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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Iyov - Job - Chapter 9

Iyov - Job - Chapter 9

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 9

1. Then Job replied and said,   א. וַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר:
2. "Indeed, I know that it is so, but why should a man be righteous with God?   ב. אָמְנָם יָדַעְתִּי כִּי כֵן וּמַה יִּצְדַּק אֱנוֹשׁ עִם אֵל:
3. If he would wish to contend with Him He would not answer him one out of a thousand.   ג. אִם יַחְפֹּץ לָרִיב עִמּוֹ לֹא יַעֲנֶנּוּ אַחַת מִנִּי אָלֶף:
to contend with Him: To debate with Him.  
4. He is wise in heart and mighty in strength; who hardened [his heart] against Him and remained whole?   ד. חֲכַם לֵבָב וְאַמִּיץ כֹּחַ מִי הִקְשָׁה אֵלָיו וַיִּשְׁלָם:
He is wise in heart: to contend.  
and mighty in strength: to requite.  
who hardened: his heart and went away whole? Pharaoh hardened [his heart] and was destroyed, and so it is with all who hardened [their hearts].  
5. He Who moved mountains but they knew not that He had overturned them in His wrath;   ה. הַמַּעְתִּיק הָרִים וְלֹא יָדָעוּ אֲשֶׁר הֲפָכָם בְּאַפּוֹ:
He Who moved mountains: He moved them away when He overturned Sodom.  
and they knew not: until He turned them over.  
6. He Who causes the earth to quake from its place, and its pillars shudder;   ו. הַמַּרְגִּיז אֶרֶץ מִמְּקוֹמָהּ וְעַמּוּדֶיהָ יִתְפַּלָּצוּן:
He Who causes the earth to quake: when He looks at it, and it trembles.  
7. He Who spoke to the sun and it did not shine, and He sealed up the stars;   ז. הָאֹמֵר לַחֶרֶס וְלֹא יִזְרָח וּבְעַד כּוֹכָבִים יַחְתֹּם:
He Who spoke to the sun: Heb. לחרס, to the sun, “Stand still.” and it kept the command of the King and did not shine.  
and He settled up the stars: He closed off the stars with a partition and they did not shine.  
8. He Who alone stretched out the heavens and treads on the high places of the sea;   ח. נֹטֶה שָׁמַיִם לְבַדּוֹ וְדוֹרֵךְ עַל בָּמֳתֵי יָם:
He Who alone stretched out the heavens: and the angels were created on the second day, lest you say that Michael stretched it out in the north and Gabriel in the south.  
on the high places of the sea: On the heights of the sea. This was stated regarding the Creation, that the lower waters raised themselves up on high, and He trod them.  
9. He Who made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the chambers of the south;   ט. עֹשֶׂה עָשׁ כְּסִיל וְכִימָה וְחַדְרֵי תֵמָן:
Orion, and the Pleiades: they are constellations.  
and the chambers of the south: into which to bring the tempest, as he states (below 37:9): “From the chamber shall come the tempest.”  
10. He Who performs great deeds without limit, and wonders until they have no number   י. עֹשֶׂה גְדֹלוֹת עַד אֵין חֵקֶר וְנִפְלָאוֹת עַד אֵין מִסְפָּר:
11. Behold, He goes by me but I do not see [Him]; and He passes but I do not perceive Him.   יא. הֵן יַעֲבֹר עָלַי וְלֹא אֶרְאֶה וְיַחֲלֹף וְלֹא אָבִין לוֹ:
Behold, He goes by me: I know that all He wishes, He does.  
He goes by me: Before me, but I do not see Him.  
12. Behold, He strikes suddenly, and who can hold Him back; who will say to Him, 'What are You doing?'   יב. הֵן יַחְתֹּף מִי יְשִׁיבֶנּוּ מִי יֹאמַר אֵלָיו מַה תַּעֲשֶׂה:
Behold, He strikes suddenly: Heb. יחתף, He strikes suddenly, like (Prov. 23:28), “She, too, will suddenly (כחתף) lurk,” an expression of suddenness.  
13. God will not hold back His wrath; all the helpers of Rahab stoop under Him.   יג. אֱלוֹהַּ לֹא יָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ תַּחְתָּיו שָׁחֲחוּ עֹזְרֵי רָהַב:
will not hold back His wrath: because of fear (other editions: righteousness) of a man.  
[all the helpers of Rahab] stoop under Him: The celestial host that came to aid the Egyptians. Egypt is called Rahab, as it is said (Isa. 30:7): “Therefore, I called this, ‘They are haughty (רהב) idlers,’” by dint of their haughtiness, for they said, “Who is the Lord? etc.” (Exod. 5:2).  
14. Surely, that I should answer Him; that I should choose my words with Him.   יד. אַף כִּי אָנֹכִי אֶעֱנֶנּוּ אֶבְחֲרָה דְבָרַי עִמּוֹ:
Surely: Heb. אַף.  
15. For if I am right, I will not reply; will I supplicate my Judge?   טו. אֲשֶׁר אִם צָדַקְתִּי לֹא אֶעֱנֶה לִמְשֹׁפְטִי אֶתְחַנָּן:
I will not reply: I will fear to raise my voice before Him.  
my Judge: Heb. למשפטי, like לשופטי.  
16. If I call and He answers me, I will not believe that He would hearken to my voice   טז. אִם קָרָאתִי וַיַּעֲנֵנִי לֹא אַאֲמִין כִּי יַאֲזִין קוֹלִי:
I will not believe: I will be unable to believe out of my fear for Him, for how do I not see Him?  
17. He Who would crush me with a tempest and multiply my wounds for nought;   יז. אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׂעָרָה יְשׁוּפֵנִי וְהִרְבָּה פְצָעַי חִנָּם:
He Who would crush me with a tempest: My form was changed (other editions: my status) before Him.  
would crush me: Heb. ישופני, would crush me. “I crushed it and ground it” (Deut. 9:21) is translated into Aramaic as: ושפיתיתֵה.  
my wounds: Heb. פצעי, a wound that oozes blood and pus.  
18. He Who would not let me catch my breath, for he would sate me with bitterness.   יח. לֹא יִתְּנֵנִי הָשֵׁב רוּחִי כִּי יַשְׂבִּעַנִי מַמְּרֹרִים:
He Who would not let me: He does not let me bring back my breath to myself.  
19. If it is a trial of strength- behold He is mighty; and if of judgment-who will summon me?   יט. אִם לְכֹחַ אַמִּיץ הִנֵּה וְאִם לְמִשְׁפָּט מִי יוֹעִידֵנִי:
If it is a trial of strength: How can I contend with Him? If He comes with strength, behold He is mighty.  
and if of judgment: who will be able to summon me before Him and confirm my verdict? Is it not so that…  
20. If I am innocent, my mouth will condemn me; if blameless, it will make me crooked.   כ. אִם אֶצְדָּק פִּי יַרְשִׁיעֵנִי תָּם אָנִי וַיַּעְקְשֵׁנִי:
If I am innocent, my mouth will condemn me: because my words will be silenced out of fear, and my mouth will make me crooked.  
21. I am blameless, but I do not know how to find rest; I despise my life.   כא. תָּם אָנִי לֹא אֵדַע נַפְשִׁי אֶמְאַס חַיָּי:
I am blameless: I know of myself that I am blameless; nonetheless, I do not know my rest, how I will find rest.  
22. It is all one; therefore I said, 'He destroys both the innocent and the wicked.'   כב. אַחַת הִיא עַל כֵּן אָמַרְתִּי תָּם וְרָשָׁע הוּא מְכַלֶּה:
It is all one: in the world, concerning which I said that He destroys both the innocent and the wicked. Now, what is it?…  
23. If the scourge kills suddenly, he will mock at the calamity of the innocent.   כג. אִם שׁוֹט יָמִית פִּתְאֹם לְמַסַּת נְקִיִּם יִלְעָג:
If the scourge: of the Adversary’s tongue suddenly puts the righteous to death.  
at the calamity of the innocent: that he put to death he will mock.  
24. The earth has been given into the hands of a wicked one; he covers the faces of its judges. If not, then who is he?   כד. אֶרֶץ | נִתְּנָה בְיַד רָשָׁע פְּנֵי שֹׁפְטֶיהָ יְכַסֶּה אִם לֹא אֵפוֹא מִי הוּא:
into the hands of a wicked one: Referring to the Adversary.  
he covers the faces of its judges: from discerning and comprehending the truth of the matter.  
If not, then: If this [interpretation] is not the truth of the matter, who is it that destroys the innocent?  
25. My days are swifter than a runner; they fled, they saw no good.   כה. וְיָמַי קַלּוּ מִנִּי רָץ בָּרְחוּ לֹא רָאוּ טוֹבָה:
My days: with the destruction of the other innocent people are swifter than a runner.  
26. They passed with the ships of Ebeh, like an eagle that swoops upon food.   כו. חָלְפוּ עִם אֳנִיּוֹת אֵבֶה כְּנֶשֶׁר יָטוּשׂ עֲלֵי אֹכֶל:
Ebeh: The name of a rushing river.  
swoops: Heb. יטוש, flies.  
27. If I say, 'Let me forget my complaint, I will abandon my anger and restrain myself.'   כז. אִם אָמְרִי אֶשְׁכְּחָה שִׂיחִי אֶעֶזְבָה פָנַי וְאַבְלִיגָה:
my speech: The words of my pain.  
my anger: Heb. פני, lit. my face.  
and [I will] restrain myself: Heb. ואבליגה, I will strengthen myself, like (Amos 5:9), “Who strengthens (המבליג) the robbed upon the strong.”  
28. I will gather in all my sadness, I know that You will not declare me innocent.   כח. יָגֹרְתִּי כָל עַצְּבֹתָי יָדַעְתִּי כִּי לֹא תְנַקֵּנִי:
I will gather in all my sadness: that it not let me cry out.  
I know that You will not declare me innocent: of my iniquity, so as not to requite me.  
29. If I am wicked, why should I toil in vain?   כט. אָנֹכִי אֶרְשָׁע לָמָּה זֶּה הֶבֶל אִיגָע:
why should I toil in vain: to come to judgment?  
30. I washed myself with snow water and cleansed my hands with purity.   ל. אִם הִתְרָחַצְתִּי בְמֵי שָׁלֶג וַהֲזִכּוֹתִי בְּבוֹר כַּפָּי:
with purity: Heb. בבור, with cleanliness.  
31. Then You will plunge me in the ditch, and my garments shall abhor me.   לא. אָז בַּשַּׁחַת תִּטְבְּלֵנִי וְתִעֲבוּנִי שַׂלְמוֹתָי:
You will plunge me in the ditch: to be sullied and contaminated; i.e., You will find great iniquity in me.  
32. For He is not man like me, that I should answer Him, 'Let us come together in debate.'   לב. כִּי לֹא אִישׁ כָּמוֹנִי אֶעֱנֶנּוּ נָבוֹא יַחְדָּו בַּמִּשְׁפָּט:
in debate: Heb. במשפט, in words of debate. [The word] משפט is used in three expressions: 1) its beginning, viz. the clarification of the matters, 2) its middle, viz. the verdict, and 3) its end, viz. the meting out of the tortures and the collection of the debt. Sometimes Scripture writes it as referring to the beginning, sometimes to the middle, and sometimes to the end.  
33. There is no arbiter between us, who will place his hand on both of us.   לג. לֹא יֵשׁ בֵּינֵינוּ מוֹכִיחַ יָשֵׁת יָדוֹ עַל שְׁנֵינוּ:
arbiter: discerner in Old French. He shows each one his guilt and his innocence.  
who will place his hand: The ruling of his fear and his power.  
on both of us: so that the stronger does not overpower the weaker.  
34. Let Him take His rod off me, and let His terror not frighten me.   לד. יָסֵר מֵעָלַי שִׁבְטוֹ וְאֵמָתוֹ אַל תְּבַעֲתַנִּי:
35. I will speak and I will not fear Him, for I am not so with myself.   לה. אֲדַבְּרָה וְלֹא אִירָאֶנּוּ כִּי לֹא כֵן אָנֹכִי עִמָּדִי:
for I am not so with myself: Because I fear [God], I am certain with myself that I will not be found guilty in the trial.  
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