The Book of Job: a New Translation with In-Depth Commentary.

Robert D. Sacks

6" x 9", 328 pages.
Biographical notes, bibliography, index.
Sewn Softcover binding.
Original publication date, 2016.
For pricing and ordering information, see the ordering section below.

The Book of Job cover

Rich in obscure words and phrases—richer still in difficult moral and philosophical concepts—the Book of Job has been said to challenge the efforts of translators more broadly than any other book of the Hebrew Bible.

Robert D. Sacks has ventured to render the bold and vivid poetic imagery of the Hebrew original in English prose that is equally bold and equally vivid—while remaining solidly grounded in the nuances of meaning and diversity of resonances present in the Hebrew text.

The result is a translation often startling in its power and insight, opening the way to a deeper undertanding of this profound and unsettling book. Numerous notes provide enlightening but unobtrusive explanation of many of the translator's choices. In a separate chapter-by-chapter commentary, Sacks offers sustained original reflection on the several characters, their intentions, and their core beliefs.

Robert D. Sacks' distinctive translation of and commentary on the Book of Job gained the affectionate esteem of the small coterie of readers fortunate enough to have come upon it in an earlier version. Now the editors at Kafir Yaroq Books are pleased to announce a new edition of this work, extensively revised by Dr. Sacks, and with expanded commentary expressly designed to provide a window onto the often strange and difficult Hebrew text of Job.

Robert Sacks's other books include The Lion and the Ass: Reading Genesis After Babylon (Kafir Yaroq Books, 2019) and Beginning Biblical Hebrew: Intentionality and Grammar (Kafir Yaroq Books, 2011).


  • An original translation that beautifully and accurately expresses the original Hebrew.
  • In depth commentary, in a separate section.
  • Commentary includes the complete text, for convenience of reference.
  • Completely revised by Dr. Sacks for this edition.
  • Sewn softcover binding for durability and ease of use.

Comments on The Book of Job

Sacks's prose is eminently approachable and has the effect of bringing the reader into intimate contact with the characters in the book. Sacks introduces us to Job and each of Job's friends as individuals. We get to know what each holds to be important and what are the motivations that underlie their questions and arguments. The complicated interplay of interlocutors becomes sensible and lucid in Sacks's capable hands. Sacks's knowledge of the Hebrew language and tradition further brings the book to life and adds depth to the reader's understanding.

Susan Paalman
St. John's College, Annapolis

Reading Robert Sacks's translation and commentary on The Book of Job is a wonderful experience, both for its delicate and penetrating exploration of the book's language and for its powerful illumination of the book's meaning. In coming to see the world as a cosmos beyond the reach of human justice, Sacks argues, Job learns to recognize natural right, and in particular the equality of men and women.

Abraham Anderson
Sarah Lawrence College

Robert Sacks's translation and commentary combines a lucid translation that respects the strangeness of the original with a compelling philosophical reading of the Book of Job. At the heart of his extensive commentary is an account of the discovery of nature—of  "a world beyond man." Scholars and students alike will benefit from this remarkable book.

Frank Hunt
St. John's College, Santa Fe

Those of us whose understanding of the Bible has been immensely enriched by Robert D. Sacks's The Lion and the Ass and Beginning Hebrew: Intentionality and Grammar are now able to learn from his translation and discussion of the Book of Job. Sacks's insights into this extraordinary biblical book, especially his astute critical judgment that Job is the book of the Hebrew Bible that most puts us in contact with the question of the relation between Greek philosophy and the Hebrew Bible, makes his book an enduring source of wisdom pertaining to the time-honored inquiries of our civilization.

Terence J. Kleven
Central College, Pella, Iowa

About the Author

Robert D. Sacks

Robert D. Sacks was born 1931 in Akron, Ohio, where he would spend Saturdays with his grandfather in an old synagogue that stood on grounds now occupied by the United Disability Service. He continued his education at St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, (B.A. 1954), and at The Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D. 1961).

In the intervening years he studied with Leo Strauss, first at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and later at the University of Chicago. In 1957 he enrolled at the Ecole des Langues Orientales Viventes in Paris but admits having spent most of his days at the Cafe de la Rue Tournould. Sacks has taught at St. John's College since 1960, at both the Annapolis and the Santa Fe campuses.

Robert Sacks is the author of two other books: The Lion and the Ass: Reading Genesis After Babylon (Kafir Yaroq Books, 2019) and Beginning Biblical Hebrew: Intention and Grammar (Kafir Yaroq Books, 2008).

Ordering Information for The Book of Job: A New Translation with In-depth Commentary,
by Robert D. Sacks

Sewn softcover, ISBN 978-1-888009-50-7, list price: USD $29.95.

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