Question:

Dear Jeff,

We use quite a bit of your material in our bulletin with links to your site.

For your consideration: I found your article on Modest Apparel.  The context of Job 22:6 does not seem to support your contention that Job was disrobing the naked (as if humiliating the immodest person), but rather being accused by Eliphaz of abusing the innocent.

ASV and KJV does make it sound your way, but Eliphaz seems to be accusing Job of stealing their clothes. Referencing the law in Deuteronomy 24:12-13.

"For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing." (KJV)

"For thou hast taken pledges of thy brother for nought, And stripped the naked of their clothing." (ASV)

Other versions just have, as examples:

"You demanded security from your relatives for no reason; you stripped people of their clothing, leaving them naked." (NIV)

"For you have taken pledges of your brothers without cause, And stripped men naked." (NASB)

A fellow servant,

Answer:

Thank you for writing about your concern.

The article states:

"In Job 22:6, the Bible talks about stripping the naked of their clothing. In other words, it is possible to be naked and clothed at the same time. The phrasing implies a person who is thinly clad (wearing clothing whose material is transparent), leaving people with no doubts about what exists underneath the clothing."

Nowhere did I state that Job actually did this. My point about the phrasing is that the statement talks about removing clothing from people who are already naked.

"For you have taken pledges from your brother for no reason, And stripped the naked of their clothing." (NKJV)

"For you have taken pledges from your brother for nothing, and stripped the naked of their clothing." (WEB)

"because you have taken in pledge your brothers without cause and the garments of the naked you have stripped off" (Literal)

The NASB and NIV have interpreted uvighdhe arummim tapsshit as:

"And stripped men naked" (NASB)

"you stripped men of their clothing, leaving them naked" (NIV)

But in doing this, they lost a subtly. People who are inadequately clothed can already be naked. And the accusation is that Job is worse than despicable by taking even the too little clothing that these people had.  The Hebrew adjective 'arom, used in the second word, refers to being without clothing. It can mean without any clothes or being inadequately clothed as it is being used in Job 22:6. Eliphaz was accusing Job of taking clothes from the poor, who were already inadequately clothed, and leaving them with nothing.

Also, remember that Job lived around the same time as Abraham. Eliphaz could not be referencing the Law of Moses that was recorded about 500 to 1,000 years later. The law in Deuteronomy 24:12-13 was regarding not holding a man's outer robe, or cloak, as a pledge for a loan beyond the end of the day.

I will be adjusting the wording in the article because the accusation is not limited to threadbare clothing.

Response:

Good reply. I suppose Eliphaz could have accused Job of that!

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