1:5 When 1 the days of their feasting were finished, 2 Job would send 3 for them and sanctify 4 them; he would get up early 5 in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to 6 the number of them all. For Job thought, “Perhaps 7 my children 8 have sinned and cursed 9 God in their hearts.” This was Job’s customary practice. 10
42:8 So now take 11 seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job will intercede 12 for you, and I will respect him, 13 so that I do not deal with you 14 according to your folly, 15 because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 16
[1:5] 1 tn The verse begins with the temporal indicator “and it happened” or “and it came to pass,” which need not be translated. The particle כִּי (ki, “when”) with the initial verbal form indicates it is a temporal clause.
[1:5] 2 tn The verb is the Hiphil perfect of נָקַף (naqaf, “go around”), here it means “to make the round” or “complete the circuit” (BDB 668-69 s.v. II נָקַף Hiph). It indicates that when the feasting had made its circuit of the seven sons, then Job would sanctify them.
[1:5] 3 tn The form is a preterite with vav (ו) consecutive. The same emphasis on repeated or frequent action continues here in this verse. The idea here is that Job would send for them, because the sanctification of them would have consisted of washings and changes of garments as well as the sacrifices (see Gen 35:2; 1 Sam 16:5).
[1:5] 5 tn The first verb could also be joined with the next to form a verbal hendiadys: “he would rise early and he would sacrifice” would then simply be “he would sacrifice early in the morning” (see M. Delcor, “Quelques cas de survivances du vocabulaire nomade en hébreu biblique,” VT 25 : 307-22). This section serves to explain in more detail how Job sanctified his children.
[1:5] sn In the patriarchal society it was normal for the father to act as priest for the family, making the sacrifices as needed. Job here is exceptional in his devotion to the duty. The passage shows the balance between the greatest earthly rejoicing by the family, and the deepest piety and affection of the father.
[1:5] 8 tn Heb “sons,” but since the three daughters are specifically mentioned in v. 4, “children” has been used in the translation. In this patriarchal culture, however, it is possible that only the sons are in view.
[1:5] 9 tn The Hebrew verb is בָּרַךְ (barakh), which means “to bless.” Here is a case where the writer or a scribe has substituted the word “curse” with the word “bless” to avoid having the expression “curse God.” For similar euphemisms in the ancient world, see K. A. Kitchen, Ancient Orient and Old Testament, 166. It is therefore difficult to know exactly what Job feared they might have done. The opposite of “bless” would be “curse,” which normally would convey disowning or removing from blessing. Some commentators try to offer a definition of “curse” from the root in the text, and noting that “curse” is too strong, come to something like “renounce.” The idea of blaspheming is probably not meant; rather, in their festivities they may have said things that renounced God or their interest in him. Job feared this momentary turning away from God in their festivities, perhaps as they thought their good life was more important than their religion.
[42:8] 12 tn The verb “pray” is the Hitpael from the root פָּלַל (palal). That root has the main idea of arbitration; so in this stem it means “to seek arbitration [for oneself],” or “to pray,” or “to intercede.”
[42:8] 16 sn The difference between what they said and what Job said, therefore, has to do with truth. Job was honest, spoke the truth, poured out his complaints, but never blasphemed God. For his words God said he told the truth. He did so with incomplete understanding, and with all the impatience and frustration one might expect. Now the friends, however, did not tell what was right about God. They were not honest; rather, they were self-righteous and condescending. They were saying what they thought should be said, but it was wrong.