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Old Testament Essays

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

Old testam. essays vol.29 n.3 Pretoria  2016 



A Proposal for the Restoration of Job 34:26-30 in Elihu's Second Speech



Aron Pinker

Maryland, USA




Commentators found the unit Job 34:26-30, in Elihu's second speech, difficult to interpret and translate because of its thematic incoherence, abrupt style, and use of ambiguous terms. It has been generally assumed that the unit underwent some corruption in the historical transmission process. This paper attempts to restore a sound thematic flow to vv. 26-30 using standard text-critical methods. It is being shown that relatively few minor text-critical emendations allow to obtain a simple and coherent text, having a typical (for the Book of Job) 3:3 meter. The resolution of the difficulties in the unit is premised on the notion that the unit is focused on potentates that have lost their moral compass and God's reaction to their deeds. From this perspective, vv. 26-30 fit contextually the larger unit in which it is embedded (vv. 16-30), which deals with God's righteous management of nations and people. Job's personal problem is addressed only indirectly. Job can deduce from Elihu's words that: his punishments indicate that he sinned; he is ignorant of God's ways and abandoned moral behavior; he has caused anguish to the destitute, which reached heaven; he cannot compel God to confront him; and, God works in mysterious ways. Elihu's message to Job is hard hitting, but it is not devoid of hope.

Keywords: Job 34:26-30; Elihu's second speech; public punishment; Deus absconditus; divine sovereignty; timeliness




In vv. 26-30 Elihu states:

He strikes them down with the wicked תַּחַת־רְשָׁעִים סְפָקָם

Where people can see, בִּמְקוֹם רֹאִים

Because they have been disloyal to Him אֲשֶׁר עַל־כֵּן סָרוּ מֵאַחֲרָיו

And have not understood any of His ways; אֲשֶׁר עַל־כֵּן סָרוּ מֵאַחֲרָיו

Thus He lets the cry of the poor come before Him; לְהָבִיא עָלָיו צַעֲקַת־דָּל

He listens to the cry of the needy. וְצַעֲקֵת עֲנִיִּים יִשְׁמָע

When He is silent, who can condemn? וְהוּא יַשְׁקִט וּמִי יַרְשִׁע

If He hides His face, who will see Him, וְיָסְתֵּר פָּנִים וּמִי יְשׁוּרֶנּוּ

When He is silent, who can condemn? וְהוּא יַשְׁקִט וּמִי יַרְשִׁע

If He hides His face, who will see Him, וְיָסְתֵּר פָּנִים וּמִי יְשׁוּרֶנּוּ

Be it nation or man? וְעַל־גּוֹי ועַל־אָדָם

The impious man rule no more מִמְּלֹךְ אָדָם חָנֵף

Nor do those who ensnare the people. מִמֹּקְשֵׁי עָם

Even a casual reading of this well-known NJPS translation strikes one as being a collection of unrelated statements. The translation seems to assume that Elihu describes in vv. 26-30 what God did to the mighty (כַּבִּירִים), which were mentioned in v. 24, and where the word תַּחַת has also been used (thus, intertextuality would imply thematic similarity). However, this would mean that the כַּבִּירִיםwere not necessarily wicked: besides, תַּחַתnowhere else means with the, and סְפָקָםis never associated with the down position in the Tanakh.1These are some of the difficulties in the first short verse. One might add that in the following verse the awkward אֲשֶׁר עַל־כֵּןis used for because, when would have sufficed. In the next verse MT has no word corresponding to Thus He lets. If Elihu wants to say that God can do whatever he wants, as is generally understood, then his argument would be strengthened by using opposites. However, silent (יַשְׁקִט) and condemn (יַרְשִׁע) are not opposites. Also, be it does not correspond to Hebrew וְעַל. Finally, it is difficult to anchor the translation of the last verse in the MT.

The NJPS interpretation of v. 29 also raises some troubling thoughts. Andersen observes,

... verses 29f. are not satisfactory, and some have found in them a darker and more disturbing thought. Even if God is quite inactive, leaving evil unchecked, who can condemn? If He chooses to hide His face, who can make Him show it? ... The prophets were able to entertain the thought that the Assyrian was the rod of God's anger (e.g. Isa 10:5), and Habakkuk could think the same about the Babylonians. But they always added that these nations, despite such use by God, were fully accountable for their evil deeds, and would in due time pay for them. But this involves a historical stage, group guilt, and long spans of time, which are not used in the book of Job. This keeps the problem focused on the apparent injustice of God's treatment of one man, Job.2

Indeed, one might rightly question the relevance of Elihu's words to the Jobian context.

Driver and Gray believe that v. 26 in the MT is corrupt.3 They find that in v. 28 "the consequence being represented as the intention." In their opinion vv. 29-33 are

as a whole unintelligible, the details being, if not unintelligible, then (as in 29) very ambiguous, and the ambiguities, in face of the extreme uncertainty of the remainder, insoluble. In addition to its unintelligibility, the formlessness of much (29c, 30, 31, 35) of the passage points to considerable corruption of the text.4

Pope says that vv. 28-33 "are replete with difficulty. LXX originally omitted them entirely. Modern critics have emended freely, with imagination and originality."5

The purpose of this paper is to restore vv. 26-30 into a coherent unit using standard text-critical methods. It will be shown that such a restoration is possible making only minimal violence to the consonantal text. The restored text has a typical (for the Book of Job) 3:3 rhythmic structure, while securing an unforced sense. Elihu indirectly accuses Job of being wicked, but raises the hope that if Job has a valid case then it has been heard and would be in due time resolved.

The following section (B) presents a detailed analysis of a representative sample of exegetical studies in which the text under consideration has been addressed. In it, an attempt has been made to capture the challenges that the text presents, reveal the spectrum of views that exist, and identify the shortcomings of the exegetical efforts. In a first reading, the details, semantic technicalities, and range of sources might be somewhat distracting. A reader that is eager to become engaged quickly in the proposed solution would be well-advised to skip section B, continue with section C, and in a second reading return to section B.



The translations/interpretations of the ancient versions and modern exegetes will now be considered. This analysis will illustrate the difficulties that the translators and exegetes faced, how they tried to overcome them, and the weaknesses of these efforts.

1 Ancient Versions

Tov observes that: "The differences between the Septuagint (LXX) and the traditional Hebrew (Masoretic Text) stem from the Greek translator's free approach: the LXX rephrases and frequently streamlines ideas and verses in the MT, probably in response to the often verbose and repetitive Hebrew text."6For vv. 26-30 the Septuagint has

26 And he quite destroys the ungodly, for they are seen before him.

27 Because they turned aside from the law of God, and did not regard his ordinances, 28 So as to bring before him the cry of the needy; for he will hear the cry of the poor. 29 And he will give quiet, and who will condemn? And he will hide his face, and who shall see him? Whether it be done against a nation, or against a man also: 30 causing a hypocrite to be king, because of the waywardness of the people. (Ἔσβεσε δὲ ἀσεβεῖς, ὀρατοὶ δὲ ἐναντίον αὐτοῦ. Ὅτι ἐξέκλ͜ιναν ἐκ νόμου Θεοὐ, δικαιώματα δὲ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐπέγνωσαν, τοῦ ἐπαγαγεῖν ἐπ' αὐτὸν κραυγὴν πενήτον, καὶ κραυγὴν πτωχῶν εἰσακούσεται. Καὶ αὐτὸς ἡσυχίαν παρέξει, καὶ τίς καταδικάσεται; καὶ κρύψει πρόσωπον, καὶ τίς ὄψεται αὐτόν; καὶ κατὰ ἕθνουσ καὶ κατὰ ἀνθρώπου ὁμοῦ. Βασιλεύων ἀνθρώπον ὑποκριτὴν ἀπὸ δυσκολίας λαοῦ)..7

The Septuagint's translation8 does not render תחת, in MT of v. 26, but has ידעכו = "and he quite destroys" (Ἔσβεσε δὲ), under the influence of וידכאוin the preceding verse.9 It also attaches ספקםto the second colon and paraphrases ספקם במקום ראיםby "for they are seen before him" (ὀρατοὶ δὲ ἐναντίον αὐτοῦ).10 The meaning that the Septuagint assigns to the word ספקםis not clear. In v. 27 Septuagint has אשר על־כן= ὅτι "because," מאחריו= "aside from the law of God" (ἐκ νόμου Θεοὐ), and וכל דרכיו = "his ordinances" (δικαιώματα δὲ αὐτοῦ). Dhorme notes that vv. 28-33 are

absent from Sahidic, marked with asterisk in Jerome, Syro-hexapla, and Colbertinus (with the exception of v. 32), did not exist in G [Septuagint]. The present text of v. 28 is derived from Theodo-tion.11

In this text אליו = עליו"before him" (ἐπ' αὐτὸν).12 In the next verse (also from Theodotion) והוא ישקט= "And he will give quiet" (Καὶ αὐτὸς ἡσυχίαν παρέξει).13 Finally, in v. 30 Theodotion apparently reads ממליך= "causing to be king" (βασιλεύων), takes חנף= "hypocrite" (ὑποκριτὴν ὑποκριτὴν), and has for ממקשי עם= "because of the waywardness of the people" (ἀπὸ δυσκολίας λαοῦ).

Targum's literal translation reads:

26 Instead the wicked he stroke them in a place that can be seen.

27 For therefore they turned from following him and all his ways they did not understand. 28 To bring upon him the outcry of the poor and the cry of the destitute he will hear. 29 And he will quiet and who will condemn him, and will remove his presence and who will see him, and he visits the guilt of both nation and individual. 30Appoints king a sycophant, because of snares among the people.

חלף רשיעי ספקנון באתר דחמין דמטול היכנא זרו מבתרוהי וכל אורחתיה לא אשכילו לאיתאה עלוי קבלתא דמסכנא וצעקתהון דעניי ישמע

והוא ישדיך ומן יחיב ויסלק שכנתא ומן יסכניה ומסער חובא על עמא ועל בר

נש כחדא

ממני מלכא בר נש דילטור מטול תקליא די בעמא

It takes אשר על־כן = "for therefore" ( סרו ;(דמטול היכנא = "they turned" מאחריו ;(זרו) = "from following him" ( עליו ;(מבתרוהי = "upon him" ( יסתר ;(עלוי פנים = "will remove his presence" ( ממליך 14 ;(ויסלק שכנתא = "appoints" ( ;(ממני adds "visits a guilt upon" ( מסער חובא ); takes חנף = "sycophant" ( דילטור ); and, ממקשי עם = "because of snares among the people" (תקליא די בעמא).

Peshitta paraphrases vv. 26-30, rendering:

26 Their works shall be crushed under the weight of their wickedness in a land of terror; 27 Because they turned aside from following him, and did not consider any of his ways. 28 The prayer of the poor comes to him, and he hears the cry of the afflicted. 29 When he forgives, who can then condemn? And when he turns his face away, who can forgive the people, or mankind altogether? 30 He sees to it that an impious and wicked man shall not reign over the people.

It apparently expands the text and attaches וידכאו ("shall be crushed") of v. 25; takes רשעים = "their wickedness," reading רִשְׁעָם instead of רְשָׁעִים ; takes מקו  = "land"; connects ראים with ירא ("terror"); takes אשר על־כן = "because"; השכילו = "consider"; renders both ישקט and ישורנו by "forgives" ( שבק ); and, takes ממקשי עם = "shall not reign over the people."

Vulgate translates:

26 He hath struck them, as being wicked, in open sight. 27 Who as it were on purpose have revolted from him, and would not understand all his ways: 28 So that they caused the cry of the needy to come to him, and he heard the voice of the poor. 29 For when he grants peace, who is there that can condemn? When he hides his countenance, who is there that can behold him, whether it regard nations, or all men? 30 Who makes a man that is a hypocrite to reign for the sins of the people? (quasi impios percussit eos in loco videntium. qui quasi de industria recesserunt ab eo et omnes vias eius intellegere noluerunt. ut pervenire facerent ad eum clamorem egeni et audiret vocem pauperum. ipso enim concedente pacem quis est qui condemnet ex quo absconderit vultum quis est qui contempletur eum et super gentem et super omnes homines. qui regnare facit hominem hypocritam propter peccata populi).15

It takes תחת = "as, for" (quasi); רשעים = "being wicked" (impios); = עליו אליו "to him" (ad eum); והוא ישקט = "for when he grants peace" (ipso enim concedente pacem); ויסתר פנים = "When he hides his countenance" (ex quo absconderit vultum); ממלך = "who makes a man who is" (qui regnare facit); חנף = "hypocrite"; and, ממקשי עם = "for the sins of the people" (propter peccata populi).

The variations between the Versions do not indicate that they translated from a different Vorlage than the MT. However, it is obvious that they struggled with the thematic coherence of the text before them.

2 Modern Exegesis

Modern exegetes assumed that in vv. 26-30 Elihu describes God's position with regard to a country's rulers. It is God who punishes these wicked publicly (v. 26), for deviating from the Godly path (v. 27), thereby causing anguish to the poor and destitute (v. 28). God's reaction to this behavior might be inaction or discontinuation of his grace to a collective or individual (v. 29), even the intentional appointment of an amoral individual as king (v. 30). However, most exegetes encountered difficulties in trying to reconcile between their particular perceptions of Elihu's argument and the MT.

Clines' relatively recent commentary on Job renders vv. 26-30 thus:

(26) He strikes them down for their wickedness, where all can see,

(27) because they turned aside from following him, and had no regard for his ways, (28) so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him-and he heard the cry of the afflicted. (29) If he is quiet, who can condemn him? If he hides his face, who can see him? Yet he rules over nations and individuals alike, (30) so that the godless would not govern, and a people should not be ensnared.16

Clines' translation, used as a current exegetical reference, assumes that:

תַּחַת = "down." However, the term means in the Tanakh "under, beneath, in place of, instead of," but not "down"; for which the term

מַטָ is used. Some commentators follow the Targum taking = תַּחַת "place."17 For instance, in Hirzel's opinion: " תחת ist Subst. und Accus. des Ortes, wie v. 24, 36:16, 40:12, Jes 5:8."18 Ehrlich says: " תחת heist hier nicht 'unter,' sondern, 'wie' eigentlich 'als' wie dies zur Bezeichnung des Prädikatsnomens gebraucht wird."19 Similarly, Dhorme explains: "The word תחת 'under' also means 'in the place of' and derivatively, 'in guise of,' 'like.'"20 In Budde's view, " תחת nicht 'unter, zwischen,' noch 'an der Stätte,' sondern nur 'anstatt' = 'als wenn sie Frevler wären,' also etwa = 21 ".כְּ Hahn understands תחת being multifaceted: "an der Stelle der Freveler, wie Freveler gestraft werden, und also als solche und wie solche."22 Hitzig says: "auch kann תחת nicht für תחת הֱיוֹ gesagt sein. Also denken wir lieber an Stelle, Standort (36:16, Richt 7:21, Jes 5:8)."23

Delitzsch explains: " תחת רשעים cannot signify: on the place of the evil-doers, i.e. in the place where evil-doers are punished (Hirzel, Hahn, and others), for תַּחְתֵּי) תַּחַת ) only has this signification with the suffix (Hab 3:16); but not otherwise than: in the evil-doers' stead, taking them and treating them as such, as Jerome has correctly translated: quasi impios (comp. Isa 10:4, Jerome, cum interfectis)."24 Reichert says: "The preposition is used here in the unusual sense of 'as if they were.' Although they are men of high station, they meet the fate of the common criminal."25 Driver and Gray note that these interpretations of תחת "would imply that the כבירים were themselves not wicked: besides, תחת nowhere else means like. The text must thus be at fault."26

Budde notes that:

Bickell beseitigte die Schwierigkeit, indem er תָּחֵתpunktierte und als Subjekt hinter רשעים(zur Erklärung des Ausfalls besser hinter חֲמָתוֹ (תחתergänzte: »sein Grimm zerbricht (Jes 9:3) die Frevler«. Damit wurde ספקםzu erwünschter Verlängerung von b frei. So für b auch Bickel.27

This approach is adopted by Driver and Gray, who render v. 26: "[His wrath] shatters the wicked, He slaps them in the place of (all) beholders."28

Umbreit translates תחת רשעיםby "Darum, das Frevel sie begingen."29 However, the meaning "darum" for תחתis not attested in the Tanakh. In Schlottmann's opinion תחת רשעים = "mit den Ruchlosen," literally "unter den Ruchlosen"; תחתhas the same sense as in Isa 10:4.30 Pope suggests that the preposition תחת might mean here "among," as in 40:12.31 This sense for תחת is not attested in the Tanakh, and even Pope does not use it in v. 40:12. Gordis takes תַּחַת= "in recompense" (Gen 44:4; 1 Sam 25:21; 2 Sam 16:12; Ps 38:21; 109:4).32Hakham has תַּחַת= "in the place of the wicked, the actual place" .33Arnheim has strangely "die Stellvertreter der Freveler" for .34He reads אשר תחתinstead of תחת; apparently moving אשרfrom v. 27 to the beginning of v. 26. Beer connects the last word of v. 25 to the following verse but reads ידעכו. He says: "Vielleicht ist v. 26a so zu lesen (... ידעכו מתחתם רשעים): 'die Frevler sind von ihren platz gestossen.'"35 Habel renders תחתby "because,"36Kissane reads חִתֵּת instead of MT .37

רְשָׁעִים = "for their wickedness." The MT does not have anything that corresponds to "for" in the translation. This addition turns v. 26a into a statement of cause. The translation also revocalizes and emends MT רְשָׁעִים "wicked," reading רִשְׁעָם "their wickedness." Barton thinks that taking כרשעים = תחת רשעים is "hardly defensible." He opts for the reading .38 Indeed, this emendation has been adopted by many.39 However, Dillman argues that in the Tanakh רְשָׁעִים is always the plural of רָשָׁע and not of .40 Moreover, the term רִשְׁעָם is not attested in the Tanakh, though possible. Duhm reads instead of v. 26a in the MT: וְיִדַּכָּאוּ תַּחַת רְסִסִים "Sie warden zermalt unter Trümmern."41 Hakham assumes that the reading כִּרְשָׁעִים "as the wicked" is implied, and v. 26a refers to the כבירים(v. 24a).42

סְפָקָם= "he strikes them." The verb ספקmeans "slap, clap" and by extension "chastise"; it does not indicate a forceful act. Gaab argued that:

etwas bedenklich und nicht erwiesen ist, dass ספק percutere überhaupt bedeuten könne; so schlag ich vor, סָפְקָם zu lesen von ,סֹפֶק das sich nach dem Syrischen: evacuation, vacuitas geben läßt."43

Delitzsch explains that: " صفق ,סָפַק , complodere ['to clap'], and then ictu resonante percutere ['to smack'], as the likewise cognate سفق signifies first to box the ear (as صفق = سفق ), then so to strike that it smacks.44

Hitzig says: "ספק, hier transitive (s. zu V. 37) wie Jer 48:26 aktiv, besagt: er schlägt d. h. schleudert sie hin, dass es schallt."45 Tur-Sinai maintains that the root שפק, ספקhas the primary meaning "to fill the hand." He renders סְפָקָםby "invests them." 46 Good takes ספקם= "jeers at them," but fails to explain how would we know when God jeers at someone.47

בִּמְקוֹם רֹאִים= "where all can see." Budde finds v. 26b "ein wunderlich abschwächender Ausdruck für 'vor aller Welt, vor Aller Augen.'"48Driver and Gray agree that "The phrase seems rather weak."49 Ehrlich says that במקוםhas the same meaning (i.e., "like" or "as") as תחת. He reads רעיםinstead of MT ראים, in parallel with רשעים. Ehrlich suggests that: " במקום רעיםim Sinne von 'als gemeine Verbrecher' zu fassen."50Good renders ראיםby "those who see." He comments: "I think that the word is less casual than 'onlookers' may suggest."51 Tur-Sinai avers that: "ראיםis not 'seeing ones,' but 'impure ones,' as ראו ,ראיabove, 33:21."52 Dhorme says: "we prefer to keep the present text and to restore to the hemistich normal proportions by placing the relative אשר, which overloads the beginning of v. 27 between במקוםand ."53

אֲשֶׁר עַל־כֵּן= "because." For instance, Hirzel takes כי־על־כן = אשר־על־כן "den darum," though .54He says: " על כןgeht auf das Folgende, wie 20:2, und wird in להביא v. 28 wieder aufgenommen: darum, um gelangen zu Machen."55 One wonders if the author could have expected the reader to make easily this connection. Hahn says:

Das אֲשֶׁרist nicht das Pronomen, bezüglich auf die hohen Sünder: sie, die dashalb u. s. w., auch ist es nichtbegründed im Sinne von '?; denn deshalb u. s. w., das עַל־כֵּןdurch das vorgesetzre אֲשֶׁרrelative Bedeutung: darum, weil.56

The phrase does not occur anywhere else in the Tanakh, and is obviously awkward.57 One may wonder why the author used this phrase when he could have improved the meter by having כיinstead. Hitzig notes that

אשר על־כןnur hier statt des Gew. כי על־כן(Gen 18:5, 19:8, Richt 6:22ff.) wie denn auch sonst אשרspäter für כיeintritt. כיist unwesentlich; in על־כן (z. Ps 45:3) oder לכן(V. 25) findet Umkeruhng von Grund und Folge stat.58

Tur-Sinai suggests that the phrase is equivalent to על אשר ,על כיand the כןwas added for emphasis.59 However, he does not explain how his assumption could have led to the MT.

Budde observes that:

"Insofern" oder desgleichen heisst על־כןnicht. Stellt man um אשר

על־כoder streicht man על־כן, so lässt sich להביא gerundivisch fassen "indem sie bringen" und v. 27f. als Begründung der Strafe in v. 25f.60

Schlottmann observes:

Manche nehmen das אשר על כןnach chaldäischer Weise als Versetzung für על כן אשר, aber letzteres kommt nicht vor und dagegen spricht auch shon dies, dass dadurch der schöne Zusammenhang von V. 27 und 28 zerrissen un V. 28 auf unerträgliche Weise isolirt würde.61

Dillmann explains that

die persönliche Fassung von אשרgenügt (s. V. 19), und ist kein Grund, es (Hirzel, Delitzsch, Hitzig) = כיzu nehmen; על־כןweist auf das folgende (vgl. 20:2) und wird in ... להביא erklärt.62

Indeed, Duhm takes על־כןbeing the original for which the variant אשרhas been proposed and became part of the text.63

Ewald takes אֲשֶׁר עַל־כֵּן= "they who only therefore."64 Driver and Gray render this phrase by "forasmuch as."65 Good has for אשר על־כן"that is why," which turns v. 27 into a rationale for being wicked and leads to a circuitous logical argument.66 Fohrer states that: "Es ist אשר zu lesen כן 'so' zu streichen (Beer) statt das jetzingen 'die darum.'"67 However, neither Beer nor Fohrer provide any justification for this emendation.

לְהָבִיא עָלָיו= "to come to him."68 However, in Hebrew "to come" is לָבוֹאand לְהָבִיאis "to bring." Clines also takes אֵלָיו = עליוand adds "so that they caused" at the beginning of v. 28. A somewhat fuller translation of this phrase is provided by Driver and Gray: "that they may cause to come unto him."69 This translation preserves the reading עליו, but is too intrusive on the deity.

Dillmann suggests that עליוhas here the sense "in his presence."70Dahood says that: "this insight is confirmed by Ugaritic 'l (also inscrip-tional Aramaic), which with certain verbs denotes 'in the presence of.'"71 Delitzsch renders עליו= "before him" (perhaps with the idea of urging forward).72 Similarly, Duhm renders the phrase: "Vor sich zu bringen."73 In Ewald's view vv. 27-28 convey the idea that

these infatuated potentates, who, when their fate is looked at from the point of view of this end [v. 26], seem to have departed from God and to have fallen into unrighteousness simply in order to bring the complaint of those who are unjustly tormented the more certainly before God's throne.74

This is a rather strange theological perspective.

Driver and Gray observe that whether להביא"is dependent on עלכן or on the verb in 27, the meaning is the same. The verse expresses the intention of the actions described in 27."75 Dhorme says:

להביאhas the sense of a gerund (31:30). The verb הביא, with עלbefore complement of person (Gen 18:19). The preposition is deliberately chosen because what is in question is a prayer which rises to God.76

Habel renders להביאby "he lets reach," which is unattested in the Tanakh.77 Rabinovitz and Abronin suggest that יביא = להביא"they brought," as in Gen 42:25 להשיב means "they returned."78 Gordis says that here לְהָבִיא is like לְמַעַן the Lamed of purpose becomes tantamount to a Lamed of result."79 Hahn takes לְהָבִיא = "bringend vor Ihn."80 Fohrer renders the phrase by "so daß sie brachten."81 Barton considers vv. 28-to be "An interpolation-a fragment of a poem on kings."82 Hitzig takes the contrarian view, in which על, "upon," refers to the wicked (of v. 26); taking להביא עליו= "in dem er über sie bringt."83

וְצַעֲקֵת עֲנִיִּים יִשְׁמָע= "and he heard the cry of the afflicted." The verse can be seen as being structured in a manner similar to v. 33:17 and suggesting quick processing. Commentators usually keep ישמע in v. 27. However, the word reflects God's reaction as do ישקט and יסתר. It should logically belong to v. 28.

וְהוּא יַשְׁקִט וּמִי יַרְשִׁע = "if he is quiet." Hahn notes that some commentators, relying on the Arabic سقط "to fall," gave the sense 'zu Boden stürzen.' However, in his opinion "Allein wir haben durhaus kein Recht abzugeben von der gesicherten Bedeutung des Wortes: Ruche haben."84The verb יַשְׁקִט, deffectiva hip'il imperfect of שקט, means "he quiets." In Hebrew "he is quiet" = שׁוֹקֵט or יִשְׁקֹט. The translation revocalizes יַשְׁקִט and supplements "if." It should be noted that the hip'il of שקט could be intransitive (Isa 57:20).85 Moreover, the phrase וְהוּא יַשְׁקִט is not conditional. Driver and Gray argue that "both lines [29a and 29b] are conditional sentences without conditional particles: for the rhetorical question as the apodosis."86

Dillmann explains that:

השקיטist nicht Ruche und Glück spenden Ps 94:13, sondern Ruche schaffen gegen die schreienden Gevaltthater der Mächtigen, vgl. Jes 14:7, Ps 76:9, wogegen Ruhe halten d.h. den Frevelern keine Hilfe geben einen V. 28 nicht ausgedrückten gedanken einmischt.87

Ehrlich notes that:

Waw in והואist begründed, für יַשְׁקִטist aber יִשׁקֹטzu vokalisieren und ירשִעin יִוָּשֵׁעַ zu ändern. Sonach erhält man für v. 29a den Sinn: den wenn er sich untätig verhält, wer kann dann gerettet werden?88

Dhorme rendered וְהוּא יַשְׁקִטby "if He rests."89 Good takes ישקט= "he gives content" (i.e. "freedom from care and discomfort"), which does not capture the sense of שקט in Hebrew and Arabic.90 The reading יִשְׁקֹט has been adopted by many.91 Guillaume notes that:

One MS has yišqôṭ, and the meaning could then be 'if God by remaining quiet and not interfering, fails to condemn a man what right has anyone to do so?' Nevertheless it is tempting to regard the verb as a metathetical form of yaqsït (see Prov 22:21 for the noun and of Arabic qasata, 'he acted justly') and translate 'If he declares a man just, who can then condemn him? At any rate only thus can the latent antithesis be clearly brought out.92

However, the reader who is aware of the frame narrative would find such a perspective being contradictory.

Hitzig says: "יַרְשִׁעGegensatz; und unter Vergleichung von Jes 14:16 mit 2 Chron 14:14 schreiben wir ."93 In Deltzsch's opinion,

The conjecture יַרְעִשׁis not required either here or 1 Sam 14:47 (where הרשיעsignifies to punish the guilty); יַרְשִׁעis also not to be translated turbabit (Rosenmüller), since رسغ ,رسع) רָשַׁע ) according to its primitive notion does not signify "to be restless, to rage," but "to be relaxed, hollow" (opposite of صق ,צדק, to be hard, firm, tight).94

Gordis says:

יַרְשִׁע must mean "stir up, disturb." The meaning of the root probably derives from its etymology; cf. Arab. ras 'a "be loose (of limbs)." The emendation יַרְעִשׁ(Hitzig, Delitzsch) and יִוָּשֵׁעַ(Ehrlich) are Schlimmverbesserungen (Budde).95

Rabinovitz and Abronin note that רשע is kindred to רתעin Aramaic, which means "to tremble, to be excited."96 This meaning would fit ישקט better.

וְיָסְתֵּר פָּנִים וּמִי יְשׁוּרֶנּוּ= "If he hides his face, who can see him?" Budde says:

d. h. trotziger Versuch der Selbsthülfe ändert nichts, es gilt zu warten, bis Gottes Gerichte reif sind. Obgleich das zulässig ist, wäre hier eher an eine genauere Parallele zu ירשע, etwa מִי יְיַסְרֶנוּ'wer dürfte ihn tadeln?« (vgl. 40:1) zu denken.97

Delitzsch observes:

The Waw of ומיif one marks off the periods of the paratactic expression, is in both cases the Waw of conclusion after hypothetical antecedents, and verse 29b refers to Job's impetuous challenging of God.98

וְעַל־גּוֹי וְעַל־אָ דם יָחַד= "Yet he rules over nations and individuals alike."99The MT does not have anything that corresponds to "yet he rules." Colon 29c is usually attached to the following verse. For instance, Ehrlich asserts that: "Das dritte Glied ist zum folgenden Verse zu ziehn, der für sich genommen keinen Sinn gibt."100 Gordis says that attaching stich c to the next verse "improves the rhythm of both verses substan-tially."101 Fohrer thinks that "'Über dem Volk und über den Menschen insgesamte ist als erläuternde Glosse zu 'wahrnemen' zu streichen."102Hirzel suggests that על= "gegen."103

Good takes אדם= "race," but most modern interpreters opt for "individual," in antithesis to 104For instance, Delitzsch explains:

God rules both over the mass and over individuals alike, יחדgives intensity to the equality thus correlatively (et - et) expressed (Targum, Syriac); to refer it to אדםas generalizing (LXX, Jerome et super omnes homines), is forbidden by the antithesis of peoples and individuals.105

Habel keeps this colon in v. 29 and understands it as a detailing of who would not be able to see God.106

Many emendations have been proposed for the word יחד. For instance, Duhm says: "Für יחדam Schluss von v. 29, an dessen Stelle ein Verb nötig ist, lese ich יָעֻר oder יָעִר[wacht er], vgl. Cap. 8:6."107Ehrlich considers יחדbeing a corruption of יָחז"he sees" (achtet er).108However, the ketib-qere apparatus does not attest to the ז/דconfusion.109 Dahood explains that יחדis a dialectical form of חזי"see."110 Kissane reads יָחֹן(or יָחֻס) instead of .111The ketib-qere apparatus does not attest to ן/דor ס/דconfusions.

מִמְּלֹךְ אָדָם חָנֵף= "so that the godless would not govern." MT does not have a word that corresponds to "so," and ממלך≠ "would not govern." Delitzsch takes מִהְיוֹת = מִand renders "in order that godless men may not rule" (e.g. 2 Kgs 23:33, Isa 7:8 25:2, Jer 48:2 מגוי, and the like).112 Hakham understands v. 30 as meaning "because . rules them" .113Kissane reads מֹלִךְ ("delivering") instead of מִמְּלֹךְ, assuming מdittography, and he takes חנף= "miscreant," which is unattested in the Tanakh.114 Indeed, Gordis notes that interpretations of v. 30a are often "an unconscious or tacit emendation of מִמְּלֹךְto מַמְלִיךְ, a reading which virtually all moderns propose."115

The adjective חָנֵףmeans "profane, irreligious, godless," but not "wicked." Duhm says: "In v. 30 halte ich אָדָם חָנֵףfür ein Interpretament zu dem folgenden Ausdruck: einer von den Fallstricken des Volkes, einer der das Volk umgarnt und für sich ausnützt."116 Habel renders חנף אדםby "condemned," which is unattested in the Tanakh.117 Dhorme moves to the beginning of v. 31.118

מִמֹּקְשֵׁי עָם= "and a people should not be ensnared." MT does not have the conjunctive. The noun מקשיcannot correspond to the verb "ensnared," and the מprefixing מקשיis not equivalent to "not" but to "from" (מן) or "from being" (מִהְיוֹת) as in 1 Kgs 15:3, Isa 7:8, etcetera. Good observes in despair:

Tur-Sinai's comment (Job, 484) that this is 'an unlikely expression even in Elihu's peculiar style' comforts me. The syntax of this and the two lines preceding escapes me, as does their relation to the couplet before them, though I think there is a connection.119

Gordis renders v. 30b: "because of the snares set by the people"; i.e., because of the offenses committed by them.120 Kissane reads עֹנִי("affliction") instead of MT עָם, apparently assuming the ligature ם= 121Hakham assumes that .122

3 Observations

The preceding analysis leads the following observations:

(i) Exegetes had difficulty to define clearly what is the point that Elihu is trying to make in vv. 26-30? For instance, Kissane thinks that:

In this strophe, Elihu considers the great difficulty which can be raised against the doctrine of God's justice: Why does He sometimes allow the sinner to go unpunished?123

However, Elihu gives no answer to this question. In Good's view Elihu goes on in these verses with describing God's opposition to the wicked. He 'jeers' (ספקם) at them (v. 26), turning those people away from him (v. 27). Simultaneously,

Elihu argues that Job was wrong about the deity's positive actions toward humans. Those who turn away from him fail 'to bring to him the outcry of the poor,' but he hears it nevertheless (v. 28). ... But his language becomes garbled and his thought unclear in verses 2932.124

Good's perspective on vv. 26-30 is hardly a coherent thematic framework for the unit. Similarly, Habel presents a logically confusing perspective by saying:

For Elihu, God's punitive action is not only righteous but executed "in 'a public place." . The spectacle of Job's suffering on the ash heap is evidence of just such indictments by God. Those who turn from the ways of the divine wisdom produce social oppression and moral evil in the community. The 'cry of the poor' reaching heaven testifies to the cruelty caused by such corruption in society. . By heeding their pleas for relief, God, as a just ruler, rescues them and thereby 'silences' them and any gainsayers. . If, however, he hides his face in displeasure because of public evil, the absence of his favor will be evidence of his anger. . The text of v. 30 remains obscure.125

(ii) Exegetes had difficulty to identify the contextual connection of vv. 2630 to the preceding and following text.

(iii) Verse 28 seems to be contradictory, in suggesting that God needs the cry of the poor to be brought to him, yet he anyway hears it. Is it possible that ישמעis misplaced?

(iv) Is it possible that the order of the verses is incorrect, and v. 30 is the continuation of v. 28?

(v) Exegetes struggled reveal the logical connection between vv. 29 and 30? Dillmann observes:

Nämlich השקיט und הסתיר פניםkönnen nicht die scheinbare Unthätigkeit Gottes beim hilfsgeschrei der Leidenden, als Gegensatz zu der vorher beschriebenen richtenden Thätigkeit besagen, weil in diesem Fall zwar die beiden Fragsätze einem guten, aber V. 30 keinen annehmbaren Sinn gäbe, sondern es muss vom Einschreiten Gottes zu dem V. 30 angegebenen Zweck die rede sein.126

Probably the interpolation [vv. 28-33] was introduced at some time of national oppression. It is particularly inept to the context here, where it comes between Elihu's description of the way that God destroys the powerful, and his conclusion that wise men must consider Job a sinner.127

Clearly something is wrong with the MT of vv. 26-30. One would be hard pressed to confidently state the meaning of vv. 26-30, or even conjure the image that these verses suggest, within the framework of the MT.



Commentators usually agree that vv. 29-33 in MT are corrupt, few note the textual disorder of vv. 26-28. The solutions that are proposed for the difficulties in vv. 26-30 capitalize on some text-critical observations that have been frequently noted in ancient Hebrew manuscripts. The commonness of these observations makes it impossible to consider the textual disorders being intentional; the author's artistic means for conveying Elihu's excitement. This effort aims to restore a coherent thematic flow to the sub-unit that provides answers to the questions which were identified in the preceding section.

Verses 26-30 would be now discussed seriatim.

1 Verse 26

The difficulties associated with this verse stem from the words תחת and רשעים. In the solution presented here, the focus is on whether the inconvenient nπn is authentic and whether רשעים was in the original text. Our approach to the restoration of v. 26 capitalizes on the similarities between our verse and v. 20a.

Beer aptly noted: "'Er geisselt sie wie (תחת) Freveler' würde in sich schliessen, dass die also Behandelten keine Frevler sind-das widerspricht V. 24."128 While Fohrer does not find v. 26 inexplicable he still finds: "Wörtlich 'an Stelle von Frevlern ... an der Stätte der Sehenden (=Zuschauer).' Doch ist der text vielleicht verderbt."129 At least these sentiments suggest that תחת is suspicious. One also notes the structural and thematic similarity between v. 26 and v. 20aa (:(רֶגַע יָמֻתוּ וְחֲצוֹת לָיְלָה):

(i) both verses head the respective units vv. 20-25 and vv. 26-30;

(ii) 20aa is a 2:2 verse and v. 26 is 'almost' 2:2;

(iii) in v. 20aa the referent is delayed, and in v. 26 the referent 'might' have been originally delayed, if רשעים is assumed to be a scribal gloss;

(iv) both verses deal with the demise of the powerful and inability to hide;

(v) ספקםin v. 26 parallels ימתו in v. 20aa and correspondingly are במקוםראים and וחצות לילהanti-parallel.130

This remarkable similarity between v. 26 and v. 20aa suggests that תחת should be emended to have like רגע a sense of short duration. Such a sense is afforded by the reading אחת instead of תחת.

אחתcould mean "once, just once, only" (2 Kgs 6:10, Ps 62:12, 89:36, Prov 28:18, Judg 16:28), thus conveying a small number requiring little time. Is it possible that a א/תconfusion occurred? While such confusion is orthograph-ically unlikely in the square script, it is possible in a mixed Hebrew paleo script and square script. More than a century ago, Perles called attention to the similarity between אin Hebrew square script and תin the paleo script, and demonstrated its utility for resolving the difficulties in Ps 22:17. He says,

Ps. 22,17 כי סבבוני כלבים עדת מרעים הקיפוני כָּאֲרִי ידי ורגלי. Kaum ein Wort in den Psalmen hat zu so vielen, zum Teil sonderbarn Erklärungen Anlass gegeben wie כָּאֲרִי. Statt desen haben die Alten (Verss., מדרש תהלים, Massora, s. Grätz z. St.) ein verbum כארוgelessen, das zwar ebensowenig verständlich wie die Masoretische La. ist, aber dem Richtigen näher ist. Der Parallelismus mit Vers 13 סבבוני פרים רבים אבירי בשן כִּתְּרוּנִיmacht es fast zur Gewissheit, dass כִּתְּרוּzu lessen sei. Die Aehnlichkeit von אund תin der alten Schrift hat diesen Fehler herbeigeführt.131

Though Perles does not suggest other instances of the ת/אconfusion, the case discussed by him is not likely unique. For instance, both early and modern scholars struggled to understand in Gen 4:1 the line .132If in this case ת/אconfusion is assumed we obtain וַתּאֹמֶר קָנִיתִי אִישׁ תֵת־יהוָה("I acquired a men to give God"). This interpretation, suggesting human sacrifice, gives an intriguing twist to Cain's actions, which are rather puzzling in the MT. Another case might be the statement אַךְ אִם־אַתָּה לוּ שְׁמָעֵנִיin Gen 23:13. If אתהis understood as the 2nd person masculine then the following לוּ שְׁמָעֵנִיdoes not connect logically with it. However, using the ת/אconfusion we could read אִם־תַּתָּה לִי שְׁמָעֵנִי, and then the following cogent text is obtained: "If you gave (or, you are ready to give) it to me, then hear me."133 Other instances where the ת/אconfusion might have occurred could be:

(i) In Num 24:21b one could read תִּיתֵן מוֹשָׁבֶךָ וְשִׂים בַּסֶּלֵע קִנֶּךָto improve its sense and inner parallelism.

(ii) In Jer 4:11 one could read רוּחַ צַח שְׁפָיִם בַּמִּדְבָּר דֶּרֶךְ בּאֹ־עַמִּי"like a searing wind from the heights of the desert coming to my people" instead of MT רוּחַ צַח שְׁפָיִם בַּמִּדְבָּר דֶּ רֶךְ בַּת־עַמִּי.

(iii) In Ezek 21:28b one could read וְהוּא־מַזְכִּיר עָוֹן לְהֵאָפֵשׂ"and he reminds his sin to nullify (them)" instead of MT .וְהוּא־מַזְכִּיר עָוֹן לְהִתָּפֵשׂ.

(iv) It is possible that the difficult Ps 77:3 should be read בּיוֺם צָרָתִי אֲדֺנָי. דָרָשְׁתִּי יָדִי לַיְלָה נֶגְדָּה וְלאֺ אָפוּג"In my time of distress I turn to the Lord, my hands [even] at night are in front of Him, I do not rest," assuming the K/n confusion.134

(v) In MT Ps 137:5, אִם־אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלָם תִּשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי, one is confronted with the impossible notion that the hand has a memory, and what it will forget is not clear.135 A more logical reading would be אִם־אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלָםאֶשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי"Forgetting Jerusalem would be like forgetting my right hand"; that is, it is impossible.

The preceding instances of possible ת/אconfusion demonstrate that it is likely and might be more frequent than generally recognized. Whether this confusion could have played a role in writing תחתinstead of the original אחתdepends on when the Book of Job was written. The interval of time proposed by modern scholars extends from 11th century BCE to the 3rd century BCE. There are no historical allusions in the book and its language does not allow an unambiguous dating. If the upper time limit is adopted, then it is possible that the book was written when the square script started to come in. At first the two script styles coexisted; the new script slowly replacing the paleo-script. The oldest inscription in the square script is that of Arak-el-Amir (Jordan), which dates from about 180 BCE. Though it contains only five letters it is a good example for the coexistence of the two styles even at some later time.136 Jewish papyri (Cowley papyri) discovered in Assuan (Egypt) indicate that intermediate forms, between the paleo-script and the square script, might have been used in the long transition to the square script.137 This would imply that the ת/א confusion could have been made even in the original manuscript. If the book was written anytime within the dating interval, it is possible that the transmitted manuscript is a copy that was transcribed at the time when both styles of script coexisted.

Clearly, the ת/אconfusion could have been a factor in writing תחתinstead of the original אחת during the period in which the two scripts coexisted. It is possible that a copyist, coming across אחת written in the square script), thought that the first letter looks more like the paleo-script letter n. It is notable that in v. 33:14 Elihu uses אחת perhaps to argue that God reveals himself "only in one" way to humans. Moreover, the reading אחת makes eminent sense. The two phrases ספקםאחת v. 26) and רגע ימתו- (v. 20aa) seem to be expressing the same idea. Thus, v. 26 in MT is unbalanced, as most commentators noticed.138

Verse 26 becomes balanced if it is recognized that רשעיםcould be an interloping word. It is easy to imagine how this word made it into the text. Conceivably, a scribe felt that in v. 26a a reader would be at loss about who the referent is. He helpfully wrote the word רשעיםbetween the two words (in the space between two lines). Subsequently, as was often the case, a copyist assumed that this gloss is actually a textual correction and included it in the text. If it is assumed that in v. 26a רשעיםis a later insertion, intended to clarify the delayed referent, then the original v. 26 read אַחַת סְפָקָם בִּמְקוֹם רֹאִים"once he strikes them in the place of (those) seeing."

2 Verse 27

Commentators have been baffled by the phrase אשר על־כן, which occurs only here. Kissane observes that:

In the beginning of the verse we have the impossible combination of the relative particle followed by "therefore." One or the other is superfluous. Dhorme transfers the relative particle to 26; on the contrary, it is the particle "therefore" that is to be transferred. The relative particle is used here to introduce a hypothetical case as in Lev. 4:22; Deut. 11:27; Jos. 4:21. The verse recalls 21:13-14: "They say to God: Depart from us! And we desire not the knowledge of your ways."139

These are not the only possibilities for resolving the awkwardness of אשר על־כן. It is obvious that v. 27 identifies the referent for v. 26, as in v. 20, יגעשו עם ויעברו ויסירו אביר לא ביד, does for the preceding line. Thus the relative particle אשרhas to stay in v. 27 and על־כןmust be moved.140 This approach leads to the coherent 3-beat colon אשר סרו מאחריו"that turned aside from following Him," and makes v. 27 into a 3:3 rhythm verse.

Verse 21 is in essence a poetically expanded כל דרכי וצעדי איש יראה, which shares with v. 27b the words דרך ,כל, and יראה = ישכיל. The two verses seem to be juxtaposing the relationships of God vs. man and man vs. God; God being meticulous in observing and understanding human behavior, while man being remiss in his understanding of God's ways. Ehrlich felt that: "Statt וכלhat man וְאֶלzu lesen. השכיל אלist dasselbe wie השכיל לund heist, Rücksicht nehmen auf, berücksichtigen; sieh zu Prov 21:2 und vgl. Ps 41:2."141 Perhaps, understanding וְכָל as "and comprehend, assess" (Isa 40:12) would better fit the context. If these considerations are incorporated in v. 27 it would read:

That turned aside from Him אֲשֶׁר סָרוּ מֵאַחֲרָיו

And have not wised up to comprehend His way וְכָל־דְּרָכָיו לאֹ הִשְׂכִּילוּ

The delayed referent (for v. 26) are those that turned aside from God and did not make an effort to comprehend God's ways. A pious scribe would consider such individuals being wicked (רשעים) and engaged in exploitation of the poor.

3 Verse 28

The phrase על־כן"therefore," from the MT v. 27, belongs to the beginning of v. 28. This scribal error might have occurred because of the prevalent practice to correct errors of omission by writing the omitted word or phrase in the space between the lines. Verse 28 expands v. 27 by providing the consequences of the acts that it describes. The logic of vv. 26-28 is this: God publicly punishes (v. 26) those who abandoned God's morality (v. 27) and are bringing to Him the anguish of the exploited (v. 28). This chain of logic is then followed by other possible reactions that God might have (vv. 29-30).

Driver and Gray note that "Dillmann supposes על כןto point on to להביא,'who therefore have turned aside from after him, ... in order to bring.'"142This would assume knowledge of intent, which is speculative and unnecessary. It is possible to understand להביא= "to bring (repeatedly), bringing" and by extension "supplying." One would naturally expect that the anguish of the poor would rise by itself to heaven and would not require any visible (or metaphoric) transfer by the wicked.

The singular עליוand context would make God as the most likely referent in v. 28. However, this would require reading אלָיוinstead of MT עליו(cf. Gen 18:21). It is notable that the על/אלconfusion is well-attested in the Ketib-Qere apparatus and the many ע's in this and following verse may have predisposed the scribe to writing an 143

It seems logical to attach ישמעto the next verse, since v. 28 is focused on the anguish of the poor and ישמעdescribes God's reaction, as do the verbs in v. 29a. Also, without pDu' a 3:3 verse is obtained, that reads:

על־כן להביא אליו צעקת־דל וצעקת עניים

Therefore supplying to Him the cry of the poor and the cry of the afflicted.

4 Verse 29

Budde characterized v. 29 and the verses that follow being:

Die dunkelste Stelle des Capitels, die ganz zu entwirren wohl nie gelingen wird. Den sichersten Faden bietet v. 29. Die ersten beiden Glieder bilden je einen Vorder- und Nachsatz, der erstere setzt ein Tun oder Verhalten Gottes, der letztere spricht dem Menschen für diesen Fall Recht oder Möglichkeit des Tadels oder des Ein greifens ab. Da nun Gott durchgängig als Hort der Gerechtigkeit dargestellt ist, gegen dessen Tun Einspruch zu erheben niemandem einfallen wird, so kann das hier gesetzte göttliche Tun nicht mit dem bisherigen (von v. 18 an) gleichartig sein, sondern muss im Gegensatz dazu stehn.

More recently, Gordis observed:

These vv. are justly described by Driver-Gray (vol, 1, pp. 301ff.) as being on the whole unintelligible or at least ambiguous. The passage has probably suffered textual damage which is unfortunately not repairable today. LXX omits the vv.144

Gordis' assessment is perhaps too gloomy. Most commentators rightly attach v. 29b to the beginning of v. 30. The restored v. 29 becomes then


והוא ישקט ומי ירשע

ויסתר פנים ומי ישורנו

a 4:4 verse (indicating a conclusion). It should be understood as if the word ישמעprecedes each colon:

ישמע והוא ישקט ומי ירשע'

ישמע ויסתר פנים ומי ישורנו

In addition to God's public (obvious) punishment of the wicked, it is also possible that God might seem apathetic (Hab 1:2-3), יַשְׁקִט. He might hold back His benevolence, or metaphorically 'cover his face' not to see (Hab 2:13), סְתֵּר פָּנִים.In each case, as a sovereign deity He cannot be compelled to act and we cannot impose on Him our predilections.

5 Verse 30

In v. 29b the prefixing וin ועלshould be understood as or if;145 thus, וְעַל= "or if upon." Ewald correctly sensed that vv. 29-30 express God's anger and his punitive reaction. However, his understanding of v. 28 reads into it more than it contains. He says that in Elihu's view: "He then indeed, takes rest, i.e. giving no more help (Ps 83:2, Zech 1:12-13) and turning his face away, coming with punishment both upon a nation and upon all persons of the earth."146

It seems more logical and useful to connect v. 29b with v. 30 and read יחֵ רinstead of יחד. The likelihood of a ר/דconfusion is well-attested in the ketib-qere apparatus and the Tanakh.147 יִחֵר, which occurs many times in the Tanakh, is the qal imperfect of חרה "burn of anger." It provides a verb for v. 29b and allows anchoring in text typical interpretations of v. 29c such as "Ueber Volk und über Mensch zusammmen, über ganze Völker vie über Einzelne verhängt Er in zorne vernichtende Strafgerechte."148 Verses 29b and 30 have been understood as depicting God being protective (Peshitta, Ehrlich, Kissane, Clines) or punitive (Septuagint, Vulgate, Hirzel, Hahn, Ewald, Gordis). Reading יִחֵרinstead of יחד, sets us obviously on a punitive interpretation of v. 30.

Following the ancients (Theodotion, Targum) many read מַמְלִךְ, "enthrones," instead of MT מִמְּלֹךְ"from reigning." The reading מַמְלִךְsuits the punitive interpretation that has been adopted in this solution; i.e., Elihu suggests that the enthronement of a חָנֵף, "profane, irreligious, hypocrite" is a divine punishment. However, the phrase אדם חנףis problematic, since it never occurs elsewhere in the Tanakh. It seems likely that a scribe by mistake copied the word אדםfrom the nearby v. 29b and this word should be deleted.

Dillmann rightly says: "Die Lesart מַמְלִךְ(Theodotion, Targum) erlaubt keine richtige Erklärung von "149This difficulty can be resolved by noting that a simple and frequent error of metathesis occurred. One should read מִקִּמֹשֵׁיinstead of ממקשי. קִמּוֹשׁis a collective term for "thistles, nettles."150 The קמושword occurs only twice in the Tanakh (Isa 34:13, Hos 9:6); it is not surprising that a scribe confused it with the more frequent (21 times). The phrase מִקִּמֹשֵׁי עַםprobably referred to the useless but potentially harmful among the aristocrats.151 This term fits well the image of the . If the word אדםis deleted and the construct form מִקִּמֹשֵׁי עַםis considered a single word v. 29b+30 becomes a 3:3 verse.152

Verse 29b+30 can be now restored as follows

ועל־גוי ועל־אדם יִחַר מַמְלִךְ חנף מִקִּמֹשֵׁי־עם

Or if upon a nation and man he angers,

he enthrones a hypocrite from the 'thistles' of the elite.

Though the verse does not appear to relate to Job's specific problem, it serves well to buttress Elihu's general argument that God is righteous and metes out punishment to nations and races as he does to individuals (vv. 26-28) even if He may seem as being apathetic and removed (v. 29a). As would be noted in the concluding section, the sensitized Job could have detected in Elihu's general statements many personal implications.



Relatively few minor text-critical emendations result in the following simple and coherent text:

Once he strikes them in the place of (those) seeing. אַחַת סְפָקָם בִּמְקוֹם־רֹאִים

[Those] that turned aside from Him, אֲשֶׁר סָרוּ מֵאַחֲרָיו

And have not wised up to comprehend His ways. וְכָל־דְּרָכָיו לאֹ הִשְׂכִּילוּ

Therefore supplying to Him, עַל־כֵּן לְהָבִיא אֵלָיו

the cry of the poor and the cry of the afflicted. צַעֲקַת־דַּל וְצַעֲקַת עֲנִיִּים

He listens, יִשְׁמַע

And if he keeps quiet, who can condemn him? וְהוּא יַשְׁקִט וּמִי יַרְשִׁעַ

And if he hides his face, who can see him? וְיַסְתֵּר פָּנִים וּמִי יְשׁוּרֶנּוּ

Or if upon a nation and man he angers, וְעֵל־גּוֹי וְעַל־אָדָם יִחַר

he enthrones a hypocrite from the 'thistles' of the elite. מַמְלִךְ חנף מִקִּמֹשֵׁי־עם

Orthographically, the restored Urtext does minimal violence to the consonantal text, while securing an unforced sense and a typical 3:3 rhythmic structure.

The unit is focused on potentates that have lost their moral compass and God's reaction to their deeds. In this sense, the unit consisting of vv. 26-30 fits contextually the larger unit consisting of vv. 16-30, which deals with God's righteous management of nations and people. Job's personal problem is addressed only indirectly. Job could deduce relevant references to his situation from the following statements made by Elihu:

(i) Job's visible punishments indicate that he sinned (v. 26).

(ii) Job is ignorant of God's ways and abandoned moral behavior (v. 27).

(iii) Job has caused anguish to the destitute, which reached heaven (v. 28).

(iv) If Job has a case then it has been heard, though there may be a delay in God's reaction (v. 29a).

(v) Job cannot compel God to confront him (v. 29a).

(vi) God works in mysterious ways (vv. 29b-30).

Elihu's message is hard hitting, but is not devoid of hope. In the verses that follow Elihu spells out what he expected Job to do.



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Article submitted: 20/06/2016
Accepted: 28/09/2016



Aron Pinker, 11519 Monticello Ave., Silver Spring, Maryland, 20902, USA. Email:
1 BDB, 1065a-1066a. The authors (1065b) note: "Peculiarly Jb 34:26 (si vera l.) = as if they were, like; but text very dubious."
2 Francis I. Andersen, Job: An Introduction and Commentary (London: Inter-Varsity Press, 1976), 254.
3 Samuel R. Driver and George B. Gray, A Critical Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Job, vol. 2, ICC (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1921), 260.
4 Samuel R. Driver and George B. Gray, A Critical Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Job, vol. 2, ICC (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1921), 300.
5 Marvin H. Pope, Job, AB 15 (Doubleday: Garden City, 1986), 259.
6 Emanuel Tov, "Job 34," in Outside the Bible, Ancient Jewish Writing Related to Scripture, vol. 1, ed. Louis H. Feldman, James L. Kugel, and Lawrence H. Schiffan (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2013), 111.
7 Eduard Dhorme, A Commentary of the Book of Job (London: Nelson, 1967), 521. Dhorme notes that "It is in error that Colbertinus and Jerome mark with asterisk vv. 26-27, which in fact exist in Sahidic and are not marked with asterisk in Syro-hexapla. The text of Theodotion does not begin before v. 28."
8 Lancelot C. L. Brenton, The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English (London: Samuel Bagster, 1851; repr. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987), 691. This translation is based on the Vaticanus version of the Septuagint.
9 Georg Beer, Der Text des Buches Hiob (Marburg: N.G. Elwert, 1897), 218.
10 Dhorme, Job, 521. Dhorme notes that Codex Alexandrinus has
καὶ ὀρατοὶ
ἐγένοντo ἐναντίον τῶν ἐχϑρῶν; where, ראים = ὀρατοὶ and מקום= ἐχϑρῶν.
11 Dhorme, Job, 522-523. Verses 28-33 were omitted from the Septuagint till the time of Origen, and do not occur in the Sahidic version. Tov (Job 34, 114) conjectures that "The Greek translator removed these verses because the same ideas are presented in the preceding chapter (Job 33:14-33)."
12 The
על/אלconfusion is well-attested in the Tanakh. For instance, 1 Sam 4:21 אלinstead of על(twice); 2 Kgs 8:3; Isa 34:14 עלinstead of אל; Jer 21:9 עלinstead of אל; Jer 50:35-38 אלinstead of על; 1 Sam 20:24 על(Ketib) and אל(Qere); Isa 29:6 עלinstead of אל; Job 34:15; Isa 65:7 על(K) but אל(Q); Ezek 9:5 על(K) and אל(Q); Ezek 39:28 על אדמתם ˗ אל אדמתם in some MSS (cf. Tanakh Koren [Jerusalem: Koren, 1983), 13 end; Lev 16:14 MT has עלbut Samaritan has אל; עלinstead of אלin 2 Sam 19:43, עלinstead of אלin Josh 2:7; אלinstead of עלin Josh 5:14; in Job 19:12 'אלinstead of עלי
13 Symmachus has
αὐτοῦ δὲ ἡρεμίαν διδόντος.
14 Pope, Job, 259. Pope notes: "The Qumran Targum reads [wyst]r 'npwhy mn ytybnh '[and should he hid]e his face, who could make him return.' The puzzling reading reflects a Hebrew verb y
ěšîḇennû instead of MT yěšûrennû."
15 This is the Douay-Rheims translation. Jerome has: 26. et extinxit impios et glorio-sos coram inimicis suis, 27. quia declinauerunt a lege dei, et iustitias eius non cognouerunt, 28. ut perferatur ad eum clamor pauperis, et clamorem pauperum exaudiet. 29. Ipse quietem dabit, et quis poterit condemnare? abscondit faciem, et quis uidebit eum? et contra gentem et contra hominem simul. 30. qui regnare fecit hominem ippocritam propter peruersitatem populi. Cf. Carl P. Caspari, Das Buch Hiob (1,1 - 38,16) in Hieronymos's Uebersetzüng aus der alexandrinischen Version nach einer St. Gallener Handschrift (London: Luzac, 1893), 102.
16 David J. A. Clines, Job 21-37, WBC 18A (Dallas: Word Books, 2006), 745.
17 Ludwig F. Melsheimer, Das Buch Hiob (Mannheim: Schwan, 1823), 70. Melsheimer renders v. 26: "Um Orte, wo einst Frevler wohten, Shlägt, wer sie sah, die Händ' zusammen." This is more of a paraphrase than a correct translation.
18 Ludwig Hirzel, Hiob (Leipzig: Weidmann, 1885), 205.
19 Arnold B. Ehrlich, Psalmen, Sprüche, und Hiob (vol. 6 of Randglossen zur hebräischen Bibel (Leipzig: J. C. Hinricks, 1918), 299. See commentary on v. 30:14.
20 Dhorme, Job, 522. One finds in Sir 30:25
שנות לב טוב תחת מטעמים. Cf. also August Dillmann, Hiob (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1891), 296.
21 Karl Budde, Das Buch Hiob übersetzt und erklärt (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1896), 206.
22 Heinrich A. Hahn, Commentar ueber das Buch Hiob (Berlin: J. A. Wohlgemuth, 1850), 274.
23 Ferdinand Hitzig, Das Buch Hiob übersetzt und erklärt (Leipzig: C. F. Winter, 1874), 254. He renders v. 26a: "An die Platz der Verbrecher schmeist er sie."
24 Franz Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Book of Job, vol. 2 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1869), 257.
25 Victor E. Reichert, Job (London: Soncino Press, 1960), 179.
26 Driver and Gray, Job 2, 260.
27 Budde, Hiob, 206.
28 Driver and Gray, Job 1, 300.
29 Friedrich W. C. Umbreit, Das Buch Hiob (Heidelberg: Mohr, 1824), 326. He means "for being wicked."
30 Konstantin Schlottmann, Das Buch Hiob (Berlin: Weigand and Grieben, 1851), 429.
31 Pope, Job, 259. Dahood observes that: "In the light of Aqhat: V:6f., ytb bap tgr tht adrm dbgrn 'He sits at the edge of the gate, among the mighty men who are on the thrashing floor,' J. Greenfield has proposed that tahat, parallel to b in Isa 57:5b denotes 'among.' The recognition of this signification of tahat, also parallel to b, but in reverse order, leads to a clearer, though not entirely satisfactory understanding of the verse." Cf. Mitchell J. Dahood, "Northwest Semitic Philology and Job," in The Bible in Current Catholic Thought, Gruenthaner Memorial Volume, ed. John L. McKenzie (New York: Herder & Herder, 1962), 71.
32 Robert Gordis, The Book of Job: Commentary, New Translation, and Special Notes (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1978), 391.
33 Amos Hakham,
ספר איוב(Jerusalem: Mosad HaRav Kook, 1981), 265. Cf. Exod 16:29.
34 Heymann Arnheim, Das Buch Job (Glogau: H. Prausnitz, 1836), 200. Arenheim finds a strong connection between v. 26 and v. 24. He says: "Sinn: Jene frevelten unter dem Deckmantel des Geheimnisses: darum ist auch ihre Strafe in Nacht gehüllt; diese ließen sich durch das Beispiel ihrer Vorgänger nicht abschrecken."
35 Beer, Der Text, 219. Beer notes that Ken. 384 has
36 Norman C. Habel, The Book of Job: A Commentary (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1985), 474.
37 Edward J. Kissane, The Book of Job (Dublin: Browne & Nolan, 1939), 230. He inserts from v. 27a at the beginning of v. 26a reading
על־כן חִתֵּת רשעים"Therefore has he smitten the wicked."
38 George A. Barton, Commentary on the Book of Job (New York: Macmillan, 1911), 265.
39 Cf. George R. Noyes, The Book of Job (Boston: James Monroe, 1838), 65; Barton, Job, 265; Habel, Job, 474; Gordis, Job, 391; Clines, Job 21-37; and others.
40 Dillmann, Hiob, 296. The use of
רְשָׁעִיםas the plural of רֶשַׁעin Ez 21:34 is debata b41le.
41 Bernhard Duhm, Das Buch Hiob (Leipzig: J.C.B Mohr, 1897), 166.
42 Hakham ,
איוב ,.265
43 Johann F. Gaab, Das Buch Hiob (Tübingen: J. G. Cotta'schen, 1809), 52.
44 Delitzsch, Job 2, 257.
45 Hitzig, Hiob, 254.
46 Naphtali H. Tur-Sinai, The Book of Job (Jerusalem: Kiryath Sepher, 1967), 483. He translates v. 26 "he invests those (others) instead of the wicked, in the place of the unclean." However, the wicked are not necessarily unclean.
47 Edwin M. Good, In Turns of Tempest: A Reading of Job with a Translation (Stanford: Stanford University, 1990), 144-145.
48 Budde, Hiob, 206. Budde is uncertain "ob man ihn [v. 26b] nicht in seiner unverhüllten Prosa zu belassen und mit v. 25 als Glosse zu streichen hat."
49 Driver and Gray, Job 2, 260.
50 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 316-317. He says: "vgl. Hos 2:1, wo
במקום für תחת steht, wenn auch in einem andern Sinne."
51 Good, Turns, 144.
52 Tur-Sinai, Job, 483.
53 Dhorme, Job, 522. He reads:
במקום אשר ראים.
54 Robert D. Holmstedt, "The Relative Clause in Biblical Hebrew: A Linguistic Analysis" (Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin, 2002), 6-20,
55 Hirzel, Hiob, 205.
56 Hahn, Commentar, 274.
57 A somewhat similar expression,
כי על־כן, occurs in Num 10:31, Ps 45:3.
58 Hitzig, Hiob, 254.
59 Tur-Sinai, Job, 483.
60 Budde, Hiob, 206. Budde says: "Das
על־כןkann als Erläuterung an den Rand geschrieben und eingedrungen sein."
61 Schlottmann, Hiob, 429.
62 Dillmann, Hiob, 296.
63 Duhm, Hiob, 166. Duhm considers v. 27 being a gloss, saying: "An diesen Satz [v. 26] schliest sich v. 28 eng an, und schon deswegen ist v. 27 eine Glosse."
64 Georg H. A. Ewald, Commentary on the Book of Job (London: Williams and Norgate, 1882), 338.
65 Driver and Gray, Job 1, 300.
66 The wicked are jeered because they are wicked and are wicked because they are jeered.
67 Georg Fohrer, Das Buch Hiob (KAT 16; Gütersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1963), 464.
68 So also translate Beer (Der Text, 219); Kissane (Job, 229); and others. Kennicott MS 125 and Rossi MS 349 have
69 Driver and Gray, Job 1, 300.
70 Dillmann, Hiob, 296. Dillmann renders: "vor ihn zu bringen," relying on 2 Sam 15:4.
71 Dahood, "Northwest," 69.
72 Delitzsch, Job 2, 258. Similarly, Schlottmann (Hiob, 429) renders by "Um vor ihn zu bringen."
73 Duhm, Hiob, 166. Duhm observes: "Der Satz [v. 26] führt die Rede auf ein Nebengelese; es handelt sich nicht darum zu erklären, warum gewisse Leute zermalmt werden, sondern darum, dass Gott die Schuldigen zu treffen weiss. Diese züchtigt er, wie v. 28 fortfährt."
74 Ewald, Job, 338.
75 Driver and Gray, Job 2, 261.
76 Dhorme, Job, 523.
77 Habel, Job, 474.
78 A. Z. Rabinovitz and A. Abronin,
איוב(Jaffa: Shushni, 1916), 85.
79 BDB, 775b; Gordis, Job, 392.
80 Hahn, Hiob, 274.
81 Fohrer, Hiob, 463.
82 Barton, Job, 265.
83 Hitzig, Hiob, 254. Hitzig argues that common interpretations assume
אליו = עליוrelying on the identity of the suffixes in v. 27 and 28. He notes: "Aber sie lassen die Sache doch nicht selbstthätig (Ex 18:22) an Gott gelangen, bringen sie nicht an ihn; auch solte Vers 27, sich nicht auf die negative Kategorieen סור und לא השכילbeschränken, in welchen Bedrückung der Armen nicht enhalten und nicht angedeutet ist. In eine Verbindung wie diese konnte kein Leser by im Sinne von אל verstehn."
84 Hahn, Hiob, 275. Cf. Umbreit, Hiob, 327.
85 For instance Budde (Hiob, 207) observes: "
יִשְׁקֹט als Hiph. kann zwar nach Jes 7:4, 57:20, Jer 49:23, Hi 37:17 'Ruhe halten' bedeuten; doch dürfte die Punktierung, zumal das von Gott nicht vorkommt, auf falscher causativer Auffassung beruhen. Lies daher יִשְׁקֹט." Schlottmann (Hiob, 430), for instance, prefers to consider here ישקט being intransitive.
86 Driver and Gray, Job 2, 261.
87 Dillmann, Hiob, 296.
88 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 317.
89 Dhorme, Job, 523.
90 Good, Turns, 145.
91 Cf. Kennicott MS 235; Budde, Hiob, 207; Barton, Job, 266; Kissane, Job, 229. The hip'il of
שקטnowhere else in the Tanakh refers to God.
92 Alfred Guillaume, "Arabic Background of the Book of Job," in Promise and Fulfillment: FS for S. H. Hooke, ed. F. F. Bruce (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1963), 122.
93 Hitzig, Hiob, 255. The cited source 2 Chr 14:14 does not appear correct (1 Sam 14:47?).
94 Delitzsch, Job 2, 258.
95 Gordis, Job, 392. Gordis finds in v. 29a an idea that is similar to that of Isaiah (Isa 57:20). The emendation
יַרְעִשׁhas also been adopted by Beer (Der Text, 219); Dhorme (Job, 543).
96 Rabinovitz and Abronin,,
איוב II, 85. Cf. 1 Sam 14:47.
97 Budde, Hiob, 207.
98 Delitzsch, Job 2, 258.
99 Hakham (,
איובI, 265), suggests that is a parenthetic clause which states that despite vv. 29a-29b God is near every nation and man. He seems to be reading into the text a theological view that cannot be anchored in the MT.
100 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 317.
101 Gordis, Job, 392. He suggests that "the double Vav means 'both ... and' as in Arabic wa . wa" (BDB, 253a).
102 Fohrer, Hiob, 464. Fohrer renders v. 29b: "Wenn er sein Augensicht verbirgt -wer nimt ihm wahr?" This is also Budde's position. Budde (Hiob, 207) says: "c gibt eine Erläuterung zu a und b, unmittelbar abhängig von
ישקטund ויסתר פנים: 'sei es nun über ein Volk, sei es über den [einzelnen] Menschen (hier auffallend für גבר oder איש) gleicherweise«, d. h. beide dürfen Gott nicht tadeln, wenn er einmal auf seine Hülfe warten lässt. Das ist freilich sehr prosaisch ausgedrückt und zudem nicht am Platze. Denn die Gerechtigkeit Gottes wird in c. 34 überhaupt nur an grossen Ereignissen, an Volksschicksalen, erwiesen, und v. 30 zeigt deutlich, dass es auch fernerhin dabei bleibt. Ein Interpolator oder Glossator hat es für nötig gehalten hervorzuheben, dass diese Ausführungen auch auf den Einzelnen, d. i. auf Hiob, Anwendung fänden, während der Verfasser dessen besonderen Fall absichtlich möglichst bei Seite geschoben hat und ihm selbst diesen Schluss zu ziehen überlässt. Streiche also c!"
103 Hirzel, Hiob, 206. Cf. Aron Pinker, "Upon an Attack in Nahum 2:2," JHScr 4 (2002-2003), 1-4.
104 Good, Turns, 145. Good consistently translates
אדםby "race" also in v. 30. Driver and Gray (Job 2, 262-263) note that "the singular אדםdoes at times refer not to the race, but to individuals of it, and may sometimes be idiomatically rendered in English by any one; see, e.g., Lev 1:2, 13:2. It is, however, a different matter for this properly collective term to express the idea of the individual in contrast to a collectivity such as nation; and the dubious nature of the Hebrew text, ... leave it doubtful whether על
גוי ועל אדם is the original text, and, if so, whether it means towards a nation or towards an individual." Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 317, says: "Das erste אדם bezeichnet nicht einen einzelnen Menschen im gegensatz zu sondern hat ungefahr denselben Sinn wie dieses."
105 Deltzsch, Job 2, 259.
106 Habel, Job, 474. He reads: "If he hides his face, who can see him - Be it a nation or all humanity?" This translation does not correspond to the MT.
107 Duhm, Hiob, 167. The
ע/חconfusion is attested in 1 Sam 17:7 where we have וחץ(ketib) and ועץ (qere); in Exod 28:26 עבר(MT) חברand (Samaritan); in Deut 32:14 חמר(MT) עמרand (Samaritan); Septuagint reads in Job 24:12 עלליםinstead of חללים; Septuagint reads in Job 29:7 שחרinstead of שער; there is an opinion that the Easterners (מדנחאי) had in 2 Chr 34:13 וַיֵּחָתֶר(ketib) and וַיֵּעָתֶר (qere); perhaps in Prov 26:17 one should read מִתְחַבֵּרinstead of מִתְעַבֵּר; perhaps in Zech 12:3 one should read חֺמְסֶיהָinstead of עֺמְסֶיהָ. ' Cf. Aron Pinker, "On the Interpretation of Proverbs 12:27," JbTC 18 (2013): 1-8. ' '
108 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 317. Ehrlich is followed by Dhorme, Job, 524.
109 In Job 17:1,
נזעכו is usually understood as נדעכו.
110 Mitchell Dahood, "Ugaritic-Hebrew Lexicography," Bib 45 (1964): [393-412]407-408.
111 Kissane, Job, 230.
112 Delitzsch, Job 2, 259.
113 Hakham (,
איובI, 266, note 25) considers v. being the continuation of v. 28.
114 Kissane, Job, 230 and 229.
115 Gordis, Job, 392.
116 Duhm, Hiob, 167.
117 Habel, Job, 474.
118 Dhorme, Job, 524.
119 Good, Turns, 144. Cf. Tur-Sinai, Job, 484. Tur-Sinai, Job, 484, suggests the reading
מִמַּקְשֵׁי"those that harden themselves." This emendation results in an incoherent sense for v. 30; "That the unbeliever reign not, those that harden themselves among the people."
120 Gordis, Job, 393. Gordis says: "Verse 29 has indicated that God brings disaster upon men when He so chooses. In our view, v. 30 adds that God permits evildoers to hold sway in order to punish men and nations who have themselves been guilty of seeking to snare the innocent." It is difficult to find in this view any relevance to the Jobian problem.
121 Kissane, Job, 230.
122 Hakham,
איובI, 266. Cf. Exod 10:7.
123 Kissane, Job, 234. Kissane (Job, 234) sees vv. 27-29b as presenting human concern at God's non-intervention in cases of obvious injustice. In his view vv. 29c-30 give Elihu's answer; "unfortunately, textual corruption has obscured the meaning." Kissane (Job, 229) restores the text to mean: "With a nation, or with a man he is compassionate, Delivering a miscreant from the snares of affliction." This would be injustice, not compassion.
124 Good, Turns, 328.
125 Habel, Job, 485. Habel (Job, 476) says that v. 30: "seems to be corrupt and missing at least one verb."
Since the Book of Job deals with the fate of individuals alone, can it include such verses as 28-30? Barton notes:
126 Dillmann, Hiob, 296.
127 Barton, Job, 266.
128 Beer, Der Text, 219.
129 Fohrer, Hiob, 464.
130 The similarity between
במקום ראיםand וחצות לילהis particularly noticeable in the Septuagint's interpretation of v. 26.
131 Felix Perles, Analekten zur Textkritik des Alten testaments (München: Theodor Ackermann, 1895), 50.
132 Naphtali H. Tur-Sinai,
כרך הספר(Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1960), 410.
133 The form
תַּתָּהoccurs in 2 Sam 22:41.
134 Tur-Sinai,,
כרך הספר I, 430. Cf. Ps 116:14, 18.
135 Usually Ps 137:5 is rendered: "If I forget Jerusalem, let my hand wither." Cf. Tur-Sinai,,
כרך הספרI, 122.
136 Samuel R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Samuel (Oxford: Clarendon, 1890), xxii.
137 Archibald H. Sayce and Arthur E. Cowley, Aramaic Papyri Discovered at Assuan (London: A. Moring, 1906), Papyrus 5.
138 Dhorme, Job, 522. Dhorme notes: "There is a lack of balance between the two hemistichs. Various attempts have been made to connect with the 2nd hemistich and to extend the first."
139 Kissane, Job, 234. It is doubtful that the religiously rebellious tenor suggested by Kissane is realistic for the setting of the book and its time.
140 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 317. Ehrlich says: "
אשרbezieht sich auf das im Vorhergehenden beschriebene Verfahren Gottes gegen die frevelnden Herrscher und ist Subjekt des Satzes, während das darauf Folgende das Prädikat bildet."
141 Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, 317. The
כ/אconfusion is not attested in the Ketib-Qere apparatus, and the two letters are not orthographically similar in the paleo-script or square-script.
142 Driver and Gray, Job 2, 260.
143 BDB, 41a, note that: "There is a tendency in Hebrew, especially manifest in Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, to use
אֶלin the sense of עַל."
144 Gordis, Job, 392.
145 BDB, 252b
146 Ewald, Job, 338. There is nothing in MT that corresponds to "coming with punishment"; v. 29b has no verbs.
147 One finds in the Ketib-Qere apparatus this confusion in: 2 Sam 13:37
עמיחור(K) but עמיחוד(Q); 2 Kgs 16:6 וארומים(K) but ואדומים(Q); Ps 19:19, Prov 19:19 גרל (K) but גדל(Q); Jer 2:2 אעבוד(K) but -אעבור(Q); Jer 31:39 השרמות(K) but השדמות(Q); and Ezra 8:14 וזבוד(K) but -וזכור(Q). Also, in Josh 15:52 ודומהbut ורומהin some MSS (Tanach Koren, 11 end); 2 Sam 8 (many), 1 Chr 18 (many) הדרעזר - הדדעזרin some MSS (Tanach Koren, 12 end); in Hab 3:12 - Septuagint reads "you will bring low" (όλιγώσεις), probably reading תצערinstead of תצעד; in Hab 3:13 - Septuagint translates יסודas "bands or bonds" (δεσμούς), implying a reading יסורor אסור; Hab 3:16 - Septuagint translates יגודנו as "of my sojourning" (?יגורנו).
148 Hahn, Hiob, 275.
149 Dillman, Hiob, 297.
150 Jehuda Feliks, Plant World of the Bible (in Hebrew) (Massada: Ramat Gan, 1968), 211. Feliks describes the
קמושas a plant that wildly spreads in areas that became uninhabited. Classical Jewish commentators (Ibn Ganah, Rashi, Radak) the קמושas Urtica.
151 Cf. Judg 9:9-15, where a bad king is likened to a bramble (
אטד), and 2 Kgs 14:910 where an insignificant king is compared to a brier (חוח).
152 Budde, Hiob, 207. Budde says: "Die Kürze des Gliedes ist ... störend: bei unserer Auffassung wäre ein
מֹשֵׁלvor b möglich. Ferner könnte man so auch 29 c zu v. 30 ziehen; doch erweckt der Satz auch in dieser Verbindung nicht mehr Zutrauen." However, Budde's emendation is entirely arbitrary.

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