Job 30

 

וְעַתָּה שָׂחֲקוּ עָלַי צְעִירִים מִמֶּנִּי לְיָמִים אֲשֶׁר־מָאַסְתִּי אֲבוֹתָם לָשִׁית עִם־כַּלְבֵי צֹאנִי׃   30:1

Job 30:1   “But now those younger than I laugh mockingly at me for days,

                             whose fathers I refused to set with the dogs of my flock.”

The contrast between the preceding chapter and this one is displayed immediately.  Whereas before Job lived like a king, now he is mocked by the children of the lowliest of the low.  Their fathers were not fit even to be with the shepherd dogs.

גַּם־כֹּחַ יְדֵיהֶם לָמָּה לִּי עָלֵימוֹ אָבַד כָּלַח׃   30:2

Job 30:2   “Indeed, to what purpose was the strength of their hands for me,

                             with whom old age had vanished;

בְּחֶסֶר וּבְכָפָן גַּלְמוּד הַעֹרְקִים צִיָּה אֶמֶשׁ שׁוֹאָה וּמְשֹׁאָה׃   30:3

Job 30:3   in poverty and in bleak hunger,

                             desert of dark night, devastation, and desolation,

                   they were gnawing,

הַקֹּטְפִים מַלּוּחַ עֲלֵי־שִׂיחַ וְשֹׁרֶשׁ רְתָמִים לַחְמָם׃   30:4

Job 30:4   plucking up the salty leaf on a bush,

                             and the root of broom plants being their food.”

מִן־גֵּו יְגֹרָשׁוּ יָרִיעוּ עָלֵימוֹ כַּגַּנָּב׃   30:5

Job 30:5   “From the midst, they would be driven out

                             (they would shout at them as at a thief),

בַּעֲרוּץ נְחָלִים לִשְׁכֹּן חֹרֵי עָפָר וְכֵפִים׃   30:6

Job 30:6   to dwell in the ravine of wadis, holes of dust, or rocks.”

בֵּין־שִׂיחִים יִנְהָקוּ תַּחַת חָרוּל יְסֻפָּחוּ׃   30:7

Job 30:7   “Among the shrubs they would bray,

                             under the nettles they would huddle together.”

בְּנֵי־נָבָל גַּם־בְּנֵי בְלִי־שֵׁם נִכְּאוּ מִן־הָאָרֶץ׃   30:8

Job 30:8   “Children of the fool,

                             also children of one without name,

                    they were scourged from the land.”

Someone without a name would be so low that he would have no identity.  None would even acknowledge his birth or presence on the earth.

וְעַתָּה נְגִינָתָם הָיִיתִי וָאֱהִי לָהֶם לְמִלָּה׃   30:9

Job 30:9   “And now I am their mocking song,

                             and I am for a byword to them.”

תִּעֲבוּנִי רָחֲקוּ מֶנִּי וּמִפָּנַי לֹא־חָשְׂכוּ רֹק׃   30:10

Job 30:10   “They abhor me, are distant from me,

                             and do not hold back spittle from my face.”

כִּֽי־ (יִתְרֹו) [יִתְרִ֣י] פִ֭תַּח וַיְעַנֵּ֑נִי וְרֶסֶן מִפָּנַ֥י שִׁלֵּֽחוּ׃   30:11

Job 30:11   “For He has let loose His rein and afflicted me,

                             and the restraint, He has sent it away from me.”

The word in the parentheses is considered to be wrong,  As it stands it can be translated as His rein or His cord.  The correction in the brackets makes it mean my cord, the assumption being that my cord represents Job’s strength as in the cord of my bow.  Thus God has taken Job’s strength form him.  But His rein can also be correct if interpreted to mean God’s guidance and protection of Job.  Because I favor not making errors unnecessarily, I say that the correction is not needed; there is no error here.

עַל־יָמִין פִּרְחַח יָקוּמוּ רַגְלַי שִׁלֵּחוּ וַיָּסֹלּוּ עָלַי אָרְחוֹת אֵידָם׃   30:12

Job 30:12   “They would raise up a hoodlum on the right,

                             they prevent my feet,

                       and cast up upon me the ways of their calamity.”

The third word, which I translate as hoodlum, is translated by others as brood, youths, tribe, rabble, and mob, to name just a few.  The meaning of the word is unknown and it appears no where else in the bible.  Any translation would likely come from the imagination of the translator and the context, and they are little help for me.  In fact, some translations (about  half) are out of order in that they make the word plural when it is clearly singular.  My tentative interpretation of the verse is this:  The calamity arises on Job’s right and those who oppress him prevent his feet (from running and avoiding it), thus bringing his calamity upon him.

נָתְסוּ נְתִיבָתִי לְהַוָּתִי יֹעִילוּ לֹא עֹזֵר לָמֹו׃   30:13

Job 30:13   “They break down my path,

                             they would gain by my calamity,

                       they need no helper.”

כְּפֶרֶץ רָחָב יֶאֱתָיוּ תַּחַת שֹׁאָה הִתְגַּלְגָּלוּ׃   30:14

Job 30:14   “They can come as through a wide breach;

                             they roll themselves beneath the rubble.”

They are so eager to bring on his calamity that they roll under the rubble instead of going around it.

הָהְפַּךְ עָלַי בַּלָּהוֹת תִּרְדֹּף כָּרוּחַ נְדִבָתִי וּכְעָב עָבְרָה יְשֻׁעָתִי׃   30:15

Job 30:15   “He has turned terrors on me.

                             He would chase my honor like the wind,

                       and my welfare passes over like a cloud.”

I believe Job is referring to God in this verse.

וְעַתָּ֗ה עָ֭לַי תִּשְׁתַּפֵּ֣ךְ נַפְשִׁ֑י יֹ֖אחֲז֣וּנִי יְמֵי־עֹֽנִי׃   30:16

Job 30:16   “So now my soul is poured out by me;

                             days of affliction have taken hold of me.”

לַיְלָה עֲצָמַי נִקַּר מֵעָלָי וְעֹרְקַי לֹא יִשְׁכָּבוּן׃   30:17

Job 30:17   “At night my substance is picked from me,

                             and my blood vessels cannot rest.”

In this verse we have another little-understood word.  The fifth word, which I translate as my blood vessels, does not appear any where else in the bible. So its meaning can only be surmised from the context.  I’m not certain that blood vessels were understood as the pathways of the body’s circulation in biblical times, but I imagine that something akin to it was intended.  How many nights have many of us lain awake listening to the blood pulsing through our carotid arteries next to our ears?  If this was not intended, I can’t understand what else might be.

בְּרָב־כֹּ֖חַ יִתְחַפֵּ֣שׂ לְבוּשִׁ֑י כְּפִ֖י כֻתָּנְתִּ֣י יַֽאַזְרֵֽנִי׃   30:18

Job 30:18   “With a great power He would search out my garment;

                             it would choke me as the collar of my coat.”

Is the meaning of the first line that God searches out Job’s garment in order to remove it and leave him naked?

בְּרָב־כֹּ֖חַ יִתְחַפֵּ֣שׂ לְבוּשִׁ֑י כְּפִ֖י כֻתָּנְתִּ֣י יַֽאַזְרֵֽנִי׃   30:19

Job 30:19   “He has lain me in the mire,

                             and I have become as dust and ashes.”

אֲשַׁוַּע אֵלֶיךָ וְלֹא תַעֲנֵנִי עָמַדְתִּי וַתִּתְבֹּנֶן בִּי׃   30:20

Job 30:20   “I could cry out to You, but You would not answer me;

                             I stand up, but do You give heed to me?”

תֵּהָפֵךְ לְאַכְזָר לִי בְּעֹצֶם יָדְךָ תִשְׂטְמֵנִי׃   30:21

Job 30:21   “You must have turned about to be cruel to me;

                             with the power of Your 'hand' You must have hated me.”

תִּשָּׂאֵנִי אֶל־רוּחַ תַּרְכִּיבֵנִי וּתְמֹגְגֵנִי (תְּשֻׁוֶּה) [תּוּשִׁיָּה]׃   30:22

Job 30:22   “You could lift me up to the wind, make me ride,

                             or You can make me faint; You can storm.”

The word in the parentheses is translated by me as the phrase You can storm.  I imagine it as Job’s admission and acknowledgment of God’s might.  The word is considered an error.  The word is changed in the brackets to one that would have to be translated as something like You will be wise, but none of the popular translations compare too well with this meaning.  The translations in the popular bibles vary considerably, but none is true to even the correction in the brackets, straying far from its supposed meaning.

כִּי־יָדַעְתִּי מָוֶת תְּשִׁיבֵנִי וּבֵית מוֹעֵד לְכָל־חָי׃   30:23

Job 30:23   “Surely I know You can bring death to me,

                             and the appointed house to all living.”

אַךְ לֹא־בְעִי יִשְׁלַח־יָד אִם־בְּפִידוֹ לָהֶן שׁוּעַ׃   30:24

Job 30:24   “But no one would extend a hand to a heap of ruins,

                             even if in his destruction he cried out because of it.”

אִם־לֹא בָכִיתִי לִקְשֵׁה־יוֹם עָגְמָה נַפְשִׁי לָאֶבְיוֹן׃   30:25

Job 30:25   “Have I not wept for the unfortunate one,

                             grieved my soul for one in need?”

כִּי טוֹב קִוִּיתִי וַיָּבֹא רָע וַאֲיַחֲלָה לְאוֹר וַיָּבֹא אֹפֶל׃   30:26

Job 30:26   “When I expected good, then evil came,

                             and I would wait for light, but only gloom came.”

מֵעַי רֻתְּחוּ וְלֹא־דָמּוּ קִדְּמֻנִי יְמֵי־עֹנִי׃   30:27

Job 30:27   “My bowels churn and are not silent.

                             Days of misery confront me.”

קֹדֵר הִלַּכְתִּי בְּלֹא חַמָּה קַמְתִּי בַקָּהָל אֲשַׁוֵּעַ׃   30:28

Job 30:28   “I go about mourning without sunlight.

                             I stand with the assembly; I must cry for help.”

אָח הָיִיתִי לְתַנִּים וְרֵעַ לִבְנוֹת יַעֲנָה׃   30:29

Job 30:29   “I am a brother to jackals,

                             and a companion to ostriches.”

עֹורִי שָׁחַר מֵעָלָי וְעַצְמִי־חָרָה מִנִּי־חֹרֶב׃   30:30

Job 30:30   “My skin is black because it is on me.

                             And my body is hot from dryness.”

וַיְהִי לְאֵבֶל כִּנֹּרִי וְעֻגָבִי לְקוֹל בֹּכִים׃   30:31

Job 30:31   “So my harp is for mourning

                             and my flute is for the sound of weeping.”

Another elegant description of Job’s predicament, but this time a little more obscure in places.

 

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