Job 13:15

Ben Crick ben.crick at
Sat Oct 7 17:17:45 EDT 2000

On Sat  7 Oct 2000 (13:55:08), rvining at wrote:
> Query.  What  is the best rendering of  Job 13:15?
> "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him."  KJV and others similar, or
> "He may well slay me;  I may have no hope;
>  Yet I will argue  my case before Him".    JPS

 Dear Robert,

 The KJV translation, followed by the NIV text, is difficult to justify; it
 follows the Vulgate /etiam si occiderit me, in ipso sperabo/. The NIV margin,
 "He will surely slay me; I have no hope" retains the KeTiB (negative Lo'). The
 JPS agrees.

 HeN YiQ:+:LeNiY is not the form with the Infinitive Absolute. The particle
 HeN implies "There now! He will kill me!" rather than "He shall surely kill
 me". HeN means Seeing (behold!); but 'Even if' or 'Although' can be its force.

 Perhaps we could render it "He may kill me for this, but my hope is in him"
 (LoW, with the QeRe'). Or, keeping the KeTiB, "He's going to kill me; I cannot
 hold out". However, verses 16-19 show that Job has not given up hope; so I
 plump for the Qere' here. He's going to defend himself against his miserable
 comforters; he will die by default if he keeps silent (verse 19). A man facing
 capital charges is not going to give up without defending himself in court,
 especially if he is sure he is innocent of all charges (verse 18).

 Job is going to pin his hope in YHWH, and in his Go'eL (19:25).

 Francis I Andersen has an interesting paragraph on Job 13:15 in his Tyndale
 OT Commentary, /Job/, IVP Leicester and Downers Grove IL, 1974, p 166f.

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 <ben.crick at>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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