Save

A New Interpretation and Translation of Job 5:5

In: Vetus Testamentum
Author:
John Burnight Department of Philosophy & World Religions University of Northern Iowa burnighj@uni.edu

Search for other papers by John Burnight in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$40.00

One of the most notoriously difficult—and frequently emended—verses in the Book of Job is 5:5, which the New jps Version translates as “May the hungry devour his harvest, Carrying it off in baskets; May the thirsty swallow their wealth”. Marvin Pope, for example, writes of 5:5b-c that “as they stand, these two lines are impossible and the various emendations not much better”, and all three cola have been the subject of considerable debate. In this paper a new interpretation of this problematic verse is offered, one that requires minimal emendation to the text and is well-suited to its context. In brief, I propose that the term in 5:5a generally translated as “harvest” should instead be glossed as “branches” (a collective singular in the Hebrew), and the verse as a whole taken as a “tree” metaphor that tacitly compares Job to a “fool” who commits apostasy.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 188 35 0
Full Text Views 220 8 0
PDF Views & Downloads 52 14 0