Partner with as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

Job 30

Verses 1-4

1 And now they who are younger than I have me in derision,

Those whose fathers I disdained To set with the dogs of my flock.

2 Yea, the strength of their hands, what should it profit me?

They have lost vigour and strength.

3 They are benumbed from want and hunger,

They who gnaw the steppe,

The darkness of the wilderness and waste;

4 They who pluck mallows in the thicket,

And the root of the broom is their bread.

With ועתּה , which also elsewhere expresses the turning-point from the premises to the conclusion, from accusation to the threat of punishment, and such like, Job here begins to bewail the sad turn which his former prosperity has taken. The first line of the verse, which is marked off by Mercha-Mahpach, is intentionally so disproportionately long, to form a deep and long breathed beginning to the lamentation which is now begun. Formerly, as he has related in the first part of the monologue, an object of reverential fear to the respectable youth of the city (Job 29:8), he is now an object of derision ( שׂחק על , to laugh at, distinct from שׂחק אל , Job 29:24, to laugh to, smile upon) to the young good-for-nothing vagabonds of a miserable class of men. They are just the same עניּי ארץ , whose sorrowful lot he reckons among the mysteries of divine providence, so difficulty of solution ( Job 24:4-8). The less he belongs to the merciless ones, who take advantage of the calamities of the poor for their own selfish ends, instead of relieving their distress as far as is in their power, the more unjustifiable is the rude treatment which he now experiences from them, when they who meanly hated him before because he was rich, now rejoice at the destruction of his prosperity. Younger than he in days ( לימים as Job 32:4, with ל of closer definition, instead of which the simple acc. was inadmissible here, comp. on Job 11:9) laugh at him, sons of those fathers who were so useless and abandoned that he scorned ( מאס ל , comp. מאס מן , 1 Samuel 15:26) to entrust to them even a service so menial as that of the shepherd dogs. Schult., Rosenm., and Schlottm. take שׁית עם for שׁית על , praeficere , but that ought to be just simply &#שׁית על שׁית עם signifies to range beside, i.e., to place alike, to associate; moreover, the oversight of the shepherd dogs is no such menial post, while Job intends to say that he did not once consider them fit to render such a subordinate service as is that of the dogs which help the shepherds.

And even the strength of their (these youths') hands ( גּם is referable to the suff. of ידיהם : even; not: now entirely, completely, as Hahn translates), of what use should it be to him: ( למּה not cur , but ad quid, quorsum , as Genesis 25:32; Genesis 27:46.) They are enervated, good-for-nothing fellows: כּלח is lost to them ( עלימו trebly emphatic: it is placed in a prominent position, has a pathetic suff., and is על for ל , 1 Samuel 9:3). The signif. senectus, which suits Job 5:26, is here inapplicable, since it is not the aged that are spoken of, but the young; for that “old age is lost to them” would be a forced expression for the thought - which, moreover, does not accord with the connection - that they die off early. One does not here expect the idea of senectus or senectus vegeta , but vigor, as the Syriac ( ‛ushino ) and Arabic also translate it. May not כּלח perhaps be related to כּח , as שׁלאנן to שׁאנן , the latter being a mixed form from שׁאנן and שׁלו , the former from כּח and לח , fresh juicy vigour, or as we say: pith and marrow ( Saft and Kraft)? At all events, if this is somewhat the idea of the word, it may be derived from &#כּלח כּלה (lxx συντέλεια ), or some other way (vid., on Job 5:26): it signifies full strength or maturity.

(Note: From the root Arab. kl (on its primary notion, vid., my review of Bernstein's edition of Kirsch's Syr. Chrestomathie, Ergänzungsblatt der A.L.Z. 1843, Nr. 16 and 17) other derivatives, as Arab. kl' , klb , klt , klṯ , klj , kld , klz , etc., develop in general the significations to bring, take, or hold together, enclose, and the like; but Arab. lkḥ in particular the signification to draw together, distort violently, viz., the muscles of the face in grinning and showing the teeth, or even sardonic laughing, and drawing the lips apart. The general signification of drawing together, Arab. šdd , resolves itself, however, from that special reference to the muscles of the face, and is manifest in the IV form Arab. kâlaḥa , to show one's self strict and firm (against any one); also more sensuously: to remain firm in one's place; of the moon, which remains as though motionless in one of its twenty-eight halting-places. Hence Arab. dahrun kâliḥun , a hard season, zmân šdı̂d and kulâḥun , kalâḥi (the latter as a kind of n. propr. invariably ending in i, and always without the article), a hard year, i.e., a year of failure of the crops, and of scarcity and want. If it is possible to apply this to כּלח without the hazardous comparison of Arab. qḥl , qlḥm , etc. so supra, p. 300], the primary signification might perhaps be that of hardness, unbroken strength; Job 5:26, “Thou wilt go to the grave with unbroken strength,” i.e., full of days indeed, but without having thyself experienced the infirmities and burdens of the aetas decrepita , as also a shock brought in “in its season” is at the highest point of ripeness; Job 30:2: “What (should) the strength of their hands profit me? as for them, their vigour is departed.” - Fl.)

With Job 30:3 begins a new clause. It is גּלמוּד , not גּלמוּדים , because the book of Job does not inflect this Hebraeo-Arabic word, which is peculiar to it (besides only Isaiah 49:21, גּלמוּדה ). It is also in Arab. more a substantive (stone, a mass) than an adj. (hard as stone, massive, e.g., Hist. Tamerlani in Schultens: Arab. 'l - ṣchr 'l - jlmûd , the hardest rock); and, similar to the Greek χέρσος (vid., Passow), it denotes the condition or attribute of rigidity, i.e., sterility, Job 3:7; or stiff as death, Job 15:34; or, as here, extreme weakness and incapability of working. The subj.: such are they, is wanting; it is ranged line upon line in the manner of a mere sketch, participles with the demonstrative article follow the elliptical substantival clause. The part. הערקים is explained by lxx, Targ., Saad. (Arab. fârrı̂n ), and most of the old expositors, after ערק , Arab. ‛araqa , fut. ya‛riq , fuge re, abire , which, however, gives a tame and - since the desert is to be thought of as the proper habitation of these people, be they the Seir remnant of the displaced Horites, or the Hauran ”races of the clefts” - even an inappropriate sense. On the contrary, ‛rq in Arab. (also Pael ‛arreq in Syriac) signifies to gnaw; and this Arabic signification of a word exclusively peculiar to the book of Job (here and Job 30:17) is perfectly suitable. We do not, however, with Jerome, translate: qui rodebant in solitudine (which is doubly false), but qui rodunt solitudinem , they gnaw the sunburnt parched ground of the steppe, stretched out there more like beasts than men (what Gecatilia also means by his Arab. lâzmû , adhaerent ), and derive from it their scanty food. אמשׁ שׁואה וּמשׁאה is added as an explanatory, or rather further descriptive, permutative to ציּה . The same alliterative union of substantives of the same root occurs in Job 38:27; Zephaniah 1:15, and a similar one in Nahum 2:11 ( בוקה ומבוקה ), Ezekiel 6:14; Ezekiel 33:29 ( שׁמה ומשׁמה ); on this expression of the superlative by heaping up similar words, comp. Ew. §313, c. The verb שׁאה has the primary notion of wild confused din (e.g., Isaiah 17:12.), which does not pass over to the idea of desolation and destruction by means of the intermediate notion of ruins that come together with a crash, but by the transfer of what is confusing to the ear to confusing impressions and conditions of all kinds; the desert is accordingly called also תּהוּ , Deuteronomy 32:10, from &#תּהה שׁאה (vid., Genesis, S. 93).

The noun אמשׁ nuon signifies elsewhere adverbially, in the past night, to grow night-like, and in general yesterday, according to which it is translated: the yesterday of waste and desolation; or, retaining the adverbial form: waste and desolation are of yesterday = long since. It is undeniable that מאתמוּל and אתמוּל , Isaiah 30:33; Micah 2:8, are used in the sense pridem (not only to-day, but even yesterday); but our poet uses תּמול , Job 8:9, in the opposite sense, non pridem (not long since, but only of yesterday); and it is more natural to ask whether אמשׁ then has not here the substantival signification from which it has become an adverb, in the signification nightly or yesterday. Since it originally signifies yesterday evening or night, then yesterday, it must have the primary signification darkness, as the Arab. ams is also traceable to the primary notion of the sinking of the sun towards the horizon; so that, consequently, although the usage of Arabic does not allow this sense,

(Note: Arab. ams is manifestly connected with Arab. ms' , msy , first by means of the IV form Arab. 'msy ; it has, however, like this, nothing to do with “darkness.” Arab. mas'â' is, according to the original sources of information, properly the whole afternoon until sunset; and this time is so called, because in it the sun Arab. tamsû or tamsı̂ , touches, i.e., sinks towards the horizon (from the root Arab. ms with the primary notion stringere, terere, tergere, trahere, prehendere, capere ). Just so they say Arab. 'l - šmsu tadluk , properly the sun rubs; Arab. taṣı̂f , connects itself; Arab. tušaffir , goes to the brink (Arab. šufr , šafı̂r ), all in the same signification. Used as a substantive, Arab. amsu followed by the genitive is la veille de ..., the evening before ... , and then generally, the day before ... , the opposite of Arab. gadu with the same construction, le lendemain de - . It is absolutely impossible that it should refer to a far distant past. On the contrary, it is always used like our “yesterday,” in a general sense, for a comparatively near past, or a past time thought of as near, as Arab. gd is used of a comparatively near future, or a future time thought of as near. Zamachschari in the Kesschâf on Sur. xvii. 25: It is a duty of children to take care of their aged parents, “because they are so aged, and to-day ( el - jauma ) require those who even yesterday ( bi - l - emsi ) were the most dependent on them of all God's creatures.” It never means absolutely evening or night. What Gesenius, Thes., cites as a proof for it from Vita Timuri, ii. 428 - a supposed Arab. amsı̂y , vespertinus - is falsely read and explained (as in general Manger's translation of those verses abounds in mistakes); - both line 1 and line 9, Arab. 'msy , IV form of ms' , is rhetorically and poetically (as “sister of Arab. kân ”) of like signification with the general Arab. kân or ṣâ r. An Arab would not be able to understand that אמשׁ שׁואה וּמשׁאה otherwise than: “on the eve of destruction and ruin,” i.e., at the breaking in of destruction and ruin which is just at hand or has actually followed rapidly upon something else. - Fl.)

it can be translated (comp. צלמות , Jeremiah 2:6), “the evening darkness (gloominess) of the waste and wilderness” ( אמשׁ as regens , Ew. §286, a). The Targ. also translated similarly, but take אמשׁ as a special attribute: חשׁוכא היך רוּמשׁא , “darkness like the late evening.” Olshausen's conjecture of ארץ makes it easier, but puts a word that affirms nothing in the place of an expressive one.

Job 30:4 tells what the scanty nourishment is which the chill, desolate, and gloomy desert, with its steppes and gorges, furnishes them. מלּוּח (also Talmudic, Syriac, and Arabic) is the orach, and indeed the tall shrubby orach, the so-called sea-purslain, the buds and young leaves of which are gathered and eaten by the poor. That it is not merely a coast plant, but grows also in the desert, is manifest from the narrative b. Kidduschin, 66 a: “King Jannai approached כוחלית in the desert, and conquered sixty towns there Ges. translates wrongly, captis LX talentis ; and on his return with great joy, he called all the orphans of Israel to him, and said: Our fathers ate מלוחים in their time when they were engaged with the building of the temple (according to Raschi: the second temple; according to Aruch: the tabernacle in the wilderness); we will also eat מלוחים in remembrance of our fathers! And מלוחים were served up on golden tables, and they ate.” The lxx translates, ἅλιμα (not: ἄλιμα ); as in Athenaeus, poor Pythagoreans are once called ἅλιμα τρώγοντες καὶ κακὰ τοιαῦτα συλλέγοντες .

(Note: Huldrich Zwingli, in the Greek Aldine of 1518 (edited by Andrea of Asola), which he has annotated throughout in the margin, one of the choicest treasures of the Zurich town library, explains ἅλιμα by θαλάσσια , which was natural by the side of the preceding περικυκλοῦντες . We shall mention these marginal notes of Zwingli now and again.)

The place where they seek for and find this kind of edible plant is indicated by &#עלי־שׂיח שׂיח is a shrub in general, but certainly pre-eminently the Arab. šı̂h , that perennial, branchy, woody plant of uncultivated ground, about two-thirds of a yard high, and the same in diameter, which is one of the greatest blessings of Syria and of the steppe, since, with the exception of cow and camel's dung, it is often the only fuel of the peasants and nomads, - the principal, and often in a day's journey the only, vegetation of the steppe, in the shade of which, then everything else is parched, a scanty vegetation is still preserved.

(Note: Thus Wetzstein in his Reise in den beiden Trachonon und um das Haurangebirge.)

The poor in search of the purslain surround this Arab. šı̂ḥ ( shı̂h ), and as Job 30:4 continues: the broom-root is their bread. Ges. understands לחמם according to Isaiah 47:14, where it is certainly the pausal form for לחמם (“there is not a coal to warm one's self”), and that because the broom-root is not eatable. But why should broom-root and not broom brushwood be mentioned as fuel? The root of the steppe that serves as fuel, together with the shı̂h , is called gizl (from גזל , to tear out), not retem , which is the broom (and is extraordinarily frequent in the Belka). The Arabs, however, not only call Genista monosperma so, but also Chamaerops humilis, a degenerate kind of which produces a kind of arrow-root which the Indians in Florida use.

(Note: The description of these eaters of the steppe plants corresponds exactly to the reality, especially if that race, bodily so inferior, is contrasted with the agricultural peasant, and some allowance is made for the figure of speech Arab. mubâlagat (i.e., a description in colours, strongly brought out), without which poetic diction would be flat and devoid of vividness in the eye of an Oriental. The peasant is large and strong, with a magnificent beard and an expressive countenance, while e.g., the Trachonites of the present day (i.e., the race of the W'ar, יער ), both men and women, are a small, unpleasant-looking, weakly race. It is certain that bodily perfection is a plant that only thrives in a comfortable house, and needs good nourishment, viz., bread, which the Trachonite of the present day very rarely obtains, although he levies heavy contributions on the harvest of the villagers. Therefore the roots of plants often serve as food. Two such plants, the gahh ( גח ) and the rubbe halı̂le ( רבּה חלילה ), are described by my Reisebericht. A Beduin once told me that it should be properly called rubh lêle ( רבח לילה ), “the gain of a supper,” inasmuch as it often takes the place of this, the chief meal of the day. To the genus rubbe belongs also the holêwâ ( חליוא ); in like manner they eat the bulbous plant, qotên ( קטין ); of another, the mesha‛ ( משׁע ), they eat leaves, stem, and root. I often saw the poor villagers (never Beduins) eat the broad thick fleshy leaves of a kind of thistle (the thistle is called Arab. šûk , shôk ), the name of which is ‛aqqub ( עקּוּב ); these leaves are a handbreadth and a half in length, and half a handbreadth in width. They gather them before the thorns on the innumerable points of the serrated leaves become strong and woody; they boil them in salt and water, and serve them up with a little butter. Whole tribes of the people of the Ruwala live upon the small brown seed (resembling mustard-seed) of the semh ( שׂמח ). The seeds are boiled up a pulp. - Wetzst.)

לחמם in the signification cibus eorum is consequently not incomprehensible. lxx (which throws Job 30:4 into sad confusion): οἳ καὶ ῥΊζας ξύλων ἐμασσῶντο .

(Note: Zwingli observes here: Sigma only once. Codd. Anex. and Sinait. have the reading εμασωντο , which he prefers.)

All the ancient versions translate similarly. One is here reminded of what Agatharchides says in Strabo concerning the Egyptio-Ethiopian eaters of the rush root and herb.

(Note: Vid., Meyer, Botanische Erläuterungen zu Strabons Geographie, S. 108ff.)

Verses 5-8

5 They are driven forth from society,

They cry after them as after a thief.

6 In the most dismal valleys they must dwell,

In holes of the earth and in rocks.

7 Among the bushes they croak,

Under nettles are they poured forth,

8 Sons of fools, yea sons of base men:

They are driven forth out of the land! -

If, coming forth from their lurking-places, they allow themselves to be seen in the villages of the plain or in the towns, they are driven forth from among men, e medio pelluntur (to use a Ciceronian phrase). גּו (Syr. gau , Arab. gaww , guww ) is that which is internal, here the circle of social life, the organized human community. This expression also is Hebraeo-Arabic; for if one contrasts a house of district with what is outside, he says in Arabic, jûwâ wa - barrâ , guwwâ wa - berrâ , within and without, or Arab. 'l - jûwâ - nı̂ wa - 'l - brrâ - nı̂ , el - guwwâni wa'l - berrâni , the inside and the outside. In Job 30:5, כּגּנּב , like the thief, is equivalent to, as after the thief, or since this generic Art. is not usual with us Germ. and Engl.: after a thief; French, on crie après eux comme après le voleur . In Job 30:6, לשׁכּן is, according to Ges. §132, rem. 1 (comp. on Habakkuk 1:17), equivalent to היוּ לשׁכּן , “they are to dwell” = they must dwell; it might also signify, according to the still more frequent usage of the language, habitaturi sunt ; it here, however, signifies habitandum est eis, as לבלום , Psalms 32:9, obturanda sunt . Instead of בּערוּץ with Shurek, the reading בּערוץ with Cholem (after the form סגור , Hosea 13:8) is also found, but without support. ארוּץ is either a substantive after the form גּבוּל (Ges., as Kimchi), or the construct of &#ערוּץ נערץ , feared = fearful, so that the connection of the words, which we prefer, is a superlative one: in horridissima vallium , in the most terrible valleys, as Job 41:22, acutissimae testarum (Ew., according to §313, c). The further description of the habitation of this race of men: in holes ( &#חרי בּחרי ) of the earth ( עפר , earth with respect to its constituent parts) and rocks (lxx τρῶγλαι πετρῶν ), may seem to indicate the aborigines of the mountains of the district of Seir, who are called החרים , τρωγλοδύνται (vid., Genesis, S. 507); but why not, which is equally natural, חורן , Ezekiel 47:16, Ezekiel 47:18, the “district of caverns,” the broad country about Bosra, with the two Trachônes ( τράχωνες ), of which the smaller western, the Legâ, is the ancient Trachonitis, and with Ituraea (the mountains of the Druses)?

(Note: Wetzstein also inclines to refer the description to the Ituraeans, who, according to Apuleius, were frugum pauperes , and according to others, freebooters, and are perhaps distinguished from the Arabes Trachonitae (if they were not these themselves), as the troglodytes are from the Arabs who dwell in tents (on the troglodytes in Eastern Hauran, vid., Reisebericht, S. 44, 126). “The troglodyte was very often able to go without nourishment and the necessaries of life. Their habitations are not unfrequently found where no cultivation of the land was possible, e.g., in Safa. They were therefore the rearers of cattle or marauders. The cattle-rearing troglodyte, because he cannot wander about from one pasture to another like the nomads who dwell in tents, often loses his herds by a failure of pasture, heavy falls of snow (which often produce great devastation, e.g., in Hauran), epidemics, etc. Losses may also arise from marauding attacks from the nomads. Still less is this marauding, which is at enmity with all the world, likely to make a race prosperous, which, like the troglodyte, being bound to a fixed habitation, cannot escape the revenge of those whom it has injured.” - Wetzst.)

As Job 6:5 shows, there underlies Job 30:7 a comparison of this people with the wild ass. The פּרא , ferâ, goes about in herds under the guidance of a so-called leader (vid., on Job 39:5), with which the poet in Job 24:5 compares the bands that go forth for forage; here the point of comparison, according to Job 6:5, is their bitter want, which urges from them the cry of pain; for ינהקוּ , although not too strong, would nevertheless be an inadequate expression for their sermo barbarus (Pineda), in favour of which Schlottmann calls to mind Herodotus' (iv. 183) comparison of the language of the Troglodyte Ethiopians with the screech of the night-owl ( τετρίγασι κατάπερ αι ̓ νυκτερίδες ). Among bushes (especially the bushes of the shih, which affords them some nourishment and shade, and a green resting-place) one hears them, and hears from their words, although he cannot understand them more closely, discontent and lamentation over their desperate condition: there, under nettles ( חרוּל , root חר , Arab. ḥrr , as urtica from urere ), i.e., useless weeds of the desert, they are poured forth, i.e., spread about in disorder. Thus most moderns take &#ספח שׁפך , Arab. sfḥ , comp. סרוּח , profusus , Amos 6:4, Amos 6:7, although one might also abide by the usual Hebrew meaning of the verb ספח (hardened from ספה ), adjungere, associare (vid., Habak. S. 88), and with Hahn explain: under nettles they are united together, i.e., they huddle together. But neither the fut. nor the Pual (instead of which one would expect the Niph. or Hithpa.) is favourable to the latter interpretation; wherefore we decide in favour of the former, and find sufficient support for a Hebr.-Arabic ספח in the signification effundere from a comparison of Job 14:19 and the present passage. Job 30:8, by dividing the hitherto latent subject, tells what sort of people they are: sons of fools, profane, insane persons (vid., on Psalms 14:1); moreover, or of the like kind ( גּם , not אף ), sons of the nameless, ignobilium or infamium , since בלי־שׁם is here an adj. which stands in dependence, not filii infamiae = infames (Hirz. and others), by which the second בני is rendered unlike the first. The assertion Job 30:8 may be taken as an attributive clause: who are driven forth ... ; but the shortness of the line and the prominence of the verb are in favour of the independence of the clause like an exclamation in its abrupt and halting form. נכּאוּ is Niph. of נכא נכה נכי ), root נך , to hew, pierce, strike.

(Note: The root Arab. nk is developed in Hebr. &#נכה הכּה , in Arab. naka'a and nakâ , first to the idea of outward injury by striking, hewing, etc.; but it is then also transferred to other modes of inflicting injury, and in Arab. nawika , to being injured in mind. The root shows itself in its most sensuous development in the reduplicated form Arab. naknaka , to strike one with repeated blows, fig. for: to press any one hard with claims. According to another phase, the obscene Arab. nâka , fut. i, and the decent Arab. nakaḥa , signify properly to pierce. - Fl.)

On הארץ , of arable land in opposition to the steppe, vid., on Job 18:17.

Verses 9-12

9 And now I am become their song,

And a by-word to them.

10 They avoid me, they flee far from me,

And spare not my face with spitting.

11 For my cord of life He hath loosed, and afflicted me,

Therefore they let loose the bridle recklessly.

12 The rabble presses upon my right hand,

They thrust my feet away,

And cast up against me their destructive ways.

The men of whom Job complains in this strophe are none other than those in the preceding strophe, described from the side of their coarse and degenerate behaviour, as Job 24:4-8 described them from the side of the wrong which was practised against them. This rabble, constitutionally as well as morally degraded, when it comes upon Job's domain in its marauding expeditions, makes sport of the sufferer, whose former earnest admonitions, given from sympathizing anxiety for them, seemed to them as insults for which they revenge themselves. He is become their song of derision ( נגינתם to be understood according to the dependent passage, Lamentations 3:14, and Psalms 69:13), and is למלּה to them, their θρύλλημα (lxx), the subject of their foolish talk ( מלּה - Arab. mille , not = melle , according to which Schultens interprets it, sum iis fastidio ). Avoiding him, and standing at a distance from him, they make their remarks upon him; and if they come up to him, it is only for the sake of showing him still deeper scorn: a facie ejus non cohibent sputam . The expositors who explain that, contrary to all decent bearing, they spit in his presence (Eichh., Justi, Hirz., Vaih., Hlgst.), or with Fie! spit out before him (Umbr., Hahn, Schlottm.), overlook the fact of its being מפּני , not לפני . The expression as it stands can only affirm that they do not spare his face with spitting (Jer. correctly: conspuere non veruntur ), so that consequently he is become, as he has complained in Job 17:6, a תּפת , an object of spitting (comp. also the declaration of the servant of Jehovah, Isaiah 50:6, which stands in close connection with this declaration of Job, according to previous explanations).

It now becomes a question, Who is the subj. in Job 30:11? The Chethib יתרו demands an attempt to retain the previous subj. Accordingly, most moderns explain: solvit unusquisque eorum funem suum , i.e., frenum suum, quo continebatur antea a me (Rosenm., Umbr., Stick., Vaih., Hlgst., and others), but it is to be doubted whether יתר can mean frenum ; it signifies a cord, the string of a bow, and of a harp. The reconciliation of the signification redundantia , Job 22:20, and funis , is, in the idea of the root, to be stretched tight and long.

(Note: The Arab. verb watara shows its sensuous primary signification in Arab. watarun , יתר , cord, bow-string, harp-string (Engl. string): to stretch tight, to extend, so that the thing continues in one line. Hence then Arab. watrun , witrun , separate, unequal, singulus , impar, opp. Arab. šaf‛un , bini , par , just as fard , single, separate, unequal ( opp. zaug , a pair, equal number), is derived from farada , properly, so to strain or stretch out, that the thing has no bends or folds; Greek εξαπλοῦν (as in the Shepherd of Hermas: ἐπάνω λεντίου ἐξηπλωμένον λίνον καρπάσινον ), an original transitive signification still retained in low Arabic (vid., Bocthor under Étendre and Déployer). Then from Arab. watara spring the secondary roots Arab. tatara and tarâ , which proceed from the VIII form ( ittatara ). The former ( tatara ) appears only in the Arab. adverb tatran and tatrâ , sigillatim, alii post alios , singly one after another, so that several persons or things form a row interrupted by intervals of space of time; the latter ( tara ) and its IV form ( atra ) are equivalent to wâtara , to be active at intervals, with pauses between, as the Arabs explain: ”We say Arab. atrâ of a man when he so performs several acts which do not directly follow one another, that there is always a [Arab.] fatrat , intermissio , between two acts.” Hence also &#תּרין תּרתּין , duals of an assumed sing. תּר , singulus ( um ), תּרתּ singula , therefore prop. duo singuli ( a) , duae singulae , altogether parallel to the like meaning thinâni ( ithnâni' , thinaini ( ithnaini ), שׁנים ; fem. thintâni ( ithnatâni ), thintaini ( ithnataini ), שׁתּים instead of שׁנתּים , from an assumed sing. thin - un ( ithn - un ), thint - un ( ithnat - un ), from Arab. tanâ , שׁנה , like bin ( ibn ), bint ( ibnat ), &#בּן בּת (= בּנת , hence בּתּי ) from Arab. banâ , בּנה .

The significations of watara which Freytag arranges under 1, 2, 3, 4, proceed from the transitive application of יתר , as the Italian soperchiare, soverchiare, from supra, to offend, insult; oltraggiare, outrager, from ultra; ὑβρίζειν from ὑπέρ . Similarly, Arab. tṭâwl ‛lı̂h and ‛stṭâl ‛lı̂h (form VI and X from ṭâl ), to act haughtily towards any one, to make him feel one's superiority, properly to stretch one's self out over or against any one.

But in another direction the signif. to be stretched out goes into: overhanging, surpassing, projecting, to be superfluous, and to be left over, περιττὸν εἶναι , to exceed a number or bulk, superare (comp. Italian soperchiare as intrans.), περιεῖναι , ὑπερεῖναι ; to prove, as result, gain, etc., περιεῖναι , etc. Similar is the development of the meaning of Arab. faḍala and of ṭâ'l , gain, use, from Arab. ṭâl , to be stretched out. In like manner, the German reich, reichlich rich, abundant, comes from the root reichen, recken to stretch, extend. - Fl.)

Hirz. therefore imagines the loosing of the cord round the body, which served them as a girdle, in order to strike Job with it. But whether one decides in favour of the Chethib יתרו or of the Keri יתרי , the persons who insult Job cannot in any case be intended. The isolated sing. form of the assertion, while the rabble is everywhere spoken of in the plur., is against it; and also the כּי , which introduces it, and after which Job here allows the reason to come in, why he is abandoned without any means of defence to such brutal misconduct. The subj. of Job 30:11 is God. If יתרו is read, it may not be interpreted: He hath opened = taken off the covering of His string (= bow) (Ew., Hahn, and similarly even lxx, Jer.), for יתר does not dignify the bow, but the string (Arab. muwattar‛ , stretched, of a bow); and while פּתח , Ezek. 21:33 (usually שׁלף or הריק ), can certainly be said of drawing a sword from its sheath, ערה is the appropriate and usual word (vid., Hab. S. 164) for making bare the bow and shield. Used of the bow-string, פּתּח signifies to loose what is strained, by sending the arrow swiftly forth from it, according to which, e.g., Elizabeth Smith translates: Because He hath let go His bow-string and afflicted me. One cannot, however, avoid feeling that ויּענּני is not a right description of the effect of shooting with arrows, whereas an idea is easily gained from the Keri יתרי , to which the description of the effect corresponds. It has been interpreted: He has loosed my rein or bridle, by means of which I hitherto bound them and held them in check; but יתר in the signification rein or bridle, is as already observed, not practicable. Better Capellus: metaphora ducta est ab exarmato milite, cujus arcûs solvitur nervus sicque inermis redditur ; but it is more secure, and still more appropriate to the ויענני which follows, when it is interpreted according to Job 4:21: He has untied (loosened) my cord of life, i.e., the cord which stretched out and held up my tent (the body) (Targ. similarly: my chain and the threads of my cord, i.e., surely: my outward and inward stay of life), and bowled me down, i.e., deprived me of strength (comp. Psalms 102:24); or also: humbled me. Even in this his feebleness he is the butt of unbridled arrogance: and they let go the bridle before me (not לפני , in my presence, but מפּני , before me, before whom previously they had respect; מפני the same as Leviticus 19:32), they cast or shake it off ( שׁלּח as Job 39:3, synon. of השׁליך ; comp. 1 Kings 9:7 with 2 Chronicles 7:20).

Is it now possible that in this connection פּרחח can denote any else but the rabble of these good-for-nothing fellows? Ewald nevertheless understands by it Job's sufferings, which as a rank evil swarm rise up out of the ground to seize upon him; Hahn follows Ew., and makes these sufferings the subj., as even in Job 30:11. But if we consider how Ew. translates: “they hung a bridle from my head;” and Hahn: “they have cast a bit before my face,” this might make us tired of all taste for this allegorical mode of interpretation. The stump over which they must stumble is Job 30:13, where all climax must be abandoned in order to make the words לא עזר למו intelligible in this allegorical connection. No indeed; פּרחח (instead of which פרחח might be expected, as supra , Job 3:5, כמרירי for כמרירי ) is the offspring or rabble of those fathers devoid of morals and honour, those צעירים of Job 30:1, whose laughing-stock Job is now, as the children of priests are called in Talmudic פּרחי כהנּה , and in Arabic farch denotes not only the young of animals, but also a rascal or vagabond. This young rabble rises על־ימין , on Job's right hand, which is the place of an accuser (Psalms 109:6), and generally one who follows him up closely and oppresses him, and they press him continually further and further, contending one foot's-breadth after another with him: רגלי שׁלּחוּ , my feet thrust them forth, protrudunt ( שׁלּח the same as Job 14:20). By this pressing from one place to another, a way is prepared for the description of their hostile conduct, which begins in Job 30:12 under the figure of a siege. The fut. consec. ויּסלּוּ , Job 30:12, is not meant retrospectively like ויענני , but places present with present in the connection of cause and effect (comp. Ew. 343, a). We must be misled by the fact that ויסלו , Job 19:12 (which see), was said of the host of sufferings which come against Job; here it is those young people who cast up the ramparts of misfortune or burdensome suffering ( איד ) against Job, which they wish to make him feel. The tradition, supported by the lxx, that Job had his seat outside his domain ἐπὶ τῆς κοπρίας , i.e., upon the mezbele , is excellently suited to this and the following figures. Before each village in Hauran there is a place where the households heap up the sweepings of their stalls, and it gradually reaches a great circumference, and a height which rises above the highest buildings of the village.

(Note: One ought to have a correct idea of a Hauranitish mezbele . The dung which is heaped up there is not mixed with straw, because in warm, dry countries no litter is required for the cattle, and comes mostly from single-hoofed animals, since small cattle and oxen often pass the nights on the pastures. It is brought in a dry state in baskets to the place before the village, and is generally burnt once every month. Moreover, they choose days on which the wind if favourable, i.e., does not cast the smoke over the village. The ashes remain. The fertile volcanic ground does not need manure, for it would make the seed in rainy years too luxuriant at the expense of the grain, and when rain fails, burnt it up. If a village has been inhabited for a century, the mezbele reaches a height which far surpasses it. The winter rains make the ash-heaps into a compact mass, and gradually change the mezbele into a firm mound of earth in the interior of which those remarkable granaries, biâr el - ghalle , are laid out, in which the wheat can be completely preserved against heat and mice, garnered up for years. The mezbele serves the inhabitants of the district as a watch-tower, and on close oppressive evenings as a place of assembly, because there is a current of air on the height. There the children play about the whole day long; there the forsaken one lies, how, having been seized by some horrible malady, is not allowed to enter the dwellings of men, by day asking alms of the passers-by, and at night hiding himself among the ashes which the sun has warmed. There the dogs of the village lie, perhaps gnawing at a decaying carcase that is frequently thrown there. Many a village of Hauran has lost its original name, and is called umm el - mezâbil from the greatness and number of these mounds, which always indicate a primitive and extensive cultivation for the villages. And many a more modern village is built upon an ancient mezbele , because there is then a stronger current of air, which renders the position more healthy. The Arabic signification of the root זבל seems to be similarly related to the Hebrew as that of the old Beduin seken ( שכן ), “ashes,” to the Hebrew and Arabic משכן , “a dwelling.” - Wetzst.)

Notwithstanding, everything is intelligible without this thoroughly Hauranitish conception of the scene of the history. Bereft of the protection of his children and servants, become an object of disgust to his wife, and an abhorrence to his brethren, forsaken by every attention of true affection, Job 19:13-19, Job lies out of doors; and in this condition, shelterless and defenceless, he is abandoned to the hideous malignant joy of those gipsy hordes which wander hither and thither.

Verses 13-15

The figure of a siege, which is begun with Job 30:12 and continued in Job 30:13, leaves us in no doubt concerning פּרץ רחב and שׁאה . The Targ. translates: like the force of the far-extending waves of the sea, not as though פּרץ could in itself signify a stream of water, but taking it as = פרץ מים , 2 Samuel 5:20 (synon. diffusio aquarum ). Hitzig's translation:

(Note: Vid., Deutsche Morgenländ. Zeitschr. ix. (1855), S. 741, and Proverbs, S. 11.)

“like a broad forest stream they come, like a rapid brook they roll on,” gives unheard-of significations to the doubtful words. In Job 16:14 we heard Job complain: He (Eloah) brake through me על־פני־פרץ פרץ , breach upon breach, - by the divine decrees of sufferings, which are completed in this ill-treatment which he receives from good-for-nothing fellows, he is become as a wall with a wide-gaping breach, through which they rush in upon him ( instar rupturae , a concise mode of comparison instead of tanquam per rupt .), in order to get him entirely into their power as a plaything for their coarse passions. שׁאה is the crash of the wall with the wide breaches, and תּחת שׁאה signifies sub fragore in a local sense: through the wall which is broken through and crashes above the assailants. There is no ground in Job 30:15 for dividing, with Umbreit, thus: He hath turned against me! Terrors drove away, etc., although this would not be impossible according to the syntax (comp. Genesis 49:22, בּנות צעדה ). It is translated: terrors are turned against me; so that the predicate stands first in the most natural, but still indefinite, personal form, Ges. §147, a, although בּלּהות might also be taken as the accus. of the object after a passive, Ges. §143, 1. The subj. of Job 30:15 remains the same: they (these terrors) drive away my dignity like the wind; the construction is like Job 27:20; Job 14:19; on the matter, comp. Job 18:11. Hirz. makes כּרוּח the subj.: quasi ventus aufert nobilitatem meam, in which case the subj. would be not so much ventus as similitudo venti , as when one says in Arabic, 'gâani kazeidin, there came to me one of Zeid's equals, for in the Semitic languages כּ has the manner of an indeclinable noun in the signification instar. But the reference to בלהות is more natural; and Hahn's objection, that calamity does not first, if it is there, drive away prosperity, but takes the place of that which is driven away, is sophisticated and inadequate, since the object of the driving away here is not Job's prosperity, but Job's נדיבה , appearance and dignity, by which he hitherto commanded the respect of others (Targ. רבּנוּתי ). The storms of suffering which pass over him take this nobility away to the last fragment, and his salvation - or rather, since this word in the mouth of an extra-Israelitish hero has not the meaning it usually otherwise has, his prosperous condition (from Arab. wasi‛a , amplum esse ) - is as a cloud, so rapidly and without trace (Job 7:9; Isaiah 44:22), passed away and vanished. Observe the music of the expression כּעב עברה , which cannot be reproduced in translation.

Verses 16-19

16 And now my soul is poured out within me,

Days of suffering hold me fast.

17 The night rendeth my bones from me,

And my gnawers sleep not.

18 By great force my garment is distorted,

As the collar of my shirt it encompasseth me.

19 He hath cast me into the mire,

And I am in appearance as dust and ashes.

With this third ועתּה (Job 30:1, Job 30:9) the elegiac lament over the harsh contrast between the present and the past begins for the third time. The dash after our translation of the second and fourth strophes will indicate that a division of the elegy ends there, after which it begins as it were anew. The soul is poured out within a man ( עלי as Job 10:1, Psychol. S. 152), when, “yielding itself without resistance to sadness, it is dejected to the very bottom, and all its organization flows together, and it is dissolved in the one condition of sorrow” - a figure which is not, however, come about by water being regarded as the symbol of the soul (thus Hitzig on Psalms 42:5), but rather by the intimate resemblance of the representation of a flood of tears (Lamentations 2:19): the life of the soul flows in the blood, and the anguish of the soul in tears and lamentations; and since the outward man is as it were dissolved in the gently flowing tears ( Isaiah 15:3), his soul flows away as it were in itself, for the outward incident is but the manifestation and result of an inward action. ימי־עני we have translated days of suffering, for עני , with its verb and the rest of its derivatives, is the proper word for suffering, and especially the passion of the Servant of Jehovah. Days of suffering - Job complains - hold him fast; עחז unites in itself, like החזיק , the significations prehendere and prehensum tenere . In Job 30:17 we must not, with Arnh. and others, translate: by night it (affliction) pierces ... , for עני does not stand sufficiently in the foreground to be the subject of what follows; it might sooner be rendered: by night it is pierced through (Targ., Rosenm., Hahn); but why is not לילה to be the subject, and נקּר consequently Piel (not Niph.)? The night has been personified already, Job 3:2; and in general, as Herder once said, Job is the brother of Ossian for personifications: Night (the restless night, Job 7:3, in which every malady, or at least the painful feeling of it, increases) pierces his bones from him, i.e., roots out his limbs (synon. בּדּים , Job 18:13) so inwardly and completely. The lepra Arabica (Arab. 'l - brṣ , el - baras ) terminates, like syphilis, with an eating away of the limbs, and the disease has its name Arab. juḏâm from jḏm , truncare , mutilare : it feeds on the bones, and destroys the body in such a manner that single limbs are completely detached.

In Job 30:17, lxx ( νεῦρα ), Parchon, Kimchi, and others translate ערקי according to the Targum. ערקין (= גּידים ), and the Arab. ‛rûq , veins, after which Blumenf.: my veins are in constant motion. But ערקי in the sense of Job 30:3: my gnawers (Jer. qui me comedunt , Targ. דּמעסּן יתי , qui me conculcant, conterunt ), is far more in accordance with the predicate and the parallelism, whether it be gnawing pains that are thought of - pains are unnatural to man, they come upon him against his will, he separates them from himself as wild beasts - or, which we prefer, those worms ( רמּה , Job 7:5) which were formed in Job's ulcers (comp. Aruch, ערקא , a leech, plur. ערקתא , worms, e.g., in the liver), and which in the extra-biblical tradition of Job's decease are such a standing feature, that the pilgrims to Job's monastery even now-a-days take away with them thence these supposedly petrified worms of Job.

(Note: In Mugir ed-dîn's large history of Jerusalem and Hebron ( kitâb el - ins el - gelı̂l ), in an article on Job, we read: God had so visited him in his body, that he got the disease that devours the limbs ( tegedhdhem ), and worms were produced ( dawwad ) in the wounds, while he lay on a dunghill ( mezbele ), and except his wife, who tended him, no one ventured to come too near him. In a beautiful Kurdic ballad “on the basket dealer” ( zembilfrosh ), which I have obtained from the Kurds in Salihîje, are these words:

Veki Gergis beshara beri

Jusuf veki abdan keri

Bikesr' Ejub kurman deri

toh anin ser sultaneti

to men chalaski 'j zahmeti .

“When they divided Gergîs with a saw

And sold Joseph like a slave,

When worms fed themselves in Job's body,

Then Thou didst guide them by a sure way:

Thou wilt also deliver me from need.”

More concerning these worms of Job in the description of the monastery of Job. - Wetzst.)

Job 30:18 would be closely and naturally connected with what precedes if לבוּשׁי could be understood of the skin and explained: By omnipotence (viz., divine, as Job 23:6, Ew. §270 a) the covering of my body is distorted, as even Raschi: משׁתנה גלד אחר גלד , it is changed, by one skin or crust being formed after another. But even Schultens rightly thinks it remarkable that לבושׁ , Job 30:18, is not meant to signify the proper upper garment but the covering of the skin, but כּתּנת , Job 30:18, the under garment in a proper sense. The astonishment is increased by the fact that התהפּשׂ signifies to disguise one's self, and thereby render one's self unrecognisable, which leads to the proper idea of לבושׁ , to a clothing which looks like a disguise. It cannot be cited in favour of this unusual meaning that לבושׁ is used in Job 41:5 of the scaly skin of the crocodile: an animal has no other לבושׁ but its skin. Therefore, with Ew., Hirz., and Hlgst., we take לבושׁ strictly: “by (divine) omnipotence my garment is distorted (becomes unlike itself), like the collar of my shirt it fits close to me.” It is unnecessary to take כּפי as a compound praep.: according to (comp. Zechariah 2:4; Malachi 2:9: ”according as”), in the sense of כּמו , as Job 33:6, since פּי כּתּנת is, according to the nature of the thing mentioned, a designation of the upper opening, by means of which the shirt, otherwise only provided with armholes (distinct from the Beduin shirt thôb , which has wide and long sleeves), is put on. Also, Psalms 133:2, פּי מדּותיו signifies not the lower edge, but the opening at the head פּי הראשׁע , Exodus 28:32) or the collar of the high priest's vestment (vid., the passage cited). Thus even lxx ὥσπερ τὸ περιστόμιον τοῦ χιτῶνός μου , and Jer.: velut capitio tunicae meae . True, Schlottm. observes against this rendering of Job 30:18, that it is unnatural according to substance, since on a wasted body it is not the outer garment that assumes the appearance of a narrow under one, but on the contrary the under garment assumes the appearance of a wide outer one. But this objection is not to the point. If the body is wasted away to a skeleton, there is an end to the rich appearance and beautiful flow which the outer garment gains by the full and rounded forms of the limbs: it falls down straight and in perpendicular folds upon the wasted body, and contributes in no small degree to make him whom one formerly saw in all the fulness of health still less recognisable than he otherwise is. יאזרני , cingit me , is not merely the falling together of the outer garment which was formerly filled out by the members of the body, but its appearance when the sick man wraps himself in it: then it girds him, fits close to him like his shirt-collar, lying round about the shrivelled figure like the other about a thin neck. On the terrible wasting away which is combined with hypertrophical formations in elephantiasis, vid., Job 7:15, and especially Job 19:20. The subject of Job 30:19 is God, whom Job 30:18 also describes as efficient cause: He has cast me into, or daubed

(Note: The reading wavers between הרני and הרני , for the latter form of writing is sometimes found even out of pause by conjunctive accents, e.g., 1 Samuel 28:15; Psalms 118:5.)

me with, mud, and I am become as ( כּ instead of the dat., Ew. §221, a) dust and ashes. This is also intended pathologically: the skin of the sufferer with elephantiasis becomes first an intense red, then assumes a black colour; scales like fishes' scales are formed upon it, and the brittle, dark-coloured surface of the body is like a lump of earth.

Verses 20-23

20 I cry to Thee for help, and Thou answerest not;

I stand there, and Thou lookest fixedly at me.

21 Thou changest Thyself to a cruel being towards me,

With the strength of Thy hand Thou makest war upon me.

22 Thou raisest me upon the stormy wind,

Thou causest me to drive along And vanish in the roaring of the storm.

23 For I know: Thou wilt bring me back to death,

Into the house of assembly for all living.

If he cries for help, his cry remains unanswered; if he stands there looking up reverentially to God (perhaps עמד , with משּׁוּע to be supplied, has the sense of desisting or restraining, as Genesis 29:35; Genesis 30:9), the troubling, fixed look of God, who looks fixedly and hostilely upon him, anything but ready to help (comp. Job 7:20; Job 16:9), meets his upturned eye. התבּנן , to look consideringly upon anything, is elsewhere joined with אל על עד , or even with the acc; here, where a motionless fixed look is intended, with בּ (= fi). It is impossible to draw the לא , Job 30:20, over to ותּתבּנן (Jer., Saad., Umbr., Welte, and others), both on account of the Waw consec. (Ew. §351 a), and on account of the separation by the new antecedent עמדתּי . On the reading of two Codd. ותתכנן (“Thou settest Thyself against me”), which Houbigant and Ew. prefer, Rosenm. has correctly pronounced judgment: est potius pro mendo habenda . Instead of consolingly answering his prayer, and instead of showing Himself willing to help, God, who was formerly so kind towards him, changes towards him, His creature, into a cruel being, saevum ( אכזר in the book of Job only here and Job 41:2, where it signifies “foolhardy;” comp. לאויב in the dependent passage, Isaiah 63:10), and makes war upon him ( שׂטם as Job 16:9) by causing him to feel the strength of His omnipotent hand ( עצם יד as Deuteronomy 8:17, synon. חזק ).

It is not necessary in Job 30:22 to forsake the accentuation, and to translate: Thou raisest me up, Thou causest me go in the wind (Ew., Hirz., and others); the accentuation of רוח is indeed not a disjunctive Dechî, but a conjunctive Tarcha, but preceded by Munach, which, according to the rule, Psalter ii. 500, §5, here, where two conjunctives come together, has a smaller conjunctive value. Therefore: elevas me in ventum, equitare facis me, viz., super ventum (Dachselt), for one does not only say הרכּיב על , 1 Chronicles 13:7, or ל , Psalms 66:12, but also אל , 2 Samuel 6:3; and accordingly תּשּׂאני אל־רוּח is also not to be translated: Thou snatchest me into the wind or storm (Hahn, Schlottm.), but: Thou raisest me up to the wind or storm, as upon an animal for riding (Umbr., Olsh.). According to Oriental tradition, Solomon rode upon the east wind, and in Arabic they say of one who hurried rapidly by, racab al - genâhai er - rih , he rides upon the wings of the wind; in the present passage, the point of comparison is the being absolutely passively hurried forth from the enjoyment of a healthy and happy life to a dizzy height, whence a sudden overthrow threatens him who is unwillingly removed (comp. Psalms 102:11, Thou hast lifted me up and hurled me forth).

The lot which threatens him from this painful suspense Job expresses ( Job 30:22) in the puzzling words: וּתמגגני תשׁיּה . Thus the Keri, after which lxx transl. (if it has not read מישׁוּעה ), καὶ ἀπέῤῥηιψάς με ἀπὸ σωτηρίας . The modern expositors who follow the Keri, by taking ותמגגני for ותמגג לי (according to Ges. §121, 4), translate: Thou causest counsel and understanding (Welte), happiness (Blumenf.), and the like, to vanish from me; continuance, existence, duration would be better (vid., Job 6:13, and especially on Job 26:3). The thought it appropriate, but the expression is halting. Jerome, who translates valide , points to the correct thing, and Buxtorf (Lex. col. 2342f.) by interpreting the not less puzzling Targum translation in fundamento = funditus or in essentia = essentialiter , has, without intending it, hit upon the idea of the Hebr. Keri; תשׁיּה is intended as a closer defining, or adverbial, accusative: Thou causest me to vanish as to existence, ita ut tota essentia pereat h.e. totaliter et omnino . Perhaps this was really the meaning of the poet: most completely, most thoroughly, altogether, like the Arab. ḥaqqan . But it is unfavourable to this Keri, that תושׁיה (from the verb ושׁי ), as might be expected, is always written plene elsewhere; the correction of the תשׁוה is violent, and moreover this form, correctly read, gives a sense far more consistent with the figure, Job 30:22. Ges., Umbr., and Carey falsely read תּשׁוּה , terres me; this verb is unknown in Hebr., and even in Chaldee is only used in Ithpeal, אשׁתּוי (= Hebr. חרד ); for a similar reason Böttcher's תּשׁוה (which is intended to mean: in despair) is also not to be used. Even Stuhlmann perceived that תשׁוה is equivalent to תּשׁוּאה ; it is, with Ew. and Olsh., to be read תּשׁוּה (not with Pareau and Hirz. תּשׁוה without the Dag.), and this form signifies, as תשׁואה , Job 36:29, from &#שׁוא שׁאה , from which it is derived by change of consonants, the crash of thunder, or even the rumbling or roar as of a storm or a falling in ( procellae sive ruinae ). The meaning is hardly, that he who rides away upon the stormy wind melts and trickles down like drops of rain among the pealing of the thunder, when the thunder-storm, whose harbinger is the stormy wind, gathers; but that in the storm itself, which increases in fury to the howling of a tempest, he dissolves away. תּשׁוּה for בּתּשׁוּה , comp. Psalms 107:26: their soul melted away (dissolved) בּרעה . The compulsory journey in the air, therefore, passes into nothing or nearly nothing, as Job is well aware, Job 30:23: “for I know: (without כּי , as Job 19:25; Ps. 9:21) Thou wilt bring me back to death” ( acc. of the goal, or locative without any sign). If תּשׁיבני is taken in its most natural signification reduces, death is represented as essentially one with the dust of death (comp. Job 1:21 with Genesis 3:19), or even with non-existence, out of which man is come into being; nevertheless השׁיב can also, by obliterating the notion of return, like redigere , have only the signification of the turn of destiny and change of condition that is effected. The assertion that שׁוּב always includes an “again,” and retains it inexorably (vid., Köhler on Zechariah 13:7, S. 239), is untenable. In post-biblical Hebrew, at least, it is certain that שׁוּב signifies not only ”to become again,” but also “to become,” as Arab. ‛âd is used as synon. of jâ'in , devenir .

(Note: Vid., my Anekdota der mittelalterlichen Scholastik unter Juden und Moslemen, S. 347.)

With מות , the designation of the condition, is coupled the designation of the place: Hades (under the notion of which that of the grave is included) is the great involuntary rendezvous of all who live in this world.

Verses 24-27

The further progress of the thoughts seems to be well carried out only by our rendering of Job 30:24. The manifestation of feeling - Job means to say - which he himself felt at the misfortune of others, will be still permitted to him in his own misfortune, the seeking of compassion from the sympathising: or have I not wept for the hard of day? i.e., him whose lot in life is hard (comp. Arab. qası̂y , durus , miser); did not my soul grieve for the needy? Here, also, לא from Job 30:25 continues its effect (comp. Job 3:10; Job 28:17); עגם is ἅπ. γεγρ. , of like signification with אגם , whence אגם Isaiah 19:10, אגמה (sadness) b. Moëd katan 14 b, Arab. agima , to feel disgust. If the relation of Job 30:25 to Job 30:24 is confirmatory, Job 30:26 and what follows refers directly to Job 30:24: he who felt sympathy with the sufferings of others will nevertheless dare in his own affliction to stretch out his hand for help in the face of certain ruin, and pour forth his pain in lamentation; for his affliction is in reality inexpressibly great: he hoped for good (for the future from his prosperous condition, in which he rejoiced),

(Note: lxx Aldina: ἐγὼ δὲ ἀπέχων ἀγαθοῖς , which Zwingli rightly corrects ἐπέχων ( Codd. Vat., Alex., and Sinait.).)

then came evil; and if I waited for light, deep darkness came. Ewald (§232, h) regards ואיחלה as contracted from ואיחלה , but this shortening of the vowel is a pure impossibility. The former signifies rather καὶ ἤλπιζον or ἐβουλόμην ἐλπίζειν , the latter καὶ ἤλπισα , and that cohortative fut. logically forms a hypothetical antecedent, exactly like Job 19:18, if I desire to rise ( אקומה ), they speak against me (vid., Ew. §357, b). In feverish heat and anxiety his bowels were set boiling ( רתח as Job 41:23, comp. Talmud. רתחן , a hot-headed fellow), and rested not (from this boiling). The accentuation Tarcha, Mercha, and Athnach is here incorrect; instead of Athnach, Rebia mugrasch is required. Days of affliction came upon him ( קדּם as Psalms 18:6), viz., as a hostile power cutting off the previous way of his prosperity.

Verses 28-31

Now for the first time he speaks of his disfigurement by leprosy in particular: my skin ( עורי , masc., as it is also used in Job 19:26, only apparently as fem.) is become black ( nigruit) from me, i.e., being become black, has peeled from me, and my bones ( עצמי , construed as fem. like Job 19:20; Psalms 102:6) are consumed, or put in a glow ( חרה , Milel, from חרר , as Ezekiel 24:11) by a parching heat. Thus, then, his harp became mournful, and his pipe ( ועגבי with ג raphatum ) the cry of the weepers; the cheerful music (comp. Job 21:12) has been turned into gloomy weeping and sobbing (comp. Lamentations 5:15). Thus the second part of the monologue closes. It is somewhat lengthened and tedious; it is Job's last sorrowful lament before the catastrophe. What a delicate touch of the poet is it that he makes this lament, Job 30:31, die away so melodiously! One hears the prolonged vibration of its elegiac strains. The festive and joyous music is hushed; the only tones are tones of sadness and lament, mesto, flebile .

Copyright Statement
The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Job 30". Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary. 1854-1889.