Job 8:11

11 Does papyrus grow where there is no marsh? Do reeds flourish without water?

Job 8:11 Meaning and Commentary

Job 8:11

Can the rush grow up without mire?
&c.] No, at least not long, or so as to lift up his head on high, as the word signifies F1; the rush or bulrush, which seems to be meant, delights in watery places, and has its name in Hebrew from its absorbing or drinking up water; it grows in moist and watery clay, or in marshy places, which Jarchi says is the sense of the word here used; the Septuagint understands it of the "paper reed", which, as Pliny F2 observes, grows in the marshy places of Egypt, and by the still waters of the river Nile:

can the flag grow without water?
or "the sedge" F3; which usually grows in moist places, and on the banks of rivers; this unless in such places, or if without water, cannot grow long, or make any very large increase, or come to maturity; so some F4 render it, "if the rush should grow up without" then it would be with it as follows.


F1 (hagyh) "an attollit se", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "an superbiet", so some; Beza, Schultens.
F2 Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 11.
F3 (wxa) "carectum", V. L. "ulva", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt, Michaelis, Schultens.
F4 Sic Bar Tzemach & Belgae.

Job 8:11 In-Context

9 since we were [born only] yesterday and know nothing. Our days on earth are but a shadow.
10 Will they not teach you and tell you and speak from their understanding?
11 Does papyrus grow where there is no marsh? Do reeds flourish without water?
12 While still uncut shoots, they would dry up quicker than any [other] plant.
13 Such is the destiny of all who forget God; the hope of the godless will perish.
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