Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Job 15:1-16

I am really curious to find out what happens, aren't you? Is there progress in this dialogue? Can they keep it up? Is there any observable micro pattern to the speeches?

And Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said
Should one who is wise answer windy knowledge
and fill his belly with the east wind(1)
to reason with a word without profit
and from speeches where he will not benefit?

Indeed you! You frustrate fear
and diminish prayer before God
for your mouth teaches iniquity
and you chose the tongue of the subtle
your own mouth condemns you and not I
and your own lips answer you

Are you the first human to be born
or before the hills were you writhing?(5)
the intimacy of God have you heard
and do you diminish to yourself wisdom?
what do you know that we do not know
what do you understand that it is not in us?

Both gray-haired and aged
with us are more in years than your father!(2)
Are the comforts of the One of little account in you -
and a word of gentleness with you?(3)
Why does your heart take you away
and why do your eyes scowl(4)
that you turn against the One your wind
and let forth from your mouth such speeches?

What is the mortal that he be clean
or just who is born of woman?
Lo he puts no faith in his holy ones
and the heavens are not bright in his eyes
how much more abhorrent and corrupt is a man drinking injustice like water(6)

(1) This phrase per Clines may be quite rude.
(2) How often have we heard this excuse in place of reason - "I am older than you"?
(3) TS has this as a comment on the dream sequence in chapter 4:12 which he attributes to Job. So he translates: has the god concealed anything from you? I find the reconstruction too perplexing to follow. Clines has 'speech that deals gently with you'. I would have liked to hear the 'sigh' in parallel with 'consolation' - but for the moment I cannot see it. I don't see gentle here either - it seems out of character for Eliphaz.
(4) scowl - from scripture4all - one of my cheat sheets. TS has weakened which Clines likes also. But I can understand a scowl. It is also an excuse for chiding from Eliphaz.
(5) see the next post for the recurrence
(6) strange hyphen joining man to drinking here - I note also that I no adequate words yet for ish, enosh, geber, and adam in the poem - man, each, human, mortal, warrior?

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