But men younger than I am make fun of me now! Their fathers have always been so worthless that I wouldn’t let them help my dogs guard sheep.” (Job 30:1, GNB)

The beauty of having different translations [and we are SO blessed in the English speaking world to have a wide, wide variety], is that sooner or later, a translation captures a thought with such sparkling clarity that you immediately know, there is not going to be any better translation of that particular verse.

We have a fine example of this in the Good News Bible translation of Job 30.1.  Job is written in poetry and the Good News Bible (GNB) is one of the loosest dynamic equivalent [thought-for-thought, rather than word-for-word] translations, so the GNB can get quite creative here, and it certainly does.

Job is complaining about how far he has fallen in the estimation of society at large ever since absolute calamity struck him.  It is so bad that “men younger than I am make fun of me!”  A fate worse than death for sure.  Not only that, but these mocking young men have fathers who have always been worthless, indeed they have been a drag on society.  They are so worthless that Job “wouldn’t let them help my dog guard sheep!”  Now that, dear reader, is the epitome of being worthless!

Job is of course speaking out of frustration and pain, so we will not throw stones at his analysis of those who surround him.  Indeed, if we are honest with ourselves and were in his position, we would have much the same attitude.