Thursday, May 14, 2009

Job 17

Job 17 is the second part of Job's response to the second speech of Eliphaz.

my spirit is bound
my days are extinguished
it's the tombs for me
are there not jesters against me?
and in their provocation do my eyes not lodge?

Set out please - you be my guarantor
who is he that will strike my hand?
(for their heart you have treasured from intelligence
you will not lift them up)
flattery he tells to friends(1)
and the eyes of his children are consumed

He has exhibited me as a parable of the peoples
and spittle in the face I am become
weak from grief is my eye
and my features as a shadow - all of them

the upright will be appalled at this
and the innocent will rouse the hypocrite
the just one will grasp his way
and the clean of hands will add strength
nevertheless for all of them(2)
you return and you come please
for I will not find among you a wise one

my days are passed
my plans are uprooted
the possession of my heart
night to day they set out
light near from the face of darkness
if I expect Sheol my house
in the darkness I spread my bed

to the pit I called - my father are you
my mother and my sister - to the worm
and where now is my hope?
and my hope - who will look on it?
in the solitude of Sheol they will descend
in unity
in the dust

(1) Traditionally translated 'flattery'. We will see the word 4 more times, finally at the beginning of the youthful Elihu's speech - let's wait. I think it is the partial truths that are taught that cause the failure of the children's eyes.
(2) TS and Clines both amend to you. TS reforms the words from כלם תשבו ובאו נא to כל מת שבו ובאו נא. But ye, whenever (ye want) come back again.
(3) I think it is fitting instead of reconstructing the last stichoi to leave the fragmentation where it seems to be. There are aspects of this part that are disconnected.

I notice a review of a new book on Job David B. Burrell, Deconstructing Theodicy: Why Job Has Nothing to Say to the Puzzle of Suffering Reviewed by F. Rachel Magdalene - the review is interesting. Augustine, Aquinas, and Wittgenstein go up in my estimation. But I am sure the book itself would leave me behind. I dig in the primary sources even with a dull shovel. I remember a book title from the 50s by Buckminster Fuller - No more Secondhand God. Great title. If I read the whole book, I don't remember a word of it - but the title stayed.

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