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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Iyov - Job - Chapter 23

Iyov - Job - Chapter 23

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 23

1. Now Job replied and said,   א. וַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר:
2. "Even today my speech is bitter; my wound is heavier than my sigh.   ב. גַּם הַיּוֹם מְרִי שִׂחִי יָדִי כָּבְדָה עַל אַנְחָתִי:
Even today: after all these consolations.  
my speech is bitter: [The bitterness of my speech] remains in its place, for there is no consolation in your words.  
my wound is heavier: The wound of my plague is stronger than my sigh, for I do not complain and cry about my wound.  
3. Would that I knew and I would find Him; I would come to the place prepared for Him.   ג. מִי יִתֵּן יָדַעְתִּי וְאֶמְצָאֵהוּ אָבוֹא עַד תְּכוּנָתוֹ:
and I would find Him: My Judge.  
the place prepared for Him: The place prepared for His throne.  
4. I would set out [my] case before Him, and I would fill my mouth with arguments.   ד. אֶעֶרְכָה לְפָנָיו מִשְׁפָּט וּפִי אֲמַלֵּא תוֹכָחוֹת:
case: [i.e., my] argument.  
5. I would know the words that He would answer me, and I would understand what He would say to me.   ה. אֵדְעָה מִלִּים יַעֲנֵנִי וְאָבִינָה מַה יֹּאמַר לִי:
I would know the words that He would answer me: Even if He stops me from speaking before Him, perhaps He would speak with me and I would know the words He would answer me.  
6. Will He contend with me with much power? He will not place coercion upon me.   ו. הַבְּרָב כֹּחַ יָרִיב עִמָּדִי לֹא אַךְ הוּא יָשִׂם בִּי:
with much power: of words and rebukes for His sins [other editions read: my sins] will He contend with me?  
not… coercion: smiting and coercion. He will not cast His coercion and His awe upon me. (It may also be interpreted:) Nothing but [this] will He cast on me, for He will not cast on me anything but the contest of the rebukes for my sins; [that,] but not false accusations.  
7. There [my] integrity will be proven with Him, and I will extricate [myself] forever from my Judge.   ז. שָׁם יָשָׁר נוֹכָח עִמּוֹ וַאֲפַלְּטָה לָנֶצַח מִשֹּׁפְטִי:
There: in the place of our contest.  
integrity: The propriety of my deeds will be proven, revealed, and it will appear with Him, i.e., before Him.  
proven: and there I will extricate [myself] forever because He will find no iniquity in me.  
8. Behold, I go to the east and He is not here, and to the west and I perceive Him not.   ח. הֵן קֶדֶם אֶהֱלֹךְ וְאֵינֶנּוּ וְאָחוֹר וְלֹא אָבִין לוֹ:
Behold… east: it refers to the above (verse 3), “Would that I knew etc.”  
east: as it is stated (Exod. 27:13): “on the east side (קדמה), eastward.”  
and to the west: Heb. ואחור. Since the east is the front of the world (קדמה), the west is found to be the back of the world (אחור).  
9. In the north, when He made it I do not see; He wraps up the south and I cannot see.   ט. שְׂמֹאול בַּעֲשׂתוֹ וְלֹא אָחַז יַעְטֹף יָמִין וְלֹא אֶרְאֶה:
north: Heb. שמאוֹל, lit. left.  
when He made it: When He created it, He did not make the place of His throne there, that I should see it there.  
see: Heb. אחז, the Aramaic translation of אֶרְאֶה, I will see. Proof of this is that the accent is under the “aleph.” Now, if it were an expression of holding (אחיזה) , the accent would be at the end of the word, under the “cheth.”  
He wraps up the south: He covers the face of the south before me in order that I should not see Him.  
10. Because He knows the way that is with me; He has tested me that I will emerge like gold.   י. כִּי יָדַע דֶּרֶךְ עִמָּדִי בְּחָנַנִי כַּזָּהָב אֵצֵא:
Because He knows the way: that is  
with me: therefore, He does not come to contend with me.  
He has tested me: that  
I will emerge like gold: if He contends with me.  
11. My foot has held to His path; I have kept His way and do not turn away.   יא. בַּאֲשֻׁרוֹ אָחֲזָה רַגְלִי דַּרְכּוֹ שָׁמַרְתִּי וְלֹא אָט:
to His path: Heb. באשרו, to His path, like (below 31:7), “If my foot (אשרי) has turned away from the road” ; (Ps. 40:3), “He has established my paths (אשרי).”  
and do not turn away: I am not accustomed to turn away.  
12. [I kept] the commandment of His lips and I do not remove [it]; more than my daily bread I kept the words of His mouth.   יב. מִצְוַת שְׂפָתָיו וְלֹא אָמִישׁ מֵחֻקִּי צָפַנְתִּי אִמְרֵי פִיו:
more than my daily bread I kept the words of His mouth: More than my daily food I was eager to keep the words of His mouth. [The expression חקי] is like (Prov. 30:8), “my daily bread (לחם חקי) ,” my food.  
13. But He is One, and who will answer Him? [Therefore,] whatever His soul desires He does.   יג. וְהוּא בְאֶחָד וּמִי יְשִׁיבֶנּוּ וְנַפְשׁוֹ אִוְּתָה וַיָּעַשׂ:
But He: Since He is One in the world and knows the knowledge and the thoughts of the creatures, and what they have to reply to Him, therefore replies are prepared before Him.  
and who will answer Him: Therefore, what His soul desires, He does.  
14. For He will complete my sentence, and there are many such things with Him.   יד. כִּי יַשְׁלִים חֻקִּי וְכָהֵנָּה רַבּוֹת עִמּוֹ:
For He will complete my sentence: I know that He will not draw back His hand until He completes the sentence of His decrees, the retribution that He has decreed against me.  
and there are many such things with Him: For He did many such things.  
15. Therefore, I am startled by Him; I ponder and am frightened of Him.   טו. עַל כֵּן מִפָּנָיו אֶבָּהֵל אֶתְבּוֹנֵן וְאֶפְחַד מִמֶּנּוּ:
Therefore: Since He does not requite man according to his ways.  
I am startled by Him: and when I ponder His ways, I am frightened of Him.  
16. Yea, God has made my heart faint, and the Almighty has startled me.   טז. וְאֵל הֵרַךְ לִבִּי וְשַׁדַּי הִבְהִילָנִי:
17. Because I was not cut off from before the darkness, and [because He did not] cover the thick darkness from before me.   יז. כִּי לֹא נִצְמַתִּי מִפְּנֵי חֹשֶׁךְ וּמִפָּנַי כִּסָּה אֹפֶל:
Because I was not cut off from before the darkness: Because of this I am startled; because I was not completely cut off and laid permanently in the grave before this darkness that has come upon me, and because He did not cover this thick darkness from before me until my death.  
and [because He did not] cover the thick darkness from before me: This refers back to “because not” at the beginning of the verse.  
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