וַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר׃ 19:1
Job 19:1 Then Job responded, and he said,
עַד־אָנָה תּוֹגְיוּן נַפְשִׁי וּתְדַכְּאוּנַנִי בְמִלִּים׃ 19:2
Job 19:2 “How long will you cause my soul grief,
and crush me with words?”
זֶה עֶשֶׂר פְּעָמִים תַּכְלִימוּנִי לֹא־תֵבֹשׁוּ תַּהְכְּרוּ־לִי׃ 19:3
Job 19:3 “This is ten times you will have insulted me.
You must not be ashamed you can deal so wrongly with me.”
A minor exaggeration -- it’s been only five times. But it must feel to Job as if it’s been many more.
וְאַף־אָמְנָם שָׁגִיתִי אִתִּי תָּלִין מְשׁוּגָתִי׃ 19:4
Job 19:4 “But though truly I have erred,
with me will remain my error.”
Probably because he doesn’t know what it could possibly be.
אִם־אָמְנָם עָלַי תַּגְדִּילוּ וְתֹוכִיחוּ עָלַי חֶרְפָּתִּי ׃ 19:5
Job 19:5 “If indeed you would magnify yourselves above me,
and judge against me my shame,
דְּעוּ־אֵפוֹ כִּי־אֱלוֹהַּ עִוְּתָנִי וּמְצוּדוֹ עָלַי הִקִּיף׃ 19:6
Job 19:6 then know that God has subverted me
and circled His net about me.”
הֵן אֶצְעַק חָמָס וְלֹא אֵעָנֶה אֲשַׁוַּע וְאֵין מִשְׁפָּט׃ 19:7
Job 19:7 “If I were to cry out, 'Violence.'
then I would not be answered.
Were I to shout,
yet there would be no justice.”
אָרְחִי גָדַר וְלֹא אֶעֱבוֹר וְעַל נְתִיבוֹתַי חֹשֶׁךְ יָשִׂים׃ 19:8
Job 19:8 “He has closed off my way so I can not pass,
and He would set darkness on my pathways.”
כְּבוֹדִי מֵעָלַי הִפְשִׁיט וַיָּסַר עֲטֶרֶת רֹאשִׁי׃ 19:9
Job 19:9 “He has stripped away my honor from me
and turned aside the crown of my head.”
יִתְּצֵנִי סָבִיב וָאֵלַךְ וַיַּסַּע כָּעֵץ תִּקְוָתִי׃ 19:10
Job 19:10 “He would break me down on every side so I am gone,
and pull out my hope like a tree.”
וַיַּחַר עָלַי אַפּוֹ וַיַּחְשְׁבֵנִי לוֹ כְצָרָיו׃ 19:11
Job 19:11 “And He has kindled against me His 'anger,'
and counts me to Himself like His enemies.”
יַחַד יָבֹאוּ גְדוּדָיו וַיָּסֹלּוּ עָלַי דַּרְכָּם וַיַּחֲנוּ סָבִיב לְאָהֳלִי׃ 19:12
Job 19:12 “His troops must have come together,
and lifted up their way against me,
and camped on my tent's every side.”
אַחַי מֵעָלַי הִרְחִיק וְיֹדְעַי אַךְ־זָרוּ מִמֶּנִּי׃ 19:13
Job 19:13 “He has put my kin far from me,
and my acquaintances are surely estranged from me.”
חָדְלוּ קְרֹובָי וּמְיֻדָּעַי שְׁכֵחוּנִי׃ 19:14
Job 19:14 “My closest ones have come to an end,
and those knowing me have forgotten me.”
גָּרֵי בֵיתִי וְאַמְהֹתַי לְזָר תַּחְשְׁבֻנִי נָכְרִי הָיִיתִי בְעֵינֵיהֶם׃ 19:15
Job 19:15 “The inhabitants of my house and my maids must count me as a stranger;
an alien am I in their eyes.”
לְעַבְדִּי קָרָאתִי וְלֹא יַעֲנֶה בְּמוֹ־פִי אֶתְחַנֶּן־לוֹ׃ 19:16
Job 19:16 “I call to my servant, but he will not answer;
by my mouth I can entreat his favor.”
רוּחִי זָרָה לְאִשְׁתִּי וְחַנֹּתִי לִבְנֵי בִטְנִי׃ 19:17
Job 19:17 “My breath is strange to my wife,
and I would be loathsome to the children of my body.”
If his children were still alive, that is.
גַּם־עֲוִילִים מָאֲסוּ בִי אָקוּמָה וַיְדַבְּרוּ־בִי׃ 19:18
Job 19:18 “Even youngsters refuse to be with me;
I could stand and they speak against me.”
תִּעֲבוּנִי כָּל־מְתֵי סוֹדִי וְזֶה־אָהַבְתִּי נֶהְפְּכוּ־בִי׃ 19:19
Job 19:19 “All the men of my intimate circle abhor me,
and others I love have reversed themselves with me.”
בְּעוֹרִי וּבִבְשָׂרִי דָּבְקָה עַצְמִי וָאֶתְמַלְּטָה בְּעוֹר שִׁנָּי׃ 19:20
Job 19:20 “My bone sticks to my skin and to my flesh,
and I escape by the skin of my teeth.”
Is this expression that old? I would have assumed it originated in the middle ages or thereabouts. I wonder if this is the origin of the expression “by the skin of my teeth.” In Hebrew no less! Or is it even older than 2,500 years and from a language of one of Israel’s neighbors or enemies?
חָנֻּנִי חָנֻּנִי אַתֶּם רֵעָי כִּי יַד־אֱלוֹהַּ נָגְעָה בִּי׃ 19:21
Job 19:21 “Pity me, pity me, you my companions!
For the 'hand' of God has been extended on me.”
לָמָּה תִּרְדְּפֻנִי כְמוֹ־אֵל וּמִבְּשָׂרִי לֹא תִשְׂבָּעוּ׃ 19:22
Job 19:22 “Why should you persecute me, as God has,
and from my flesh not be fulfilled?”
מִי־יִתֵּן אֵפוֹ וְיִכָּתְבוּן מִלָּי מִי־יִתֵּן בַּסֵּפֶר וְיֻחָקוּ׃ 19:23
Job 19:23 “Who would permit now and my words be written!
Who would permit and they be inscribed in a book!”
בְּעֵט־בַּרְזֶל וְעֹפָרֶת לָעַד בַּצּוּר יֵחָצְבוּן׃ 19:24
Job 19:24 “With an iron pen and lead,
forever in rock they would be engraved!”
I imagine the phrase I translate as iron pen and lead might refer to a hammer and chisel.
וַאֲנִי יָדַעְתִּי גֹּאֲלִי חָי וְאַחֲרוֹן עַל־עָפָר יָקוּם׃ 19:25
Job 19:25 “Yet I know my Redeemer is alive,
and He will confirm at the last upon the dust.”
וְאַחַר עֹורִי נִקְּפוּ־זֹאת וּמִבְּשָׂרִי אֶחֱזֶה אֱלֹוהַּ׃ 19:26
Job 19:26 “And after my skin they strike off thus,
then -- out of my flesh -- I will behold God.”
And still Job is true to his faith in the Lord. He hardly falters despite the awful and tragic nature of his present life.
אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי אֶחֱזֶה־לִּי וְעֵינַי רָאוּ וְלֹא־זָר כָּלוּ כִלְיֹתַי בְּחֵקִי׃ 19:27
Job 19:27 “When I can see for myself
-- and my eyes see, and not another!
-- my reins are consumed in my midst.”
כִּי תֹאמְרוּ מַה־נִּרְדָּף־לֹו וְשֹׁרֶשׁ דָּבָר נִמְצָא־בִי׃ 19:28
Job 19:28 “If you would think, 'How should we harass him?'
so the root of the matter is found in me,
גּוּרוּ לָכֶם מִפְּנֵי־חֶרֶב כִּי־חֵמָה עֲוֹנֹות חָרֶב לְמַעַן תֵּדְעוּן (שַׁדִּין) [שַׁדּוּן]׃ 19:29
Job 19:29 fear for yourselves from the edge of the sword,
for the punishments of rage is the sword,
so you would know that there is judgment.”
Job seems to be warning the three friends that, because of their despicable slander, they can expect a fate similar to his or worse. As to the “error” in the parentheses, I am flabbergasted and puzzled by it. The root word, !yDI, is spelled only with a yad, never with a vav. It appears fourteen times in the bible spelled with a yad, and not at all spelled with a vav. The root for the word in the brackets doesn’t appear in the bible or in my extensive dictionary. I can’t imagine why the sages understood this word to be in error.
[Return to Job Chapters] [Prev.: Job 18] [Next: Job 20]