Sunday, April 12, 2009

Job 7

I stopped mid-strophe in my last post - the job of Job is increasingly difficult for me as I research more books. Also I am testing ways of seeing as I go (with a little success). I repeated all of chapter 7 here since it is a closed circle. The next speaker will pick up phrases of the first and last verses.

Do you think Job is portrayed as outside of the Davidic covenant? His lament has no apparent recourse as do the laments in the Psalms. But see Psalm 144:3-4 and also Psalm 8:4.

Is it not the press-gang for a mortal on earth
like the days of a mercenary, his days?
like a slave, he longs for a shadow
like a mercenary, he expects work

So there is to me a torrent of empty months
and nights of misery are set for me
when I lie down, I say
when shall I arise and the dusk be tossed
and I am sated with tossing till twilight

Clothed is my flesh, worms and clods of dust
my skin split and repugnant
my days swifter than a weaver's shuttle
and they are consumed in terminating hope

Remember that but a breath is my life
my eye will not return back to see good
the eye of my seer will not look on me
your eyes on me and there is no me

a mist consumes and it goes(1)
so one descending to Sheol will not make an offering
he will no longer return to his house
and his place will no longer recognize him

so as for me I will not spare my mouth
I will speak in the trouble of my breath
I will complain in the bitterness of my being
Am I the sea or a sea monster that you put a watch on me?

When I say my bed will comfort me
and my couch will lift my complaint
then you break me with dreams
and with visions terrify me

My being would chose strangling
and death than my body
Enough! - I will not live for ever(2)
Cease from me - for my days are vanity(3)

What is a mortal that you make him great
and that you fix on him your heart
and that you visit him every morning
and every moment scrutinize him?
How long till you not stare at me
or let me be till I swallow my spit?

I have sinned? what do I do to you, keeper of the human?(4)
or why have you set me as your target
so that I am to myself a heavy load?(5)
And why not lift up my transgression
and pass over my iniquity?(6)
for now in the dust I will lie down
and early you will seek me and there is no me

(1) every other translation I have seen so far puts these verbs in the passive - but they are not niphal - why would I read the qal as passive?
(2) enough - literally 'I reject', but Tur Sinai suggests dropping the aleph from מָאַסְתִּי and reading as an exclamation
(3) vanity - הבל the name of Abel, I have distinguished it in this chapter from שוא Shv in verse 3 which I translated empty and also from רוח Ruach, wind, spirit, which here is 'but a breath'. I would like to play more with the breeziness and transience of Havel - but maybe - when we finish this labour, we will find a way to write a poem on Job.
(4) both Tur Sinai and Clines have this as an implied question
(5) both the above have to you instead of to me. Apparently the imputation that we are a burden to God was too much for the Masoretes.
(6) yes it's the same verb as in Exodus.

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