Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The verb פתל (patal) means to twist or contort, although the context of Job 5:13 seems to suggest either a more fundamental or else secondary meaning of being cunning or crafty. The verb occurs in a mere three other contexts in the Bible: Genesis 30:8, Proverbs 8:8 and Psalm 18:27 = 2 Samuel 22:27.
Its derivatives occur slightly more often:
- The masculine noun פתיל (patil), meaning (a twisted) cord or thread (Genesis 38:18, Exodus 28:28, Judges 16:9).
- The adjective פתלתל (petaltol), meaning tortuous (Deuteronomy 32:5 only).
- The plural masculine noun נפתולים (naptulim), meaning wrestlings. This noun occurs only once, in Genesis 30:8, in the scene where Naphtali is named.