The Book of Job

Brit-Am Commentary (BAC).

Job Chapter Six.
Job 6:1-10.  True to Himself.
Job 6:11-19: Brother, Where art Thou?
Job 6:20-30: The Victim is at Fault Syndrome.


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What do You Really Want?
The Book of Job. Chapter Six.

Job 6:1-10.  True to Himself.

[Job 6:1] Then Job answered and said:

[Job 6:2]  'Oh, that my grief were fully weighed,
And my calamity laid with it on the scales!

my grief. In Hebrew "ca-asi". This would normally mean my anger. The Commentators say that here it means grief.
Nevertheless there is something close to anger in the attitude of Job.
As we have seen and as we shall see more, Job felt he had been unfairly treated.
From the point of view of human reasoning and common sense, he had a point.

[Job 6:3]  For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea'
Therefore my words have been rash.

have been rash. Hebrew "La-o" meaning literally from the throat or from the back of the throat (Amos Chacham, "Daat Mikra").
Job says that he is making a noise out of the whole affair due to being understandably upset over what had happened.

[Job 6:4]  For the arrows of the Almighty are within me;
My spirit drinks in their poison;
The terrors of God are arrayed against me.

Projectiles from God were fired into me. The poison they were coated with is percolating through me.
My being is feeling their work. Disturbances of Divine Origin are arraigned before me.

[Job 6:5]  Does the wild donkey bray when it has grass,
Or does the ox low over its fodder?

wild donkey. Hebrew Pera from the root PRA.
Of Ishmael forefather of the Arabs it was prophesied that he would become Pera Adam i.e. a wild donkey of a man.

Genesis 12:
11 And the Angel of the Lord said to her:
'Behold, you are with child,
And you shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the Lord has heard your affliction.
12 He shall be a wild man [Hebrew Pera Adam i.e. wild donkey of a man];
His hand shall be against every man,
And every man's hand against him.
And he shall dwell in the presence of [Hebrew: al pnei, i.e. in the face of] all his brethren.'

ox. Hebrew "shor" meaning bull.  Dictionary definitions of ox often say it is a castrated bull. This is inaccurate. An ox in Biblical language is a bull.
It is usually translated from the Hebrew word "shor" meaning bull. The Israelites were forbidden to castrate animals and normally did not.

Leviticus 22:
24 'You shall not offer to the Lord what is bruised or crushed, or torn or cut; nor shall you make [any offering of them] in your land.

 bruised or crushed, or torn or cut. Refers to the sexual organs. An animal whose sexual organ was damaged was unfit for sacrifice.
nor shall you make [any offering of them] in your land. In the Hebrew says, "You shall not do so in your land".  The understanding that this is referring only to a sacrifice is mistaken.
The words  [any offering of them] have been inserted by the translator. They are not in the original.
This was understood to say that any form of castration was forbidden.

Job was saying that a wild donkey or a bull that have food do not make noise. They do not complain.
Amos Chacham (Daat Mikra) explains that Job was making an indirect criticism of his friends. They had not been cursed. They were like animals with a full food supply.
They could not feel his pain.
They were not in a position to judge him.

[Job 6:6] Can flavorless food be eaten without salt?
Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?

white of an egg. An alternate translation is that this refers to a type of plant.
Either way Job is saying that tasteless food is not worth eating.
He no longer saw any point to life.

[Job 6:7] My soul refuses to touch them;
They are as loathsome food to me.

[Job 6:8] 'Oh, that I might have my request,
That God would grant me the thing that I long for!

[Job 6:9] That it would please God to crush me,
That He would loose His hand and cut me off!

Job wanted to die.

[Job 6:10] Then I would still have comfort;
Though in anguish I would exult,
He will not spare;
For I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.

concealed. Hebrew  "ci[c]hadati" connoting both conceal and contradict.
Job is saying that at least I went in the way I understood the Almighty wanted. I did not deny anything nor change the meaning to suit myself.

Job 6:11-19: Brother, Where art Thou?

[Job 6:11] What strength do I have, that I should hope?
And what is my end, that I should prolong my life?

We all have something of Job in each one of us.
At some time or other we all feel, or have felt, as if life is not benefiting us as it should.
We also have something of the friends of Job when we look on the quandaries and misfortunes of others.
We tend to view the predicaments of  others as being somehow what they deserve.
Perhaps sometimes they do?

In general we may say that in the long run the good receive goodness and the evil badness.
There are however numerous exceptions that we do not always understand nor are we necessarily meant to.
Also we are speaking in general terms and over the long run.
Often our appreciation of Divine Justice only comes to us with hind sight.

In the meantime we must function as well as we can. We may at times have only faith to keep us going.

Every minute of your life is a gain.
Use it well. Use it in a way that tomorrow and the next day you will not regret it.

[Job 6:12] Is my strength the strength of stones?
Or is my flesh bronze?

We are all human beings.
If we suffer it is something real.

Our strength and ability emanate from us.
If we are sick or feel sad then they too will be affected.

[Job 6:13] Is my help not within me?
And is success driven from me?

Job is saying that he could just as easily help himself as take help from others if his inner being was prepared for it.
success. The word translated here as success in Hebrew is Toshia. This literally means resourcefulness.

[Job 6:14] To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend,
Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

The construction of this verse in the Hebrew is a bit difficult. Amos Chacham (Daat Mikra) correctly renders it as saying,
# Someone who despises his fellow, instead of showing kindness, lacks fear of the Almighty. #
Eliphaz was the friend of Job and should have helped  and encouraged him.
When your spouse, family members, or friends are in trouble, sympathize with them.
You should have a natural innate empathy for everyone. This is especially so for those close to you.
You will be judged by this.
It is not always easy.
Sometimes those close to us are the most far away.

[Job 6:15] My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook,
Like the streams of the brooks that pass away,

By brothers he means here friends, relations, those he had a right to expect succor from.
They have been moving on and passing by without tarrying.
It is as if they were carried by the current of water in a stream.

[Job 6:16] Which are dark because of the ice,
And into which the snow vanishes.

Streams fed by the melting snow and ice often flow with vigor.
Those who are ignoring me seem not to be hesitant about it. They are quite determined to abandon me. Without compunction.

[Job 6:17] When it is warm, they cease to flow;
When it is hot, they vanish from their place.

Now they can do it and get away with it.
They too will eventually need help and face a similar situation.
Then, their verve and directness in leaving me will have a little less spring to it.

[Job 6:18] The paths of their way turn aside,
They go nowhere and perish.

[Job 6:19] The caravans of Tema look,
The travelers of Sheba hope for them.

Tema and Sheba were Arab Tribes of travelling merchants. Job probably lived in Armenia or in a nearby region of Mesopotamia.
These areas are on the fringes of desert regions from which caravans of Arabian traders emerged on their way to trade.
They would also have engaged in the slave trade, picking up the weak and weary and desolate and selling them elsewhere.

This is similar to what happened to Joseph.
The brothers of Joseph were angry with him.
At first his brothers intended to kill him, then they threw him into a pit. Then they saw a band of Arab Ishmaelites in the distance and decided to sell him.
The Ishmaelites apparently immediately resold Joseph to Midianites going down to Egypt.

Genesis 37:
17 And the man said, They have departed from here, for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.
18 Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19 Then they said to one another, Look, this dreamer is coming! 20 Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, Some wild beast has devoured him. We shall see what will become of his dreams!

21 But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, Let us not kill him. 22 And Reuben said to them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him, that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.

23 So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. 24 Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.
25 And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. 26 So Judah said to his brothers, What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brothers listened. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

In the time of Job it was apparently a common experience for those who lost their fortunes and place in society to be sold as slaves.
The Arabs specialized as intermediaries in this business.

Even now the Beduin Arabs still trade in human flesh.
In Arab society slavery is often condoned.
Also in most African societies in Africa forms of slavery exist.
Pygmies because they are small and weak are frequent victims of this attitude.

Job is speaking of they who would not help him even though they should have done, having been like his brothers.
They too are liable to suffer disaster and be forced to sell themselves or be sold by others.
The law of the jungle says that the more vulnerable you are the more likely you will be victimized.
One should not resign to this.
You are forbidden to allow yourself to become a victim.

Leviticus 19:
14 You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

Do not be a stumbling block before others.
When evil is resisted it is lessened.

Psalm 10:
15 Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man;
Seek out his wickedness until You find none.

When bad people are punished for wrongdoing chances are that less wrong will be done.
Evildoers can learn to think twice, like everyone else!

# Praise the LORD and pass the ammunition #

The Almighty wants one to do good.
Doing good may involve fighting evil.

Job 6:20-30: The Victim is at Fault Syndrome

Job described his companions as streams of water fed by the melting snow and ice (Job 6:15-16).
In the heat these streams disappear (Job 6:17-18). The traveling Arabs of Tema and Sheba had hoped to satiate their thirst in these waters (Job 6:18-19).

[Job 6:20] They are disappointed because they were confident;
They come there and are confused.

The caravan journeyers trusted in finding waters that no long exist but have been evaporated by the heat. They were over-confident and now they are confounded.

[Job 6:21] For now you are nothing,
You see terror and are afraid.

The companions of Job are compared to the streams that fade away in the heat.
They run away and turn back when disaster strikes.
We have all had similar experiences some times on both sides of the coin.
It happens when circumstances change that our friends are not so friendly any more.
They have their own struggles to cope with and we may not be such valuable allies any more.
It also occurs that when friends and acquaintances need help that we do not hurry to give it.
In the same way as we recognize faults in others we should also look at ourselves.

[Job 6:22] Did I ever say, 'Bring something to me?'
Or, 'Offer a bribe for me from your wealth?'

The second part of this verse may also be interpreted as saying, Offer a bribe for me.

[Job 6:23] Or, 'Deliver me from the enemy's hand?'
Or, 'Redeem me from the hand of oppressors?'

These situations are also real in our own sphere of existence. People have mortgages that if they do not pay they loose their house.
If they do not pay the rent they be without a place to live.
A person due to little fault of their own may owe money and have gangsters chasing him to pay exorbitant interest.
- Or not real gangsters but rather respectable business and governmental agencies.
If he owns a business he may be subject to a protection racket.
If he has committed offences in the past and irritated Law Enforcement circles he may be harassed by police visits and constant questioning over petty or imagined offences.
Sometimes people have problems collecting health insurance that they should legitimately be entitled to.
They may have bought a horse or car and been cheated.
The list is a long one.
Some of you could probably add much to it.
We have not even touched on more serious problems such as health and mental issues etc.

The point is that at some time or other we are all liable to need help. And if not , then our offspring may need it.

In other words if you can help someone, do so.

On the other hand keep in mind the experience of Job.
Just because you have helped others, or they otherwise should have some obligation to you, does not mean that they will come through when you need them.

[Job 6:24] 'Teach me, and I will hold my tongue;
Cause me to understand wherein I have erred.

Job says that if there is something here he has not understood then they should tell him.

Job was struck by awesome tragedies. He had always lived a good righteous life.
Now his erstwhile companions who were known for their wisdom had come to him.
Instead of comforting and encouraging him they seemed to be intimating that Job must be at fault.
Not only that but since he would not admit this alleged fault then something must be wrong with him!

The Victim is at Fault syndrome is well-known.
There could even sometimes be something to it.
Nevertheless the Torah does not recognize such special pleading.
Victims should be protected, healed, and compensated.
Offenders need to be punished.

[Job 6:25] How forceful are right words!
But what does your arguing prove?

The companions of Job were not in the right.
Even if they had have been their points had nothing in them to help him.

[Job 6:26] Do you intend to rebuke my words,
And the speeches of a desperate one, which are as wind?

a desperate one. In Hebrew Noash i.e. despairing.

[Job 6:27] Yes, you overwhelm the fatherless,
And you undermine your friend.

Job feels himself like an orphan. He has lost his children, his possessions,  his health
and the soundness of his being.
These are things a man strives to achieve and maintain. They become his reason for being, and protectors.

[Job 6:28] Now therefore, be pleased to look at me;
For I would never lie to your face.

[Job 6:29] Yield now, let there be no injustice!
Yes, concede, my righteousness still stands!

[Job 6:30] Is there injustice on my tongue?
Cannot my taste discern the unsavory?

taste. In Hebrew Chici meaning literally Palate.
a related Hebrew word is Chi-ook meaning smile.

This is here the English word Cheek comes from.

This is what we came across in an

Online Etymological Dictionary.
cheek (n)
cheek (n.) O.E. ceace, cece "jaw, jawbone," also "the fleshy wall of the mouth." Perhaps from the root of O.E. ceowan "chew" (see chew), or from P.Gmc. *kaukon (cf. M.L.G. kake "jaw, jawbone," M.Du. kake "jaw," Du. kaak), not found outside West Germanic. Words for "cheek," "jaw," and "chin" tend to run together in IE languages (cf. PIE *genw-, source of Gk. genus "jaw, cheek," geneion "chin," and English chin); Aristotle considered the chin as the front of the "jaws" and the cheeks as the back of them. The other Old English word for "cheek" was ceafl (see jowl).
A thousand men he [Samson] slow eek with his hond,
And had no wepen but an asses cheek.
[Chaucer, "Monk's Tale"]

These etymological explanations are all very learned and impressive.
Why is it however that so very, very often the English word is closer to a Hebrew original than all the other words the experts claim it is related to?


To Make an Offering to Brit-Am!

Job 5
Job Contents
Ireland Provinces
Job 7