How Job left his mark: The letter Tav

tav ת

The last letter of the Hebrew alphabet is called a Tav.
And it looks like this ת.
The letter Tav also means “mark” in Biblical Hebrew and the  word looks like this תו

Let’s see the word Tav תו used in Job 31:35. What word do you think means Tav תו or mark?

Oh that I had one to hear me!
Behold my signature:
let the Almighty answer me!
And let mine opponent write an accusation!

Job feels like he’s is in a legal battle. He uses Tav תו as we would an ID card, passport or credit card. So תו is translated as signature here. It could also mean his testimony or written account.  “Here’s my mark, my pledge.”  This is an official statement. Job wanted concrete evidence for his defense because he wanted to take his accusers to court. He wanted written statements from his accusers in order that he could defend himself.  He was being accused of many things, but didn’t have the accusations written and defined in order that he could deal with them.  Why did he want to go to court? He wasn’t sure the Lord was hearing his plea and dealing with his accusers, so he went to Plan B.

The KJV version translates תו”desire”–sort of misleading, don’t you think? Look at the verse for yourself:

Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.

Even one of the smallest words in Biblical Hebrew, the name for the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, can shed light on a verse for us, and in this case perhaps make Job come alive and his book easier to understand.

Perhaps you don’t read Hebrew.  And תו just looks like a mark to you.  That’s ok.  See if you can pick out תו in Job 31:35 below.

מי יתן־לי שמע לי

הן־תוי שדי יענני

וספר כתב איש ריבי׃

Oh, that I had one to hear me!
(Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!)
Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary!

מי יתן־לי שמע לי

הן־תוי שדי יענני

וספר כתב איש ריבי׃

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