Job 6


וַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר׃   6:1

Job 6:1   Then Job responded, and he said,

לוּ שָׁקֹול יִשָּׁקֵל כַּעְשִׂי (וְהַיָּתִי) [וְהַוָּתִי] בְּמֹאזְנַיִם יִשְׂאוּ־יָחַד׃   6:2

Job 6:2   "If only my grief could be weighed accurately, and my calamity,

                           on scales they could be borne together!”

The word in the parentheses, translated as and my calamity, has a yad where a vav should be.  The correction is in the brackets.

כִּי־עַתָּה מֵחוֹל יַמִּים יִכְבָּד עַל־כֵּן דְּבָרַי לָעוּ׃   6:3

Job 6:3   “But now it would be heavier than the sand of the seas;

                           therefore my words are harshly spoken.”

And harsh indeed they are!  Although his vexation and despair deaden his response somewhat.

כִּי חִצֵּי שַׁדַּי עִמָּדִי אֲשֶׁר חֲמָתָם שֹׁתָה רוּחִי בִּעוּתֵי אֱלוֹהַּ יַעַרְכוּנִי׃   6:4

Job 6:4   “For the arrows of the Almighty are within me,

                           whose poison my spirit has drunk.

                 The terrors of God must have been set against me.”

הֲיִנְהַק־פֶּרֶא עֲלֵי־דֶשֶׁא אִם יִגְעֶה־שּׁוֹר עַל־בְּלִילוֹ׃   6:5

Job 6:5   “Would the wild ass bray upon grass?

                           Would an ox bellow beside his fodder?”

הֲיֵאָכֵל תָּפֵל מִבְּלִי־מֶלַח אִם־יֶשׁ־טַעַם בְּרִיר חַלָּמוּת׃   6:6

Job 6:6   “Would one eat something tasteless without salt?

                           Is there any taste in the slimy juice of the purslane

Purslane is a fleshy plant with a slightly bitter taste.  It grows and is eaten in most of the world, though it is considered a weed in this country.  I believe that by these statements, Job is trying to emphasize that his predicament is not something minor.

מֵאֲנָה לִנְגּוֹעַ נַפְשִׁי הֵמָּה כִּדְוֵי לַחְמִי׃   6:7

Job 6:7   my soul refuses to touch?

                           They are like the loathsome of my food.”

מִי־יִתֵּן תָּבוֹא שֶׁאֱלָתִי וְתִקְוָתִי יִתֵּן אֱלוֹהַּ׃   6:8

Job 6:8   “Would that it would permit my request to come,

                           and God grant my hope!”

I believe Job is saying that he would eat the purslane if it would bring what he hopes for -- his end.

וְיֹאֵל אֱלוֹהַּ וִידַכְּאֵנִי יַתֵּר יָדוֹ וִיבַצְּעֵנִי׃   6:9

Job 6:9   “And God would be willing and would crush me,

                           would let loose His 'hand' and finish me!”

וּתְהִי עֹוד נֶחָמָתִי וַאֲסַלְּדָה בְחִילָה לֹא יַחְמֹול כִּי־לֹא כִחַדְתִּי אִמְרֵי קָדֹושׁ׃   6:10

Job 6:10   “Then my comfort would come again,

                           and I would leap for joy at the agony He might not spare,

                     though I have not annulled the words of the Holy One.”

מַה־כֹּחִי כִי־אֲיַחֵל וּמַה־קִּצִּי כִּי־אַאֲרִיךְ נַפְשִׁי׃   6:11

Job 6:11   “Wherein is my strength that I could wait?

                           And what kind could my end be that I should prolong my life?”

אִם־כֹּחַ אֲבָנִים כֹּחִי אִם־בְּשָׂרִי נָחוּשׁ׃   6:12

Job 6:12   “Is my strength the strength of stones,

                           or my flesh of brass?”

הַאִם אֵין עֶזְרָתִי בִי וְתֻשִׁיָּה נִדְּחָה מִמֶּנִּי׃   6:13

Job 6:13   “Can my help no longer be in me,

                           that sound wisdom has been driven from me?”

לַמָּס מֵרֵעֵהוּ חָסֶד וְיִרְאַת שַׁדַּי יַעֲזוֹב׃   6:14

Job 6:14   “To one despairing, kindness should be from his friend,

                           even he might have abandoned fear of the Almighty.”

I believe that Job is here impugning Eliphaz’s sincerity by hinting that he may have indeed abandoned the Lord.

אַחַי בָּגְדוּ כְמוֹ־נָחַל כַּאֲפִיק נְחָלִים יַעֲבֹרוּ׃   6:15

Job 6:15   “My kin are as deceitful as a stream bed;

                           like a channel of streams they would pass by,

From this verse on, Job uses plural pronouns and verbs; thus he is addressing the three of the friends, although only Eliphaz has spoken to this point.  He also calls the friends his kin.  I think he is being facetious here.  However, they may have been as close as family in the past.  He likens them to a stream that may gush at one time in the year and be dried up at another.  Now he is probably saying they have dried up.

הַקֹּדְרִים מִנִּי־קָרַח עָלֵימוֹ יִתְעַלֶּם־שָׁלֶג׃   6:16

Job 6:16   the dark things being from the ice,

                           upon which snow might hide itself.”

The dark things being ice?  Is Job still casting snide aspersions?  Is he comparing the friends to the dark things in the stream (in which ice may hide itself)?  How subtle is he?

בְּעֵת יְזֹרְבוּ נִצְמָתוּ בְּחֻמּוֹ נִדְעֲכוּ מִמְּקוֹמָם׃   6:17

Job 6:17   “By the time they would be warmed, they would melt;

                           at its heating up, they would disappear from their place.”

As soon as the ice in them melted they would leave?

יִלָּפְתוּ אָרְחוֹת דַּרְכָּם יַעֲלוּ בַתֹּהוּ וְיֹאבֵדוּ׃   6:18

Job 6:18   “The paths of their journey might twist;

                           they go up into wasteland and vanish.”

Is this a reference to Eliphaz’s speech?

הִבִּיטוּ אָרְחוֹת תֵּמָא הֲלִיכֹת שְׁבָא קִוּוּ־לָמוֹ׃   6:19

Job 6:19   “The wayfarers of Tema look,

                           the caravans of Sheba hope for it.”

As travelers traverse the desert, they search for water.

בֹּשׁוּ כִּי־בָטָח בָּאוּ עָדֶיהָ וַיֶּחְפָּרוּ׃   6:20

Job 6:20   “They are shamed because of confidence;

                           they come as far as here and are embarrassed.”

A reference to the friends again?

כִּי־עַתָּה הֱיִיתֶם (לֹא) [לֹו] תִּרְאוּ חֲתַת וַתִּירָאוּ׃   6:21

Job 6:21   “Though now you have become His,

                           you can see terror and you are afraid.”

Is Job showing some compassion for them?  Does he understand their behavior?  Or is he still being facetious?  Aside from this, the word in the parentheses should be spelled with a vav, not an aleph.  It is translated as no or not, which doesn’t fit the context.  The word should be translated as for Him or His.  The correction is in the brackets.

הֲ‍כִי־אָמַרְתִּי הָבוּ לִי וּמִכֹּחֲכֶם שִׁחֲדוּ בַעֲדִי׃   6:22

Job 6:22   “Is it that I said, 'Provide for me?'

                           Or, 'Ransom from your substance on my behalf?'”

וּמַלְּטוּנִי מִיַּד־צָר וּמִיַּד עָרִיצִים תִּפְדּוּנִי׃   6:23

Job 6:23   “Or, 'Save me from the hand of an oppressor?'

                           Or, 'You must deliver me from the hand of the ruthless?'"

הוֹרוּנִי וַאֲנִי אַחֲרִישׁ וּמַה־שָּׁגִיתִי הָבִינוּ לִי׃   6:24

Job 6:24   “Instruct me that I might become silent,

                           and give understanding to me of how I have erred.

מַה־נִּמְרְצוּ אִמְרֵי־יֹשֶׁר וּמַה־יּוֹכִיחַ הוֹכֵחַ מִכֶּם׃   6:25

Job 6:25   “How grievous are words of uprightness!

                           And what would prove the rebuke from you?”

To what behavior of Job’s do they base their rebuke?  He says, ‘Tell me; I want to know.”

הַלְהוֹכַח מִלִּים תַּחְשֹׁבוּ וּלְרוּחַ אִמְרֵי נֹאָשׁ׃   6:26

Job 6:26   “Would you consider words proof?

                           Or just a blowhard's utterances of despair!”

I may have translated the Hebrew a bit more harshly than was intended, but I’m as angry at them as Job is.  All other translators that I have reviewed are kinder than I am.

אַף־עַל־יָתוֹם תַּפִּילוּ וְתִכְרוּ עַל־רֵיעֲכֶם׃   6:27

Job 6:27   “Indeed you could find reason to fall upon orphans,

                           or excavate down over your friend.”

It sounds like Job thinks they are ready to dig a pit and cover him over in it.

וְעַתָּה הוֹאִילוּ פְנוּ־בִי וְעַל־פְּנֵיכֶם אִם־אֲכַזֵּב׃   6:28

Job 6:28   “And now be willing, turn and look at me,

                           as in your faces I would not lie.”

שֻׁבוּ־נָא אַל־תְּהִי עַוְלָה (וְשֻׁבִי) [וְשׁוּבוּ] עֹוד צִדְקִי־בָהּ׃   6:29

Job 6:29   “Return, please. It would be no injustice.

                           Return again my righteousness now by it!”

Finally, he suggests that they leave so he could feel unjustly treated again.  There’s also an error in this verse.  The word in the parentheses is missing a vav.  The correction is in the brackets.

הֲיֵשׁ־בִּלְשֹׁונִי עַוְלָה אִם־חִכִּי לֹא־יָבִין הַוֹּות׃   6:30

Job 6:30   “Is there injustice on my tongue?

                          Can my taste not discern mischievous ideas?”

He says, “Am I lying or mistaken?  Can’t I see your lack of compassion?”


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