Sunday, May 24, 2009

Job 22 - Eliphaz' last stand

Eliphaz (my opinion contra TS) has reached exasperation and accuses Job of sin in all its forms. TS thinks Eliphaz has been quoting big chunks of Job. This conversation includes some quotes from Job, turned around on him, but not such large chunks as several verses in a row. There are just too many for it to be heard effectively.

It is confusing to the reader that there are no discourse markers - so an aurally creative reading approach is required. How does one 'see' emotion, exasperation, irony, confrontation and so on in an unmarked text? It must be acted and heard - not seen. (Companion psalms 2 and 24 - the ancients knew how to use the mythological framework of creation.)

Note I have had to play with שלם (shlm) between the negative or ambivalent aspect of compensation (recompense/repay) and the positive wholeness or peace - easier glosses to associate with this word. So in this and the last post, 'pay' provides the aural link, where peace may in fact be the result anyway.

My glosses and my glossolalia are far from perfect. I wonder what to do when a verb has to be found for 'setting' a heart on someone (Job 7:17), and setting a hand for correction or the role of intermediary (9:33), and also setting gold (or whatever it is) as dust (22:24), and setting someone by (10:20), and setting a time (14:13) - and you can't use 'set' because you have already overused it! So I 'fixed' these places in chapters 7, 9, 10, 14 after some fixation on them (that word 'fix' and related English roots will stand out in the poem where the effect of 'set' quickly evaporates).

And Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said
Will a warrior be profitable for the One
as insight is profitable to itself?
Is it the desire of the Sufficient that you be just
or is it gain that complete are your ways?
will he from your fear reprove you
will he come with you to judgment?
is not your wickedness great
and is there no termination to your iniquities?

for you have bound your brother for nothing
and the cloak of the naked you have stripped
no water to the weary do you give for moistening
and from the famished you withhold bread

but a man of arms to him is the earth
and one whose face is lifted up sits there
widows you have sent away empty
and the arms of the orphan are crushed

therefore on your every side are traps
and dread dismays you suddenly
or darkness you do not see
and abundance of waters covers you

Is not God high in heaven
and see the head of the stars so exalted
and you say - "how does the One know
how through murk can he judge?
clouds concealing him so he does not see
and the circle of heaven he walks"

the path of the age - have you watched it
that iniquitous males walk?
seized out of time
a stream poured on their foundation

"Who said to the One - turn from us"
- so what can the Sufficient do for them?
"yet he filled their houses as good"
and the counsel of the wicked is far from me?

The just see and rejoice
and the innocent "deride" them
why is our rising not cut off
while their uniqueness fire consumes?

Find profit please with him and be at peace
with these good will come to you
take please from his mouth instruction
and set his words in your heart

If you return to the Sufficient you will be built
let injustice be far from your tents
and fix treasure as dust
and in the stones of the torrents, Ophir

And the Sufficient will become your treasure
and silver from great effort will be yours
for then in the Sufficient is your delight
and you will lift up your face to God

You will supplicate him and he will hear
and your vows you will pay
then you will decree a word and it will arise for you
and on your ways light will shine

For they cast down and you will say "esteem"
and the downcast of eye he will save
he will allow escape of the land of the innocent(1)
and he is made to escape by the purity of your open hands

(1) Perhaps TS has it with 'the innocent delivers the land'. To do this one must ignore the Masoretic markings. There could be many more notes - but I must press on. The dialogue only gets more fractured if I anticipate Cheney's conclusions...

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