The pasuk in Iyov 10:7 states:

עַל דַּעְתְּךָ כִּי לֹא אֶרְשָׁע וְאֵין מִיָּדְךָ מַצִּיל

Chabad.org translates:

It is in Your knowledge that I will not be condemned, but no one can save [me] from Your hand.

I'm learning the Gemara in Bava Basra 16a which discusses this pasuk and I would like to know the precise translation of the word אֶרְשָׁע so that I can understand what the Gemara's pshat or drash on the pasuk is.

  • What's the matter with Chabad's translation?
    – Scimonster
    Sep 22, 2014 at 20:24
  • 2
    @Scimonster I'm not sure, I just don't want to assume that they used a literal translation of the word. Usually translations will take context or explanation into account when translating. I have seen other translations of this pasuk.
    – Gavriel
    Sep 22, 2014 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


Coming from the word "Rasha" meaning "bad or "evil". "Ersha" is the future tense of "rasha", so Iyov is saying:

"It is in your knowledge (you know) that I will not do evil (i.e. - become evil or wicked)..."

I'd like to know how Chabad's translation of "become condemned" fits in, here. That seems to imply a "passive" verb, and I don't see this definition coming directly from the word "ersha". I'd appreciate some insight to Chaba"d's translation.

In viewing the Gemarah source that you refer to, see Rashi's translationon that page. It seems that Iyov was attempting to provide a valid "excuse" that humanity could use for being absolved of G-d's judgement, because He created the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination), and thus, everyone is an "ones" (someone who couldn't control the situation). Thus, (according to Rash"i) Iyov was stating, "If you (G-d) had wanted, I would not have been evil".

  • 1
    Mechon Mamre (JPS) also uses that word. Compare with Devarim 25:1.
    – Yishai
    Sep 22, 2014 at 20:58
  • @DanF To get a little more precise- does it mean "do rishus" or "become a rasha"? Could the pasuk have written "ki lo erah" or is "ersha" the only way of saying this idea in that tense?
    – Gavriel
    Feb 15, 2016 at 18:10
  • @Gavriel You may be a bit choosy on a minor nuance in this case. But, OTOH, it may be a fair question. Doing evil makes one a rasha. But, generally "rasha" is a noun, and "ra" is an adjective, as far as I can tell. So, it seems "ersha" means "I wil become a rasha" or an evil person. My own thinking on this.
    – DanF
    Feb 15, 2016 at 22:17
  • @DanF I want to be choosy because I'm learning the drasha in the gemara and Rava says there that part of the tayna Iyov made was about an ox/donkey having or not having a split hoof (siman of tahara or tumah) as opposed to saying it's tahor or tamei or describing some sort of behavior of the animal...
    – Gavriel
    Feb 15, 2016 at 22:22

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