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Job 40:24

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  • Job 40:24

    This is the last of the 10 behemoth verses. I noticed quite a range of discrepancies in both translations and commentaries. Barnes' notes say,
    From this marginal reading it is evident that our translators were much perplexed with this passage. Expositors have been also much embarrassed in regard to its meaning, and have differed much in their exposition.

    Including the previous verse for context, the KJV says,
    23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. 24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.

    NIV says,
    23 A raging river does not alarm it;
    it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.
    24 Can anyone capture it by the eyes,
    or trap it and pierce its nose?

    My main curiosity is about verse 24. Would someone mind taking a crack at a very wooden literal translation of this from the original?

  • #2
    Job 40:24

    Text (BHS):
    בְּעֵינָיו יִקָּחֶנּוּ בְּמוֹקְשִׁים יִנְקָב־אָף

    Transliteration (Accordance):
    bᵉʿnāyw yiqqāḥenn bᵉmqᵉı̂m yinqāḇ-ʾāp̱

    Translation (Young's Literal Translation/YLT):
    Before his eyes doth [one] take him, With snares doth [one] pierce the nose?

    Translation (World English Bible/WEB):
    Shall any take him when he is on the watch,
    or pierce through his nose with a snare?

    Glossary & Analysis (meanings in this context):
    בְּעֵינָיו (bᵉʿnāyw ) : preposition בְּ (bᵉ) + dual of (ʿayin ) + pronominal 3 m.s. suffix : in his eyes.
    יִקָּחֶנּוּ (yiqqāḥenn ) : Qal imperfect 3 m.s. of לָקַח (lāqaḥ ) + pronominal 3 m.s. suffix : can one take him.
    בְּמוֹקְשִׁים (bᵉmqᵉı̂m ) : preposition בְּ (bᵉ) + plural of מוֹקֵשׁ (mqē ) : with a snare ("will not pierce nostril of hippopotamus Job 40:24"―BDB, page 430).
    יִנְקָב (yinqāḇ) : Qal imperfect 3 m.s. of נָקַב (nāqaḇ) : can one pierce.
    אָף (ʾap̱) : nostril/nose.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by John Reece View Post
      ...Glossary & Analysis (meanings in this context):[indent]בְּעֵינָיו (bᵉʿnāyw ) : preposition בְּ (bᵉ) + dual of (ʿayin ) + pronominal 3 m.s. suffix : in his eyes.
      I get the b'eynayw - in his eyes. (forgive the transliteration)

      Originally posted by John Reece View Post
      יִקָּחֶנּוּ (yiqqāḥenn ) : Qal imperfect 3 m.s. of לָקַח (lāqaḥ ) + pronominal 3 m.s. suffix : can one take him.
      Isn't the yiqqachennu literally we take? No?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Calminian View Post
        Isn't the yiqqachennu literally we take? No?
        No.

        The ending נּוּ- renders 1st person plural ("we") when the connecting vowel is Qāmeṣ; however when the connecting vowel is either Segōl or Ṣērē the rendering is 3rd person masculine singular.

        In the case of יִקָּחֶנּוּ in Job 40:24, the connecting vowel is Segōl, and thus the accurate rendering is Qal imperfect 3rd person masculine singular ― as is demonstrated or indicated by every English translation.
        Last edited by John Reece; 05-01-2015, 12:52 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by John Reece View Post
          No.

          The ending נּוּ- renders 1st person plural ("we") when the connecting vowel is Qāmeṣ; however when the connecting vowel is either Segōl or Ṣērē the rendering is 3rd person masculine singular.

          In the case of יִקָּחֶנּוּ in Job 40:24, the connecting vowel is Segōl, and thus the accurate rendering is Qal imperfect 3rd person masculine singular ― as is demonstrated or indicated by every English translation.
          Thank you for clearing that up. All my tools were saying 3MS, so I was getting confused (by my own limited knowledge).

          Couple more questions. The NKJV says,
          24 Though he takes it in his eyes,
          Or one pierces his nose with a snare.

          1) Can the verb "he takes" in 24a be linked to the rushing Jordan previously mentioned?

          2) Also, could the snare (mowqesh) in 24b be referring to the waters as well, and the passage be speaking of his nose piercing or boring through them?

          In other words, is this rendering possible.
          23 ...He is confident, though the Jordan gushes against his mouth,
          24 he takes it in his eyes,
          his nose bores through its snares.
          Last edited by Calminian; 05-01-2015, 05:29 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Calminian View Post
            ...
            In other words, is this rendering possible.
            23 ...He is confident, though the Jordan gushes against his mouth,
            24 he takes it in his eyes,
            his nose bores through the snares.
            A New English Translation of the Septuagint (Oxford, 2007) has this reading at Job 40:23-24, wherein the first line of the Old Greek is supplemented by the following three lines from Theodotion.
            Job 40:23 If there is a flood, it will never notice.
            23 *it trusts that the Jordan will tumble into its mouth.
            24 *Will he catch it in his eye;
            *while bent back, will he pierce its nose.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by John Reece View Post
              A New English Translation of the Septuagint (Oxford, 2007) has this reading at Job 40:23-24, wherein the first line of the Old Greek is supplemented by the following three lines from Theodotion.
              Job 40:23 If there is a flood, it will never notice.
              23 *it trusts that the Jordan will tumble into its mouth.
              24 *Will he catch it in his eye;
              *while bent back, will he pierce its nose.

              That's interesting. It does appear the translator here is speaking of water in his eyes. The KJV says, "He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares." It would seem that some translators saw this as the waters of the Jordan coming against his eyes, while others saw human interveners coming at his eyes with something (be it a weapon or lure of some sort). Some pose it as a rhetorical question. "Will it be taken by the eyes?" or "will it be taken when watching?" While others do not.

              Would it be safe to say these full range of translations are all possible?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Calminian View Post
                That's interesting. It does appear the translator here is speaking of water in his eyes. The KJV says, "He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares." It would seem that some translators saw this as the waters of the Jordan coming against his eyes, while others saw human interveners coming at his eyes with something (be it a weapon or lure of some sort). Some pose it as a rhetorical question. "Will it be taken by the eyes?" or "will it be taken when watching?" While others do not.

                Would it be safe to say these full range of translations are all possible?
                Possibly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by John Reece View Post
                  Possibly.
                  One other thing. Do you believe the chapter markers of this text are possibly a source of confusion? Could verses 23 and 24 actually be descriptive of Leviathan, rather than Behemoth. Someone else suggested this to me based on Hebrew versification.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Calminian View Post
                    One other thing. Do you believe the chapter markers of this text are possibly a source of confusion? Could verses 23 and 24 actually be descriptive of Leviathan, rather than Behemoth. Someone else suggested this to me based on Hebrew versification.
                    Possibly.

                    Delitzsch says at verse 24: "The description of the hippopotamus is now followed by that of the crocodile, which also elsewhere form a pair, e.g in Achilles Tatius, iv. 2, 19."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here's how the LXX sees it:

                      23 ἐὰν γένηται πλήμμυρα, οὐ μὴ αἰσθηθῇ· πέποιθεν ὅτι προσκρούσει ὁ ᾿Ιορδάνης εἰς τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ. 24 ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ αὐτοῦ δέξεται αὐτόν, ἐνσκολιευόμενος τρήσει ρῖνα. 25 ἄξεις δὲ δράκοντα ἐν ἀγκίστρῳ, περιθήσεις δὲ φορβαίαν περὶ ρῖνα αὐτοῦ;
                      The sense is that of someone [a hunter] taking the Dragon in their sight (i.e. stalk it ) in order to ensnare it.

                      Comment

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