Job 18:3
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Why are we counted as cattle? Why are we stupid in your sight?

King James Bible
Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed vile in your sight?

American Standard Version
Wherefore are we counted as beasts, And are become unclean in your sight?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Why are we reputed as beasts, and counted vile before you?

English Revised Version
Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and are become unclean in your sight?

Webster's Bible Translation
Why are we counted as beasts, and reputed vile in your sight?

Job 18:3 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

13 If I hope, it is for Shel as my house,

In darkness I make my bed.

14 I cry to corruption: Thou art my father! -

To the worm: Thou art my mother and sister!

15 Where now therefore is my hope?

And my hope, who seeth it?

16 To the bars of Shel it descends,

When at the same time there is rest in the dust.

All modern expositors transl.: If I hope (wait) for Shel as my house, etc., since they regard Job 17:13. as a hypothetical antecedent clause to Job 17:15, consisting of four members, where the conclusion should begin with ואיּה, and should be indicated by Waw apodosis. There is no objection to this explanation so far as the syntax is concerned, but there will then be weighty thoughts which are also expressed in the form of fresh thoughts, for which independent clauses seem more appropriate, under the government of אם, as if they were presuppositions. The transition from the preceding strophe to this becomes also easier, if we take Job 17:13. as independent clauses from which, in Job 17:15, an inference is drawn, with Waw indicative of the train of thought (Ew. 348). Accordingly, we regard אם־אקוה in Job 17:13 as antecedent (denoted by Dech, i.e., Tiphcha anterius, just as Psalm 139:8) and ביתי שׁאול as conclusion; the Waw apod. is wanting, as e.g., Job 9:27., and the structure of the sentence is similar to Job 9:19. If I hope, says Job, "Shel is my house" equals this is the substance of my hope, that Shel will be my house. In darkness he has (i.e., in his consciousness, which anticipates that which is before him as near and inevitable) fixed his resting-place (poet. strata, as Psalm 132:3). To corruption and the worm he already cries, father! and, mother! sister! It is, as it seems, that bold figure which is indicated in the Job-like Psalm 88:19 ("my acquaintances are the realms of darkness"), which is here (comp. Job 30:29) worked out; and, differently applied, perhaps Proverbs 7:4 echoes it. Since the fem. רמּה is used as the object addressed by אמי and אחותי, which is besides, on account of its always collective meaning (in distinction from תילעת), well suited for this double apostrophe, we may assume that the poet will have used a masc. object for אבי; and there is really no reason against שׁחת here being, with Ramban, Rosenm., Schlottm., Bttcher (de inferis, 179), derived not from שׁוּח (as נחת, Job 17:16, from נוח), but from שׁחת (as נחת, Isaiah 30:30, from נחת), especially since the old versions transl. שׁחת also elsewhere διαφθορά (putredo), and thereby prove that both derivations accord with the structure of the language. Now already conscious of his belonging to corruption and the worm as by the closest ties of relationship, he asks: Itaque ubi tandem spes mea?

The accentuation connects אפו to the following word, instead of uniting it with איּה, just as in Isaiah 19:12; Luzzatto (on Isaiah 19:12) considers this as a mistake in the Codd., and certainly the accentuation Judges 9:38 (איה Kadma, אפוא Mercha) is not according to our model, and even in this passage another arrangement of the accents is found, e.g., in the edition of Brescia.

(Note: This accentuates ואיה with Munach, אפו with Munach, which accords with the matter, instead of which, according to Luzz., since the Athnach-word תקותי consists of three syllables, it should be more correctly accentuated ואיה with Munach, אפו with Dech. Both, also Munach Munach, are admissible; vid., Br, Thorath Emeth, S. 43, 7, comp. S. 71, not.)

No other hope, in Job's opinion, but speedy death is before him; no human eye is capable of seeing, i.e., of discovering (so e.g., Hahn), any other hope than just this. Somewhat differently Hirz. and others: and my hope, viz., of my recovery, who will it see in process of fulfilment? Certainly תקותי is in both instances equivalent to a hope which he dared to harbour; and the meaning is, that beside the one hope which he has, and which is a hope only per antiphrasin, there is no room for another hope; there is none such (Job 17:15), and no one will attain a sight of such, be it visible in the distance or experienced as near at hand (Job 17:15). The subj. of Job 17:16 is not the hope of recovery which the friends present to him (so e.g., Ew.), but his only real hope: this, avoiding human ken, descends to the lower world, for it is the hope of death, and consequently the death of hope. בּדּי signifies bars, bolts, which Hahn denies, although he says himself that בדים signifies beams of wood among other things; "bolts" is not here intended to imply such as are now used in locks, but the cross bars and beams of wood of any size that serve as a fastening to a door; vectis in exactly the same manner combines the meanings, a carrying-pole and a bar, in which signification בּד is the synon. of בּריח.

(Note: Accordingly we also explain Hosea 11:6 after Lamentations 2:9, and transl.: The sword moveth round in his (Ephraim's) cities, and destroyeth his (Ephraim's) bars (i.e., the bars of his gates), and devoureth round about, because of their counsels.)

The meanings assigned to the word, wastes (Schnurrer and others), bounds (Hahn), clefts (Bttch.), and the like, are fanciful and superfluous. On תּרדנה, instead of תּרד, vid., Caspari on Obad. Oba 1:13, Ges. 47, rem. 3. It is sing., not plur. (Bttch.), for Job 17:15 does not speak of two hopes, not even if, as it seems according to the ancient versions, another word of cognate meaning had stood in the place of the second תקותי originally. His hope goes down to the regions of the dead, when altogether there is rest in the dust. This "together, יחד," Hahn explains: to me and it, to this hope; but that would be pursuing the figure to an inadmissible length, extending far beyond Job 20:11, and must then be expressed יחד לנוּ. Others (e.g., Hirz., Ew.) explain: if at the same time, i.e., simultaneously with this descent of my hope, there is rest to me in the dust. Considering the use of יחד in itself, it might be explained: if altogether entirely there is rest in the dust; but this meaning integer, totus quantus, the word has elsewhere always in connection with a subj. or obj. to which it is referable, e.g., Job 10:8; Psalm 33:15; and, moreover, it may be rendered also in the like passages by "all together," as Job 3:18; Job 21:26; Job 40:13, instead of "altogether, entirely." Since, on the other hand, the signification "at the same time" can at least with probability be supported by Psalm 141:10, and since אם, which is certainly used temporally, brings contemporary things together, we prefer the translation: "when at the same time in the dust there is rest." The descent of his hope to the bars of Hades is at the same time his own, who hopes for nothing but this. When the death of his hope becomes a reality, then at the same time his turmoil of suffering will pass over to the rest of the grave.

continued...

Job 18:3 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Wherefore

Job 12:7,8 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach you; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell you...

Job 17:4,10 For you have hid their heart from understanding: therefore shall you not exalt them...

Psalm 73:22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before you.

Ecclesiastes 3:18 I said in my heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them...

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;

Cross References
Deuteronomy 25:3
Forty stripes may be given him, but not more, lest, if one should go on to beat him with more stripes than these, your brother be degraded in your sight.

Job 18:2
"How long will you hunt for words? Consider, and then we will speak.

Job 18:4
You who tear yourself in your anger, shall the earth be forsaken for you, or the rock be removed out of its place?

Psalm 73:22
I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.

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