TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
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Job 16

1Iyov said in reply:

אוַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר׃

2I have often heard such things; You are all mischievous comforters.

בשָׁמַעְתִּי כְאֵלֶּה רַבּוֹת מְנַחֲמֵי עָמָל כֻּלְּכֶם׃

3Have windy words no limit? What afflicts you that you speak on?

גהֲקֵץ לְדִבְרֵי־רוּחַ אוֹ מַה־יַּמְרִיצְךָ כִּי תַעֲנֶה׃

4I would also talk like you If you were in my place; I would barrage you with words, I would wag my head over you.

דגַּם אָנֹכִי כָּכֶם אֲדַבֵּרָה לוּ־יֵשׁ נַפְשְׁכֶם תַּחַת נַפְשִׁי אַחְבִּירָה עֲלֵיכֶם בְּמִלִּים וְאָנִיעָה עֲלֵיכֶם בְּמוֹ רֹאשִׁי׃

5I would encourage you with words, My moving lips would bring relief.

האֲאַמִּצְכֶם בְּמוֹ־פִי וְנִיד שְׂפָתַי יַחְשֹׂךְ׃

6If I speak, my pain will not be relieved, And if I do not—what have I lost?

ואִם־אֲדַבְּרָה לֹא־יֵחָשֵׂךְ כְּאֵבִי וְאַחְדְּלָה מַה־מִנִּי יַהֲלֹךְ׃

7Now He has truly worn me out; You have destroyed my whole community.

זאַךְ־עַתָּה הֶלְאָנִי הֲשִׁמּוֹתָ כָּל־עֲדָתִי׃

8You have shriveled me; My gauntness serves as a witness, And testifies against me.

חוַתִּקְמְטֵנִי לְעֵד הָיָה וַיָּקָם בִּי כַחֲשִׁי בְּפָנַי יַעֲנֶה׃

9In His anger He tears and persecutes me; He gnashes His teeth at me; My foe stabs me with his eyes.

טאַפּוֹ טָרַף וַיִּשְׂטְמֵנִי חָרַק עָלַי בְּשִׁנָּיו צָרִי יִלְטוֹשׁ עֵינָיו לִי׃

10They open wide their mouths at me; Reviling me, they strike my cheeks; They inflame themselves against me.

יפָּעֲרוּ עָלַי בְּפִיהֶם בְּחֶרְפָּה הִכּוּ לְחָיָי יַחַד עָלַי יִתְמַלָּאוּן׃

11Hashem hands me over to an evil man, Thrusts me into the clutches of the wicked.

יאיַסְגִּירֵנִי אֵל אֶל עֲוִיל וְעַל־יְדֵי רְשָׁעִים יִרְטֵנִי׃

12I had been untroubled, and He broke me in pieces; He took me by the scruff and shattered me; He set me up as His target;

יבשָׁלֵו הָיִיתִי וַיְפַרְפְּרֵנִי וְאָחַז בְּעָרְפִּי וַיְפַצְפְּצֵנִי וַיְקִימֵנִי לוֹ לְמַטָּרָה׃

13His bowmen surrounded me; He pierced my kidneys; He showed no mercy; He spilled my bile onto the ground.

יגיָסֹבּוּ עָלַי רַבָּיו יְפַלַּח כִּלְיוֹתַי וְלֹא יַחְמוֹל יִשְׁפֹּךְ לָאָרֶץ מְרֵרָתִי׃

14He breached me, breach after breach; He rushed at me like a warrior.

ידיִפְרְצֵנִי פֶרֶץ עַל־פְּנֵי־פָרֶץ יָרֻץ עָלַי כְּגִבּוֹר׃

15I sewed sackcloth over my skin; I buried my glory in the dust.

טושַׂק תָּפַרְתִּי עֲלֵי גִלְדִּי וְעֹלַלְתִּי בֶעָפָר קַרְנִי׃

16My face is red with weeping; Darkness covers my eyes

טזפָּנַי חמרמרה [חֳמַרְמְרוּ] מִנִּי־בֶכִי וְעַל עַפְעַפַּי צַלְמָוֶת׃

17For no injustice on my part And for the purity of my prayer!

יזעַל לֹא־חָמָס בְּכַפָּי וּתְפִלָּתִי זַכָּה׃

18Earth, do not cover my blood; Let there be no resting place for my outcry!

E-retz al t'-kha-SEE da-MEE v'-AL y'-HEE ma-KOM l'-za-a-ka-TEE

יחאֶרֶץ אַל־תְּכַסִּי דָמִי וְאַל־יְהִי מָקוֹם לְזַעֲקָתִי׃

 16:18   Earth, do not cover my blood

Rabbi Judah Halevi (1075-1141)

By asking the earth not to cover up his blood, Iyov invokes the murder of Abel by Cain in response to which the ground “opened its mouth to receive… [Abel’s] blood” (Genesis 4:11). The commentators wonder what argument led to the first murder in history, in which a person killed his own brother. According to Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, they were fighting over the Land of Israel. In his words, “They desired to know which of them would be Adam’s successor, and heir to his essence and intrinsic perfection, to inherit the land, and to stand in connection with the divine influence, while the other would be a nonentity.” From the beginning of time, Eretz Yisrael has been the object of desire and the source of conflict among those who wish to inherit it. However, Hashem states explicitly in the Bible that He gave it to Avraham to pass on to the Children of Israel as their eternal inheritance (see, e.g., Genesis 13:15).

19Surely now my witness is in heaven; He who can testify for me is on high.

יטגַּם־עַתָּה הִנֵּה־בַשָּׁמַיִם עֵדִי וְשָׂהֲדִי בַּמְּרוֹמִים׃

20O my advocates, my fellows, Before Hashem my eyes shed tears;

כמְלִיצַי רֵעָי אֶל־אֱלוֹהַ דָּלְפָה עֵינִי׃

21Let Him arbitrate between a man and Hashem As between a man and his fellow.

כאוְיוֹכַח לְגֶבֶר עִם־אֱלוֹהַּ וּבֶן־אָדָם לְרֵעֵהוּ׃

22For a few more years will pass, And I shall go the way of no return.

כבכִּי־שְׁנוֹת מִסְפָּר יֶאֱתָיוּ וְאֹרַח לֹא־אָשׁוּב אֶהֱלֹךְ׃