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Ayub 3:17-19


3:17 There 1  the wicked 2  cease 3  from turmoil, 4 

and there the weary 5  are at rest.

3:18 There 6  the prisoners 7  relax 8  together; 9 

they do not hear the voice of the oppressor. 10 

3:19 Small and great are 11  there,

and the slave is free 12  from his master. 13 

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[3:17]  1 sn The reference seems to be death, or Sheol, the place where the infant who is stillborn is either buried (the grave) or resides (the place of departed spirits) and thus does not see the light of the sun.

[3:17]  2 sn The wicked are the ungodly, those who are not members of the covenant (normally) and in this context especially those who oppress and torment other people.

[3:17]  3 tn The parallelism uses the perfect verb in the first parallel part, and the imperfect opposite it in the second. Since the verse projects to the grave or Sheol (“there”) where the action is perceived as still continuing or just taking place, both receive an English present tense translation (GKC 312 §106.l).

[3:17]  4 tn Here the noun רֹגז (rogez) refers to the agitation of living as opposed to the peaceful rest of dying. The associated verb רָגַז (ragaz) means “to be agitated, excited.” The expression indicates that they cease from troubling, meaning all the agitation of their own lives.

[3:17]  5 tn The word יָגִיעַ (yagia’) means “exhausted, wearied”; it is clarified as a physical exhaustion by the genitive of specification (“with regard to their strength”).

[3:18]  6 tn “There” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied from the context.

[3:18]  7 tn The LXX omits the verb and translates the noun not as prisoners but as “old men” or “men of old time.”

[3:18]  8 tn The verb שַׁאֲנָנוּ (shaananu) is the Pilpel of שָׁאַן (shaan) which means “to rest.” It refers to the normal rest or refreshment of individuals; here it is contrasted with the harsh treatment normally put on prisoners.

[3:18]  9 sn See further J. C. de Moor, “Lexical Remarks Concerning yahad and yahdaw,” VT 7 (1957): 350-55.

[3:18]  10 tn Or “taskmaster.” The same Hebrew word is used for the taskmasters in Exod 3:7.

[3:19]  11 tn The versions have taken the pronoun in the sense of the verb “to be.” Others give it the sense of “the same thing,” rendering the verse as “small and great, there is no difference there.” GKC 437 §135.a, n. 1, follows this idea with a meaning of “the same.”

[3:19]  12 tn The LXX renders this as “unafraid,” although the negative has disappeared in some mss to give the reading “and the servant that feared his master.” See I. Mendelsohn, “The Canaanite Term for ‘Free Proletarian’,” BASOR 83 (1941): 36-39; idem, “New Light on hupsu,” BASOR 139 (1955): 9-11.

[3:19]  13 tn The plural “masters” could be taken here as a plural of majesty rather than as referring to numerous masters.

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