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The Contrast With the Past

24 “Surely one does not stretch out his hand
against a broken man[a]
when he cries for help in his distress.[b]
25 Have I not wept for the unfortunate?[c]
Was not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 But when I hoped for good, trouble came;
when I expected light, then darkness came.

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  1. Job 30:24 tc Here is another very difficult verse, as the differences among commentaries and translations attest. The MT has “surely not against a ruinous heap will he [God] put forth his [God’s] hand.” But A. B. Davidson takes Job as the subject, reading “does not one stretch out his hand in his fall?” The RSV suggests a man walking in the ruins and using his hand for support. Dillmann changed it to “drowning man” to say “does not a drowning man stretch out his hand?” Beer has “have I not given a helping hand to the poor?” Dhorme has, “I did not strike the poor man with my hand.” Kissane follows this but retains the verb form, “one does not strike the poor man with his hand.”
  2. Job 30:24 tc The second colon is also difficult; it reads, “if in his destruction to them he cries.” E. Dhorme (Job, 425-26) explains how he thinks “to them” came about, and he restores “to me.” This is the major difficulty in the line, and Dhorme’s suggestion is the simplest resolution.
  3. Job 30:25 tn Heb “for the hard of day.”

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