Saturday, September 24, 2016

Job 36

Back from a short holiday. Not sure I could stand a long one without carrying my data and library with me. It's the nature of the work that it is a real escape. But the problem with this puzzle, as I was thinking this morning when watching my wife do the crossword, is that the answers will not be in next weekend's paper. My 'answer' emerges, and like Yahweh's answer to Job, it is far less clear than one might think was good. There are things that are supposed to be clear: to do judgment, and to love mercy, and modestly to walk with your God. But you can see that my glosses for this famous line don't match the traditional, and if one looks at political manipulation, it seems that those who might follow such a pattern are few and far between.

I note in my dictionary that (so far) I have not distinguished the root form of Elihu and Elijah. They are both spelled the same (אליהו) some of the time. In fact if you spell Elijah the way of its supposed root, it is indistinguishable from 'to her' (אליה). Nonetheless, this character Elihu is not Elijah.

This remains poetry - short sharp lines, often enigmatic. The syllable counts in the fourth column give it away. Compare the prophets and very few of their lines are this short (in spite of the post-modern tendency to think of them as poets).

Elihu remains enigmatic. There seems to me little support for the divine right of kings. I read verses 7 to 9 as critical of kings, and of others, whether rich or presumptuous, in positions of power such as Job is. (Job is not presumptuous but the righteous one that is always in God's eyes. Don't misread me.)

There are repeated words here that are obvious in my reading, but their meaning - who will say? There are 28 that recur exactly twice. Glossing these words identically changes the received 'meaning' (which was only some ancient or modern guess in any case). I have even taken special care with a preposition in this chapter. Perhaps I should be even more careful with them. It is so easy to try and make sense of what is foreign to me by reducing it to the commonplace that I expect. I see that I could be much more restrictive with על than I have been. There are many years yet to finish this project. (I have rendered על as on below - throughout! It varies considerably as over, on, not translated, to, in, about, concerning, upon, against, and so on. How I would render the preposition depends also on the English verb in the phrase.)

One more chapter for Elihu - patience. Whether it 'makes sense' at the end remains to be seen. (Certainly, I scarcely recognize my reading from 6 years ago.)

Job 36
וַיֹּ֥סֶף אֱלִיה֗וּא וַיֹּאמַֽר 1 And Elihu added more and said. 9
כַּתַּר־לִ֣י זְ֭עֵיר וַאֲחַוֶּ֑ךָּ
כִּ֤י ע֖וֹד לֶאֱל֣וֹהַּ מִלִּֽים
2 Encircle me somewhat more closely and I will breathe to you,
for yet of God are speeches.
10
8
אֶשָּׂ֣א דֵ֭עִי לְמֵרָח֑וֹק
וּ֝לְפֹעֲלִ֗י אֶֽתֵּֽן־צֶֽדֶק
3 I will lift up my knowledge from afar,
and to the one whose work I am, I will give justice.
8
8
כִּֽי־אָ֭מְנָם לֹא־שֶׁ֣קֶר מִלָּ֑י
תְּמִ֖ים דֵּע֣וֹת עִמָּֽךְ
4 Because truly not falsehood is my speech.
One who is complete of knowledge is with you.
7
6
הֶן־אֵ֣ל כַּ֭בִּיר וְלֹ֣א יִמְאָ֑ס
כַּ֝בִּ֗יר כֹּ֣חַֽ לֵֽב
5 Lo, the One is intense and will not refuse,
one who is intense of heartfelt power.
8
5
לֹא־יְחַיֶּ֥ה רָשָׁ֑ע
וּמִשְׁפַּ֖ט עֲנִיִּ֣ים יִתֵּֽן
6 Wickedness will not live,
and judgment of the poor he will give.
6
8
לֹֽא־יִגְרַ֥ע מִצַּדִּ֗יק עֵ֫ינָ֥יו
וְאֶת־מְלָכִ֥ים לַכִּסֵּ֑א
וַיֹּשִׁיבֵ֥ם לָ֝נֶ֗צַח וַיִּגְבָּֽהוּ
7 He does not lower his eyes from the righteous one,
but kings are on the throne,
so he seats them in perpetuity and they are haughty.
8
8
11
וְאִם־אֲסוּרִ֥ים בַּזִּקִּ֑ים
יִ֝לָּכְד֗וּן בְּחַבְלֵי־עֹֽנִי
8 And if prisoners in chains,
are caught in ropes of affliction,
8
7
וַיַּגֵּ֣ד לָהֶ֣ם פָּעֳלָ֑ם
וּ֝פִשְׁעֵיהֶ֗ם כִּ֣י יִתְגַּבָּֽרוּ
9 Then he makes evident to them their works,
and their transgressions that prevail over them.
8
9
וַיִּ֣גֶל אָ֭זְנָם לַמּוּסָ֑ר
וַ֝יֹּ֗אמֶר כִּֽי־יְשֻׁב֥וּן מֵאָֽוֶן
10 So let their ears rejoice in his mentoring,
when he says that they should turn from mischief.
8
10
אִֽם־יִשְׁמְע֗וּ וְֽיַ֫עֲבֹ֥דוּ
יְכַלּ֣וּ יְמֵיהֶ֣ם בַּטּ֑וֹב
וּ֝שְׁנֵיהֶ֗ם בַּנְּעִימִֽים
11 If they hear and serve,
they will finish their days in the good,
and their years in pleasantness.
9
8
6
וְאִם־לֹ֣א יִ֭שְׁמְעוּ בְּשֶׁ֣לַח יַעֲבֹ֑רוּ
וְ֝יִגְוְע֗וּ כִּבְלִי־דָֽעַת
12 And if they do not hear, dismissed they will cross over,
and they will expire without having known.
13
7
וְֽחַנְפֵי־לֵ֭ב יָשִׂ֣ימוּ אָ֑ף
לֹ֥א יְ֝שַׁוְּע֗וּ כִּ֣י אֲסָרָֽם
13 But hypocrites in heart are set in anger.
They do not cry for help when he binds them.
8
8
תָּמֹ֣ת בַּנֹּ֣עַר נַפְשָׁ֑ם
וְ֝חַיָּתָ֗ם בַּקְּדֵשִֽׁים
14 Their being dies in youth,
and their life among the holy ones.
7
7
יְחַלֵּ֣ץ עָנִ֣י בְעָנְי֑וֹ
וְיִ֖גֶל בַּלַּ֣חַץ אָזְנָֽם
15 He rescues a poor one from its affliction
and discloses (in the grip) to its ears.
8
8
וְאַ֤ף הֲסִיתְךָ֨ ׀ מִפִּי־צָ֗ר רַ֭חַב לֹא־מוּצָ֣ק תַּחְתֶּ֑יהָ
וְנַ֥חַת שֻׁ֝לְחָנְךָ֗ מָ֣לֵא דָֽשֶׁן
16 And indeed he prods you from the wide open mouth of trouble unimpeded under it,
and he has pinned your table, filled with fatness.
15
10
וְדִין־רָשָׁ֥ע מָלֵ֑אתָ
דִּ֖ין וּמִשְׁפָּ֣ט יִתְמֹֽכוּ
17 But the case for the wicked you have filled.
Case and judgment are maintained.
7
7
כִּֽי־חֵ֭מָה פֶּן־יְסִֽיתְךָ֣ בְסָ֑פֶק
וְרָב־כֹּ֝֗פֶר אַל־יַטֶּֽךָּ
18 For heat, lest he prod you with a cuff,
and an abundant cover-price is not stretched.
9
8
הֲיַעֲרֹ֣ךְ שׁ֭וּעֲךָ‬ לֹ֣א בְצָ֑ר
וְ֝כֹ֗ל מַאֲמַצֵּי־כֹֽחַ
19 Will he arrange your unrestricted cries for help,
and all assured power.
10
7
אַל־תִּשְׁאַ֥ף הַלָּ֑יְלָה
לַעֲל֖וֹת עַמִּ֣ים תַּחְתָּֽם
20 Sigh not heavily for the night,
for the burnt offerings of the peoples under them.
6
7
הִ֭שָּׁמֶר אַל־תֵּ֣פֶן אֶל־אָ֑וֶן
כִּֽי־עַל־זֶ֝֗ה בָּחַ֥רְתָּ מֵעֹֽנִי
21 Watch. Do not prefer mischief,
for on this you have chosen over affliction.
9
9
הֶן־אֵ֭ל יַשְׂגִּ֣יב בְּכֹח֑וֹ
מִ֖י כָמֹ֣הוּ מוֹרֶֽה
22 Lo, the One sets on high by his power.
Who, like him, instructs?
7
6
מִֽי־פָקַ֣ד עָלָ֣יו דַּרְכּ֑וֹ
וּמִֽי־אָ֝מַ֗ר פָּעַ֥לְתָּ עַוְלָֽה
23 Who has visited on him his way?
And who says, You have worked injustice.
6
8
זְ֭כֹר כִּֽי־תַשְׂגִּ֣יא פָעֳל֑וֹ
אֲשֶׁ֖ר שֹׁרְר֣וּ אֲנָשִֽׁים
24 Remember that you augment his work,
that mortals sing.
8
7
כָּל־אָדָ֥ם חָֽזוּ־ב֑וֹ
אֱ֝נ֗וֹשׁ יַבִּ֥יט מֵרָחֽוֹק
25 Every earthling gazes against him.
A mortal takes note from afar.
5
7
הֶן־אֵ֣ל שַׂ֭גִּיא וְלֹ֣א נֵדָ֑ע
מִסְפַּ֖ר שָׁנָ֣יו וְלֹא־חֵֽקֶר
26 Lo, the One is augmented and we do not know.
The record of his years is without examination.
8
7
כִּ֭י יְגָרַ֣ע נִטְפֵי־מָ֑יִם
יָזֹ֖קּוּ מָטָ֣ר לְאֵדֽוֹ
27 For he lowers the droplets of waters.
They purge rain of its humidity,
7
8
אֲשֶֽׁר־יִזְּל֥וּ שְׁחָקִ֑ים
יִ֝רְעֲפ֗וּ עֲלֵ֤י ׀ אָדָ֬ם רָֽב
28 that the skies exude.
They drip on an earthling abundantly.
7
8
אַ֣ף אִם־יָ֭בִין מִפְרְשֵׂי־עָ֑ב
תְּ֝שֻׁא֗וֹת סֻכָּתֽוֹ
29 indeed if one understand the spreading of a cloud
the clamour from his booth
8
6
הֵן־פָּרַ֣שׂ עָלָ֣יו אוֹר֑וֹ
וְשָׁרְשֵׁ֖י הַיָּ֣ם כִּסָּֽה
30 Lo, he spreads on it his light,
and the root of the sea he covers.
7
7
כִּי־בָ֭ם יָדִ֣ין עַמִּ֑ים
יִֽתֶּן־אֹ֥כֶל לְמַכְבִּֽיר
31 For in them he makes the case for the peoples.
He gives food with intensity.
6
7
עַל־כַּפַּ֥יִם כִּסָּה־א֑וֹר
וַיְצַ֖ו עָלֶ֣יהָ בְמַפְגִּֽיעַ
32 On their palms he covers light,
and he commands on her with force.
6
9
יַגִּ֣יד עָלָ֣יו רֵע֑וֹ
מִ֝קְנֶ֗ה אַ֣ף עַל־עוֹלֶֽה
33 Jubilation makes it evident on him,
a purchase indeed on a burnt offering.
6
6


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