וְאוּלָם שְׁמַע־נָא אִיּוֹב מִלָּי וְכָל־דְּבָרַי הַאֲזִינָה׃ 33:1
Job 33:1 “But nevertheless, Job, please hear my speech,
and take in all my words.”
הִנֵּה־נָא פָּתַחְתִּי פִי דִּבְּרָה לְשׁוֹנִי בְחִכִּי׃ 33:2
Job 33:2 “Behold, now I open my mouth;
my tongue speaks within my mouth.”
יֹשֶׁר־לִבִּי אֲמָרָי וְדַעַת שְׂפָתַי בָּרוּר מִלֵּלוּ׃ 33:3
Job 33:3 “My words are of the uprightness of my heart,
and my lips utter tested knowledge.”
רוּחַ־אֵל עָשָׂתְנִי וְנִשְׁמַת שַׁדַּי תְּחַיֵּנִי׃ 33:4
Job 33:4 “The spirit of God fashioned me,
and the 'breath' of the Almighty will preserve me.”
אִם־תּוּכַל הֲשִׁיבֵנִי עֶרְכָה לְפָנַי הִתְיַצָּבָה׃ 33:5
Job 33:5 “If you would be able, answer me;
set forth before me, present yourself.”
הֵן־אֲנִי כְפִיךָ לָאֵל מֵחֹמֶר קֹרַצְתִּי גַם־אָנִי׃ 33:6
Job 33:6 “Behold, I am as sincere as you for God;
I also was pinched off from clay.”
Remember, Elihu was angry at Job as well as the three friends, but so far he seems to be bending over backward to put Job at ease.
הִנֵּה אֵמָתִי לֹא תְבַעֲתֶךָּ וְאַכְפִּי עָלֶיךָ לֹא־יִכְבָּד׃ 33:7
Job 33:7 “Behold, my terror will not fall on you,
or my pressure be heavy on you.”
Elihu seems to be comparing himself with the others here. He will not resort to the insulting words of theirs.
אַךְ אָמַרְתָּ בְאָזְנָי וְקוֹל מִלִּין אֶשְׁמָע׃ 33:8
Job 33:8 “Indeed you have spoken within my hearing,
so I could hear the sound of the words:
זַךְ אֲנִי בְּלִי פָשַׁע חַף אָנֹכִי וְלֹא עָוֺן לִי׃ 33:9
Job 33:9 'I am clean, without transgression.
I am innocent, and no iniquity is mine.’
הֵן תְּנוּאוֹת עָלַי יִמְצָא יַחְשְׁבֵנִי לְאוֹיֵב לוֹ׃ 33:10
Job 33:10 'If He could find occasions for hostility by me,
He could esteem me as His enemy.'
יָשֵׂם בַּסַּד רַגְלָי יִשְׁמֹר כָּל־אָרְחֹתָי׃ 33:11
Job 33:11 'He could put my feet in stocks,
mark all my paths.'"
הֶן־זֹאת לֹא־צָדַקְתָּ אֶעֱנֶךָּ כִּי־יִרְבֶּה אֱלוֹהַ מֵאֱנוֹשׁ׃ 33:12
Job 33:12 "Behold this; you are not right.
I will answer you that God must be greater than any person.
While Elihu has been using friendly words so far, his message is now becoming clear. He will find fault with Job as the others have, but his approach will be different. Instead of accusing Job of unrighteousness, he will accuse him of insulting God (is not this also unrighteousness?).
מַדּוּעַ אֵלָיו רִיבוֹתָ כִּי כָל־דְּבָרָיו לֹא־יַעֲנֶה׃ 33:13
Job 33:13 “Why have you striven against Him
when He need not answer for any of His acts?”
So Elihu will denigrate Job and elevate God, but ironically, in so doing, he is impugning God’s own righteousness. His God is aloof, uncaring, and arbitrary.
כִּי־בְאַחַת יְדַבֶּר־אֵל וּבִשְׁתַּיִם לֹא יְשׁוּרֶנָּה׃ 33:14
Job 33:14 “Though in one way God will speak,
or in two; one cannot observe it.”
בַּחֲלוֹם חֶזְיוֹן לַיְלָה בִּנְפֹל תַּרְדֵּמָה עַל־אֲנָשִׁים בִּתְנוּמוֹת עֲלֵי מִשְׁכָּב׃ 33:15
Job 33:15 “In a dream, a night vision,
with a deep sleep falling on people,
during slumbers on the bed,
אָז יִגְלֶה אֹזֶן אֲנָשִׁים וּבְמֹסָרָם יַחְתֹּם׃ 33:16
Job 33:16 then He will uncover the ear of people,
and with their correction He would close,
לְהָסִיר אָדָם מַעֲשֶׂה וְגֵוָה מִגֶּבֶר יְכַסֶּה׃ 33:17
Job 33:17 to make a person put away a pursuit,
and He might hide pride from the strong man,
יַחְשֹׂךְ נַפְשׁוֹ מִנִּי־שָׁחַת וְחַיָּתוֹ מֵעֲבֹר בַּשָּׁלַח׃ 33:18
Job 33:18 hold back his soul from the pit,
and his life from passing on by weapon,
וְהוּכַח בְּמַכְאֹוב עַל־מִשְׁכָּבֹו (וְרִיב) [וְרֹוב] עֲצָמָיו אֵתָן׃ 33:19
Job 33:19 or he may be chastened by pain on his bed,
and the strife of his bones be constant,
The error indicated in the parentheses, translated by me as strife, leaves me deeply puzzled. I have translated the second line according to the original Hebrew, and it makes sense in the context. Other Jewish translators have interpreted it to mean something else, but their translation of the Hebrew is questionable. Oddly enough, Christian bibles seem to have translations similar to mine. The ”correction” in the brackets can be translated as multitude, which seems to miss any connection with the context. Jewish bibles have for the second line something like “... and all his bones grow stiff,” or “... and the multitude of his bones with strong pain.” Neither of these accurately translates the Hebrew. So the “error” is needlessly indicated.
וְזִהֲמַתּוּ חַיָּתֹו לָחֶם וְנַפְשֹׁו מַאֲכַל תַּאֲוָה׃ 33:20
Job 33:20 so his life would make him loathe bread,
and his soul, dainty food;
יִכֶל בְּשָׂרֹו מֵרֹאִי (וּשְׁפִי) [וְשֻׁפּוּ] עַצְמֹותָיו לֹא רֻאּוּ׃ 33:21
Job 33:21 his flesh might be consumed from view,
yet the polished surfaces of his bones are not seen,
The error indicated in the parentheses in this verse, translated by me as polished surfaces, also leaves me puzzled. The word is a noun, whereas the correction is a verb, which produces a phrase that is difficult to translate in any way that makes sense. It is translated by others by adding English for one or more Hebrew words that are not there. So once more, the error is not appropriately indicated.
וַתִּקְרַב לַשַּׁחַת נַפְשֹׁו וְחַיָּתֹו לַמְמִתִים׃ 33:22
Job 33:22 as his soul draws near to the pit,
and his life, to the moments of death.”
אִם־יֵשׁ עָלָיו מַלְאָךְ מֵלִיץ אֶחָד מִנִּי־אָלֶף לְהַגִּיד לְאָדָם יָשְׁרוֹ׃ 33:23
Job 33:23 “If there is an angel on his behalf,
one advocate out of a thousand,
to declare for the person his uprightness,
וַיְחֻנֶּנּוּ וַיֹּאמֶר פְּדָעֵהוּ מֵרֶדֶת שָׁחַת מָצָאתִי כֹפֶר׃ 33:24
Job 33:24 then He would favor him and say,
'Deliver him from descending the pit;
I have found a ransom.'”
רֻטֲפַשׁ בְּשָׂרוֹ מִנֹּעַר יָשׁוּב לִימֵי עֲלוּמָיו׃ 33:25
Job 33:25 “His flesh is chubbier than a child's;
it could be restored to the days of his youth.”
[Return to Psal. 89:46] [Return to Job 20:11]
יֶעְתַּר אֶל־אֱלוֹהַּ וַיִּרְצֵהוּ וַיַּרְא פָּנָיו בִּתְרוּעָה וַיָּשֶׁב לֶאֱנוֹשׁ צִדְקָתוֹ׃ 33:26
Job 33:26 “He could pray to God that He would be pleased with him,
that he would sense His presence with an exclamation of joy,
as He restores His justice to the person.”
יָשֹׁר עַל־אֲנָשִׁים וַיֹּאמֶר חָטָאתִי וְיָשָׁר הֶעֱוֵיתִי וְלֹא־שָׁוָה לִי׃ 33:27
Job 33:27 “He would reflect upon humanity and say,
'I have sinned and perverted what is right,
but it has been worthless to me;
פָּדָה (נַפְשִׁי) [נַפְשֹׁו] מֵעֲבֹר בַּשָּׁחַת (וְחַיָּתִי) [וְחַיָּתֹו] בָּאֹור תִּרְאֶה׃ 33:28
Job 33:28 He has rescued my soul from passing into the pit,
and my life can look to light.'”
Two errors are indicated in the sets of parentheses in this verse. In both cases the corrections in the brackets convert a first-person pronoun suffix to a third-person pronoun suffix. The translation my soul becomes his soul and my life becomes his life. This makes me think that the sages assumed that the quoted statement ended with v. 33:27, so the alterations seemed appropriate to them. But there is no obvious reason to justify this assumption. Why couldn’t the quotation continue into this verse as I have assumed? Then the first-person pronouns are correct, and so no errors exist. By the way, my assumption is supported by the words in v. 26 above.
הֶן־כָּל־אֵלֶּה יִפְעַל־אֵל פַּעֲמַיִם שָׁלוֹשׁ עִם־גָּבֶר׃ 33:29
Job 33:29 “Indeed, all these things God can do,
two times, three times, with a person,
לְהָשִׁיב נַפְשׁוֹ מִנִּי־שָׁחַת לֵאוֹר בְּאוֹר הַחַיִּים׃ 33:30
Job 33:30 bringing back his soul from the pit
to be illuminated by the light of the living.”
הַקְשֵׁב אִיּוֹב שְׁמַע־לִי הַחֲרֵשׁ וְאָנֹכִי אֲדַבֵּר׃ 33:31
Job 33:31 “Be attentive, Job, listen to me.
Stay silent, so I may speak.”
אִם־יֵשׁ־מִלִּין הֲשִׁיבֵנִי דַּבֵּר כִּי־חָפַצְתִּי צַדְּקֶךָּ׃ 33:32
Job 33:32 “If there are words, answer me.
Speak, for I desire your justification.”
Why does Elihu demand Job’s silence in one verse and then asks him to speak in the next? Maybe he’s momentarily forgotten what he wanted to say and is giving himself some time to remember. Or else he may be still bending over backward to appear gentle.
אִם־אַיִן אַתָּה שְׁמַע־לִי הַחֲרֵשׁ וַאֲאַלֶּפְךָ חָכְמָה׃ 33:33
Job 33:33 “If there are none, you listen to me.
Keep silent and I will teach you wisdom.”
So far Elihu has demonstrated that he’s just as foolish as the other friends and far more verbose than they.
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