange in order; to set forth; to direct; to marshal.” It is used in military contexts for setting the battle array; it is used in legal settings for preparing the briefs.
34 tn Heb “your words.”
35 sn Elihu now will give another reason why he will speak – the arguments of these friends failed miserably. But before he gets to his argument, he will first qualify his authority.
36 tn The verb חַתּוּ (khattu) is from חָתַת (khatat) which means “to be terrified.” But here it stresses the resulting dilemma. R. Gordis (Job, 369) renders it, “they are shattered, beaten in an argument.”
37 tn Heb “words have moved away from them,” meaning words are gone from them, they have nothing left to say.
38 tn Some commentators take this as a question: “And shall [or must] I wait because they do not speak?” (A. B. Davidson, R. Gordis). But this is not convincing because the silence of the friends is the reason for him to speak, not to wait.
39 tn Heb “the spirit of my belly.”
40 tn The verb צוּק (tsuq) means “to constrain; to urge; to press.” It is used in Judg 14:17; 16:16 with the sense of wearing someone down with repeated entreaties. Elihu cannot withhold himself any longer.
41 tn Heb “in my belly I am like wine that is not opened” (a Niphal imperfect), meaning sealed up with no place to escape.
42 tc The Hebrew text has כְּאֹבוֹת חֲדָשִׁים (k˙’ovot khadashim), traditionally rendered “like new wineskins.” But only here does the phrase have this meaning. The LXX has “smiths” for “new,” thus “like smith’s bellows.” A. Guillaume connects the word with an Arabic word for a wide vessel for wine shaped like a cup (“Archaeological and philological note on Job 32:19,” PEQ 93 : 147-50). Some have been found in archaeological sites. The poor would use skins, the rich would use jars. The key to putting this together is the verb at the end of the line, יִבָּקֵעַ (yibbaqea’, “that are ready to burst”). The point of the statement is that Elihu is bursting to speak, and until now has not had the opening.
43 tn The cohortative expresses Elihu’s resolve to speak.
44 tn The idiom is “I will not lift up the face of a man.” Elihu is going to show no favoritism, but speak his mind.
45 tn The verb means “to confer an honorary title; to give a mark of distinction,” but it is often translated with the verb “flatter.” Elihu will not take sides, he will not use pompous titles.
46 tn The construction uses a perfect verb followed by the imperfect. This is a form of subordination equivalent to a complementary infinitive (see GKC 385-86 §120.c).
47 tn The words “if I did” are supplied in the translation to make sense out of the two clauses.
48 tn Heb “quickly carry me away.”
49 tn Heb “give ear,” the Hiphil denominative verb from “ear.”
50 tn Heb “hear all my words.”
51 tn The perfect verbs in this verse should be classified as perfects of resolve: “I have decided to open…speak.”
52 sn H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 210) says, “The self-importance of Elihu is boundless, and he is the master of banality.” He adds that whoever wrote these speeches this way clearly intended to expose the character rather than exalt him.
53 tc This expression is unusual; R. Gordis (Job, 371) says it can be translated, “the purity of my heart [is reflected] in my words,” but that is far-fetched and awkward. So there have been suggestions for emending יֹשֶׁר (yosher, “uprightness”). Kissane’s makes the most sense if a change is desired: “shall reveal” (an Arabic sense of yasher), although Holscher interpreted “shall affirm” (yasher, with a Syriac sense). Dhorme has “my heart will repeat” (יָשׁוּר, yashur), but this is doubtful. If Kissane’s view is taken, it would say, “my heart will reveal my words.” Some commentators would join “and knowledge” to this colon, and read “words of knowledge” – but that requires even more emendations.
54 tn More literally, “and the knowledge of my lips they will speak purely.”
tn The verb תְּחַיֵּנִי (t˙khayyeni) is the Piel imperfect of the verb “to live.” It can mean “gives me life,” but it can also me “quickens me, enlivens me.”
56 tn The Hebrew text does not contain the term “arguments,” but this verb has been used already for preparing or arranging a defense.
57 tn The verb means “nipped off,” as a potter breaks off a piece of clay when molding a vessel.
58 tc The noun means “my pressure; my burden” in the light of the verb אָכֲף (’akhaf, “to press on; to grip tightly”). In the parallel passages the text used “hand” and “rod” in the hand to terrify. The LXX has “hand” here for this word. But simply changing it to “hand” is ruled out because the verb is masculine.
60 tn Heb “in my ears.”
62 tn The word is a hapax legomenon; hap is from חָפַף (khafaf). It is used in New Hebrew in expressions like “to wash” the head. Cognates in Syriac and Akkadian support the meaning “to wash; to clean.”
64 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
65 tn The Hebrew means “frustrations” or “oppositions.” The RSV has “displeasure,” NIV “faults,” and NRSV “occasions.” Rashi chose the word found in Judg 14:4 – with metathesis – meaning “pretexts” (תֹּאֲנוֹת, to’anot); this is followed by NAB, NASB.
67 tn The meaning of this verb is “this is my answer to you.”
68 tc The LXX has “he that is above men is eternal.” Elihu is saying that God is far above Job’s petty problems.
69 tc The MT has “all his words.” This must refer to “man” in the previous verse. But many wish to change it to “my words,” since it would be summarizing Job’s complaint to God.
70 tn The Syriac and the Vulgate have “and he does not repeat it,” a reading of the text as it is, according to E. Dhorme (Job, 403). But his argument is based on another root with this meaning – a root which does not exist (see L. Dennefeld, RB 48 : 175). The verse is saying that God does speak to man.
72 tc Heb “and seals their bonds.” The form of the present translation, “and terrifies them with warnings,” is derived only by emending the text. Aquila, the Vulgate, Syriac, and Targum Job have “their correction” for “their bond,” which is what the KJV used. But the LXX, Aquila, and the Syriac have “terrifies” for the verb. This involves a change in pointing from יָחְתֹּם (yakhtom) to יְחִתֵּם (y˙khittem). The LXX has “appearances of fear” instead of “bonds.” The point of the verse seems to be that by terrifying dreams God makes people aware of their ways.
73 tc The MT simply has מַעֲשֶׂה (ma’aseh, “deed”). The LXX has “from his iniquity” which would have been מֵעַוְלָה (me’avlah). The two letters may have dropped out by haplography. The MT is workable, but would have to mean “[evil] deeds.”
74 tc Here too the sense of the MT is difficult to recover. Some translations took it to mean that God hides pride from man. Many commentators changed יְכַסֶּה (y˙khasseh, “covers”) to יְכַסֵּחַ (y˙khasseakh, “he cuts away”), or יְכַלֶּה (y˙khalleh, “he puts an end to”). The various emendations are not all that convincing.
76 tc Here is another difficult line. The verb normally means “to pass through; to pass over,” and so this word would normally mean “from passing through [or over].” The word שֶׁלַח (shelakh) does at times refer to a weapon, but most commentators look for a parallel with “the pit [or corruption].” One suggestion is שְׁאוֹלָה (sh˙’olah, “to Sheol”), proposed by Duhm. Dhorme thought it was שַׁלַח (shalakh) and referred to the passageway to the underworld (see M. Tsevat, VT 4 : 43; and Svi Rin, BZ 7 : 25). See discussion of options in HALOT 1517-18 s.v. IV שֶׁלַח. The idea of crossing the river of death fits the idea of the passage well, although the reading “to perish by the sword” makes sense and was followed by the NIV.
77 tc The MT has the passive form, and so a subject has to be added: “[a man] is chastened.” The LXX has the active form, indicating “[God] chastens,” but the object “a man” has to be added. It is understandable why the LXX thought this was active, within this sequence of verbs; and that is why it is the inferior reading.
78 tc The Kethib “the strife of his bones is continual,” whereas the Qere has “the multitude of his bones are firm.” The former is the better reading in this passage. It indicates that the pain is caused by the ongoing strife.
79 tn Heb “food of desire.” The word “rejects” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.
80 tc Heb “are laid bare.” This is the Qere reading; the Kethib means “bare height.” Gordis reverses the word order: “his bones are bare [i.e., crushed] so that they cannot be looked upon.” But the sense of that is not clear.
81 tn Heb “his soul [נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh, “life”] draws near.”
82 tn The MT uses the Hiphil participle, “to those who cause death.” This seems to be a reference to the belief in demons that brought about death, an idea not mentioned in the Bible itself. Thus many proposals have been made for this expression. Hoffmann and Budde divide the word into לְמוֹ מֵתִּים (l˙mo metim) and simply read “to the dead.” Dhorme adds a couple of letters to get לִמְקוֹם מֵתִּים (limqom metim, “to the place [or abode] of the dead”).
83 sn The verse is describing the way God can preserve someone from dying by sending a messenger (translated here as “angel”), who could be human or angelic. This messenger will interpret/mediate God’s will. By “one … out of a thousand” Elihu could have meant either that one of the thousands of messengers at God’s disposal might be sent or that the messenger would be unique (see Eccl 7:28; and cp. Job 9:3).
84 tn This is a smoother reading. The MT has “to tell to a man his uprightness,” to reveal what is right for him. The LXX translated this word “duty”; the choice is adopted by some commentaries. However, that is too far from the text, which indicates that the angel/messenger is to call the person to uprightness.
85 tn This verse seems to continue the protasis begun in the last verse, with the apodosis coming in the next verse.
86 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
87 tc The verb is either taken as an anomalous form of פָּדַע (pada’, “to rescue; to redeem,” or “to exempt him”), or it is emended to some similar word, like פָּרַע (para’, “to let loose,” so Wright).
89 tc The word רֻטֲפַשׁ (rutafash) is found nowhere else. One suggestion is that it should be יִרְטַב (yirtav, “to become fresh”), connected to רָטַב (ratav, “to be well watered [or moist]”). It is also possible that it was a combination of רָטַב (ratav, “to be well watered”) and טָפַשׁ (tafash, “to grow fat”). But these are all guesses in the commentaries.
90 tn The word describes the period when the man is healthy and vigorous, ripe for what life brings his way.
91 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
92 tn Heb “his face”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
sn This is usually taken to mean that as a worshiper this individual comes into the presence of the
93 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
94 tc Many commentators think this line is superfluous and so delete it. The RSV changed the verb to “he recounts,” making the idea that the man publishes the news of his victory or salvation (taking “righteousness” as a metonymy of cause).
95 tc The verb יָשֹׁר (yashor) is unusual. The typical view is to change it to יָשִׁיר (yashir, “he sings”), but that may seem out of harmony with a confession. Dhorme suggests a root שׁוּר (shur, “to repeat”), but this is a doubtful root. J. Reider reads it יָשֵׁיר (yasher) and links it to an Arabic word “confesses” (ZAW 24 : 275).
96 tn Heb “to men.”
97 tn The verb שָׁוָה (shavah) has the impersonal meaning here, “it has not been requited to me.” The meaning is that the sinner has not been treated in accordance with his deeds: “I was not punished according to what I deserved.”
99 sn Elihu will repeat these instructions for Job to listen, over and over in painful repetition. See note on the heading to 32:1.
100 tn The phrase “in his dealings” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarification.
101 tn Heb “if there are words.”
102 tn The infinitive construct serves as the complement or object of “I desire.” It could be rendered “to justify you” or “your justification, “namely, “that you be justified.”
103 sn This speech of Elihu focuses on defending God. It can be divided into these sections: Job is irreligious (2-9), God is just (10-15), God is impartial and omniscient (16-30), Job is foolish to rebel (31-37).
104 tn Heb “give ear to me.”
105 tn The Hebrew word means “the men who know,” and without a complement it means “to possess knowledge.”
106 tn Or “examines; tests; tries; discerns.”
107 tn Or “palate”; the Hebrew term refers to the tongue or to the mouth in general.
108 sn Elihu means “choose after careful examination.”
109 tn The word is מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat) again, with the sense of what is right or just.
110 tn Heb “righteous,” but in this context it means to be innocent or in the right.
111 tn The verb is the Piel imperfect of כָּזַב (kazav), meaning “to lie.” It could be a question: “Should I lie [against my right?] – when I am innocent. If it is repointed to the Pual, then it can be “I am made to lie,” or “I am deceived.” Taking it as a question makes good sense here, and so emendations are unnecessary.
112 tn The Hebrew text has only “my arrow.” Some commentators emend that word slightly to get “my wound.” But the idea could be derived from “arrows” as well, the wounds caused by the arrows. The arrows are symbolic of God’s affliction.
113 tn Heb “without transgression”; but this is parallel to the first part where the claim is innocence.
114 tn Heb “he drinks,” but coming after the question this clause may be subordinated.
115 tn The scorn or derision mentioned here is not against Job, but against God. Job scorns God so much, he must love it. So to reflect this idea, Gordis has translated it “blasphemy” (cf. NAB).
116 tn The perfect verb with the vav (ו) consecutive carries the sequence forward from the last description.
117 tn The word חֶבְרַה (khevrah, “company”) is a hapax legomenon. But its meaning is clear enough from the connections to related words and this context as well.
118 tn The infinitive construct with the ל (lamed) preposition may continue the clause with the finite verb (see GKC 351 §114.p).
119 tn Heb “men of wickedness”; the genitive is attributive (= “wicked men”).
120 tn Gordis, however, takes this expression in the sense of “being in favor with God.”
121 tn Heb “men of heart.” The “heart” is used for the capacity to understand and make the proper choice. It is often translated “mind.”
123 tn Heb “for the work of man, he [= God] repays him.”
124 tn Heb “he causes it to find him.” The text means that God will cause a man to find (or receive) the consequences of his actions.
125 tn The verb פָּקַד (paqad) means “to visit; to appoint; to number.” Here it means “to entrust” for care and governing. The implication would be that there would be someone higher than God – which is what Elihu is repudiating by the rhetorical question. No one entrusted God with this.
126 tn The preposition is implied from the first half of the verse.
127 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
128 tc This is the reading following the Qere. The Kethib and the Syriac and the LXX suggest a reading יָשִׂים (yasim, “if he [God] recalls”). But this would require leaving out “his heart,” and would also require redividing the verse to make “his spirit” the object. It makes better parallelism, but may require too many changes.
129 tn The phrase “you have” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied.
130 tn Heb “the sound of my words.”
131 tn The force of הַאַף (ha’af) is “Is it truly the case?” The point is being made that if Job were right God could not be judging the world.
132 tn The verb חָבַשׁ (khavash) has the basic idea of “to bind,” as in binding on the yoke, and then in the sense of subduing people under authority (cf. Assyrian absanu). The imperfect verb here is best expressed with the potential nuance.
133 tn The two words could be taken separately, but they seem to form a fine nominal hendiadys, because the issue is God’s justice. So the word for power becomes the modifier.
134 tc Heb “Does one say,” although some smooth it out to say “Is it fit to say?” For the reading “who says,” the form has to be repointed to הַאֹמֵר (ha’omer) meaning, “who is the one saying.” This reading is supported by the LXX, Vulgate, and Syriac. Also it seems to flow better with the following verse. It would be saying that God is over the rulers and can rebuke them. The former view is saying that no one rebukes kings, much less Job rebuking God.
135 tn The word בְּלִיָּעַל (b˙liyya’al) means both “worthless” and “wicked.” It is common in proverbial literature, and in later writings it became a description of Satan. It is usually found with “son of.”
136 tn The verb means “to give recognition; to take note of” and in this passage with לִפְנֵי (lifne, “before”) it means to show preferential treatment to the rich before the poor. The word for “rich” here is an unusual word, found parallel to “noble” (Isa 32:2). P. Joüon thinks it is a term of social distinction (Bib 18 : 207-8).
137 tn Dhorme transposes “in the middle of the night” with “they pass away” to get a smoother reading. But the MT emphasizes the suddenness by putting both temporal ideas first. E. F. Sutcliffe leaves the order as it stands in the text, but adds a verb “they expire” after “in the middle of the night” (“Notes on Job, textual and exegetical,” Bib 30 : 79ff.).
138 tn R. Gordis (Job, 389) thinks “people” here mean the people who count, the upper class.
139 tn The verb means “to be violently agitated.” There is no problem with the word in this context, but commentators have made suggestions for improving the idea. The proposal that has the most to commend it, if one were inclined to choose a new word, is the change to יִגְוָעוּ (yigva’u, “they expire”; so Ball, Holscher, Fohrer, and others).
140 tn Heb “not by hand.” This means without having to use force.
141 tn Heb “his”; the referent (a person) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
142 tn The construction of this colon uses the Niphal infinitive construct from סָתַר (satar, “to be hidden; to hide”). The resumptive adverb makes this a relative clause in its usage: “where the evildoers can hide themselves.”
143 tn Heb “for he does not put upon man yet.” This has been given a wide variety of interpretations, all of which involve a lot of additional thoughts. The word עוֹד (’od, “yet, still”) has been replaced with מוֹעֵד (mo’ed, “an appointed time,” Reiske and Wright), with the ם (mem) having dropped out by haplography. This makes good sense. If the MT is retained, the best interpretation would be that God does not any more consider (from “place upon the heart”) man, that he might appear in judgment.
144 tn Heb “[with] no investigation.”
145 tn The direct object “them” is implied and has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
146 tn The Hebrew term “night” is an accusative of time.
147 tn Heb “under wicked men,” or “under wickednesses.” J. C. Greenfield shows that the preposition can mean “among” as well (“Prepositions B Tachat in Jes 57:5,” ZAW 32 : 227). That would allow “among wicked men.” It could also be “instead of” or even “in return for [their wickedness]” which is what the RSV does.
148 tn The text simply uses רֹאִים (ro’im): “[in the place where there are] seers,” i.e., spectators.
149 tn The verb הִשְׂכִּילוּ (hiskilu) means “to be prudent; to be wise.” From this is derived the idea of “be wise in understanding God’s will,” and “be successful because of prudence” – i.e., successful with God.
150 tn The verse begins with the infinitive construct of בּוֹא (bo’, “go”), showing the result of their impious actions.
151 tn The verb here is an imperfect; the clause is circumstantial to the preceding clause, showing either the result, or the concomitant action.
152 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
153 tn The verb in this position is somewhat difficult, although it does make good sense in the sentence – it is just not what the parallelism would suggest. So several emendations have been put forward, for which see the commentaries.
154 tn The line simply reads “and over a nation and over a man together.” But it must be the qualification for the points being made in the previous lines, namely, that even if God hides himself so no one can see, yet he is still watching over them all (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 222).
155 tn The word translated “alike” (Heb “together”) has bothered some interpreters. In the reading taken here it is acceptable. But others have emended it to gain a verb, such as “he visits” (Beer), “he watches over” (Duhm), “he is compassionate” (Kissane), etc. But it is sufficient to say “he is over.”
156 tn This last verse is difficult because it is unbalanced and cryptic. Some have joined the third line of v. 29 with this entire verse to make a couplet. But the same result is achieved by simply regarding this verse as the purpose of v. 29. But there still are some words that must be added. In the first colon, “[he is over the nations]…preventing from ruling.” And in the second colon, “laying” has to be supplied before “snares.”
157 tn The Hebrew text has only “I lift up” or “I bear” (= I endure). The reading “I have been led astray” is obtained by changing the vowels to read a passive. If the MT is retained, an object has to be supplied, such as “chastisement” (so RSV, NASB) or “punishment” (NRSV). If not, then a different reading would be followed (e.g., “I was misguided” [NAB]; “I am guilty” [NIV]).
158 tn Heb “what I do not see,” more specifically, “apart from [that which] I see.”
159 tn Heb “is it from with you,” an idiomatic expression meaning “to suit you” or “according to your judgment.”
160 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
161 tn There is no object on the verb, and the meaning is perhaps lost. The best guess is that Elihu is saying Job has rejected his teaching.
162 tn Adding “that” in the translation clarifies Elihu’s indirect citation of the wise individuals’ words.
163 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct is here functioning as a substantive. The word means “prudence; understanding.”
164 tc The MT reads אָבִי (’avi, “my father”), which makes no sense. Some follow the KJV and emend the word to make a verb “I desire” or use the noun “my desire of it.” Others follow an Arabic word meaning “entreat, I pray” (cf. ESV, “Would that Job were tried”). The LXX and the Syriac versions have “but” and “surely” respectively. Since this is the only
165 tn Although frequently translated “rebellion,” the basic meaning of this Hebrew term is “transgression.”
166 tc If this reading stands, it would mean that Job shows contempt, meaning that he mocks them and accuses God. It is a bold touch, but workable. Of the many suggested emendations, Dhorme alters some of the vowels and obtains a reading “and casts doubt among us,” and then takes “transgression” from the first colon for the complement. Some commentators simply delete the line.