Job – Select a Chapter

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1:1  There was a man in the land of Utz named Iyov. That man was blameless and upright; he feared Hashem and shunned evil.

EESH ha-YAH v’-E-retz UTZ i-YOV sh’-MO v’-ha-YAH ha-EESH ha-HU TAM v’-ya-SHAR vee-RAY e-lo-HEEM v’-SAR may-RA

א:א  אִישׁ הָיָה בְאֶרֶץ־עוּץ אִיּוֹב שְׁמוֹ וְהָיָה הָאִישׁ הַהוּא תָּם וְיָשָׁר וִירֵא אֱלֹהִים וְסָר מֵרָע׃

 1:1   There was a man in the land of Utz 

The word Uz, in Hebrew utz (עוץ), is derived from the Hebrew word etz (עץ), meaning ‘tree.’ The Sages of the Talmud (Bava Batra 15a) teach that phrase “land of Utz” refers to Eretz Yisrael, called Utz in honor of Iyov, who protected the people of his generation with his steadfast righteousness. Just as a tree provides shade and protection from the sun, Iyov’s merit protected the inhabitants of the land. Similarly, before Moshe sent spies into Eretz Yisrael, he asked them to check whether or not there were any trees in the land (Numbers 13:20). The medieval commentator Rashi explains that Moshe was really asking, “Does the Land of Israel have a worthy man living in it, who will protect the inhabitants with his merit?”3 comments

2  Seven sons and three daughters were born to him;

ב  וַיִּוָּלְדוּ לוֹ שִׁבְעָה בָנִים וְשָׁלוֹשׁ בָּנוֹת׃

3  his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred she-asses, and a very large household. That man was wealthier than anyone in the East.

ג  וַיְהִי מִקְנֵהוּ שִׁבְעַת אַלְפֵי־צֹאן וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אַלְפֵי גְמַלִּים וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת צֶמֶד־בָּקָר וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת אֲתוֹנוֹת וַעֲבֻדָּה רַבָּה מְאֹד וַיְהִי הָאִישׁ הַהוּא גָּדוֹל מִכָּל־בְּנֵי־קֶדֶם׃

4  It was the custom of his sons to hold feasts, each on his set day in his own home. They would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.

ד  וְהָלְכוּ בָנָיו וְעָשׂוּ מִשְׁתֶּה בֵּית אִישׁ יוֹמוֹ וְשָׁלְחוּ וְקָרְאוּ לִשְׁלֹשֶׁת אחיתיהם [אַחְיוֹתֵיהֶם] לֶאֱכֹל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת עִמָּהֶם׃

5  When a round of feast days was over, Iyov would send word to them to sanctify themselves, and, rising early in the morning, he would make burnt offerings, one for each of them; for Iyov thought, “Perhaps my children have sinned and blasphemed Hashem in their thoughts.” This is what Iyov always used to do.

ה  וַיְהִי כִּי הִקִּיפוּ יְמֵי הַמִּשְׁתֶּה וַיִּשְׁלַח אִיּוֹב וַיְקַדְּשֵׁם וְהִשְׁכִּים בַּבֹּקֶר וְהֶעֱלָה עֹלוֹת מִסְפַּר כֻּלָּם כִּי אָמַר אִיּוֹב אוּלַי חָטְאוּ בָנַי וּבֵרֲכוּ אֱלֹהִים בִּלְבָבָם כָּכָה יַעֲשֶׂה אִיּוֹב כָּל־הַיָּמִים׃

6  One day the divine beings presented themselves before Hashem, and the Adversary came along with them.

ו  וַיְהִי הַיּוֹם וַיָּבֹאוּ בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים לְהִתְיַצֵּב עַל־יְהֹוָה וַיָּבוֹא גַם־הַשָּׂטָן בְּתוֹכָם׃

7  Hashem said to the Adversary, “Where have you been?” The Adversary answered Hashem, “I have been roaming all over the earth.”

ז  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־הַשָּׂטָן מֵאַיִן תָּבֹא וַיַּעַן הַשָּׂטָן אֶת־יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמַר מִשּׁוּט בָּאָרֶץ וּמֵהִתְהַלֵּךְ בָּהּ׃

8  Hashem said to the Adversary, “Have you noticed My servant Iyov? There is no one like him on earth, a blameless and upright man who fears Hashem and shuns evil!”

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־הַשָּׂטָן הֲשַׂמְתָּ לִבְּךָ עַל־עַבְדִּי אִיּוֹב כִּי אֵין כָּמֹהוּ בָּאָרֶץ אִישׁ תָּם וְיָשָׁר יְרֵא אֱלֹהִים וְסָר מֵרָע׃

9  The Adversary answered Hashem, “Does Iyov not have good reason to fear Hashem?

ט  וַיַּעַן הַשָּׂטָן אֶת־יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמַר הַחִנָּם יָרֵא אִיּוֹב אֱלֹהִים׃

10  Why, it is You who have fenced him round, him and his household and all that he has. You have blessed his efforts so that his possessions spread out in the land.

י  הֲלֹא־את [אַתָּה] שַׂכְתָּ בַעֲדוֹ וּבְעַד־בֵּיתוֹ וּבְעַד כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ מִסָּבִיב מַעֲשֵׂה יָדָיו בֵּרַכְתָּ וּמִקְנֵהוּ פָּרַץ בָּאָרֶץ׃

11  But lay Your hand upon all that he has and he will surely blaspheme You to Your face.”

יא  וְאוּלָם שְׁלַח־נָא יָדְךָ וְגַע בְּכָל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ אִם־לֹא עַל־פָּנֶיךָ יְבָרֲכֶךָּ׃

12  Hashem replied to the Adversary, “See, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on him.” The Adversary departed from the presence of Hashem.

יב  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־הַשָּׂטָן הִנֵּה כָל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ בְּיָדֶךָ רַק אֵלָיו אַל־תִּשְׁלַח יָדֶךָ וַיֵּצֵא הַשָּׂטָן מֵעִם פְּנֵי יְהֹוָה׃

13  One day, as his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother,

יג  וַיְהִי הַיּוֹם וּבָנָיו וּבְנֹתָיו אֹכְלִים וְשֹׁתִים יַיִן בְּבֵית אֲחִיהֶם הַבְּכוֹר׃

14  a messenger came to Iyov and said, “The oxen were plowing and the she-asses were grazing alongside them

יד  וּמַלְאָךְ בָּא אֶל־אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר הַבָּקָר הָיוּ חֹרְשׁוֹת וְהָאֲתֹנוֹת רֹעוֹת עַל־יְדֵיהֶם׃

15  when Sabeans attacked them and carried them off, and put the boys to the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.”

טו  וַתִּפֹּל שְׁבָא וַתִּקָּחֵם וְאֶת־הַנְּעָרִים הִכּוּ לְפִי־חָרֶב וָאִמָּלְטָה רַק־אֲנִי לְבַדִּי לְהַגִּיד לָךְ׃

16  This one was still speaking when another came and said, “Hashem‘s fire fell from heaven, took hold of the sheep and the boys, and burned them up; I alone have escaped to tell you.”

טז  עוֹד זֶה מְדַבֵּר וְזֶה בָּא וַיֹּאמַר אֵשׁ אֱלֹהִים נָפְלָה מִן־הַשָּׁמַיִם וַתִּבְעַר בַּצֹּאן וּבַנְּעָרִים וַתֹּאכְלֵם וָאִמָּלְטָה רַק־אֲנִי לְבַדִּי לְהַגִּיד לָךְ׃

17  This one was still speaking when another came and said, “A Chaldean formation of three columns made a raid on the camels and carried them off and put the boys to the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.”

יז  עוֹד זֶה מְדַבֵּר וְזֶה בָּא וַיֹּאמַר כַּשְׂדִּים שָׂמוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה רָאשִׁים וַיִּפְשְׁטוּ עַל־הַגְּמַלִּים וַיִּקָּחוּם וְאֶת־הַנְּעָרִים הִכּוּ לְפִי־חָרֶב וָאִמָּלְטָה רַק־אֲנִי לְבַדִּי לְהַגִּיד לָךְ׃

18  This one was still speaking when another came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother

יח  עַד זֶה מְדַבֵּר וְזֶה בָּא וַיֹּאמַר בָּנֶיךָ וּבְנוֹתֶיךָ אֹכְלִים וְשֹׁתִים יַיִן בְּבֵית אֲחִיהֶם הַבְּכוֹר׃

19  when suddenly a mighty wind came from the wilderness. It struck the four corners of the house so that it collapsed upon the young people and they died; I alone have escaped to tell you.”

יט  וְהִנֵּה רוּחַ גְּדוֹלָה בָּאָה מֵעֵבֶר הַמִּדְבָּר וַיִּגַּע בְּאַרְבַּע פִּנּוֹת הַבַּיִת וַיִּפֹּל עַל־הַנְּעָרִים וַיָּמוּתוּ וָאִמָּלְטָה רַק־אֲנִי לְבַדִּי לְהַגִּיד לָךְ׃

20  Then Iyov arose, tore his robe, cut off his hair, and threw himself on the ground and worshiped.

כ  וַיָּקָם אִיּוֹב וַיִּקְרַע אֶת־מְעִלוֹ וַיָּגָז אֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ וַיִּפֹּל אַרְצָה וַיִּשְׁתָּחוּ׃

21  He said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; Hashem has given, and Hashem has taken away; blessed be the name of Hashem.”

כא  וַיֹּאמֶר עָרֹם יצתי [יָצָאתִי] מִבֶּטֶן אִמִּי וְעָרֹם אָשׁוּב שָׁמָה יְהֹוָה נָתַן וַיהֹוָה לָקָח יְהִי שֵׁם יְהֹוָה מְבֹרָךְ׃

22  For all that, Iyov did not sin nor did he cast reproach on Hashem.

כב  בְּכָל־זֹאת לֹא־חָטָא אִיּוֹב וְלֹא־נָתַן תִּפְלָה לֵאלֹהִים׃

2:1  One day the divine beings presented themselves before Hashem. The Adversary came along with them to present himself before Hashem.

ב:א  וַיְהִי הַיּוֹם וַיָּבֹאוּ בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים לְהִתְיַצֵּב עַל־יְהֹוָה וַיָּבוֹא גַם־הַשָּׂטָן בְּתֹכָם לְהִתְיַצֵּב עַל־יְהֹוָה׃

2  Hashem said to the Adversary, “Where have you been?” The Adversary answered Hashem, “I have been roaming all over the earth.”

ב  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־הַשָּׂטָן אֵי מִזֶּה תָּבֹא וַיַּעַן הַשָּׂטָן אֶת־יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמַר מִשֻּׁט בָּאָרֶץ וּמֵהִתְהַלֵּךְ בָּהּ׃

3  Hashem said to the Adversary, “Have you noticed My servant Iyov? There is no one like him on earth, a blameless and upright man who fears Hashem and shuns evil. He still keeps his integrity; so you have incited Me against him to destroy him for no good reason.”

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־הַשָּׂטָן הֲשַׂמְתָּ לִבְּךָ אֶל־עַבְדִּי אִיּוֹב כִּי אֵין כָּמֹהוּ בָּאָרֶץ אִישׁ תָּם וְיָשָׁר יְרֵא אֱלֹהִים וְסָר מֵרָע וְעֹדֶנּוּ מַחֲזִיק בְּתֻמָּתוֹ וַתְּסִיתֵנִי בוֹ לְבַלְּעוֹ חִנָּם׃

4  The Adversary answered Hashem, “Skin for skin—all that a man has he will give up for his life.

ד  וַיַּעַן הַשָּׂטָן אֶת־יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמַר עוֹר בְּעַד־עוֹר וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר לָאִישׁ יִתֵּן בְּעַד נַפְשׁוֹ׃

5  But lay a hand on his bones and his flesh, and he will surely blaspheme You to Your face.”

ה  אוּלָם שְׁלַח־נָא יָדְךָ וְגַע אֶל־עַצְמוֹ וְאֶל־בְּשָׂרוֹ אִם־לֹא אֶל־פָּנֶיךָ יְבָרֲכֶךָּ׃

6  So Hashem said to the Adversary, “See, he is in your power; only spare his life.”

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־הַשָּׂטָן הִנּוֹ בְיָדֶךָ אַךְ אֶת־נַפְשׁוֹ שְׁמֹר׃

7  The Adversary departed from the presence of Hashem and inflicted a severe inflammation on Iyov from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

va-yay-TZAY ha-sa-TAN may-AYT p’-NAY a-do-NAI va-YAKH et i-YOV bish-KHEEN RA mi-KAF rag-LO v’-AD kod-ko-DO

ז  וַיֵּצֵא הַשָּׂטָן מֵאֵת פְּנֵי יְהֹוָה וַיַּךְ אֶת־אִיּוֹב בִּשְׁחִין רָע מִכַּף רַגְלוֹ עד [וְעַד] קָדְקֳדוֹ׃

 2:7   And inflicted a severe inflammation on Iyov

This is Iyov’s final test before he reacts to all of his suffering. After losing his wealth and his children, he is now stricken with a painful condition all over his body. What was the cause of the righteous Iyov’s suffering? The Sages (Sotah 11a) teach that Iyov was one of three advisors whom Pharaoh consulted to determine the most effective method to exterminate the People of Israel during their subjugation in Egypt. Though he opposed the persecution, Iyov chose to remain silent rather than voice his opposition to the powerful king’s plan. The Sages suggest that Iyov’s suffering was a punishment for remaining silent in the face of the oppression of the Israelites. Because Iyov remained silent against the suffering of others, he was afflicted to the point where he cried out due to his own anguish. Today, the People of Israel are still faced with many threats and experience many tragedies. We must learn from Iyov’s mistake to never remain silent, even if we don’t feel personally threatened or afflicted. Rather, we must feel the pain of others as our own.2 comments

8  He took a potsherd to scratch himself as he sat in ashes.

ח  וַיִּקַּח־לוֹ חֶרֶשׂ לְהִתְגָּרֵד בּוֹ וְהוּא יֹשֵׁב בְּתוֹךְ־הָאֵפֶר׃

9  His wife said to him, “You still keep your integrity! Blaspheme Hashem and die!”

ט  וַתֹּאמֶר לוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ עֹדְךָ מַחֲזִיק בְּתֻמָּתֶךָ בָּרֵךְ אֱלֹהִים וָמֻת׃

10  But he said to her, “You talk as any shameless woman might talk! Should we accept only good from Hashem and not accept evil?” For all that, Iyov said nothing sinful.

י  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ כְּדַבֵּר אַחַת הַנְּבָלוֹת תְּדַבֵּרִי גַּם אֶת־הַטּוֹב נְקַבֵּל מֵאֵת הָאֱלֹהִים וְאֶת־הָרָע לֹא נְקַבֵּל בְּכָל־זֹאת לֹא־חָטָא אִיּוֹב בִּשְׂפָתָיו׃

11  When Iyov‘s three friends heard about all these calamities that had befallen him, each came from his home—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him.

יא  וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת רֵעֵי אִיּוֹב אֵת כָּל־הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת הַבָּאָה עָלָיו וַיָּבֹאוּ אִישׁ מִמְּקֹמוֹ אֱלִיפַז הַתֵּימָנִי וּבִלְדַּד הַשּׁוּחִי וְצוֹפַר הַנַּעֲמָתִי וַיִּוָּעֲדוּ יַחְדָּו לָבוֹא לָנוּד־לוֹ וּלְנַחֲמוֹ׃

12  When they saw him from a distance, they could not recognize him, and they broke into loud weeping; each one tore his robe and threw dust into the air onto his head.

יב  וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת־עֵינֵיהֶם מֵרָחוֹק וְלֹא הִכִּירֻהוּ וַיִּשְׂאוּ קוֹלָם וַיִּבְכּוּ וַיִּקְרְעוּ אִישׁ מְעִלוֹ וַיִּזְרְקוּ עָפָר עַל־רָאשֵׁיהֶם הַשָּׁמָיְמָה׃

13  They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights. None spoke a word to him for they saw how very great was his suffering.

יג  וַיֵּשְׁבוּ אִתּוֹ לָאָרֶץ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וְשִׁבְעַת לֵילוֹת וְאֵין־דֹּבֵר אֵלָיו דָּבָר כִּי רָאוּ כִּי־גָדַל הַכְּאֵב מְאֹד׃

3:1  Afterward, Iyov began to speak and cursed the day of his birth.

a-kha-ray KHAYN pa-TAKH i-YOV et PEE-hu vai-ka-LAYL et yo-MO

ג:א  אַחֲרֵי־כֵן פָּתַח אִיּוֹב אֶת־פִּיהוּ וַיְקַלֵּל אֶת־יוֹמוֹ׃

3:1   Cursed the day of his birth

The righteous Iyov’s initial reaction to the suffering that befell him was not to blaspheme God, but rather, to curse his own birth. Why be born, he calls out painfully, if one’s labor on this earth is pointless? With his reaction, Iyov gives us a model for coping with trials and tribulations. While we may express our personal pain, we should not vent our frustration on our Creator.1 comment

2  Iyov spoke up and said:

ב  וַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר׃

3  Perish the day on which I was born, And the night it was announced, “A male has been conceived!”

ג  יֹאבַד יוֹם אִוָּלֶד בּוֹ וְהַלַּיְלָה אָמַר הֹרָה גָבֶר׃

4  May that day be darkness; May Hashem above have no concern for it; May light not shine on it;

ד  הַיּוֹם הַהוּא יְהִי חֹשֶׁךְ אַל־יִדְרְשֵׁהוּ אֱלוֹהַּ מִמָּעַל וְאַל־תּוֹפַע עָלָיו נְהָרָה׃

5  May darkness and deep gloom reclaim it; May a pall lie over it; May what blackens the day terrify it.

ה  יִגְאָלֻהוּ חֹשֶׁךְ וְצַלְמָוֶת תִּשְׁכָּן־עָלָיו עֲנָנָה יְבַעֲתֻהוּ כִּמְרִירֵי יוֹם׃

6  May obscurity carry off that night; May it not be counted among the days of the year; May it not appear in any of its months;

ו  הַלַּיְלָה הַהוּא יִקָּחֵהוּ אֹפֶל אַל־יִחַדְּ בִּימֵי שָׁנָה בְּמִסְפַּר יְרָחִים אַל־יָבֹא׃

7  May that night be desolate; May no sound of joy be heard in it;

ז  הִנֵּה הַלַּיְלָה הַהוּא יְהִי גַלְמוּד אַל־תָּבֹא רְנָנָה בוֹ׃

8  May those who cast spells upon the day damn it, Those prepared to disable Leviathan;

ח  יִקְּבֻהוּ אֹרְרֵי־יוֹם הָעֲתִידִים עֹרֵר לִוְיָתָן׃

9  May its twilight stars remain dark; May it hope for light and have none; May it not see the glimmerings of the dawn—

ט  יֶחְשְׁכוּ כּוֹכְבֵי נִשְׁפּוֹ יְקַו־לְאוֹר וָאַיִן וְאַל־יִרְאֶה בְּעַפְעַפֵּי־שָׁחַר׃

10  Because it did not block my mother’s womb, And hide trouble from my eyes.

י  כִּי לֹא סָגַר דַּלְתֵי בִטְנִי וַיַּסְתֵּר עָמָל מֵעֵינָי׃

11  Why did I not die at birth, Expire as I came forth from the womb?

יא  לָמָּה לֹּא מֵרֶחֶם אָמוּת מִבֶּטֶן יָצָאתִי וְאֶגְוָע׃

12  Why were there knees to receive me, Or breasts for me to suck?

יב  מַדּוּעַ קִדְּמוּנִי בִרְכָּיִם וּמַה־שָּׁדַיִם כִּי אִינָק׃

13  For now would I be lying in repose, asleep and at rest,

יג  כִּי־עַתָּה שָׁכַבְתִּי וְאֶשְׁקוֹט יָשַׁנְתִּי אָז יָנוּחַ לִי׃

14  With the world’s kings and counselors who rebuild ruins for themselves,

יד  עִם־מְלָכִים וְיֹעֲצֵי אָרֶץ הַבֹּנִים חֳרָבוֹת לָמוֹ׃

15  Or with nobles who possess gold and who fill their houses with silver.

טו  אוֹ עִם־שָׂרִים זָהָב לָהֶם הַמְמַלְאִים בָּתֵּיהֶם כָּסֶף׃

16  Or why was I not like a buried stillbirth, Like babies who never saw the light?

טז  אוֹ כְנֵפֶל טָמוּן לֹא אֶהְיֶה כְּעֹלְלִים לֹא־רָאוּ אוֹר׃

17  There the wicked cease from troubling; There rest those whose strength is spent.

יז  שָׁם רְשָׁעִים חָדְלוּ רֹגֶז וְשָׁם יָנוּחוּ יְגִיעֵי כֹחַ׃

18  Prisoners are wholly at ease; They do not hear the taskmaster’s voice.

יח  יַחַד אֲסִירִים שַׁאֲנָנוּ לֹא שָׁמְעוּ קוֹל נֹגֵשׂ׃

19  Small and great alike are there, And the slave is free of his master.

יט  קָטֹן וְגָדוֹל שָׁם הוּא וְעֶבֶד חָפְשִׁי מֵאֲדֹנָיו׃

20  Why does He give light to the sufferer And life to the bitter in spirit;

כ  לָמָּה יִתֵּן לְעָמֵל אוֹר וְחַיִּים לְמָרֵי נָפֶשׁ׃

21  To those who wait for death but it does not come, Who search for it more than for treasure,

כא  הַמְחַכִּים לַמָּוֶת וְאֵינֶנּוּ וַיַּחְפְּרֻהוּ מִמַּטְמוֹנִים׃

22  Who rejoice to exultation, And are glad to reach the grave;

כב  הַשְּׂמֵחִים אֱלֵי־גִיל יָשִׂישׂוּ כִּי יִמְצְאוּ־קָבֶר׃

23  To the man who has lost his way, Whom Hashem has hedged about?

כג  לְגֶבֶר אֲשֶׁר־דַּרְכּוֹ נִסְתָּרָה וַיָּסֶךְ אֱלוֹהַּ בַּעֲדוֹ׃

24  My groaning serves as my bread; My roaring pours forth as water.

כד  כִּי־לִפְנֵי לַחְמִי אַנְחָתִי תָבֹא וַיִּתְּכוּ כַמַּיִם שַׁאֲגֹתָי׃

25  For what I feared has overtaken me; What I dreaded has come upon me.

כה  כִּי פַחַד פָּחַדְתִּי וַיֶּאֱתָיֵנִי וַאֲשֶׁר יָגֹרְתִּי יָבֹא לִי׃

26  I had no repose, no quiet, no rest, And trouble came.

כו  לֹא שָׁלַוְתִּי וְלֹא שָׁקַטְתִּי וְלֹא־נָחְתִּי וַיָּבֹא רֹגֶז׃

4:1  Then Eliphaz the Temanite said in reply:

va-YA-an e-lee-FAZ ha-tay-ma-NEE va-yo-MAR

ד:א  וַיַּעַן אֱלִיפַז הַתֵּימָנִי וַיֹּאמַר׃

4:1   Then Eliphaz the Temanite said in reply

Eliphaz the Temanite is the first of Iyov’s friends to respond to his suffering. He asserts that Hashem would not punish those who are free of sin, as Iyov seems to believe; since all people sin, Iyov must not be an exception. He urges Iyov to confess his secret sins in order to alleviate his suffering. Though he means well, Eliphaz’s view of divine justice is criticized by God Himself at the end of the book (42:7). Eliphaz is called a Temanite, presumably because he is from the city called Teman, which belonged to the descendants of Esau, the Edomites, and is mentioned in Sefer Ovadya (1:9). Eliphaz was also the name of Esau’s firstborn son (Genesis 36:4). Many therefore assume that Eliphaz is an Edomite, and in Sefer Iyov represents Edomite wisdom, which was well-known in biblical times (see Jeremiah 49:7).2 comments

2  If one ventures a word with you, will it be too much? But who can hold back his words?

ב  הֲנִסָּה דָבָר אֵלֶיךָ תִּלְאֶה וַעְצֹר בְּמִלִּין מִי יוּכָל׃

3  See, you have encouraged many; You have strengthened failing hands.

ג  הִנֵּה יִסַּרְתָּ רַבִּים וְיָדַיִם רָפוֹת תְּחַזֵּק׃

4  Your words have kept him who stumbled from falling; You have braced knees that gave way.

ד  כּוֹשֵׁל יְקִימוּן מִלֶּיךָ וּבִרְכַּיִם כֹּרְעוֹת תְּאַמֵּץ׃

5  But now that it overtakes you, it is too much; It reaches you, and you are unnerved.

ה  כִּי עַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֵלֶיךָ וַתֵּלֶא תִּגַּע עָדֶיךָ וַתִּבָּהֵל׃

6  Is not your piety your confidence, Your integrity your hope?

ו  הֲלֹא יִרְאָתְךָ כִּסְלָתֶךָ תִּקְוָתְךָ וְתֹם דְּרָכֶיךָ׃

7  Think now, what innocent man ever perished? Where have the upright been destroyed?

ז  זְכָר־נָא מִי הוּא נָקִי אָבָד וְאֵיפֹה יְשָׁרִים נִכְחָדוּ׃

8  As I have seen, those who plow evil And sow mischief reap them.

ח  כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי חֹרְשֵׁי אָוֶן וְזֹרְעֵי עָמָל יִקְצְרֻהוּ׃

9  They perish by a blast from Hashem, Are gone at the breath of His nostrils.

ט  מִנִּשְׁמַת אֱלוֹהַ יֹאבֵדוּ וּמֵרוּחַ אַפּוֹ יִכְלוּ׃

10  The lion may roar, the cub may howl, But the teeth of the king of beasts are broken.

י  שַׁאֲגַת אַרְיֵה וְקוֹל שָׁחַל וְשִׁנֵּי כְפִירִים נִתָּעוּ׃

11  The lion perishes for lack of prey, And its whelps are scattered.

יא  לַיִשׁ אֹבֵד מִבְּלִי־טָרֶף וּבְנֵי לָבִיא יִתְפָּרָדוּ׃

12  A word came to me in stealth; My ear caught a whisper of it.

יב  וְאֵלַי דָּבָר יְגֻנָּב וַתִּקַּח אָזְנִי שֵׁמֶץ מֶנְהוּ׃

13  In thought-filled visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men,

יג  בִּשְׂעִפִּים מֵחֶזְיֹנוֹת לָיְלָה בִּנְפֹל תַּרְדֵּמָה עַל־אֲנָשִׁים׃

14  Fear and trembling came upon me, Causing all my bones to quake with fright.

יד  פַּחַד קְרָאַנִי וּרְעָדָה וְרֹב עַצְמוֹתַי הִפְחִיד׃

15  A wind passed by me, Making the hair of my flesh bristle.

טו  וְרוּחַ עַל־פָּנַי יַחֲלֹף תְּסַמֵּר שַׂעֲרַת בְּשָׂרִי׃

16  It halted; its appearance was strange to me; A form loomed before my eyes; I heard a murmur, a voice,

טז  יַעֲמֹד וְלֹא־אַכִּיר מַרְאֵהוּ תְּמוּנָה לְנֶגֶד עֵינָי דְּמָמָה וָקוֹל אֶשְׁמָע׃

17  “Can mortals be acquitted by Hashem? Can man be cleared by his Maker?

יז  הַאֱנוֹשׁ מֵאֱלוֹהַ יִצְדָּק אִם מֵעֹשֵׂהוּ יִטְהַר־גָּבֶר׃

18  If He cannot trust His own servants, And casts reproach on His angels,

יח  הֵן בַּעֲבָדָיו לֹא יַאֲמִין וּבְמַלְאָכָיו יָשִׂים תָּהֳלָה׃

19  How much less those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose origin is dust, Who are crushed like the moth,

יט  אַף שֹׁכְנֵי בָתֵּי־חֹמֶר אֲשֶׁר־בֶּעָפָר יְסוֹדָם יְדַכְּאוּם לִפְנֵי־עָשׁ׃

20  Shattered between daybreak and evening, Perishing forever, unnoticed.

כ  מִבֹּקֶר לָעֶרֶב יֻכַּתּוּ מִבְּלִי מֵשִׂים לָנֶצַח יֹאבֵדוּ׃

21  Their cord is pulled up And they die, and not with wisdom.”

כא  הֲלֹא־נִסַּע יִתְרָם בָּם יָמוּתוּ וְלֹא בְחָכְמָה׃

5:1  Call now! Will anyone answer you? To whom among the holy beings will you turn?

ה:א  קְרָא־נָא הֲיֵשׁ עוֹנֶךָּ וְאֶל־מִי מִקְּדֹשִׁים תִּפְנֶה׃

2  Vexation kills the fool; Passion slays the simpleton.

ב  כִּי־לֶאֱוִיל יַהֲרָג־כָּעַשׂ וּפֹתֶה תָּמִית קִנְאָה׃

3  I myself saw a fool who had struck roots; Impulsively, I cursed his home:

ג  אֲ‍נִי־רָאִיתִי אֱוִיל מַשְׁרִישׁ וָאֶקּוֹב נָוֵהוּ פִתְאֹם׃

4  May his children be far from success; May they be oppressed in the gate with none to deliver them;

ד  יִרְחֲקוּ בָנָיו מִיֶּשַׁע וְיִדַּכְּאוּ בַשַּׁעַר וְאֵין מַצִּיל׃

5  May the hungry devour his harvest, Carrying it off in baskets; May the thirsty swallow their wealth.

ה  אֲשֶׁר קְצִירוֹ רָעֵב יֹאכֵל וְאֶל־מִצִּנִּים יִקָּחֵהוּ וְשָׁאַף צַמִּים חֵילָם׃

6  Evil does not grow out of the soil, Nor does mischief spring from the ground;

KEE lo yay-TZAY may-a-FAR A-ven u-may-a-da-MAH lo yitz-MAKH a-MAL

ו  כִּי לֹא־יֵצֵא מֵעָפָר אָוֶן וּמֵאֲדָמָה לֹא־יִצְמַח עָמָל׃

 5:6   Nor does mischief spring from the ground

Eliphaz says that suffering does not spring forth out of the ground, but rather comes as a result of a person’s sins. Since no one is free of sin, every person is born to tribulations (verse 7). Even Iyov’s location in the Land of Israel cannot free him from the taint of sin. Eliphaz reminds Iyov that suffering is part of the human condition, intrinsic in being an adam (אדם), ‘a person,’ and not something which comes on its own out of the adama (אדמה), ‘earth.’ Only those who disconnect from their humanity, therefore, can escape affliction.2 comments

7  For man is born to [do] mischief, Just as sparks fly upward.

ז  כִּי־אָדָם לְעָמָל יוּלָּד וּבְנֵי־רֶשֶׁף יַגְבִּיהוּ עוּף׃

8  But I would resort to Hashem; I would lay my case before Hashem,

ח  אוּלָם אֲנִי אֶדְרֹשׁ אֶל־אֵל וְאֶל־אֱלֹהִים אָשִׂים דִּבְרָתִי׃

9  Who performs great deeds which cannot be fathomed, Wondrous things without number;

ט  עֹשֶׂה גְדֹלוֹת וְאֵין חֵקֶר נִפְלָאוֹת עַד־אֵין מִסְפָּר׃

10  Who gives rain to the earth, And sends water over the fields;

י  הַנֹּתֵן מָטָר עַל־פְּנֵי־אָרֶץ וְשֹׁלֵחַ מַיִם עַל־פְּנֵי חוּצוֹת׃

11  Who raises the lowly up high, So that the dejected are secure in victory;

יא  לָשׂוּם שְׁפָלִים לְמָרוֹם וְקֹדְרִים שָׂגְבוּ יֶשַׁע׃

12  Who thwarts the designs of the crafty, So that their hands cannot gain success;

יב  מֵפֵר מַחְשְׁבוֹת עֲרוּמִים וְלֹא־תַעֲשֶׂינָה יְדֵיהֶם תּוּשִׁיָּה׃

13  Who traps the clever in their own wiles; The plans of the crafty go awry.

יג  לֹכֵד חֲכָמִים בְּעָרְמָם וַעֲצַת נִפְתָּלִים נִמְהָרָה׃

14  By day they encounter darkness, At noon they grope as in the night.

יד  יוֹמָם יְפַגְּשׁוּ־חֹשֶׁךְ וְכַלַּיְלָה יְמַשְׁשׁוּ בַצָּהֳרָיִם׃

15  But He saves the needy from the sword of their mouth, From the clutches of the strong.

טו  וַיֹּשַׁע מֵחֶרֶב מִפִּיהֶם וּמִיַּד חָזָק אֶבְיוֹן׃

16  So there is hope for the wretched; The mouth of wrongdoing is stopped.

טז  וַתְּהִי לַדַּל תִּקְוָה וְעֹלָתָה קָפְצָה פִּיהָ׃

17  See how happy is the man whom Hashem reproves; Do not reject the discipline of the Almighty.

יז  הִנֵּה אַשְׁרֵי אֱנוֹשׁ יוֹכִחֶנּוּ אֱלוֹהַּ וּמוּסַר שַׁדַּי אַל־תִּמְאָס׃

18  He injures, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands heal.

יח  כִּי הוּא יַכְאִיב וְיֶחְבָּשׁ יִמְחַץ וידו [וְיָדָיו] תִּרְפֶּינָה׃

19  He will deliver you from six troubles; In seven no harm will reach you:

יט  בְּשֵׁשׁ צָרוֹת יַצִּילֶךָּ וּבְשֶׁבַע לֹא־יִגַּע בְּךָ רָע׃

20  In famine He will redeem you from death, In war, from the sword.

כ  בְּרָעָב פָּדְךָ מִמָּוֶת וּבְמִלְחָמָה מִידֵי חָרֶב׃

21  You will be sheltered from the scourging tongue; You will have no fear when violence comes.

כא  בְּשׁוֹט לָשׁוֹן תֵּחָבֵא וְלֹא־תִירָא מִשֹּׁד כִּי יָבוֹא׃

22  You will laugh at violence and starvation, And have no fear of wild beasts.

כב  לְשֹׁד וּלְכָפָן תִּשְׂחָק וּמֵחַיַּת הָאָרֶץ אַל־תִּירָא׃

23  For you will have a pact with the rocks in the field, And the beasts of the field will be your allies.

כג  כִּי עִם־אַבְנֵי הַשָּׂדֶה בְרִיתֶךָ וְחַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה הָשְׁלְמָה־לָךְ׃

24  You will know that all is well in your tent; When you visit your wife you will never fail.

כד  וְיָדַעְתָּ כִּי־שָׁלוֹם אָהֳלֶךָ וּפָקַדְתָּ נָוְךָ וְלֹא תֶחֱטָא׃

25  You will see that your offspring are many, Your descendants like the grass of the earth.

כה  וְיָדַעְתָּ כִּי־רַב זַרְעֶךָ וְצֶאֱצָאֶיךָ כְּעֵשֶׂב הָאָרֶץ׃

26  You will come to the grave in ripe old age, As shocks of grain are taken away in their season.

כו  תָּבוֹא בְכֶלַח אֱלֵי־קָבֶר כַּעֲלוֹת גָּדִישׁ בְּעִתּוֹ׃

27  See, we have inquired into this and it is so; Hear it and accept it.

כז  הִנֵּה־זֹאת חֲקַרְנוּהָ כֶּן־הִיא שְׁמָעֶנָּה וְאַתָּה דַע־לָךְ׃

6:1  Then Iyov said in reply:

ו:א  וַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר׃

2  If my anguish were weighed, My full calamity laid on the scales,

ב  לוּ שָׁקוֹל יִשָּׁקֵל כַּעְשִׂי והיתי [וְהַוָּתִי] בְּמֹאזְנַיִם יִשְׂאוּ־יָחַד׃

3  It would be heavier than the sand of the sea; That is why I spoke recklessly.

ג  כִּי־עַתָּה מֵחוֹל יַמִּים יִכְבָּד עַל־כֵּן דְּבָרַי לָעוּ׃

4  For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; My spirit absorbs their poison; Hashem‘s terrors are arrayed against me.

ד  כִּי חִצֵּי שַׁדַּי עִמָּדִי אֲשֶׁר חֲמָתָם שֹׁתָה רוּחִי בִּעוּתֵי אֱלוֹהַּ יַעַרְכוּנִי׃

5  Does a wild ass bray when he has grass? Does a bull bellow over his fodder?

ה  הֲיִנְהַק־פֶּרֶא עֲלֵי־דֶשֶׁא אִם יִגְעֶה־שּׁוֹר עַל־בְּלִילוֹ׃

6  Can what is tasteless be eaten without salt? Does mallow juice have any flavor?

ו  הֲיֵאָכֵל תָּפֵל מִבְּלִי־מֶלַח אִם־יֶשׁ־טַעַם בְּרִיר חַלָּמוּת׃

7  I refuse to touch them; They are like food when I am sick.

ז  מֵאֲנָה לִנְגּוֹעַ נַפְשִׁי הֵמָּה כִּדְוֵי לַחְמִי׃

8  Would that my request were granted, That Hashem gave me what I wished for;

ח  מִי־יִתֵּן תָּבוֹא שֶׁאֱלָתִי וְתִקְוָתִי יִתֵּן אֱלוֹהַּ׃

9  Would that Hashem consented to crush me, Loosed His hand and cut me off.

ט  וְיֹאֵל אֱלוֹהַּ וִידַכְּאֵנִי יַתֵּר יָדוֹ וִיבַצְּעֵנִי׃

10  Then this would be my consolation, As I writhed in unsparing pains: That I did not suppress my words against the Holy One.

י  וּתְהִי עוֹד נֶחָמָתִי וַאֲסַלְּדָה בְחִילָה לֹא יַחְמוֹל כִּי־לֹא כִחַדְתִּי אִמְרֵי קָדוֹשׁ׃

11  What strength have I, that I should endure? How long have I to live, that I should be patient?

יא  מַה־כֹּחִי כִי־אֲיַחֵל וּמַה־קִּצִּי כִּי־אַאֲרִיךְ נַפְשִׁי׃

12  Is my strength the strength of rock? Is my flesh bronze?

יב  אִם־כֹּחַ אֲבָנִים כֹּחִי אִם־בְּשָׂרִי נָחוּשׁ׃

13  Truly, I cannot help myself; I have been deprived of resourcefulness.

יג  הַאִם אֵין עֶזְרָתִי בִי וְתֻשִׁיָּה נִדְּחָה מִמֶּנִּי׃

14  A friend owes loyalty to one who fails, Though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty;

יד  לַמָּס מֵרֵעֵהוּ חָסֶד וְיִרְאַת שַׁדַּי יַעֲזוֹב׃

15  My comrades are fickle, like a wadi, Like a bed on which streams once ran.

טו  אַחַי בָּגְדוּ כְמוֹ־נָחַל כַּאֲפִיק נְחָלִים יַעֲבֹרוּ׃

16  They are dark with ice; Snow obscures them;

טז  הַקֹּדְרִים מִנִּי־קָרַח עָלֵימוֹ יִתְעַלֶּם־שָׁלֶג׃

17  But when they thaw, they vanish; In the heat, they disappear where they are.

יז  בְּעֵת יְזֹרְבוּ נִצְמָתוּ בְּחֻמּוֹ נִדְעֲכוּ מִמְּקוֹמָם׃

18  Their course twists and turns; They run into the desert and perish.

יח  יִלָּפְתוּ אָרְחוֹת דַּרְכָּם יַעֲלוּ בַתֹּהוּ וְיֹאבֵדוּ׃

19  Caravans from Tema look to them; Processions from Sheba count on them.

יט  הִבִּיטוּ אָרְחוֹת תֵּמָא הֲלִיכֹת שְׁבָא קִוּוּ־לָמוֹ׃

20  They are disappointed in their hopes; When they reach the place, they stand aghast.

כ  בֹּשׁוּ כִּי־בָטָח בָּאוּ עָדֶיהָ וַיֶּחְפָּרוּ׃

21  So you are as nothing: At the sight of misfortune, you take fright.

כא  כִּי־עַתָּה הֱיִיתֶם לא [לוֹ] תִּרְאוּ חֲתַת וַתִּירָאוּ׃

22  Did I say to you, “I need your gift; Pay a bribe for me out of your wealth;

כב  הֲ‍כִי־אָמַרְתִּי הָבוּ לִי וּמִכֹּחֲכֶם שִׁחֲדוּ בַעֲדִי׃

23  Deliver me from the clutches of my enemy; Redeem me from violent men”?

כג  וּמַלְּטוּנִי מִיַּד־צָר וּמִיַּד עָרִיצִים תִּפְדּוּנִי׃

24  Teach me; I shall be silent; Tell me where I am wrong.

כד  הוֹרוּנִי וַאֲנִי אַחֲרִישׁ וּמַה־שָּׁגִיתִי הָבִינוּ לִי׃

25  How trenchant honest words are; But what sort of reproof comes from you?

כה  מַה־נִּמְרְצוּ אִמְרֵי־יֹשֶׁר וּמַה־יּוֹכִיחַ הוֹכֵחַ מִכֶּם׃

26  Do you devise words of reproof, But count a hopeless man’s words as wind?

כו  הַלְהוֹכַח מִלִּים תַּחְשֹׁבוּ וּלְרוּחַ אִמְרֵי נֹאָשׁ׃

27  You would even cast lots over an orphan, Or barter away your friend.

af al ya-TOM ta-PEE-lu v’-tikh-RU al ray-a-KHEM

כז  אַף־עַל־יָתוֹם תַּפִּילוּ וְתִכְרוּ עַל־רֵיעֲכֶם׃

6:27   You would even cast lots over an orphan

In Sefer Yeshayahu, the impending destruction of the Land of Israel and exile of its people is attributed to the corruption of the residents of Yerushalayim. Yeshayahu illustrates this corruption with examples, such as failing to pursue justice for orphans (Isaiah 1:23). Similarly, Iyov warns his fellows that while they might view themselves as righteous, it is for their kindness to the needy, such as himself, that they will be rewarded, and for its lack that they will be punished.1 comment

28  Now be so good as to face me; I will not lie to your face.

כח  וְעַתָּה הוֹאִילוּ פְנוּ־בִי וְעַל־פְּנֵיכֶם אִם־אֲכַזֵּב׃

29  Relent! Let there not be injustice; Relent! I am still in the right.

כט  שֻׁבוּ־נָא אַל־תְּהִי עַוְלָה ושבי [וְשׁוּבוּ] עוֹד צִדְקִי־בָהּ׃

30  Is injustice on my tongue? Can my palate not discern evil?

ל  הֲיֵשׁ־בִּלְשׁוֹנִי עַוְלָה אִם־חִכִּי לֹא־יָבִין הַוּוֹת׃

7:1  Truly man has a term of service on earth; His days are like those of a hireling—

ז:א  הֲלֹא־צָבָא לֶאֱנוֹשׁ על־[עֲלֵי־] אָרֶץ וְכִימֵי שָׂכִיר יָמָיו׃

2  Like a slave who longs for [evening’s] shadows, Like a hireling who waits for his wage.

ב  כְּעֶבֶד יִשְׁאַף־צֵל וּכְשָׂכִיר יְקַוֶּה פָעֳלוֹ׃

3  So have I been allotted months of futility; Nights of misery have been apportioned to me.

ג  כֵּן הָנְחַלְתִּי לִי יַרְחֵי־שָׁוְא וְלֵילוֹת עָמָל מִנּוּ־לִי׃

4  When I lie down, I think, “When shall I rise?” Night drags on, And I am sated with tossings till morning twilight.

ד  אִם־שָׁכַבְתִּי וְאָמַרְתִּי מָתַי אָקוּם וּמִדַּד־עָרֶב וְשָׂבַעְתִּי נְדֻדִים עֲדֵי־נָשֶׁף׃

5  My flesh is covered with maggots and clods of earth; My skin is broken and festering.

ה  לָבַשׁ בְּשָׂרִי רִמָּה וגיש [וְגוּשׁ] עָפָר עוֹרִי רָגַע וַיִּמָּאֵס׃

6  My days fly faster than a weaver’s shuttle, And come to their end without hope.

ו  יָמַי קַלּוּ מִנִּי־אָרֶג וַיִּכְלוּ בְּאֶפֶס תִּקְוָה׃

7  Consider that my life is but wind; I shall never see happiness again.

ז  זְכֹר כִּי־רוּחַ חַיָּי לֹא־תָשׁוּב עֵינִי לִרְאוֹת טוֹב׃

8  The eye that gazes on me will not see me; Your eye will seek me, but I shall be gone.

ח  לֹא־תְשׁוּרֵנִי עֵין רֹאִי עֵינֶיךָ בִּי וְאֵינֶנִּי׃

9  As a cloud fades away, So whoever goes down to Sheol does not come up;

ט  כָּלָה עָנָן וַיֵּלַךְ כֵּן יוֹרֵד שְׁאוֹל לֹא יַעֲלֶה׃

10  He returns no more to his home; His place does not know him.

י  לֹא־יָשׁוּב עוֹד לְבֵיתוֹ וְלֹא־יַכִּירֶנּוּ עוֹד מְקֹמוֹ׃

11  On my part, I will not speak with restraint; I will give voice to the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

יא  גַּם־אֲנִי לֹא אֶחֱשָׂךְ פִּי אֲ‍דַבְּרָה בְּצַר רוּחִי אָשִׂיחָה בְּמַר נַפְשִׁי׃

12  Am I the sea or the Dragon, That You have set a watch over me?

יב  הֲ‍יָם־אָנִי אִם־תַּנִּין כִּי־תָשִׂים עָלַי מִשְׁמָר׃

13  When I think, “My bed will comfort me, My couch will share my sorrow,”

יג  כִּי־אָמַרְתִּי תְּנַחֲמֵנִי עַרְשִׂי יִשָּׂא בְשִׂיחִי מִשְׁכָּבִי׃

14  You frighten me with dreams, And terrify me with visions,

יד  וְחִתַּתַּנִי בַחֲלֹמוֹת וּמֵחֶזְיֹנוֹת תְּבַעֲתַנִּי׃

15  Till I prefer strangulation, Death, to my wasted frame.

טו  וַתִּבְחַר מַחֲנָק נַפְשִׁי מָוֶת מֵעַצְמוֹתָי׃

16  I am sick of it. I shall not live forever; Let me be, for my days are a breath.

טז  מָאַסְתִּי לֹא־לְעֹלָם אֶחְיֶה חֲדַל מִמֶּנִּי כִּי־הֶבֶל יָמָי׃

17  What is man, that You make much of him, That You fix Your attention upon him?

mah e-NOSH KEE t’-ga-d’-LE-nu v’-KHEE ta-SHEET ay-LAV li-BE-kha

יז  מָה־אֱנוֹשׁ כִּי תְגַדְּלֶנּוּ וְכִי־תָשִׁית אֵלָיו לִבֶּךָ׃

7:17   What is man, that You make much of him

In his despair, Iyov doubts the very worth of humanity. He declares that because man is insignificant, he is unworthy of Hashem’s attention and should be free from punishment and suffering. These words parallel the famous words of the psalmist: “What is man, that You have been mindful of him, mortal man that You have taken note of him?” However, the psalmist’s conclusion is very different from Iyov’s: “That You have made him little less than divine, and adorned him with glory and majesty” (Psalms 8:5-6). While Iyov bemoans the esteem given by God to man, the psalmist praises Hashem for granting man the capacity for greatness, though in reality he is undeserving.1 comment

18  You inspect him every morning, Examine him every minute.

יח  וַתִּפְקְדֶנּוּ לִבְקָרִים לִרְגָעִים תִּבְחָנֶנּוּ׃

19  Will You not look away from me for a while, Let me be, till I swallow my spittle?

יט  כַּמָּה לֹא־תִשְׁעֶה מִמֶּנִּי לֹא־תַרְפֵּנִי עַד־בִּלְעִי רֻקִּי׃

20  If I have sinned, what have I done to You, Watcher of men? Why make of me Your target, And a burden to myself?

כ  חָטָאתִי מָה אֶפְעַל לָךְ נֹצֵר הָאָדָם לָמָה שַׂמְתַּנִי לְמִפְגָּע לָךְ וָאֶהְיֶה עָלַי לְמַשָּׂא׃

21  Why do You not pardon my transgression And forgive my iniquity? For soon I shall lie down in the dust; When You seek me, I shall be gone.

כא  וּמֶה לֹא־תִשָּׂא פִשְׁעִי וְתַעֲבִיר אֶת־עֲוׂנִי כִּי־עַתָּה לֶעָפָר אֶשְׁכָּב וְשִׁחֲרְתַּנִי וְאֵינֶנִּי׃

8:1  Bildad the Shuhite said in reply:

ח:א  וַיַּעַן בִּלְדַּד הַשּׁוּחִי וַיֹאמַר׃

2  How long will you speak such things? Your utterances are a mighty wind!

ב  עַד־אָן תְּמַלֶּל־אֵלֶּה וְרוּחַ כַּבִּיר אִמְרֵי־פִיךָ׃

3  Will Hashem pervert the right? Will the Almighty pervert justice?

ג  הַאֵל יְעַוֵּת מִשְׁפָּט וְאִם־שַׁדַּי יְעַוֵּת־צֶדֶק׃

4  If your sons sinned against Him, He dispatched them for their transgression.

ד  אִם־בָּנֶיךָ חָטְאוּ־לוֹ וַיְשַׁלְּחֵם בְּיַד־פִּשְׁעָם׃

5  But if you seek Hashem And supplicate the Almighty,

ה  אִם־אַתָּה תְּשַׁחֵר אֶל־אֵל וְאֶל־שַׁדַּי תִּתְחַנָּן׃

6  If you are blameless and upright, He will protect you, And grant well-being to your righteous home.

ו  אִם־זַךְ וְיָשָׁר אָתָּה כִּי־עַתָּה יָעִיר עָלֶיךָ וְשִׁלַּם נְוַת צִדְקֶךָ׃

7  Though your beginning be small, In the end you will grow very great.

ז  וְהָיָה רֵאשִׁיתְךָ מִצְעָר וְאַחֲרִיתְךָ יִשְׂגֶּה מְאֹד׃

8  Ask the generation past, Study what their fathers have searched out—

ח  כִּי־שְׁאַל־נָא לְדֹר רִישׁוֹן וְכוֹנֵן לְחֵקֶר אֲבוֹתָם׃

9  For we are of yesterday and know nothing; Our days on earth are a shadow—

ט  כִּי־תְמוֹל אֲנַחְנוּ וְלֹא נֵדָע כִּי צֵל יָמֵינוּ עֲלֵי־אָרֶץ׃

10  Surely they will teach you and tell you, Speaking out of their understanding.

י  הֲלֹא־הֵם יוֹרוּךָ יֹאמְרוּ לָךְ וּמִלִּבָּם יוֹצִאוּ מִלִּים׃

11  Can papyrus thrive without marsh? Can rushes grow without water?

יא  הֲיִגְאֶה־גֹּמֶא בְּלֹא בִצָּה יִשְׂגֶּה־אָחוּ בְלִי־מָיִם׃

12  While still tender, not yet plucked, They would wither before any other grass.

יב  עֹדֶנּוּ בְאִבּוֹ לֹא יִקָּטֵף וְלִפְנֵי כָל־חָצִיר יִיבָשׁ׃

13  Such is the fate of all who forget Hashem; The hope of the impious man comes to naught—

יג  כֵּן אָרְחוֹת כָּל־שֹׁכְחֵי אֵל וְתִקְוַת חָנֵף תֹּאבֵד׃

14  Whose confidence is a thread of gossamer, Whose trust is a spider’s web.

יד  אֲשֶׁר־יָקוֹט כִּסְלוֹ וּבֵית עַכָּבִישׁ מִבְטַחוֹ׃

15  He leans on his house—it will not stand; He seizes hold of it, but it will not hold.

טו  יִשָּׁעֵן עַל־בֵּיתוֹ וְלֹא יַעֲמֹד יַחֲזִיק בּוֹ וְלֹא יָקוּם׃

16  He stays fresh even in the sun; His shoots spring up in his garden;

טז  רָטֹב הוּא לִפְנֵי־שָׁמֶשׁ וְעַל גַּנָּתוֹ יֹנַקְתּוֹ תֵצֵא׃

17  His roots are twined around a heap, They take hold of a house of stones.

יז  עַל־גַּל שָׁרָשָׁיו יְסֻבָּכוּ בֵּית אֲבָנִים יֶחֱזֶה׃

18  When he is uprooted from his place, It denies him, [saying,] “I never saw you.”

יח  אִם־יְבַלְּעֶנּוּ מִמְּקוֹמוֹ וְכִחֶשׁ בּוֹ לֹא רְאִיתִיךָ׃

19  Such is his happy lot; And from the earth others will grow.

יט  הֶן־הוּא מְשׂוֹשׂ דַּרְכּוֹ וּמֵעָפָר אַחֵר יִצְמָחוּ׃

20  Surely Hashem does not despise the blameless; He gives no support to evildoers.

כ  הֶן־אֵל לֹא יִמְאַס־תָּם וְלֹא־יַחֲזִיק בְּיַד־מְרֵעִים׃

21  He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, And your lips with shouts of joy.

ad y’-ma-LAY s’-KHOK PEE-kha us-fa-TE-kha t’-ru-AH

כא  עַד־יְמַלֵּה שְׂחוֹק פִּיךָ וּשְׂפָתֶיךָ תְרוּעָה׃

8:21   He will yet fill your mouth with laughter

Bildad attempts to comfort Iyov by telling him that if he is as righteous as he claims to be, his suffering will not last long. When the suffering ends, he will feel so happy that his mouth will be filled with laughter. These words are reminiscent of the description, found in Sefer Tehillim (126:2), of the return of the exiled Jews to the Land of Israel: “Our mouths shall be filled with laughter.” It is often said that what causes someone to laugh is an unexpected ending. While he is in the midst of his suffering, it is almost impossible for Iyov to imagine relief from his misery. Similarly, the Jewish people in exile could not always envision an actual redemption. When it comes, therefore, it not only causes feelings of happiness and joy, but laughter as well.1 comment

22  Your enemies will be clothed in disgrace; The tent of the wicked will vanish.

כב  שֹׂנְאֶיךָ יִלְבְּשׁוּ־בֹשֶׁת וְאֹהֶל רְשָׁעִים אֵינֶנּוּ׃

9:1  Iyov said in reply:

ט:א  וַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר׃

2  Indeed I know that it is so: Man cannot win a suit against Hashem.

ב  אָמְנָם יָדַעְתִּי כִי־כֵן וּמַה־יִּצְדַּק אֱנוֹשׁ עִם־אֵל׃

3  If he insisted on a trial with Him, He would not answer one charge in a thousand.

ג  אִם־יַחְפֹּץ לָרִיב עִמּוֹ לֹא־יַעֲנֶנּוּ אַחַת מִנִּי־אָלֶף׃

4  Wise of heart and mighty in power— Who ever challenged Him and came out whole?—

kha-KHAM lay-VAV v’-a-MEETZ KO-akh mee hik-SHAH ay-LAV va-yish-LAM

ד  חֲכַם לֵבָב וְאַמִּיץ כֹּחַ מִי־הִקְשָׁה אֵלָיו וַיִּשְׁלָם׃

9:4   Wise of heart and mighty in power

The words in this verse, translated as “wise of heart,” are understood by the Sages to mean “wise about hearts,” or “wise about innermost thoughts.” This means that Hashem knows what is in people’s hearts, and judges them accordingly. While man has the capacity to judge his fellow only by what is obvious to the human eye, Hashem knows what is really in a person’s heart. Iyov’s friends understand this in a negative sense; while Iyov seems righteous externally, he must have committed sins in secret. However, the opposite is also true. Someone might seem evil on the outside, but might have good intentions in his heart. It is man’s challenge to behave as God does, and instead of making assumptions solely on the basis of external appearances, to understand that there is more in a person’s heart that might not be apparent from the outside. We are therefore called upon to judge others favorably by always giving them the benefit of the doubt.2 comments

5  Him who moves mountains without their knowing it, Who overturns them in His anger;

ה  הַמַּעְתִּיק הָרִים וְלֹא יָדָעוּ אֲשֶׁר הֲפָכָם בְּאַפּוֹ׃

6  Who shakes the earth from its place, Till its pillars quake;

ו  הַמַּרְגִּיז אֶרֶץ מִמְּקוֹמָהּ וְעַמּוּדֶיהָ יִתְפַלָּצוּן׃

7  Who commands the sun not to shine; Who seals up the stars;

ז  הָאֹמֵר לַחֶרֶס וְלֹא יִזְרָח וּבְעַד כּוֹכָבִים יַחְתֹּם׃

8  Who by Himself spread out the heavens, And trod on the back of the sea;

ח  נֹטֶה שָׁמַיִם לְבַדּוֹ וְדוֹרֵךְ עַל־בָּמֳתֵי יָם׃

9  Who made the Bear and Orion, Pleiades, and the chambers of the south wind;

ט  עֹשֶׂה־עָשׁ כְּסִיל וְכִימָה וְחַדְרֵי תֵמָן׃

10  Who performs great deeds which cannot be fathomed, And wondrous things without number.

י  עֹשֶׂה גְדֹלוֹת עַד־אֵין חֵקֶר וְנִפְלָאוֹת עַד־אֵין מִסְפָּר׃

11  He passes me by—I do not see Him; He goes by me, but I do not perceive Him.

יא  הֵן יַעֲבֹר עָלַי וְלֹא אֶרְאֶה וְיַחֲלֹף וְלֹא־אָבִין לוֹ׃

12  He snatches away—who can stop Him? Who can say to Him, “What are You doing?”

יב  הֵן יַחְתֹּף מִי יְשִׁיבֶנּוּ מִי־יֹאמַר אֵלָיו מַה־תַּעֲשֶׂה׃

13  Hashem does not restrain His anger; Under Him Rahab’s helpers sink down.

יג  אֱלוֹהַּ לֹא־יָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ תחתו [תַּחְתָּיו] שָׁחֲחוּ עֹזְרֵי רָהַב׃

14  How then can I answer Him, Or choose my arguments against Him?

יד  אַף כִּי־אָנֹכִי אֶעֱנֶנּוּ אֶבְחֲרָה דְבָרַי עִמּוֹ׃

15  Though I were in the right, I could not speak out, But I would plead for mercy with my judge.

טו  אֲשֶׁר אִם־צָדַקְתִּי לֹא אֶעֱנֶה לִמְשֹׁפְטִי אֶתְחַנָּן׃

16  If I summoned Him and He responded, I do not believe He would lend me His ear.

טז  אִם־קָרָאתִי וַיַּעֲנֵנִי לֹא־אַאֲמִין כִּי־יַאֲזִין קוֹלִי׃

17  For He crushes me for a hair; He wounds me much for no cause.

יז  אֲשֶׁר־בִּשְׂעָרָה יְשׁוּפֵנִי וְהִרְבָּה פְצָעַי חִנָּם׃

18  He does not let me catch my breath, But sates me with bitterness.

יח  לֹא־יִתְּנֵנִי הָשֵׁב רוּחִי כִּי יַשְׂבִּעַנִי מַמְּרֹרִים׃

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