Saturday, April 25, 2009

Job 12

And Job answered and said
Truly you are the people(1)
and with you is complete wisdom(2)
But I have a heart as well as you
I myself do not fall behind you(3)
and is there anyone who is not like these?

A laugh to his neighbor am I
"called on God and he answered him"(4)
a laugh, the one who is just and complete
a contemptuous lamp in the thought of one at ease
prepared for those whose feet are slipping
The tents of robbers are safe
they who provoke the One are trustworthy
whatever God brings to their hand

"nevertheless ask please Behemoth and she will instruct you(5)
and a bird of the heavens and he will tell you
or complain to the earth and it will instruct you
and the fishes of the sea will recount it to you"
who does not know among all these
that the hand of יְהוָה has done this?

"In his hand is the being of every life
and the breath of all the flesh of a man"
Does not the ear scrutinize speeches
and the palate its food taste?

"with the aged is wisdom
and with length of days acumen
with him is wisdom and power
of him is counsel and acumen"
Lo - he overthrows and it will not be built
he shuts a man up and it will not be opened
Lo - he withholds in the waters and they dry up
he sends them out and they ravage(6) earth

With him is might and success
of him is the stray and the strange(7)
He leads counselors away plundered
and makes judges dunderheads(8)
mentor of kings he opens
and ties their loins with a girdle
he leads priests away plundered
and the perennial(9) he distorts
he turns lips from those who have faith in themselves
and the discretion of the aged he takes away
he pours contempt on nobles
and the dam of the stream he lets it be
he reveals the deep things out of darkness
and brings them forth in the light of obscurity
increasing the nations to make them perish
spreading out the nations to guide them
he turns away the heart of the head of the people of the earth
and makes them wander formless without a way
they grope darkness without light
and he makes them wander like a drunkard

(1) assuming the definite article which is not in the Hebrew per TS
(2) reading the vowels differently (per TS)
(3) TS suggests make fall, נפל (traditionally rendered inferior) be considered as separate or different (from פלה). Reasoning unclear to me but the sense is similar. I prefer the NEB 'fall behind' which I noted this morning in Church - reading when I should have been listening.
(4) NEB reads afflicted instead of answered. It does not seem necessary to amend the text. The sarcasm and quoting of prior conversation can be read. It takes a performer to mimic.
(5) to match Behemoth in chapter 40 (so Good, In Turns of Tempest, A Reading of Job) - note plural antecedent, singular verb
(6) הפך used 12 times in Job and I am going to give it a different gloss for every usage except in the same speech, poem or strophe - obscuring its thread (Job 9:5, 19:19, 20:4, 28:5, 28:9, 30:15, 30:21, 34:25, 37:12, 38:14, 41:28).
(7) TS has aberration and derangement; JB beguiler and beguiled; Clines: in his power are the deceiver and the deceived.
(8) The Hebrew also rhymes
מֹולִיךְ יֹועֲצִים שֹׁולָל וְֽשֹׁפְטִים יְהֹולֵל , shulal with cholul
(9) Difficult word - perennial (also Job 33:19) - Clines: brings to ruin men long established, TS: distorts (the words of) the truthful-with some emendation of the text; JB: overthrows established powers.
Complementary psalm - 107.

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