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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.27 n.3 Pretoria  2014


The fate of undesirables (Job 24:5-12)



Aron Pinker

Maryland, USA





Job 24:5-12 present a metaphor that is based on the life of the onager (wild ass) in the desert. Verses 5-12 have been viewed as addressing various entities (robbers, victims, oppressors, vagrants, outcasts and city-dwellers) and evoked a considerable range of interpretations. These diverse interpretations also garnered a fair amount of acceptance, reflecting the ambiguity of the metaphor, its linguistic articulation, and referential framework. In this study a new perspective is adopted regarding the individuals that are the subjects of vv. 5-12. It suggests that Job points to the fate of the undesirables in a community of humans. This perspective fully corresponds to the metaphor of the free, independent, solitary, untamable, food searching, onagers in the desert, and has considerable support in the text (vv. 5-12 and 30:2-8). It also enables a uniform thematic treatment of vv. 5-12. Job charges that God is oblivious to the obviously miserable fate of the undesirables. In this charge one can sense Job's personal accusation that God is not concerned with the fate of the suffering just.

Key words: Job, metaphor, onagers, undesirables, suffering




Gordis observed that: "Chapter 24 is extremely difficult, both with regard to interpretation of individual verses and to the appropriateness of the chapter as a whole to Job's outlook."2 Verses 24:5-12, part of Job's response to the third speech of Eliphaz, are no exception. Duhm simply says: "Der Text ist in einem heillosen Zustande."3









Verses 5-12 presented considerable challenges to commentators. Among the difficulties encountered are:

(i) Identification of the individual/individuals or situation/situations that are being referred to;

(ii) Definition of the inter-verse contextual coherence;

(iii) Resolution of intra-verse textual ambiguities; and,

(iv) Deduction of the thematic relevance.

There seems to be considerable thematic similarity between vv. 5-12 and 30:2-8. Both units talk about people who were expelled from the city/village (v. 12a and 30:5, 8); living in the desert (v. 5a and 30:3); foraging for food (vv. 5b-6 and 30:4); meager accommodations (vv. 7-9 and 30:6-7); and labor (vv. 10-11, 30:2). The unit consisting of vv. 5-12 is usually assumed to be switching to various referents. On the other hand vv. 30:2-8 seem to be addressing a single group. Thus the question arises whether a single referent can be identified also for vv. 5-12.

The purpose of this article is to show that the difficulties encountered can be resolved if it is assumed that the entire unit refers to the undesirables of a community; where, the term "undesirables" defines those individuals who cannot conform with the mores of a typical ancient organized social group. Such individuals were likened by the conforming collective as being "wild asses" (). The community's attitude of intolerance forced on the undesirables a miserable life on the fringe. Job calls attention to God's continued lack of concern with the fate of the undesirables as an illustration of injustice in the world.

Relatively few text-critical emendations result in the following cogent translation:

Behold, onagers in the desert, // They go out as usual looking early for food, // the steppe has no bread for the undesirables (lit. shaken out). // In a field that all despise they harvest, // And in a dilapidated vineyard they glean.// Naked they sleep without clothing, // And have no cover in the cold. // From the mountain flow they are drenched, // For absence of shelter they hug the rocks. // Rain would rob (that is, kill) a lonely one, // And would ruin what is on the poor. // Naked they go without clothing, // Hungry they carry the sheaves. // Stepping they press oil, // Wine-presses they tread, // but are thirsty. // From an inhabited city they are cleaned, // And the throat of the defiled cries out, // But God would not mark it unseemly.



1 The Sub-unit 5-12 and its Referents

Most commentators agree that v. 5 begins a new thematic unit but there is much disagreement on where it ends.4 Some consider vv. 5-12 being only a partial list of deplorable acts that extends to the end of the chapter.5 However, v. 12 stands out as a tri-colon and the only verse addressing God. Moreover, the phrases "Behold!" () at the beginning (v. 5) and "not behold" () at the end (v. 12) apparently form an inclusio, which delineates the sub-unit. Thus it is reasonable to assume that v. 12 is the concluding verse for the sub-unit 5-12.

Whybray notes that: "The interpretation of this chapter [24] is particularly difficult in that persons referred to are not named, and their identity can only be surmised from the ways in which they are pictured."6 The unit has been consequently divided into subunits depending on the interpretative approaches that were adopted and the entities that exegetes assumed have been referred to.7 For instance, Qara (11th - 12th century) takes almost all the indefinite verbs () in our unit as referring to the wicked.8 The exclusion of and in v. 11b, however, renders this approach untenable. Moreover, the inclusion of reveals the artificiality of this interpretation. Gordis rightly concluded that the effort of classical Jewish exegesis to refer vv. 5-12 to the activity of the wicked "leads to far-fetched interpretations of many of the verses."9

Many commentators consider vv. 5-8 referring to the poor, who became poor by the wicked acts of the powerful rich, which were described in vv. 2-4.10 For instance, Ehrlich says: "Von hier [V. 5] an bis zum Schluse von V. 8 werden die Leiden der Armen, der Opfer der machtigen Reichen, geschildert."11 Clines found this reference problematic. He says that vv. 5-8 present

a powerful picture, but it does not seem to sit well with what follows. How can those foraging for provisions in the desert be at the same time reapers in the fields and gleaners in the vineyard (v 6) and be engaged in various agricultural processes (vv 10-11)? Obviously they cannot.12

He resolves this difficulty by suggesting that the text does not refer to a "literal foraging in the wilderness, but a metaphorical depiction of the hard work required to earn an inadequate living as a farm laborer; it is no better, the poet says, than scavenging for roots in the steppe."13 Clines' difficulty and solution are artificial. It is easy to imagine some engaged in one activity and others in another. Of greater significance is the question "why are the poor in the desert as the onager?" Typically the poor stayed within the community. Thus it would seem that the text does not refer to standard poor folks, but to people who are poor because they have been forced to live on the fringe of the community.

In Ehrlich's view vv. 9-12 switch back to acts of violence against the children of the poor. He suggests that "Hier [9] und in den zwei folgenden Versen wird beschrieben, wie es den Mutterbrust entrissenen Waisenkindern und sonst gewaltsam geknechteten Kindern der Armen ergeht, wenn sie herangwachsen sind." 14 More recently, Gordis identified vv. 5-8 as dealing with the suffering of the weak; v. 9 as dealing with the robbery perpetrated by the rich; and, vv.10-12 as dealing with the misery of the poor.15 However, there is no indication in the text that vv. 5-8 refer to the "weak," v. 9 describes the acts of the "rich," or vv. 10-12 speak about the grown up orphans taken into slavery.

Good notes that: "The text swings back and forth from tyrannizers to tyrannized without clear signals."16 Such switches of referents would be difficult for the reader to discern and to follow in a meaningful manner. It is doubtful that our masterful author would have meandered between referents in such a manner. In particular, the noted thematic similarity between vv. 5-12 and 30:2-8 suggests that in vv. 5-12 too he had in mind a single group of people and refers to them.

2 Contextual Coherence

Commentators tried to reveal a logical flow in vv. 5-12. For instance, an anonymous exegete considers vv. 5-12 reflecting the retribution principle of "measure for measure" ().17The wicked, adapted to desert conditions (v. 5a), rob the poor of the meager sustenance that they collect in a long day (v. 5b-c). In turn, marauders would rob the fodder from the field and ripe grapes from the vineyard of the wicked (v. 6). Similarly, v. 7 refers to what the wicked do to the poor, and v. 8 describes what the marauders would do to the wicked; vv. 9-10 describe the cruelty toward the orphan (robbing him of his possessions) and v. 11 describes the retribution (the wicked cannot enjoy the oil and wine that they produce). Verse 12 describes God's reaction to the way the wicked treat the poor: when the poor groan under the oppression, God delivers them (reading instead of ), but he God does not ruin the wicked (reading instead of ). This anonymous exegete introduces extraneous actors and makes some daring emendations to obtain a semblance of contextual coherence. The lengthy quid pro quo list, however, weakens Job's argument.

Malbim (1809-1879) assumes that v. 5 introduces a new type of evil people; who reside only in the desert and obtain their sustenance by hunting and robbery. However, somehow these wicked have cultivated fields and vineyards in vv. 6-8, in which they exploit forced labor. This work force consists of orphans, robbed originally from their mothers' breast, and indebted poor (v. 9). Verses 10-11 describe the inhumane treatment of these slaves. Malbim believes that the wicked from the desert exercise their trade also in the city, robbing and killing the weak and unprotected (v. 12).18 The image perceived by Malbim is incoherent and unrealistic.

Ehrlich considers the logical flow in vv. 5-12 being: the poor children robbed from the poor fate of the robbed children when they grow up.19 It is difficult to anchor this understanding in the text, and it seems that Ehrlich admits this. In particular, one would be hard pressed to find a logical place in this scheme for v. 11, which seems to be speaking about dead and wounded in a city.

Most commentators believe that vv. 5-12 describe several unconnected cases in which an obvious injustice is committed. For instance, Clines identifies two cases: (a) the poor (vv. 5-8); and, (b) day-laborer (9-12).20 Good has the following cases: (a) the poor (vv. 5-8); (b) oppressive evil (v. 9); (c) oppressed poor (v. 10-11); and, (d) a closing tri-colon about human behavior in the absence of divine guidance (v. 12).21 Hacham thinks that almost each line is a specific case. Thus, Job talks about: (a) desert robbers (v. 5); (b) forced labor (vv. 6-8); (c) enslavement of infants (v. 9); (d) fate of the enslaved children (vv. 10-11); and, (e) extermination of a captured city (v. 12).22 Pope feels that coherence can be achieved by deleting v. 9 and considering vv. 12a and 12b as referring to "earthly suffering."23 However, "earthly suffering" is too broad a concept to fit the apparent theme of "lot of the poor" in the preceding verses (sans v. 9). Obviously, by deleting inconvenient verses a coherent text can always be derived.

The exegetical literature on vv. 5-12 leaves one with the impression that this text is in particular disorganized. Several commentators were uncomfortable by the inner-verse empty echo of 7b and the textual similarity between v. 7a and 10a. This compelled Duhm to delete v. 7.24 However, Dhorme says that "The resemblance between v. 7a and v. 10a is not sufficient reason for eliminating v. 7."25 Larcher places vv. 10-11 before v. 7 because of the similarity between v. 7a and 10a.26 This too does not seem sufficient cause for the reorganization. Moreover, one would also expect a plausible explanation for the verses having been placed in their MT position, which presumably differs from their original position. However, such explanations are not provided, making the reordering of verses rather arbitrary.

Many commentators felt that v. 9 is in the wrong place. Driver and Gray say: "The verse coheres badly with the context: vv.6-8 and vv.10-11 both describe the sufferings of the helpless, v.9 describes the inhumanity of the heartless."27 Some place v. 9 after v. 3,28 Kissane puts it after v. 12,29 others consider it a marginal gloss.30 Here too one wonders why was v. 9 supposedly misplaced in the MT.

Driver and Gray find vv. 10-11 repetitious and corrupt. They say:

Lines 10b11 ׳b are such exact parallels that in all probability they originally formed two stichoi of the same distich. The simplest theory is, perhaps, that 10b originally followed 11b; and that 10a' 11a, which seem in a somewhat corrupt form, constituted another distich. The alternative is to regard 10a as a variant of 7a, and 11a as a variant of 6a (?).31

The rationale for this reorganization of the text is the better parallelism between the pair hunger-thirst and nakedness-darkness; assuming that in v. 11a "dark walls" is implied.32 However, it is difficult to see the significance of "dark walls" in an oil-press.

Clines provides an extensive list of alternations of order and deletions that have been proposed for ch. 24. This partial list contains 15 shifts in placement of verses belonging to the unit 5-12. 33 The exegetical literature contains many more. Almost every modern scholar felt that the text of unit 5-12 is incoherent.

3 Textual Ambiguities

The drastic variations in the interpretations of the following textual elements in vv. 5-12 clearly demonstrate the challenges that they posed to commentators. For instance, exegetes suggested with respect to:

- read instead "as";34 it is not necessary to read ,35 read or , 36 it is not necessary to read , 37 read "like,"38 read with the meaning "like,"39 it means "behold";40

- "wild ass, or onager" (Equus hemionus hemihippus),41 "robbers who live in the desert like the onagers," read ;42

- means "in their work,"43 refers to the wicked and means "as a consequence of their deeds,"44 read , 45 read , 46 delete , 47 assume the implied meaning (),48 read , 49 read ; 50

- read "from morning,"51 read "they sought,"52 "intent on robbing and murdering,"53 "seeking earnestly provisions,"54 read instead of ;55

- means "desert,"56 assume an implied text () () (), 57 read "although they work until the evening,"58 read "they work" instead of ; 59

- read ,60 take being a shout of the attacking robbers,61 read instead of , 62 delete ; 63

- read "his produce,"64 read "not his,"65 read "at night,"66 read "villain,"67 means "without yield," 68 "his fodder";69

- the hip'il of , , is not attested elsewhere, and the Qere (qal imperfect 3rd masculine plural) occurs in many accurate ancient MSS, most commentators prefer the Qere;70

- read "rich,"71 read "wickedness,"72 means "wicked";73

- read "they will glean,"74 means "gather late fruit,"75 "they will pilfer,"76 "take away the late-ripe fruit,"77 "they cut,"78 "they toil late";79

- the verb is a hapax legomenon and the adjective occurs only in Job 8:16, cognate languages suggest the meanings "be moist" and "moist," respectively;

- vocalize "breast,"80 read "from the field of a righteous,"81 read "from the field,"82 take = "breast, milk of the breast";83

- read "and the infant,"84 means "that which is upon a poor,"85 "upon the poor";86

is usually rendered "sheaves," "ears of grain cut off";87

- Septuagint has ("narrow places") for , Peshitta connects with Aramaic "meal, banquet," means "between their walls" (Targum: ), 88 "walls that support the terraces,"89 "between rows () of olive trees,"90 "deceptive palm-trees,"91 "in prison," read "two millstones,"92 "two rows";93

- Septuagint has ("they will hunt" [ἐνήδρευσαν]) for , Targum has "they press the oil" ()94 Peshitta renders: "they lie down" and "press out oil," Vulgate connects with "noon" (meridiati sunt);95

- standard expression for the part of population that is unfit for warfighting, as the old, sick, and handicapped (Deut 2:34, 3:6, 4:27),96 means "populated city,"97 read "from their labor,"98 means "terror";99

- read "and from the houses they will be ejected,"100 read instead of , 101 read "dying,"102 read "they are chased away" instead of ,103 usually means "groan";104

- means "throat,"105 "soul,"106 "spilled blood,"107

- read (νηπίων),108 understand as "the unfortunate exploited by the rich,"109 "wounded (mortally), dying";110

- read "would not hear the plea,"111 Targum has "fault" (), means "assigns unsavoriness."112

It is obvious from this partial review of the exegetical literature that vv. 5-12 have been viewed as addressing various entities (victims, oppressors, vagrants, city dwellers, rabble, and civil folks) and they evoked a considerable range of interpretation. These diverse interpretations also garnered substantial acceptance, reflecting the ambiguity of the metaphor, its linguistic articulation, and referential framework.

The challenges posed by the thematic and textual difficulties forced some commentators into making rather daring reorganizations in the order of the verses and emendations that do not have any standard text-critical rationalization or literary support. Dhorme says with respect to v. 5: "A spirit of arbitrariness seems to have presided over the various attempts to restore this unfortunate verse."113 This spirit can be detected also in the interpretation of some other verses in the sub-unit consisting of vv. 5-12.



Ewald thought that in vv. 5-12 Job presents the "undeserved sufferings of all kinds endured by the unprotected from human violence: both by those who are not in direct dependence, vv. 5-8, and by those who under civil government live in complete dependence on their lords, vv. 9-12."114 Driver and Gray consider the subjects referred to in vv. 5-8 as being "certain miserable starvelings of the steppe, whose search yields them little food and no shelter; cp. 30 2-8. Here there is no allusion to the authors of the misery."115 Whybray notes that: "In vv. 5-12 Job turns from the oppressive actions of the wicked to describe the misery of their victims, who are outcast from society."116 Neither of these referents adequately fits the descriptions in vv. 5-12. More appropriately, Job refers in vv. 5-12 to society's outcasts-victims of the community at large. The solution that is being proposed considers vv. 5-12 being an integrated unit dealing with various aspects of the life of society's undesirables.117 Job considers the case of the undesirables, who offer a clear illustration of God's lack of concern for those suffering for no obvious cause.

The unit limits are clearly identified by a call to pay attention, "Behold" (), in the beginning (v. 5), and by the resigned recognition that God does not pay attention () at the end (v. 12). and form an inclusio for the unit; illustrating another case of impropriety, but otherwise unrelated to the acts of the wicked in vv. 2-4. Viewing vv. 5-12 as having a single referent draws on the thematic similarity with 30:2-8 and would be detailed in the seriatim discussion of the verses that follow.

1 Verse 5

Kissane rightly notes that "This verse, particularly the final clause is very corrupt. ... The obscurity of the passage has led to the omission of some words by the Versions... Most of the corrections proposed are arbitrary in the extreme and in many cases amount to a re-writing of the whole passage."118

Driver and Gray point to the fact that "As a new class is evidently here introduced,-and one consisting, moreover, not of oppressors, but of oppressed,-a word pointing to a fresh subject is desiderated."119 The author, in an argumentative manner, uses . Driver and Gray, however, think that Budde's emendation of to or (as in v. 2) is very plausible. Though the emendation is minor, it is unnecessary, since could mean "lo! Behold."

In the poetic books of the Tanach, occurs mostly in Isaiah and Job (32 times). It is often used for stating an agreed upon premise, or for calling attention to a well-known occurrence. In v. 5 it points to the similarity between a community's undesirables and the desert onagers. It is not necessary to assume the omission of the particle , in order to clarify that a metaphor is intended.120

Verse 5 uses the familiar image of the in the desert to form a vivid metaphor.121 The "Syrian onager" (Equus hemionus hemihippus), commonly called "wild ass," is an undomesticated member of the horse family (genus Equidae).122 In antiquity, it was very common in wildernesses of the Near East and is mentioned in Xenaphon's works.123 The Tanach describes the onager as being untamable (Job 11:12), independent (Job 39:5), ranging (Job 39:6), solitary (cf. Gen 16:12, Hos 8:9), and lustful (Jer 2:24).

When these characteristics of the are applied to a human they describe a very unconventional individual. Such individuals are the undesirables of a conservative, conformational, in-bred, and closed society. The metaphor of "the wild asses" aptly refers to those who are uncomfortable with societal constraints ("shouts of the driver he will not hear," see 39:7b) and expectations, who want to distance themselves from the communal rigors ( "he scorns the city's crowd," see 39:7a), and for who the community cannot find a proper function.124 Each society has elements "on the fringe," a product of common rejection. Such people place great value on individualism, independence, freedom, and rejection of materialism. They have much in common with the onager, but to the "solid folks" of the city they were the "wild" (), which also connoted the "ghosts" of the Netherworld ().

A vivid description of these undesirables is presented in 30:3-8. This description also echoes some of the characteristics in vv. 5-12. The undesirables lived in the vicinity of the agricultural land that normally surrounded a city/village (cf. 30:3, ). The uninhabited and uncul-tivable parts beyond the city/village limits were practically the desert (). 125 Hahn rightly says: "Die Oede, Wuste, Steppe ist der Ort, der ihnen, nachdem sie die menschliche Gesellschaft haben verlassen mussen, Nahrung seyn."126 So they left it usually ()127 in the morning () to search for food ().128 Some detail of what these undesirable looked for is provided in 30:4; that is, plucking saltwort among the scrub, broom roots for warmth (). 129

However, the desert could not provide food ()130 for the shaken out (), 131 the undesirables. Hitzig rightly observes: "Die unfruchtbare Steppe, auf welche sie angewiesen sind, vermag allein nicht, sie zu ernähren; also falle sie auch wieder ins Culturland ein.132" Though the undesirables were as the , the source of their sustenance must have been the fields of the city/village.133 The undesirables were certainly abjectly-poor (c 30:3, ). Yet, their search for food was not their only or even the most distinguishing characteristic.134 As the onagers in the desert these outcasts were society's untamable, the free spirits, the loners, and maladjusted.

2 Verse 6

The undesirables find use in what society considers undesirable and leaves unused. Job refers in v. 6 to the exhausted field and failed vineyard. This notion is obtained by reading instead of the MT.

The word occurs only three times in the Tanach (Isa 30:24, Job 6:5, 24:6). It seems that in Isa 30:24 it refers to grain, and in v. 6:5 to the fodder consumed by an ox. In each of these cases the reference is to animal feed after the harvesting stage. Moreover, the singular does not agree with the plural . Driver and Gray say: "The singular suffix, which cannot naturally refer either to or to , is very harsh beside the plural . And what point is in their reaping mixed fodder?"135

It seems that is corrupt. The suggested reading , "all despise," makes minor emendations but results in an eminently cogent text. It has been noted already that the confusion is well-attested in the Ketib/Qere apparatus and some ancient MSS. The orthographic similarity between and in the square Hebrew script is obvious, though the confusion is not attested in the Ketib/Qere apparatus.136 This similarity suggests the reading , 3rd masculine singular qal imperfect of , "sneer, talk disrespectfully, turn aside." , does not occur in the Tanach, but the plural occurs in Prov 3:21. Altogether the root is attested six times in the Tanach, five of them in the Book of Proverbs. The field that all turn away from, is apparently a poor field that was over-tilled and is not used any more, but still untended produces some stalks of various grains that in the past grew on it. The undesirable reaped these meager stalks and used the grain; they sustained themselves from the marginal fields and the marginal vineyards as we shall see from what follows. The proposed emendation integrates the two concepts "not his" and "without yield," which most commentators felt expresses.

It seems that in v. 6b is corrupt. Driver and Gray rightly note that "the ethical character of the landowner is not here in question."137 The suggested solution rests on the possibility that a copyist wanted to write but wrote . Unable to correct his error he wrote the after the and placed a dot over the to indicate that the letter is an error, as was the accepted norm.138 This dot may have fallen off or was misunderstood by later a copyist as being part of the parchment surface and word was incorrectly read as . It is interesting to note that Good translates by "a poor vineyard."139 He might have read instead of MT , as is being suggested here.

The reading instead of MT is based on the orthographic similarity between the and the in the square Hebrew script. Indeed, the Ketib/Qere apparatus attests to the confusion in 1 Sam 14:32 where is the ketib but is the Qere. The verb occurs only in our verse and nowhere else in the Tanach. It does not occur in the Talmud, and in the Midrash it is used in the sense of "slow down," a meaning that would not fit the context. The assumed meaning "despoil" for the verb would not fit v. 6b. whether one reads or . A vineyard, which produced a lucrative fruit, was well protected in the critical period of ripening, and poor people could not despoil it.

The reading that has been suggested in this solution makes it clear that the vineyard, as the field in the parallel colon, has been abandoned. Whatever grows in the vineyard is wild untended growth, which the undesirables and other poor people make use o The proposed reading of v. 6 highlights the parallelism between its two cola and clarifies the situation referred to.

3 Verse 7

Verse 7 describes the attire of the undesirables. In the summer, when it is hot they sleep and in the winter they have no . From Isa 20:2 it is clear that means "without the sackcloth" covering a person's private parts. It is obvious that v. 7b refers to the typical outer garment, as Deut 24:13 attests.

The sackcloth, an apron around the hips or loins worn next to the skin, was the most basic garment. It was later replaced by an under-tunic (). People wore usually also an outer garment, a simlah () over the under-tunic, which was made of a large rectangular piece of rough, heavy woolen material, crudely sewed together so that the front was unstitched and two openings were left for the arms. Since the simlah was inconvenient for manual work, it was removed when working. In the winter it protected from rain and cold, and at night peasant Israelites could wrap themselves in it for warmth (Deut 24:13). The more wealthy and of rank also wore a cloak () over the under-tunic (1 Sam 2:19, 15:27). The cloak was a costly (1 Sam 2:19, 18:4, 24:5, 24:11) long-sleeved garment made of a light fabric, probably imported from Syria.

God's order to Isaiah to walk around naked for three years was an extraordinary symbolic act. In Israelite society, even among the poor, public exposure of genitalia was usually not tolerated. Thus, v. 7a must be alluding to individuals who discarded societal mores, who do not find shame in nakedness (), and who enjoy doing the unusual-the undesirables. These are people who live from day-to-day and are not interested in securing their future. It is thus not surprising that they find themselves without a simlah when the cold sets in.

4 Verse 8

Verse 8 describes the lot of the undesirables in the winter; it obviously cannot be speaking about the poor in the city/village. To protect themselves from the cold winter winds they try to hide among the rocks at as low-ground as possible. This is elaborated in vv. 30:6-7, which describe the places that the undesirable choose to spend their nights in: In the wadi gullies to dwell, // Holes in the ground and rocks. // Among the bushes they bray, // Under the nettles they huddle. //

Unfortunately, the wadis are the natural conduits for the rain water from the mountains (). Flow of water in wadis is intermittent, or ephemeral; they are usually dry most of the year. However, after a rain, flash floods can occur in a wadi, even in places where there is no rain. Thus, it is not unusual for the undesirables to be caught in a sudden rush of waters in the wadi; becoming completely drenched (). Lacking normal shelter against the weather, they try to find some protection clinging to the boulders of the wadi ()

5 Verse 9

Verse 9 has been emended by many to read "they rob from the breast an orphan and seize the child of a poor as a pledge." This reading gives a well-balanced verse and excellent parallelism between the two cola. However, contextually it is not admissible. Driver and Gray aptly note: "The verse coheres badly with the context: vv.6-8 and vv.10-11 describe the suffering of the helpless, v.9 describes the inhumanity of the heartless."140 Context requires that v. 9 should speak about the suffering of the helpless in the winter because of the rain and flow of waters. Such a sense can be obtained if v. 9 is emended to read , "Rain rob the lonely, and would ruin what is on the poor."

The word is derived from by assuming the confusions and . The confusion has been already discusses with regard to the word (c heading 2, "Verse 6"). The confusion also rests on orthographic similarity and many instances of it are encountered in the Tanach.141 It is possible that a copyist misread the word as in a manuscript from which he copied. The rarity of the plural of (only in Job 37:6) suggests that it should be understood here in a pars pro toto sense (that is, "any of the rains") because of the plurals and (cf. Job 5:10). It should be noted that confusion of number occurs in almost every verse in our unit. The emended text continues the description of the havoc caused by the sudden flow of water in the wadi. It can surprise a lonely person (), 142 engulf him, and sweep him to his death, or badly damage () that which is upon him () in the waters swirling among the rocks.

This understanding of v. 9 obviates the need for moving the verse from its MT position.

6 Verses 10-11

In vv. 10-11 Job describes the exploitation of the undesirables in agricultural work.143 Just as the onagers in the desert are prey for the lions, so the undesira-bles are subjects for exploitation by the rich: (Sir 13:19). Usually, anyone dressed only in the undergarment was considered naked (). The addition of seems to imply that the undesirables worked without any clothing on. This could be viewed as an attempt to control and confine their movement, and minimize the possibility of stealing. Both intents were exploitative and dehumanizing.

Living a hand-to-mouth existence, the undesirable came to work hungry and weak. Working with pangs of hunger (), though they processed edible products ( = stalks and ears of a cereal grass) was an obvious torment.144 This gross mistreatment, in contravention of clear Torahaic injunctions (Deut 23:2526) is intended to make the point that God does not react to the violation of his own laws.

Verse 11a is enigmatic, since it contains two hapax legomena. Tur-Sinai is right saying: "The exact meaning of this sentence is very difficult to establish, and all suggested interpretations and emendations are mere guesswork."145 The meaning of the unique form is usually derived from the noun II "wall." However, the feminine of II is not attested in Hebrew or Aramaic. 146 The parallelism between the cola in v. 11 is built on the press worker and his action. Thus, has to reflect a typical action of the worker in an oil-press as describes a typical action of a worker in the wine-press. Such a term can be obtained if it is noted that (sans matres lectionis) might be a misreading of "in their stepping"; in particular, making small steps, moving slowly, as would be the case when a weak person rolls a heavy grinding stone in the oil-press.147

This misreading might have occurred because of the ligatures and , as well as the rather common confusion.148 Tov notes that "In the writing of some copyists various letters fuse into a single letter, which can be confused with other letters. This tendency is clearly noticeable in the Qumran Scrolls in which fuse into a single letter similar to (see in particular 11QPsa [Plate 8*, Column X, lines 1 and 6]).149 If this possibility is admitted for (=) of and (=) of then the word is obtained. The feminine noun "step" is of the same form as (from ), (from ), (from ), (from ), (from ), (from ), (from ), (from ), and others. It is reflected in the hip'il (Job 18:14) and occurs in the Talmud (ySanhedrin 10:29a). It is easy to imagine an early copyist, not being familiar with the form , reading instead of . He might have thought that Job refers to the walls that kept the grape juice within the press and the walls that enclosed the olive-press.

The noun "fresh oil" occurs frequently in the Tanach, usually in conjunction with and . Since () was mentioned in v. 9b and () is mentioned in v. 10b, it is reasonable to assume that the unattested verb has been derived from the noun "fresh oil."150 The verb () occurs in Leviticus Rabba section 5 in the sense "makes glisten" and the Aramaic verb is used in the Talmud (b. Qidd. 39a, b. Besah. 14b) with the sense "to be clear, to understand."151 Thus, likely means "they press oil."

Production of oil from olives involved two steps: (a) crushing of the olives with a stone hand roller, or with the feet (Mic 6:15), in a shallow rectangular basin and collecting the pulp into baskets; and, (b) placing the baskets into vats and pressing them with a lever that was anchored in a niche of the wall that surrounded the press.152 The meaning , "in their stepping," would perfectly fit the first phase of oil production, in which the purest and most precious oil is extracted.

Walsh and Zorn note that "Grape pressing was most often done outside in the field along with other agricultural chores, such as olive-oil pressing and grain threshing."153 Typically, a farmer would make a wine press by curving an area of the bedrock to create a flat surface surrounded by short walls. The flattened surface was for treading and the walls kept the grape juice within the press. Since the verb "tread" is usually collocated with the word "wine-press" it was understood as referring specifically to the trough in which the grapes were trodden with the feet. The generated grape juice flowed into a vat (). 154 Job used the more frequent term for "wine-press" and shied from technicalities.

Finally, the word , "and they were thirsty" refers to the harsh working conditions of both types of workers. Hungry, thirsty, and naked the undesirables labored all day long in the oil-press and wine-press doing hard physical work in dehumanizing conditions.

7 Verse 12

Many commentators assume that in v. 12 the description shifts from the desert/steppe to the suffering in the towns. Driver and Gray rightly note that in v. 12 "there is nothing distinctive of town-life: men die everywhere and may be wounded anywhere."155 In our view, the concluding v. 12 clearly identifies those referred to by Job in vv. 5-12 by noting that these are the "undesirables"; those "cleansed" from an inhabited city.

This understanding is obtained by reading v. 12a "from an inhabited city they were cleaned," instead of MT. The root "to clean" occurs as in Aramaic and Palmyrene (cf. Dan 7:9). This form is also reflected in the adjective "innocent, clean" (Joel 4:19, Jonah 1:14, Samaritan Gen 24:21, 1QIsa 59:7). Thus, is obtained from by simple metathesis of two adjacent letters. It is also possible that the of in the MT is an extra , which the scribe put in by mistake, confusion of with the homophone , or for harmonization with . 156

The undesirables are "cleansed" from the inhabited city by communal rejection (cf. 30:5, ), becoming as the onager denizens of the outlying waste land. This perception is also supported by Septuagint's reading καὶ οἴωνἰδίων έξεβάλοντο suggesting a Hebrew text "and from the houses pushed out," instead of MT . Moreover, it is possible that the homophone "they were expelled" in v. 30:8b echoes (emended) in v. 12a, or is a scribal error for (the being an unfinished ). 157

The second colon, which uses the term , also supports the basic perception that Job speaks in this unit about the undesirables. The Arabic cognate of III , "untie, undo, to become free, free from obligations or ties," admirable describes the undesirables' free spirit. These are the people that have been defiled, profaned, and considered unclean, by the community-the "profaned, cast down, destroyed" (Ps 89:40, Isa 23:9, Ezek 21:30). The community, acting with the sensitivity of the dead (double entendre on ) rejected these undesirables, cleansed itself of them, and forced them to the outlying boundaries; thereby implying their uncleanliness and profanity. The throat () of the undesirable cries out () in anguish at this treatment, but God would not mark it unseemly (). 158

When Job hears the tragic news of the loss of his main possessions and then the tragic death of all of his children he does not blame God (). It is possible that Job would not have found anything unusual in the fate of the undesirables when he lived in peace and was in God's favor. However now, after his big loss, Job the rejected became sensitized to the plight of the undesirables. The use of the word intends to stress the difference between Job's and God's reactions. As a powerless and limited in knowledge human, Job had to accept his lot. However, it is harder to understand how an all-powerful and all-knowing God could tolerate the obvious injustice meted out to the undesirables. In the past, God took care of his people in the desert, why doesn't he take care of the undesirables in the desert now?159 The observation in v. 12c propels Job to the ranks of the most sensitive prophets. It is also indirectly Job's harshest personal accusation against God.160



The perspective adopted in this study regarding the individuals that are the subjects of vv. 5-12 fully corresponds to the metaphor of the free, independent, solitary, untamable, food searching, onagers in the desert. It also enables a uniform thematic treatment of vv. 5-12 as dealing with the rejected undesirables of a community. Job charges that God is oblivious to the obviously miserable fate of the undesirables, and that proper retribution is not enforced. In this charge one can sense Job's personal accusation that God is not concerned with the fate of the suffering just.

This understanding of vv. 5-12 is obtained by making some easily rationalized emendations in the MT. The study suggests that the original text might have been as follows:




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Aron Pinker
11519 Monticello Ave
Silver Spring
U.S.A., 20902

Article submitted: 2014/05/15
Accepted: 2014/09/22.



2 Robert Gordis, The Book of Job: Commentary, New Translation, and Special Notes (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1978), 253.
3 D. Bernhard Duhm, Das Buch Hiob erklärt (KHC 16; Tubingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1897), 122.
4 See, for instance, Duhm, Hiob, 122; Karl Budde, Das Buch Hiob: übersetzt und erklärt (GHKAT 2/1; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1896), 137; Artur Weiser, Das Buch Hiob (ATD 13; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1951), 182; Arnold B. Ehrlich, Psalmen, Sprüche, Hiob (vol. 6 of Randglossen zur Hebräischen Bibel, Textkritisches, Sprachliches und Sachliches (Hildsheim: Georg Olm, 1968), 277; Georg Fohrer, Das Buch Hiob (KAT 16; Gütersloh: G. Mohn, 1989), 372; Jurgen Ebach, Streiten mit Gott: Hiob 21-42 (vol. 2 of Hiob; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 1996), 37; Hans Strauss, Hiob 19,1-42,17 (BKAT 16/2; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 2000), 89; and, David J. A. Clines, Job 21-37 (WBC 18A; Dallas: Word Books, 2006), 590-591. On the other hand, for instance, the following commentators did not consider v. 5 the beginning of a new thematic unit: Eduard Dhorme, A Commentary of the Book of Job (London: Nelson, 1967), 357; Marvin H. Pope, Job (AB 15; Doubleday: Garden City, 1986), 174; Amos Hacham, (Jerusalem: Mosad HaRav Kook, 1981), 180; and, Detlef Jericke, "'Wüste' (midb
ār) im Hiobbuch," in Das Buch Hiob und seine Interpretationen: Beiträge zum Hiob-Symposium auf dem Monte Verità vom 14.-19. August 2005 (ed. Thomas Krüger, et al.; Zürich: Theologischer Verlag Zürich, 2007), 189.
5 See for instance Hacham, , 180 and Clines, Job 21-37, 591.
6 Norman Whybray, Job (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), 109.
7 See Clines, Job 21-37, 590-591, for a sample of subdivisions.
8 Moshe M. Ahrend, Rabbi Joseph Kara's Commentary on Job (Jerusalem: Mossad HaRav Kook, 1988), 69.
9 Gordis, Job, 265.
10 So do Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 277; Pope, Job, 174; Edwin M. Good, In Turns of Tempest: A Reading of Job with a Translation (Stanford: Stanford University, 1990), 279; and, Clines, Job 21-37, 590-591.
11 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 277.
12 Clines, Job 21-37, 605.
13 Clines, Job 21-37, 605.
14 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 278. He reads instead of MT .
15 Gordis, Job, 253.
16 Good, Turns, 279.
17 Abraham Sulzbach, Commentar eines Anonymus zum Buche Hiob (Frankfurt: Self-published, 1911), 26-27.
18 Jeremy I. Pfeffer, Malbim's Job (Jersey City: KTAV, 2003), 166-172.
19 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 278-279.
20 Clines, Job 21-37, 604-608.
21 Good, Turns, 279.
22 Hacham, , 186-188.
23 Pope, Job, 177.
24 Duhm, Hiob, 123. Duhm says: "7 halte ich für unecht, die erste Hälfte ist eine Variante zu v. 10a, die zweite: 'und ohne Hülle in der Kälte' erst nachträglich zur Gewinnung eines Distichons hinzugesetzt."
25 Dhorme, Job, 359.
26 Apud Clines, Job 21-37, 584.
27 Samuel R. Driver and George B. Gray, A Critical Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Job, II (2 vols.; ICC; New York: Charles Scribner, 1921), 167.
28 So do, for instance, Georg Beer, Der Text des Buches Hiob (Marburg: N.G. Elwert, 1897), 160; Driver and Gray, Job II, 167; George A. Barton, Commentary on the Book of Job (New York: Macmillan, 1911), 207; Dhorme, Job, 359; Naphtali H. Tur-Sinai, The Book of Job (Jerusalem: Kiryath Sepher, 1967), 363; Pope, Job, 175; Whybray, Job, 110; Arie de Wilde, Das Buch Hiob: eingeleitet, übersetzt und erläutert (OtSt 22; Leiden: Brill, 1981), 306; and, John E. Hartley, The Book of Job (NICOT 16; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 345.
29 Edward J. Kissane, The Book of Job (Dublin: Browne & Nolan, 1939), 153. However, he puts 12c, followed by v. 13, at the beginning of vv. 17-25.
30 So do for instance, Bickel and Budde apud Beer, Hiob, 160; Duhm, Hiob, 123; Fohrer, Hiob, 368, etc. For instance, Duhm, Hiob, 123, says: "In 8-10a ist v. 9 ein Citat zu v. 2ff."
31 Driver and Gray, Job II, 167.
32 Driver and Gray, Job II, 167. Driver and Gray point to Isa 11:6-7 being a similar case. However, this could only indicate that biblical authors had a less constrictive notion of parallelism.
33 Clines, Job 21-37, 589-590.
34 Adalbert Merx, Das Gedicht von Hiob (Jena: Mauke's Verlag, 1871), 126. However, does not occur in the Tanach. In the Talmud means "this, that," (b. B. Bat. 58a).
35 Pope, Job, 176.
36 Driver and Gray, Job II, 165. They state: "Vulgate again alii ['others']; hence Budde's or (as v.2) is very plausible."
37 Budde, Hiob, 137, suggests the reading , but Jericke, "'Wüste,'" 189, note 18, considers it "nicht notwendig." is assumed by some to be 3rd masculine plural equivalent to . So understand Isaiah Mitrani (the last), in Israel Schwartz, (Jerusalem: Makor, 1969), 54-55; Gordis, Job, 265; Hans Strauß, Hiob, 2. Teilband 19,1-42,17 (BKAT XVI/2; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 2000), 92; Norman C. Habel, The Book of Job: A Commentary (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1985), 353-354; etc. The confusion is well attested in the Book of Job; e.g., in Job 1:14 - instead of ; in Job 4:2; 32:11, 14; 35:16 - but in Job 8:10; 32:18; 36:2; in Job 24:22 - instead of ; in Job 31:10 but in Job 34:24.
38 Dhorme, Job, 356-357. This reading is suggested by the Septuagint, Targum (), Peshitta (), and Vulgate (alii quasi). It is also adopted by Dhorme, Job, 356; Kissane, Job, 150; De Wilde, Hiob, 306; Hartley, Job, 344, etc. occurs only in the late 1 Chr 13:12 and Dan 10:17.
39 So render for instance, Le Hir and Renan apud Dhorme, Job, 357; Pope, Job, 176; and, Clines, Job 21-37, 174.
40 So render for instance Sa'adia, in Joseph D. Kapah, Job with Translation and Commentary of R. Saadiah Gaon (Jerusalem: Vaad Rasag, 1973), 134; Friedrich W.C. Umbreit, Das Buch Hiob (Heidelberg: Mohr, 1824), 236; Heymann Arnheim, Das Buch Job (Glogau: H. Prausnitz, 1836), 157; Duhm, Hiob, 122; Georg H. A. Ewald, Commentary on the Book of Job (London: Williams and Norgate, 1882), 242; Ludwig Hirzel, Hiob (Leipzig: Weidmann, 1885), 150; Heinrich A. Hahn, Commentar ueber das Buch Hiob (Berlin: J.A. Wohlgemuth, 1850), 199; Ferdinand Hitzig, Das Buch Hiob übersetzt und erklart (Leipzig: C.F. Winter, 1874), 180; Friedrich Delitzsch, Das Buch Hiob, Neu Übersetzt und Kurtz Erklart (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrich, 1902), 69; August Dillmann, Hiob (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1891), 215; George R. Noyes, The Book of Job (Boston: James Monroe, 1838), 46; Fohrer, Hiob, 367; Good, Turns, 115; and, H. H. Rowley, Job (Melbourne: Nelson, 1970), 204.
41 The should not be identified as the "zebra." Cf. Paul Humbert, "En marge du dictionnaire hébra
que," ZAW 62 (1950): 202-206.
42 So for instance render David Qimchi, in Schwartz, , 137; Joseph Qimchi, in Schwartz, , 160; Zarchiah ben Isaac (from Barcelona), in Schwartz, , 249; Qara, in Moshe M. Ahrend, Rabbi Joseph Kara's Commentary on Job (Jerusalem: Mossad HaRav Kook, 1988), 69; Sforno, Rabbinic Bibles(Miqraot Gedolot), ad loc; and, most modern exegetes. In Kaplan's view (, 183), the absence of the of comparison strengthens the likeness (as in Zeph 3:3).
43 Clines, Job 21-37, 583. Clines does not believe that should be emended.
44 Ehrlich, Randglossen Band VI, 277.
45 Pope, Job, 176. So do also some of the Versions (Symmachus, Targum, Vulgate [many MSS]) and many modern commentators. Cf. Ps 104:23.
46 See Habel, Job, 352.
47 The words are missing in the Peshitta.
48 Hacham, , 186
49 So render multiple ancient MSS.
50 So suggests BHK (ft), and it connects with .
51 So Kaplan, , 183. The phrase is missing in Septuagint and Peshitta and the construct form with a occurs in Job 18:2.
52 Kissane, Job, 153.
53 Hacham, , 186. That the people referred to sustained themselves from robbery is assumed also by Rashi, Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc; Joseph Qimchi, in Israel Schwartz, (Jerusalem: Makor, 1969), 160; Ralbag, Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc; Berachia ben Natronai, in S.A. Hirsch, (trans.), A Commentary on the Book of Job by Berechiah ben Natronai (London: Williams and Norgate, 1905), 161; Isaiah Mitrani (the last), in Israel Schwartz, (Jerusalem: Makor, 1969), 55; Arnheim, Job, p. 156, etc. However, the text does not contain any hint of malevolence.
54 Clines, Job 21-37, 583. Cf. for 7:21, 8:5, Prov 11:27 and for Ps 111:5, Prov 31:15, Mal 3:10.
55 So suggests BHK (ft), and it connects to preceding colon.
56 Pope, Job, 176. Jericke, "'Wuste,'" 186, concludes that in the Book of Job: "Die Wuste ist, ahnlich wie in der prophetisch-deuteronomistischen Tradition, als ein fur Menschen gefahrlicher, unbewohnbarer Bezirk dargestellt." is missing in Peshitta. The Vulgate reads (praeparant).
57 Hacham, , 186. Such an implication is equivalent to a textual rewrite.
58 Dhorme, Job, 356-357. It is difficult to see how one can obtain from MT . Psalm 104:23b is hardly a compelling guide. Clines, Job 21-37, 583, says: "Dhorme unconvincingly transferred to follow , and read instead of ." The understanding of as "for the evening" has been suggested also by Qara. Cf. Ahrend, Kara's Commentary, 69.
59 So render BHK and Kissane (Job, 153). Clines (Job 21-37, 583) considers this emendation "a bit lame."
60 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 278. So render BHK; Fohrer, Hiob, p. 361; Good, Turns, 114, etc. Jericke, "'Wuste,'" 186, note 20, observes that: "Ohne Anhaltspunkt in der Textuberlieferung ist die Annahme, der masoretische Text sei durch Dittographie aus lelæhæm 'nach Speise' enstanden."
61 Hacham, , 186.
62 So also read Dhorme, Job, 357; Duhm, Hiob, 122; Beer, Hiob, 159, etc. The confusion is well attested in the Tanach. Guillaume suggested the reading instead of , rendering "they go early to the steppe for meat, (To see) if there be food for the(ir) children." Cf. Alfred Guillaume, "The Arabic Background of the Book of Job," in Promise and Fulfilment: Essays Presented to Professor S.H. Hooke in Celebration of his Ninetieth Birthday, 21st January 1964 (ed. Frederick F. Bruce; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1963), 116. Guillaume is followed by Hartley, Job, 344.
63 Merx, Gedicht, 126. Merx notes: " als Anticipation von sicher zu streichen, wie P. und V." So do also Driver and Gray, Job II, 165; Gordis, Job, 265; Pope, Job, 174; Habel, Job, 354, etc. However, Dillmann, Hiob, 215, takes in the sense ist ihm (oder: gibt ihm). Hirzel, Hiob, 150, suggests that the singular has been used to avoid the orthographically confusing .
64 So render Rashi, in Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc; Joseph Qimchi, , 160; Ralbag, Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc; Zarchiah ben Isaac (from Barcelona), in Schwartz, , 249; Isaiah Mitrani (the last), in Schwartz, , 54; Noyes, Job, 159; Kaplan, , 184; A.Z. Rabinovitz, and A. Abronin, (Jaffa: Shushni, 1916), 59, etc. Rashbam (c. 1085-1174) assumes that the wicked harvest the fodder and produce of the poor. Some stress that the produce has not yet dried sufficiently (e.g. Zarchiah ben Isaac from Barcelona, 249 ,). Joseph Qimchi, ,160, suggests that v. 6 describes legitimate purchases of produce and wine with money obtained illegitimately through robbery in the desert.
65 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 278. This interpretation relies on Merx's understanding of the Septuagint (Merx, Gedicht, 126), but it is also attested in the Targum and Vulgate. The Septuagint seems to have the duplicate =
πρὸ ὥρας οὐκ αὐτῶν ὂντα. The reading is also adopted, for instance, by Ibn Ezra and Ramban (see Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc); Moses Qimchi, , 108; Hitzig, Hiob, 181; Kissane, Job, 153; Gordis, Job, 265-266; Hacham, , 186; and, Clines, Job 21-37, 584.
66 So read, for instance, Merx, Gedicht, 126; Duhm, Hiob, 122; Beer, Hiob, 159; Driver and Gray, Job II, 166; Barton, Job, 206-207; Fohrer, Hiob, 367; Rowley, Job, 206; and, Good, Turns, 115. Dhorme, Job, 358, notes: "It is a fairly common custom in Palestine to reap the harvest during the nights of May or June. Likewise the grape harvest may be gathered at night." Dorhme thinks that the verse refers to a nightshift following a day of work. During ripening time farmers practically lived in the fields or vineyards, protecting their crop from being stolen. Rawley notes: "That night prowling had to be guarded against at harvest times is clear from Isa. 1.8." Cf. Rowley, Job, 207.
67 Pope, Job, 176. BHK notes this emendation. In Clines' opinion (Job 21-37, 584), the emendation "makes a neat but rather tame parallelism" with the following colon.
68 So renders Tur-Sinai, Job, 362.
69 Habel, Job, 354. Habel considers "fodder" being intentional; to strengthen the metaphor. So render also Sa'adia, in Kapah, , 134; Rashbam, in Sara Japhet, The Commentary of Rabbi Samuel Ben Meir (Rashbam) on the Book of Job (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2000), 397; Qara, in Ahrend, Commentary, 69; Umbreit, Hiob, 237; Ewald, Job, 242; Hirzel, Hiob, 150; Hahn, Hiob, 200; Delitzsch, Hiob, 69; Dillmann, Hiob, 215; Hartley, Job, 344, etc.
70 Hitzig, Hiob, 181. Hitzig says: "Dieses Hiphil, in der Bedeutung des Aktiven Qal nur hier, an der gleichen Stelle im V. wie V. 11., mag richtig sein." Some feel that the Qere is a unjustified replacement of a rare form.
71 So render Duhm, Hiob, 123; Umbreit, Hiob, 237; Beer, Hiob, 160; Driver and Gray, Job II, 167; Barton, Job, 207; Fohrer, Hiob, 369; etc.
72 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 278. He says: " heisst ein durch Frevel erworbener Weinberg." This reading occurs in one of de Rossi's manuscripts. Delitzsch, Hiob, 69 and 134, seems to be reading (rauben sie freventlich aus).
73 So render Qara, in Ahrend, Commentary, 69; Isaiah Mitrani (the last), in Schwartz, , 54; Hahn, Hiob, 200; Dillmann, Hiob, 215; Dhorme, Job, 358; Tur-Sinai, Job, 362; Gordis, Job, 254; Hartley, Job, 344; Clines, Job 21-37, 573, etc. This interpretation leads to the understanding of v. 6b as a rhetorical question, or assumes that the "wicked" and "rich" are synonymous in the Tanach (Hartley, Job, 344; Gordis, Job, 266).
74 Clines, Job 21-37, 584. Clines says: " may, however, be no more than a variant for the similar-sounding verb ." One of de Rossi's manuscripts has . So render, for instance, Ramban (see Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc); Umbreit, Hiob, 237; Beer, Hiob, 160; Duhm, Hiob, 123; Ewald, Job, 242; Hitzig, Hiob, 181; Dhorme, Job, 358; Kissane, Job, 150; Rowley, Job, 206; Tur-Sinai, Job, 362; Gordis, Job, 266; Hacham, , 187; Habel, Job, 352; Hartley, Job, 344; and, Clines, Job 21-37, 573.
75 So render, for instance, Qara, in Ahrend, Commentary, 69; Berachia ben Natronai, in Hirsch, Commentary, 161; Delitzsch, Hiob, 69; and, Driver and Gray, Job II, 162. The verb does not occur anywhere else in the Tanach.
76 Alfred Guillaume, "A Contribution to Hebrew Lexicography," BSOAS 16 (1954): 7, 10. So also render Fohrer, Hiob, 369; Delitzsch, Hiob, 69; and several English translations of the Bible.
77 Driver and Gray, Job 2, 167.
78 Rashi uses the French word asfroyent "they reap." Cf. Joseph C. Greenberg, Foreign Words in the Bible Commentary of Rashi (Self-published, no date), 210. So render also Ibn Ezra (Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc) and Noyes, Job, 46.
79 Gordis, Job, 254.
80 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 278. So render Ramban (Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc); Berachia ben Natronai, in Hirsch, Commentary, 161; Umbreit, Hiob, 238; Duhm, Hiob, 123; Beer, Hiob, 160; Ewald, Job, 243; Noyes, Job, 46; Driver and Gray, Job II, 167; Barton, Job, 207; Dhorme, Job, 355; Pope, Job, 174; Kissane, Job, 151; Rowley, Job, 206; Gordis, Job, 266; Hacham, , 187; and, Good, Turns, 115. Delitzsch, Hiob, 69, probably reads (gewaltthätig).
81 Merx, Gedicht, 130. Merx finds Sie bringen von den Feldern des Gerechten an sich fitting the following . This is debatable.
bringen and an sich is not in the text.
82 So render, for instance, BHK, Beer, Hiob, 160; and, Mitchell J. Dahood, "Northwest Semitic Philology and Job," in The Bible in Current Catholic Thought (Gru-enthaner Memorial vol.; ed. J.L. McKenzie; New York: Herder & Herder, 1962), 55-74.
83 Clines, Job 21-37, 585. Clines says: " is clearly 'breast' in Isa 60:16; 66:11 ( II BDB, 994b), and must be so here too." Perhaps that is also the case in Hos 9:6. This approach has been adopted, for instance, by David Qimchi, in Schwartz, , 137; Isaiah Mitrani (the last), in Schwartz, , 54; Hahn, Hiob, 200; Hitzig, Hiob, 181; Dillmann, Hiob, 215; Fohrer, Hiob, 368; Kaplan, , 184; Tur-Sinai, Job, 363; Gordis, Job, 266; and, Hartley, Job, 344.
84 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 278. Ehrlich observes: "den mit konstruiert ist undenkbar." The phrase "" is unique in the Tanach. render, for instance, Umbreit, Hiob, 238; Duhm, Hiob, 123; BHK; Beer, Hiob, 160; Driver and Gray, Job II, 167; Barton, Job, 207; Dhorme, Job, 355; Rowley, Job, 206; Kissane, Job, 151; Fohrer, Hiob, 368; Tur-Sinai, Job, 362; Pope, Job, 174; Gordis, Job, 256; Hacham, , 187; Hartley, Job, 344; Good, Turns, 115; Habel, Job, 352; and, Clines, Job 21-37, 574. Cf. Isa 49:15 and 65:20.
85 So render, for instance, Ralbag (Rabbinic Bibles, ad hoc); Berachia ben Natronai, in Hirsch, Commentary, 161; Arnheim, Job, 157; Ewald, Job, 243; Hirzel, Hiob, 150; Noyes, Job, 46; Barton, Job, 207. This interpretation assumes .
86 So render, for instance, Targum; Vulgate; Hahn, Hiob, 200; Hitzig, Hiob, 181.
87 Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros (Leiden: Brill, 1953), 717a. So render, for instance, Fohrer, Hiob, 367; Strau
, Hiob, 94; Good, Turns, 115; and, Whybray, Job, 110. Peshitta has ("bread") and .
88 Only Targum Jonathan is referred to in this study. So render, for instance, Sa'adia, in Kapah, , 134; Berachia ben Natronai, in Hirsch, Commentary, 161; Umbreit, Job, 238; Merx, Gedicht, 130; Ewald, Job, 243, Hirzel, Hiob, 150; Hahn, Hiob, 200; Hitzig, Hiob, 181; Delitzsch, Hiob, 69; Dillmann, Hiob, 215; Noyes, Job, 46; Barton, .lob, 207; and, Pope, Job, 175.
89 So render, for instance, Moses Qimchi, in Schwartz, , 108; Fohrer, Hiob, 368; and, HALOT 4:1453b.
90 Gordis, Job, 265. This meaning is not attested in the Tanach, Talmud, or Midrash, though the meaning "row" occurs in mishnaic and Modern Hebrew. Dorhme, Commentary, 360, says: "there is something odd about installing between lines of trees oil presses." Cf. Hugues Vincent, Canaan d'apres l'exploration recente (Paris: Libraire Victoire Lecotfre, 1907), 77. The meaning "row" is adopted, for instance, by David Qimchi, in Schwartz, , 137; BHK, Beer, Hiob, 160; Duhm, Hiob, 123; Driver and Gray, Job II, 168; Kissane, Job, 151; Gordis, Job, 266; BDB, 1004b; Kaplan, , 185; Hacham, , 187; Good, Turns, 115; Habel, Job, 352; Hartley, Job, 344; and, Clines, Job 21-37, 574.
91 Tur-Sinai, Job, 365, takes .
92 Dhorme, Job, 360-361. Dhorme assigns the meaning "millstone" relying on the Arabic "wall" and the Akkadian dûru "wall." He is followed by Pope, Job, 175 . However, the logic of Dhorme's etymological derivation does not support his conclusion.
93 "two rows" render, for instance, Vulgate (acervos eorum); Qara, in Ahrend, Commentary, 69; Isaiah Mitrani (the last), in Schwartz, , 54; Driver and Gray, Job II, 168; and, Beer, Hiob, 160. Cf. Dahood, "Northwest," 68.
94 The verb occurs in Sir 43:3 ( "as it shines or peaks") but not in the Tanach. is understood to mean "they press oil," for instance, by Targum; Rashi (Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc); Ibn Ezra (Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc); Ralbag (Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc); Berachia ben Natronai, in Hirsch, Commentary, 161; Merx, Gedicht, 130; Hahn, Hiob, 200; Hitzig, Hiob, 181; Delitzsch, Hiob, 69; Barton, Job, 208; Pope, Job, 175; Hacham, , 187; Habel, Job, 352; Fohrer, Hiob, 368; Gordis, Job, 262; and, Clines, Job 21-37, 574.
95 So do, for instance, Sa'adia, in Kapah, , 135; Isaiah Mitrani (the last), in Schwartz, , 54 ; Tur-Sinai, Job, 365; and, Kissane, Job, 151. Cf. Sir 43:3.
96 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 279. So also render, for instance, Qara, in Ahrend, Commentary, 69; Isaiah Mitrani (the last), in Schwartz, , 54 ; and, Kaplan, , 185
97 Hacham, , 188. This understanding is implied by the cantillation signs, which connect the two words is rendered "men," for instance, by David Qimchi, in Schwartz, , 137; Ramban (Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc); Berachia ben Natronai, in Hirsch, Commentary, 161; Hahn, Hiob, 200; Hitzig, Hiob, 183; and, Habel, Job, 352. Hahn says: " ist Subject, und unter den Leuten sind zu verstehen die unglucklichen im harten Dienste der reichen Glaubiger schmachtenden Armen." Cf. Hahn, Hiob, 201.
98 So render, for instance, BHK; Beer, Hiob, 162; and, Fohrer, Hiob, 367. However, it is difficult to see how can be an orthographic corruption of .
99 So render, for instance, Tur-Sinai, Job, 364; Gordis, Job, 267; and, Strauss, Hiob 19,1-42,17, 95. Cf. Jer 15:8 and BDB, 735b. Clines, Job 21-37, 586, observes that "terror seems the wrong emotion here."
100 Merx, Gedicht, 131. Merx adopts the Septuagint's reading
καὶ οἴκων ἰδίων ἐξεβάλοντο. So does Barton, Job, 208.
101 So render Duhm, Hiob, 123, and Beer, Hiob, 162.
102 Pope, Job, 177. So render, for instance, Peshitta (); Umbreit, Hiob, 168; Ewald, Job, 243; Hirzel, Hiob, 151; Delitzsch, Hiob, 69; Dillmann, Hiob, 217; Driver and Gray, Job II, 168; Dhorme, Job, 361; Kissane, Job, 151; Rowley, Job, 208; Tur-Sinai, Job, 364; Gordis, Job, 267; Pope, Job, 175; and, Good, Turns, 115. However, in the Tanach are "the dead" not "the dying."
103 So renders Duhm, Hiob, 123.
104 So render, for instance, Moses Qimchi, , 108; Ewald, Job, 243; Hahn, Hiob, 201; Hitzig, Hiob, 183; Dhorme, Job, 161; Rowley, Job, 208; Tur-Sinai, Job, 364; Pope, Job, 175; Hacham, , 188; and, Clines, Job 21-37, 574. Tur-Sinai, Job, 366, reading (by metathesis) is gratuitous.
105 So render, for instance, Berachia ben Natronai, in Hirsch, Commentary, 161; Gordis, Job, 167; Pope, Job, 175; Hacham, , 188; and, Good, Turns, 115.
106 So render for instance, Duhm, Hiob, 123; Ewald, Job, 243; Hahn, Hiob, 201; Hitzig, Hiob, 182; Delitzsch, Hiob, 69; Barton, Job, 208; Dhorme, Job, 361; Habel, .lob, 352; and, Clines, Job 21-37, 586.
107 So renders Isaiah Mitrani (the last), in Schwartz, , 54
108 So read, for instance, the Septuagint, Merx, Gedicht, 130; Duhm, Hiob, 123; Beer, Hiob, 162; and, Barton, Job, 208. On the confusion cf. Aron Pinker, "On the Interpretation of Proverbs 12:27," JBTC 18 (2013): 1-8. Qara circumvents the need for this emendation by understanding v. 12c as . Cf. Ahrend, Kara's Commentary, 70.
109 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 279. Ehrlich says: " ist hier nicht kriegerischer Ausdruck, sonder bezeichnet die Unglucklichen, die von den machtigen Reichen vergewaltigt und zu Tode gequalt wurden."
110 Pope, Job, 177. Pope's attempt to distance his notion from the war milieu by explaining that "the reference is to earthly suffering" makes his interpretation unrealistic. The meaning "wounded (mortally), dying" is adopted, for instance, by Rashi (Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc); Ralbag (Rabbinic Bibles, ad loc); Umbreit, Hiob, 135; Ewald, Job, 243; Hirzel, Hiob, 151; Hahn, Hiob, 201; Dillmann, Hiob, 216; Delitzsch, Hiob, 69; Driver and Gray, Job II, 168; Dhorme, Job, 361; Pope, Job, 175; Hacham, , 188; BHS, Good, Turns, 115; Gordis, Job, 267; Hartley, Job, 344; and, Clines, Job 21-37, 586.
111 So do, for instance, Peshitta (2 mss), Umbreit, Hiob, 135; Noyes, Job, 46; Driver and Gray, Job II, 169; Beer, Hiob, 162; Barton, Job, 208; Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 279; Dhorme, Job, 361; and, Fohrer, Hiob, 367. Fohrer notes: "Eine Änderung von in »hört« ist angesichts 23,6 unnotig." Cf. Fohrer, Hiob, 369. Habel, Job, 354, observes that by making this emendation "the ironic interplay with 1:22 is lost." Septuagint omits .
112 So render, for instance, Ewald, Job, 243; Arnheim, Job, 158; Hirzel, Hiob, 151; Dillmann, Hiob, 217; Hitzig, Hiob, 183; Rowley, Job, 208; Pope, Job, 175; Hacham, , 188; Hartley, Job, 344; and, Clines, Job 21-37, 586. Sa'adia understands v. 12c as a categorical denial () that God is the cause of the situation described in v. 12a and 12b. Cf. Kapah, Job, 135.
113 Dhorme, Job, 357.
114 Ewald, Job, 242.
115 Driver and Gray, Job 1, 207, assume that v. 5 describes "the country remote from men and cities where this pitiable set of human beings, not naturally adapted to it like the wild asses, eke out their existence." However, the metaphor is about this group of individuals being like the wild asses.
116 Whybray, Job, 110. Similarly, Rowley, Job, 207, says: "In verses 6-8 the state of outcasts is depicted." Cf. also Dillmann, Hiob, 214.
117 Fohrer Hiob, 372. Fohrer calls the "undesirables" Steppenproletariat ("desert work force"). This term does not connote the stigma and sense of rejection associated with a social sub-group that is compelled to live on the fringe of the society. Duhm, Hiob, 122, felt that "Den Charakter dieses Gedichts hat besonders BICKELL richtig erkannt, der auch mit Recht behauptet, dass Cap. 30 2-8 ein weiterer Teil dieses Gedichts aufbewahrt ist. Es handelt von den 'Idioten und Namenlosen, die herausgepeitscht wurden aus dem Lande' (Cap. 30:8) und nun, in der Wuste und auf unwirtlichen Bergen wohnend, in Mangel und Elend, durch Diebstahl und nachtlichen Einbruch, sich durchs Leben schlagen. Sie gehören nach Cap. 30:5 nicht zum herrschenden Volk, sei es, dass sie einer unterjochten (Troglodyten-) Rasse angehoren, sei es, dass sie sich aus den v. 4 erwähnten Volksschichten rekrutieren." Commentators may be right in identifying the undesirables as consisting of individuals/families who are handicapped, unsocial, or reclusive, but they are not troglodytes.
118 Kissane, Job, 157.
119 Driver and Gray, Job 2, 165.
120 Habel, Job, 353-354. Habel notes that "The equation of the victims with 'wild asses' is good poetry; no comparative particle is required."
121 Tur-Sinai, Job, 360-361. Tur-Sinai argues that refers to those that flee (into the desert). In his view the Aramaic original of the Book of Job had , "they flee," which was misunderstood by the translator as being (Hebrew ) and translated . The Aramaic corresponds to in v. 30:3. While intriguing, the explanation cannot be accepted, since its premise that the Book of Job was originally written in Aramaic has not been consistently validated.
122 Jehuda Felix, The Animal World of the Bible (Tel Aviv: Sinai, 1962), 29. Onagers were assiduously hunted by men (Jer 2:24). Felix notes that an "extremely harsh winter about a half century ago was responsible for their complete extinction even in the Syrian Desert."
123 Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.5.2. Xenophon (c. 430 - 354 B.C.E.) writes: "Thence he marched on through Arabia, keeping the Euphrates on the right, ... . In this region ... there were no trees; but there was wild game of all kinds - wild asses in greatest abundance, . . The asses, when pursued, would run forward a space, and then stand still - their pace being much swifter than that of horses . . The flesh of those they captured was not unlike venison, only more tender." Cf. Austen H. Layard, Nineveh and Its Remains (vol. 1; 2nd ed.; London: Henry, 1849), 324-325.
124 Fohrer, Hiob, 379. Fohrer suggests that the keywords and link v. 5 to the cited verses in God's speech. Hahn's contention (Hiob, 199) that "der Vergleichungspunkt ist das Umherschwefen in der Wüste ohne Heimath." On the other hand Hirzel, Hiob, 150, avers: "Der Vergleichungspunkt für das Bild von den ist das schaarenweise Herumziehen in öden Gegenden, um Nahrung aufzusuchen." Both views unnecessarily confine the metaphor to a single attribute.
125 Yehuda Karmon, Israel: Eine geographische Landeskunde (Darmstadt: Wiss. Buchges., 1983), 6. The ancient Land of Israel is characterized by the short distance between the inhabited land having a Mediterranean climate and desert; in other places on Earth it is about 30 km. Desert begins a few kilometers east of Jerusalem. Jericke, "'Wuste,'" 185, note 3, notes that life in the desert might have had an allure for some people. He says: "Punktuell findet sich daneben die Vorstellung, die Wüstenzeit sei eine Zeit der Unschuld gewesen, als Israel wie ein Kind war, das vom Vater getragen wird (Dtn 1,31; ahnlich Dtn 32,10f.), oder wie eine Braut, die vom Bräutigam gefunden wird (Jer 2,2). Diese Vorstellung scheint damit zusammenzuhängen, dass während der Wustenwanderungszeit auch die fur das spätere Leben irn Kulturland gültigen Weisungen vermittelt werden."
126 Hahn, Hiob, 199.
127 Seven ancient mss have . The reading "as they would habitually do" relies on the confusion which is well-attested in the Ketib/Qere apparatus and some mss. For instance, Jos 4:18, Judg 19:25 (Ketib) but (Qere); Jos 6:5 (K) but (Q); 1 Sam 11:6 (K) but (Q); 1 Sam 11:9 (K) but (Q); 2 Sam 5:24 (K) but (Q); 2 Sam 12:31 (K) but (Q); 2 Kgs 3:25 (K) but (Q); Prov 21:29 (K) but (Q); Esth 3:4 (K) but (Q); Job 21:13 (K) but (Q); Ezra 8:14 (K) but (Q); Neh 3:20 (K) but (Q); and 2 Chr 33:16 (K) but (Q).
Hosea 14:3 has instead of . The Koren Tanach (Jerusalem: Koren, 1983), 11-14 at the end) notes that: some MSS have in Jos 6:15 (K) and (Q); 1 Sam 30:30 has but in some MSS; 1 Sam 7: 22 has but in some MSS; 2 Kgs 12:22 has but in some MSS; Ezek 30:9 has but in some MSS; Ezek 31:11 has but in some MSS; 2 Chr 20:37 has but in some MSS. Mikraot Gedolot Venice (1525-1526) has in Job 21:12 instead of . In Job 22:24, Codex Petersburg has but Codex Allepo has . In Job 36:12, Codex Petersburg and Codex Allepo have but Mikraot Gedolot Venice (1525-1526), has .
128 Use of indicates a play on the noun "down" and verb "seek." The construct followed by a relative prefix occurs also in 18:2 () Ezek 38:11 (), Pss 122:5 (), 84:7 (), Isa 9:2 (), 14:19b (), and 19:8 (). The phrase is equivalent to .
129 Note that in 30:4 might echo in 24:5
130 The confusion is amply attested in the Ketib/Qere apparatus. For instance, in Lev 25:30 (Ketib) but (Qere); 1 Sam 2:3 (K) but (Q); 1 Sam 20:2 (K) but (Q); 2 Sam 16:18 (K) but (Q); 2 Sam 18:12 (K) but (Q); 2 Sam 19:7 (K) but (Q); Isa 9:2 (K) but (Q); Isa 49:5 (K) but (Q); Isa 59:5 (K) but (Q); Ps 100:3 (K) but (K); Pss 100:3 and 139:16 (Q) but (Q); Ps 139:16 (K) but (Q); Prov 19:7 (K) but (Q); Job 13:15 and 41:4 (K) but (Q); Ezra 4:2 (K) but (Q); and 1 Chr 11:20 (K) but (Q).
131 Duhm, Hiob, 122. Duhm says: "v. 5b ist befremdend, warum sollten gerade die jungen Burschen kein Brod haben? Ich schlage nach Cap. 38:13 oder vor: den (vom Laude) Abgeschuttelten, Ausgetriebenen, vgl. V. 12 Cap. 30:5, 8." A missing , is attested in Judg 4:11 (Ketib) but (Qere), and Prov 3:15 (K) but (Q).
132 Hitzig, Hiob, 181.
133 Duhm, Hiob, 122. Duhm says that the undesirables "hausen in der Steppe und ziehn von dort aus auf Fullung des hungrigen Magens, naturlich nicht in die Steppe hinein, sondern in die bewohnten Gegenden."
134 Contra Clines, Job 21-37, 605, who says: "One of the key elements in the depiction there is of the onager's ceaseless search for food, even in unlikely places, ranging over the mountains as its pasture and searching after any green plant (39:8). In 6:5 also the onager's life is centered on the quest for 'green grass' (; similarly the hind in Jer 14:5-6), and it brays no longer when he has found it. This is the point of comparison with the poor: their total concentration on the quest for survival."
135 Driver and Gray, Job 2, 166.
136 The similar confusion is attested in Job 17:1 where is usually understood as .
137 Driver and Gray, Job 2, 167.
138 Emanuel Tov, The Textual Criticism of the Bible: An Introduction (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1989), 170-172.
139 Good, Turns, 115.
140 Driver and Gray, Job 2, 167.
141 Already Radak (1160-1235) notes in his commentary on 1 Chr 1:7 that: "Since the and are similar in appearance, and among the readers of the genealogies which were written in ancient times, some read a and some read a , some names were preserved for posterity in two forms with either a or a ." Radak explains that Scripture preserved both traditions by recording these names one way in certain locations and the other way in others. For instance, (Num 1:14; 7:42; 7:47; 10:20) / (Num 2:14), (Gen 10:4) / (1 Chr 1:7, 6), (2 Kgs 23:33; 25:21; Jer 39:6; 52:26) / (Ezek 16:14), (Gen 10:3) / (1 Chr 1:6). One finds this confusion in the Ketib/Qere apparatus in the following cases: 2 Sam 13:37 (K) but (Q); 2 Kgs 16:6 (K) but (Q); Ps 19:19 and Prov 19:19 (K) but (Q); Jer 2:2 (K) but (Q); Jer 31:39 (K) but (Q); and Ezra 8:14 (K) but (Q).
142 The word is derived from the unused root "to be solitary, bereaved."
143 Duhm, Hiob, 123. Duhm says: "Diese Sätze warden wohl so verstanden, als ob von armen Arbeitern gesprochen werde, die bei den Grundbesitzern sich zur Erntezeit verdingen und nun mitten im Erntesegen hunger und dursten mussen. Aber dies sentimentale Bildchen past nicht zu den 'Wildeseln,' es ist auch hier vom Felddiebstahl die Rede." However, Duhm's concept requires several textual emendations, and does not incorporate v. 11 properly in the image. His explanation that "sie pressen das Ol gleich in den Oliven-pflanzungen, weil sie selber keine Pressen besitzen, naturlich nachtlicher Weile" makes no sense.
144 Note the word-play in , implying also "armful, heap," and "nakedness."
145 Tur-Sinai, Job, 364.
146 Driver and Gray, Job 2, 168. Driver and Gray suggest reading "rows" relying on an emended reading of Jer 5:10 () and the later use of in the Talmud (y. Ber. 4:7d; y. Kil. 4:5; y. Bik. 3:65c; b. Hor. 13b). However, neither "walls" or "rows," though linguistically possible, result in a meaningful text.
147 It is easy to imagine that the undesirables were weak because of the inadequate nutrition. Indeed, v. 30:2 confirms that being the case. Cf. Aron Pinker, "On the Meaning of in Job 5:26 and 30:2," BT 65/1 (2014): 12-23.
148 Tov, Textual, 199. The ligature can be easily envisioned when the is slightly inclined to the left and closely follows a . This ligature might explain the difficult in Ps 74:8 (that is, a misreading of "we shall trap"); the contextually unfitting . in Deut 33:19 (that is, a misreading of "they pour out"); the difficult in Isa 11:15 (that is, a misreading of "with his wood" by assuming the ligature ); and, the contextually unfitting in Job 20:16 (that is, a misreading of "he pours"). The confusion is attested in the Ketib-Qere apparatus in the following cases: 2 Sam 13:37 has (K) but (Q); 2 Kgs 16:6 has (K) but (Q); Ps 19:19 and Prov 19:19 have (K) but (Q); Jer 2:2 has (K) but (Q); Jer 31:39 has (K) but (Q); and Ezra 8:14 has (K) but (Q). Also, in some mss Josh 15:52 has instead of ; in many MSS 2 Sam 8 and 1 Chr 18 have instead of (cf. Koren Tanach, 11-12). Finally, in Hab 3:12 the Septuagint reads "you will bring low" (
ὀλιγώσεις), probably reading instead of ; in Hab 3:13 the Septuagint translates as "bands or bonds" (δεσμούς), implying a reading or ; and in Hab 3:16 the Septuagint translates as "of my sojourning," perhaps reading .
149 Tov, Textual, 199. Tov also notes that: "A phenomenon similar to ligature is mentioned in m.
Šabb. 12:5: "" Cf. Aron Pinker, "The Ligature in Qohelet 6.3," BT 62/3 (2011): 151-164.
150 Hacham, , 188.
151 Jastrow, Dictionary, 1265a.
152 Jerome Murphy O'Connor, The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 513. The oil that ran off from the pulp placed in the wicker baskets was the lightest and finest oil (). A second grade was produced by heating and further pressing the pulp.
153 Carey Walsh and Jeffrey R. Zorn, "New Insights from Old Wine Presses," PEQ 130 (1998): 154.
154 Three terms are used for "wine press" in the Tanach: (16 times), (5 times), and (2 times).
155 Driver and Gray, Job 1, 209.
156 For instance an extra occurs in Prov 10:4 for ; Prov 13:23 for ; 2 Sam 12:3-4 and ; Neh 5:7 (Ketib) but (Qere); Ezra 8:17 (K) but (Q); Ezra 41:15 (K) but (Q); and, Hos 4:6 (K) but (Q).
157 Beer, Hiob, 162. Beer felt that "= Ni
φ. von vgl. Jon 2,11."
158 Cf. Aron Pinker, "Qohelet 6:9 - It Looks Better Than it Tastes," JJS 60/2 (2009): 214-225, for = "throat." The word is rare in the Tanach, occurring only in Jer 23:13, Job 1:22 and 24:12. No cognates are available. From the context it seems that it means "unseemliness."
159 Viewing vv. 5-12 as referring to the poor and downtrodden in society, Jericke, "'Wuste,'" 190, answers this question with the following far-reaching statement: "Der im Hiobbuch vorgestellte YHWH dagegen greift nicht mehr unrnittelbar und exklusiv fur Israel ein. Die Anklagen von Hiob 24 gehen zunächst ins Leere. YHWH begnügt sich in seiner Antwort Hiob 38f. mit dem Hinweis auf seine den gesamten Kosmos umfassende Ordnungsfunktion. Diese sieht kein unrnittelbares Eingreifen für Israel oder eine Wiederherstellung der von Menschen verletzten Rechtsordnung vor."
160 Good, Turns, 279. In Good's opinion Job accuses here God of causing human misbehavior. He says: "Because the god overlooks those who ought to be under his care, his absence results in human suffering and misdeeds. They are the fault of neither doers nor sufferers but of the god. People behave like beasts if divine guidance is withheld from them." Habel, Job, 360, notes that "The impression is clearly given that the downtrodden are the innocent ones and that God has delayed intervening to redress the ills of society."

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