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Iyov - Job - Chapter 29

Iyov - Job - Chapter 29

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Chapter 29

1Then Job again took up his parable and said,   אוַיֹּ֣סֶף אִ֖יּוֹב שְׂאֵ֥ת מְשָׁל֗וֹ וַיֹּֽאמַר:
2"Would that I were as [in] my early months, as [in] the days that God watched over me,   במִֽי־יִתְּנֵ֥נִי כְיַרְחֵי־קֶ֑דֶם כִּ֜ימֵ֗י אֱל֣וֹהַּ יִשְׁמְרֵֽנִי:
Would that I were as [in] my early months: Like the early days, when I was in my greatness.  
3when He lit His candle over my head; by His light I would go through the darkness.   גבְּהִלּ֣וֹ נֵ֖רוֹ עֲלֵ֣י רֹאשִׁ֑י לְ֜אוֹרוֹ אֵ֣לֶךְ חֹֽשֶׁךְ:
when He lit His candle: [This is] an expression of light and joy.  
by His light: I would go. In every occasion of darkness and trouble that came to the world, I had light.  
4As I was in my early days, when God's counsel was upon my tent.   דכַּֽאֲשֶׁ֣ר הָ֖יִיתִי בִּימֵ֣י חָרְפִּ֑י בְּס֥וֹד אֱ֜ל֗וֹהַּ עֲלֵ֣י אָֽהֳלִֽי:
in my early days: Heb. חרפי, in my early days. This is an Aramaism, early crops and late crops (חרפי ואפלי).  
when God’s counsel was upon my tent: When the righteous of the generation would come to my tent, to take counsel in the words of the Holy One, blessed be He, in the Torah and in enacting temporary safeguards.  
5When the Almighty was still with me, [and] my young men were around me;   הבְּע֣וֹד שַׁ֖דַּי עִמָּדִ֑י סְבִ֖יבוֹתַ֣י נְעָרָֽי:
my young men: My servants.  
6When I washed my feet with cream, and the rock that was with me would pour forth rivulets of oil;   ובִּרְחֹ֣ץ הֲלִיכַ֣י בְּחֵמָ֑ה וְצ֥וּר יָצ֥וּק עִ֜מָּדִ֗י פַּלְגֵי־שָֽׁמֶן:
my feet: Heb. הליכי, my feet.  
with cream: Heb. בְּחֵמָה, like בחמאה.  
and the rock that was with me would pour forth rivulets of oil: i.e., all the desires of my heart, which are as pleasing as rivulets of oil.  
would pour: as in (Lev. 2:6), “and you shall pour.”  
7When I would go out to the gate upon the ceiling; in the square I would prepare my seat.   זבְּצֵ֣אתִי שַׁ֣עַר עֲלֵי־קָ֑רֶת בָּֽ֜רְח֗וֹב אָכִ֥ין מֽוֹשָׁבִֽי:
the ceiling: a high ceiling, prepared for a chair for the elders of the city to sit on, and when I was in the square, I would prepare my seat.  
8Youths saw me and hid, and old men rose and stood.   חרָא֣וּנִי נְעָרִ֣ים וְנֶחְבָּ֑אוּ וִֽ֜ישִׁישִׁים קָ֣מוּ עָמָֽדוּ:
Youths saw me: They would see me and hide, and old men stood in my presence.  
9Princes refrained from talking and laid [their] hand on their mouth.   טשָׂרִים עָֽצְר֣וּ בְמִלִּ֑ים וְ֜כַ֗ף יָשִׂ֥ימוּ לְפִיהֶֽם:
Princes refrained from talking: and would wait until I started the conversation.  
10The voice of nobles was hushed, and their tongues stuck to their palates.   יקֽוֹל־נְגִידִ֥ים נֶחְבָּ֑אוּ וּלְ֜שׁוֹנָ֗ם לְחִכָּ֥ם דָּבֵֽקָה:
11For the ear [that] heard praised me, and the eye [that] saw bore witness for me.   יאכִּ֚י אֹ֣זֶן שָֽׁ֖מְעָה וַתְּאַשְּׁרֵ֑נִי וְעַ֥יִן רָֽ֜אֲתָ֗ה וַתְּעִידֵֽנִי:
For the ear: that heard my word praised me.  
and the eye [that] saw: my greatness and the propriety of my traits in all places.  
12For I would deliver the poor who cried out, and the orphan, and one who had no one to help him.   יבכִּֽי־אֲ֖מַלֵּט עָנִ֣י מְשַׁוֵּ֑עַ וְ֜יָת֗וֹם וְֽלֹא־עֹזֵ֥ר לֽוֹ:
13The blessing of the lost one would come upon me, and I would make the widow's heart sing for joy.   יגבִּרְכַּ֣ת א֖וֹבֵד עָלַ֣י תָּבֹ֑א וְלֵ֖ב אַלְמָנָ֣ה אַרְנִֽן:
The blessing of the lost: who died because of his iniquity and was banished.  
would come upon me: because I would sustain his children and his wife. Our Sages said, however, that he [Job] would rob the orphans of their field, improve it and [then] return it to them (Baba Bathra 16a). But the simple meaning of the verse does not appear to be so, for no one is called אובד, but a thing that is itself lost, like (Ps. 31:13), “like a lost vessel” ; and so (ibid. 119:176), “I have gone astray like a lost sheep” , (Jer. 50: 6), “lost sheep.”  
and I would make the widow’s heart sing for joy: for he would attach his name to widows, saying, “She is my kinswoman,” or “I will marry her,” in order that men should be anxious to marry her.  
14I put on righteousness and it clothed me; like a coat and a turban was my judgment.   ידצֶ֣דֶק לָ֖בַשְׁתִּי וַיִּלְבָּשֵׁ֑נִי כִּמְעִ֥יל וְ֜צָנִ֗יף מִשְׁפָּטִֽי:
I put on righteousness and it clothed me: I pursued righteousness and it is present with me as a coat and a turban, which are beautiful ornaments; so was my judgment beautiful and pure.  
15I was eyes for the blind, and I was feet for the lame.   טועֵינַ֣יִם הָ֖יִיתִי לָֽעִוֵּ֑ר וְרַגְלַ֖יִם לַפִּסֵּ֣חַ אָֽנִי:
16I was a father to the needy, and a cause that I did not know, I would investigate.   טזאָ֣ב אָֽ֖נֹכִי לָֽאֶבְיוֹנִ֑ים וְרִ֖ב לֹֽא־יָדַ֣עְתִּי אֶחְקְרֵֽהוּ:
17I broke the fangs of the unjust, and plucked the prey out of his teeth.   יזוָֽאֲשַׁבְּרָה מְתַלְּע֣וֹת עַוָּ֑ל וּמִ֜שִּׁנָּ֗יו אַשְׁלִ֥יךְ טָֽרֶף:
18And I said, I will perish with my nest, and I will multiply days as the phoenix.   יחוָֽאֹמַר עִם־קִנִּ֣י אֶגְוָ֑ע וְ֜כַח֗וֹל אַרְבֶּ֥ה יָמִֽים:
And I said, I will perish with my nest: Because of the propriety of my traits, I would think to myself that when I die, I would have my nest and my house established with me.  
and I will multiply days as the phoenix: Heb. וכחול. This is a bird named חול, phoenix, upon which the punishment of death was not decreed because it did not taste of the Tree of Knowledge, and at the end of one thousand years, it renews itself and returns to its youth.  
19My root will be open to water, and dew will lodge in my branches.   יטשָׁרְשִׁ֣י פָת֣וּחַ אֱלֵי־מָ֑יִם וְ֜טַ֗ל יָלִ֥ין בִּקְצִירִֽי:
My root will be open etc.: All this I was saying to myself, that my root would not dry up, and my branches would not die, like (above 14:9), “and it will produce a branch (קציר).” They are יונקות, tender branches of a tree. And I thought that my honor would be renewed.  
20My honor which is with me will be renewed, and my bow will become stronger in my hand.   ככְּבוֹדִי חָדָ֣שׁ עִמָּדִ֑י וְ֜קַשְׁתִּ֗י בְּיָדִ֥י תַֽחֲלִֽיף:
which is with me: constantly.  
and my bow: And my strength will constantly change for the better.  
21They listened to me and waited, and kept silence for my counsel.   כאלִֽי־שָׁמְע֥וּ וְיִחֵ֑לּוּ וְ֜יִדְּמ֗וּ לְמ֣וֹ עֲצָתִֽי:
They listened to me and waited: Those who listened to my words would wait until they would be realized, and they would be realized because the tradition of wisdom was in my hand.  
22After my word, they would not ask again, and my speech would drip upon them.   כבאַֽחֲרֵ֣י דְ֖בָרִי לֹ֣א יִשְׁנ֑וּ וְ֜עָלֵ֗ימוֹ תִּטֹּ֥ף מִלָּתִֽי:
my speech would drip: Heb. תטף. This is an expression of prophecy. Similarly (Amos 7: 16), “and do not prophesy (תטיף) concerning the house of Isaac.” That is to say that my word was like prophecy.  
23And they waited for me as for rain, and they opened their mouth after a long time.   כגוְיִֽחֲל֣וּ כַמָּטָ֣ר לִ֑י וּפִ֜יהֶ֗ם פָּֽעֲר֥וּ לְמַלְקֽוֹשׁ:
after a long time: After a long time they would speak, because most of their time was spent in silence, for they were anxiously waiting to hear my words.  
24If I would jest with them, they would not believe it, and they would not cast down the light of my countenance.   כדאֶשְׂחַ֣ק אֲ֖לֵיהֶם לֹ֣א יַֽאֲמִ֑ינוּ וְא֥וֹר פָּ֜נַ֗י לֹ֣א יַפִּילֽוּן:
they would not believe it: that I was jesting with them, because of my esteem[ed position].  
and they would not cast down the light of my countenance: They were afraid to get near me and to become familiar with me.  
25I would choose their way and sit at the head, and I would dwell as a king in the troop, as one consoles mourners.   כהאֶבְחַ֣ר דַּרְכָּם֘ וְאֵשֵׁ֪ב רֹ֥אשׁ וְ֖אֶשְׁכּוֹן כְּמֶ֣לֶךְ בַּגְּד֑וּד כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֖ר אֲבֵלִ֣ים יְנַחֵֽם:
I would choose their way: All their ways and their counsel I would choose for them, for they would ask me, “Which way shall we go and what shall we do?”  
and sit at the head: if they were reclining at a banquet, I would recline at the head of the diners.  
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