Thursday, May 7, 2009

Job 15:17-35

I will declare to you - hear me
this I have discerned and will recount
which the wise have made known
and their fathers did not hide it from them(1)
to them, to them alone the earth was given
and no stranger passed among them

All the days of the wicked he himself writhes(7)
and the number of years is treasured from the ruthless
a sound of dreadful things in his ears
in peace a robber comes upon him
He does not believe that he himself will return from darkness
and being watched he himself is for the sword
chased, he himself is bread for the vulture(2)

he knows that prepared in his hand is the day of darkness
trouble and anguish terrify him
they will prevail against him
even as a king-hero ready for battle
for he stretched out his hands against the One
and against the Sufficient made himself great

He runs on him in armored-neck(3)
with the thick body of his shield
he covers his face with fat and greases the flank(4)
and he dwells in hidden cities
houses where they sit not
which are ready to be rubble

He will not be rich and his wealth will not arise
nor will he stretch out on the earth his contribution
he will not turn away from darkness
flame will dry his branches(5)
and he will turn away by the breath of his mouth

Let not the wanderer have faith in emptiness
for emptiness will be the recompense
not in his day will it be filled
and his branch will not be green
he will expel like the vine his sour grape
and he will cast off as the olive his blossom

for the company of a hypocrite is barren
and fire consumes the tents of bribery(6)
to conceive misery - to birth iniquity
and their belly prepares deceit

(1) TS says to read כחדום אבותם for כחדו מאבותם just moving the space.
(2) the next two verses are impossible. If I should live so long as to approach this poem a second time - say when I am 6, then maybe I will be able to justify another guess. The list of suggestions and emendations is as long as an arm, even in the few books I have. It seems, with TS, good to link this to chapter 3 and the revolution of Leviathan. But Clines has a simpler resolution to the odd 'where'? in the middle of the sentence - reading it with the LXX as vultures.
(3) There some sense in this parallel to shields - suggested by TS. I want to keep the sound 'neck' since there are necks to come.
(4) for swimming to get to the battle
(5) compare Song 8:6 - there is one flame
(6) TS has 'unbelievers' - he considers bribery a mistranslation of an original Aramaic word in the text
(7) see the previous post for the recurrence

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