Thursday, February 5, 2009

My first cut at Job 19

I am not completely happy with my prior provocation on Job 19. Who can deal with such a poem! But here's a slightly less provocative first cut. [second pass here] I had a look at a few commentaries and translations:

The Book of Job, A New Commentary (1967) by N. H. Tur Sinai (he suggests the questions in verses 4 and 5)
and Job 1-20 J. A. Clines and one other little one that I glanced at standing up in the stacks that I can't remember.

Cline seemed traditional to me and I left it on the shelf. I still have to read the details of Tur Sinai. It is important for me to fight with the text and the lexicons before reading someone else's analysis. There is a little suggestive coloring for what are the same words in the Hebrew. Apart from this I have not observed any significant structural aspects that would help put verses 25-26 in context.

The fact that the NT authors did not pick up on these verses leads me to think that subsequent generations including Handel have overestimated their 'meaning'.

1. And Job answered and said

2. How long will you grieve me
and crush me with platitudes

3. Ten times you batter me with calumny
Are you not ashamed to slight me?

4. And indeed truly have I strayed?
Does my fault lie with me?

5. Or truly against me do you gloat
and determine against me my reproach?

6. Know this indeed - that God bends me
and in his trap against me strikes

7. See! I cry out - violence! and I am not heard
I shout and there is no judgment

8. My path he has shut off and I pass not
and in my ways he puts darkness

9. My glory from me he has stripped
and he removed the halo of my head

10. He demolished me all around and I am gone
and he uprooted as a tree my hope

11. And he burns against me his wrath
and takes me as his adversary

12. As one come his troops
and raise against me their way
and camp around my tent

13. My brothers from me he made distant
and whom I know indeed is estranged from me

14. Failed are those near me and
whom I know have forgotten me

15. Those who live in my house
and my maids as a stranger consider me
an alien I have become in their eyes

16. To my servant I call and he does not answer
with my mouth I entreat him

17. My breath is strange to my wife
and I entreat the children of my belly

18. Even the unweaned reject me
I rise and they speak against me

19. All my intimate friends abhor me
and those I love turn from me

20. To my skin and to my flesh my bones cling
and I am stuck in the skin of my teeth

21. Be gracious, be gracious, you my friends
for the hand of God has touched me

22. Why do you hound me as if God
and with my flesh are not satisfied?

23. If only it was now my sayings were written
if only it was in a book they were inscribed

24. With a pen of iron and lead
for ever in the rock engraved

25. And I - I know my vindicating of life
and at the last on dust it will rise

26. and after this my skin stripped
and from my flesh I will see God

27. whom I - I will see for myself
and my eyes will gaze and not another
fired my own fires within me

28. For you should say - why do we hound him?
For the root of the thing is determined in me

29. Take care, for you are in the presence of the sword
for wrath is the effect of the sword
so you know there is a judge

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