16 Or why[a] was[b] I not buried[c] like a stillborn infant,[d] like infants[e] who have never seen the light?[f]
Job 3:16tn The verb is governed by the interrogative of v. 12 that introduces this series of rhetorical questions.
Job 3:16tn The verb is again the prefix conjugation, but the narrative requires a past tense, or preterite.
Job 3:16tnHeb “hidden.” The LXX paraphrases: “an untimely birth, proceeding from his mother’s womb.”
Job 3:16tn The noun נֵפֶל (nefel, “miscarriage”) is the abortive thing that falls (hence the verb) from the womb before the time is ripe (Ps 58:9). The idiom using the verb “to fall” from the womb means to come into the world (Isa 26:18). The epithet טָמוּן (tamun, “hidden”) is appropriate to the verse. The child comes in vain, and disappears into the darkness—it is hidden forever.
Job 3:16tn The word עֹלְלִים (ʿolelim) normally refers to “nurslings.” Here it must refer to infants in general since it refers to a stillborn child.
Job 3:16tn The relative clause does not have the relative pronoun; the simple juxtaposition of words indicates that it is modifying the infants.
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