Job 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42
וַיַּעַן אִיֹּוב וַיֹּאמַֽר׃
שָׁמַעְתִּי כְאֵלֶּה רַבֹּות מְנַחֲמֵי עָמָל כֻּלְּכֶֽם׃
הֲקֵץ לְדִבְרֵי־רוּחַ אֹו מַה־יַּמְרִֽיצְךָ כִּי תַעֲנֶֽה׃
גַּם ׀ אָנֹכִי כָּכֶם אֲדַבֵּרָה לוּ־יֵשׁ נַפְשְׁכֶם תַּחַת נַפְשִׁי אַחְבִּירָה עֲלֵיכֶם בְּמִלִּים וְאָנִיעָה עֲלֵיכֶם בְּמֹו רֹאשִֽׁי׃
אֲאַמִּצְכֶם בְּמֹו־פִי וְנִיד שְׂפָתַי יַחְשֹֽׂךְ׃
אִֽם־אֲדַבְּרָה לֹא־יֵחָשֵׂךְ כְּאֵבִי וְאַחְדְּלָה מַה־מִנִּי יַהֲלֹֽךְ׃
If I speak, my grief is not lessened, and if I stop, what from me has caused to go?
Paraphrase: But if I try to speak soothing words to myself, it doesn’t help at all. You all still condemn me for speaking disrespectfully to God. If I restrain myself from speaking, then how am I the better for that? I am condemned if I speak and condemned if I don’t.
אַךְ־עַתָּה הֶלְאָנִי הֲשִׁמֹּותָ כָּל־עֲדָתִֽי׃
וַֽתִּקְמְטֵנִי לְעֵד הָיָה וַיָּקָם בִּי כַחֲשִׁי בְּפָנַי יַעֲנֶֽה׃
You have seized me; for a witness it was, and it has gone up against me; my leanness before my face has caused to answer.
Paraphrase: You have grabbed me and made me a witness against myself. My emaciated condition and protruding bones testify to my guilt.
אַפֹּו טָרַף ׀ וַֽיִּשְׂטְמֵנִי חָרַק עָלַי בְּשִׁנָּיו צָרִי ׀ יִלְטֹושׁ עֵינָיו לִֽי׃
פָּעֲרוּ עָלַי ׀ בְּפִיהֶם בְּחֶרְפָּה הִכּוּ לְחָיָי יַחַד עָלַי יִתְמַלָּאֽוּן׃
יַסְגִּירֵנִי אֵל אֶל עֲוִיל וְעַל־יְדֵי רְשָׁעִים יִרְטֵֽנִי׃
שָׁלֵו הָיִיתִי ׀ וַֽיְפַרְפְּרֵנִי וְאָחַז בְּעָרְפִּי וַֽיְפַצְפְּצֵנִי וַיְקִימֵנִי לֹו לְמַטָּרָֽה׃
יָסֹבּוּ עָלַי ׀ רַבָּיו יְפַלַּח כִּלְיֹותַי וְלֹא יַחְמֹול יִשְׁפֹּךְ לָאָרֶץ מְרֵרָֽתִי׃
יִפְרְצֵנִי פֶרֶץ עַל־פְּנֵי־פָרֶץ יָרֻץ עָלַי כְּגִבֹּֽור׃
שַׂק תָּפַרְתִּי עֲלֵי גִלְדִּי וְעֹלַלְתִּי בֶעָפָר קַרְנִֽי׃
פָּנַי [חֳמַרְמְרָה כ] (חֳמַרְמְרוּ ק) מִנִּי־בֶכִי וְעַל עַפְעַפַּי צַלְמָֽוֶת׃
עַל לֹא־חָמָס בְּכַפָּי וּֽתְפִלָּתִי זַכָּֽה׃
אֶרֶץ אַל־תְּכַסִּי דָמִי וְֽאַל־יְהִי מָקֹום לְזַעֲקָתִֽי׃
Oh earth, do not cover my blood and may it not be a place for my cry.
Paraphrase: Oh earth, you have seen my innocence. If I should die before I am vindicated, please do not cover up my blood which cries to the Lord for justice. (Genesis 4:10) Take up my defense with the Judge of all the earth and do not let my case be put on the shelf never to be heard again.
גַּם־עַתָּה הִנֵּה־בַשָּׁמַיִם עֵדִי וְשָׂהֲדִי בַּמְּרֹומִֽים׃
Also now, behold in heaven is my testimony, and my witness is in the heights.
Paraphrase: Now, there’s nothing else for me to do. All I can do is file my complaint in the court of heaven and wait for the Judge to review it.
There are three ways of understanding this text.
- The first is that the witness is God. Green says that Job makes an appeal from God as He appears in this mysterious providence to the God who is the witness of his integrity.” source
- The other is that Job does not know who his witness or advocate will be; but in his desperation, he appeals to anyone in heaven who will take his case. The Message takes this approach: “O Earth, don’t cover up the wrong done to me! Don’t muffle my cry! There must be Someone in heaven who knows the truth about me, in highest heaven, some Attorney who can clear my name—My Champion, my Friend, while I’m weeping my eyes out before God. I appeal to the One who represents mortals before God as a neighbor stands up for a neighbor.”
- Finally, others say that the witness here is not a personal witness but is Job’s grievance or his complaint which he lodges in the court of heaven. Job, as it were, files away in heaven, the case for his innocence.
מְלִיצַי רֵעָי אֶל־אֱלֹוהַ דָּלְפָה עֵינִֽי׃
My friends are ridiculing me; to God my eyes are weeping.
Paraphrase: I have nowhere to turn. On earth, my very friends are the ones who ridicule me; they surely don’t see the injustice done to me. In heaven, I can get no answer either. All I do is weep and cry and beg God to give me a hearing.
וְיֹוכַח לְגֶבֶר עִם־אֱלֹוהַּ וּֽבֶן־אָדָם לְרֵעֵֽהוּ׃
and he might cause a man to speak with God and a son of man to his friend.
Paraphrase: If only people could argue their case with God in heaven in the same way that we do with people who live here on earth with us!
כִּֽי־שְׁנֹות מִסְפָּר יֶאֱתָיוּ וְאֹרַח לֹא־אָשׁוּב אֶהֱלֹֽךְ׃
For a number of years will come and a path; I will not return; I will go.
Paraphrase: I must act now; I must file my grievance in the heavenly court, for soon enough, I will embark on that journey from which no one ever returns.