English Standard Version
“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.
King James Bible
Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
American Standard Version
Behold, I am of small account; What shall I answer thee? I lay my hand upon my mouth.
English Revised Version
Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer thee? I lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth.
Job 40:4 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
26 Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom,
Doth it spread its wings towards the south?
27 Or is it at thy command that the eagle soareth aloft,
And buildeth its nest on high?
28 It inhabiteth the rock, and buildeth its nest
Upon the crag of the rock and fastness.
29 From thence it seeketh food,
Its eyes see afar off.
30 And its young ones suck up blood;
And where the slain are, there is it.
The ancient versions are unanimous in testifying that, according to the signification of the root, נץ signifies the hawk (which is significant in the Hieroglyphics): the soaring one, the high-flyer (comp. Arab. nṣṣ, to rise, struggle forwards, and Arab. nḍḍ, to raise the wings for flight). The Hiph. יאבר- (jussive form in the question, as Job 13:27) might signify: to get feathers, plumescere (Targ., Jer.), but that gives a tame question; wherefore Gregory understands the plumescit of the Vulgate of moulting, for which purpose the hawk seeks the sunny side. But האביר alone, by itself, cannot signify "to get new feathers;" moreover, an annual moulting is common to all birds, and prominence is alone given to the new feathering of the eagle in the Old Testament, Psalm 103:5; Micah 1:16, comp. Isaiah 40:31 (lxx πτεροφυήσουσιν ὡς ἀετοί).
(Note: Less unfavourable to this rendering is the following, that אברה signifies the long feathers, and אבר the wing that is composed of them (perhaps, since the Talm. אברים signifies wings and limbs, artus, from אבר equals הבר, Arab. hbr, to divide, furnish with joints), although נוצה (from נצה, to fly) is the more general designation of the feathers of birds.)
Thus, then, the point of the question will lie in לתימן: the hawk is a bird of passage, God has endowed it with instinct to migrate to the south as the winter season is approaching.
In Job 39:27 the circle of the native figures taken from animal life, which began with the lion, the king of quadrupeds, is now closed with the eagle, the king of birds. It is called נשׁר, from נשׁר, Arab. nsr, vellere; as also vultur (by virtue of a strong power of assimilation equals vultor) is derived from vellere, - a common name of the golden eagle, the lamb's vulture, the carrion-kite (Cathartes percnopterus), and indeed also of other kinds of kites and falcons. There is nothing to prevent our understanding the eagle κατ ̓ εξοχήν, viz., the golden eagle (Aquila chrysatos), in the present passage; for even to this, corpses, though not already putrified, are a welcome prey. In Job 39:27 we must translate either: and is it at thy command that ... ? or: is it so that (as in הכי) at thy command ... ? The former is more natural here. מצוּדה, Job 39:28, signifies prop. specula (from צוּד, to spy); then, however, as Arab. masâd (referred by the original lexicons to masada), the high hill, and the mountain-top. The rare form יעלעוּ, for which Ges., Olsh., and others wish to read לעלעוּ or ילעלעוּ (from לוּע, deglutire), is to be derived from עלע, a likewise secondary form out of עלעל (from עוּל, to suck, to give suck),
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
And they said to him, "Keep quiet; put your hand on your mouth and come with us and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and clan in Israel?"
Look at me and be appalled, and lay your hand over your mouth.
the princes refrained from talking and laid their hand on their mouth;
Then Job answered the LORD and said:
If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth.
let him put his mouth in the dust-- there may yet be hope;
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.