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“Can you discover[a] the essence[b] of God?

Can you find out[c] the perfection of the Almighty?[d]

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  1. Job 11:7 tn The verb is מָצָא (matsaʾ, “to find; to discover”). Here it should be given the nuance of potential imperfect. In the rhetorical question it is affirming that Job cannot find out the essence of God.
  2. Job 11:7 tn The word means “search; investigation,” but it here means what is discovered in the search (so a metonymy of cause for the effect).
  3. Job 11:7 tn The same verb is now found in the second half of the verse, with a slightly different sense—“attain, reach.” A. R. Ceresko notes this as an example of antanaclasis (repetition of a word with a slightly different sense—“find/attain”). See “The Function of Antanaclasis in Hebrew Poetry,” CBQ 44 (1982): 560-61.
  4. Job 11:7 tn The abstract תַּכְלִית (takhlit) from כָּלָה (kalah, “to be complete; to be perfect”) may mean the end or limit of something, perhaps to perfection. So the NIV has “can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” The LXX has: “have you come to the end of that which the Almighty has made?”

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