NETBible KJV GRK-HEB XRef Arts Hymns
  Discovery Box

Job 36:26--37:24

The Work and Wisdom of God

36:26 “Yes, God is great – beyond our knowledge! 1 

The number of his years is unsearchable.

36:27 He draws up drops of water;

they distill 2  the rain into its mist, 3 

36:28 which the clouds pour down

and shower on humankind abundantly.

36:29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds,

the thunderings of his pavilion? 4 

36:30 See how he scattered 5  his lightning 6  about him;

he has covered the depths 7  of the sea.

36:31 It is by these that he judges 8  the nations

and supplies food in abundance.

36:32 With his hands 9  he covers 10  the lightning,

and directs it against its target.

36:33 11 His thunder announces the coming storm,

the cattle also, concerning the storm’s approach.

37:1 At this also my heart pounds

and leaps from its place.

37:2 Listen carefully 12  to the thunder of his voice,

to the rumbling 13  that proceeds from his mouth.

37:3 Under the whole heaven he lets it go,

even his lightning to the far corners 14  of the earth.

37:4 After that a voice roars;

he thunders with an exalted voice,

and he does not hold back his lightning bolts 15 

when his voice is heard.

37:5 God thunders with his voice in marvelous ways; 16 

he does great things beyond our understanding. 17 

37:6 For to the snow he says, ‘Fall 18  to earth,’

and to the torrential rains, 19  ‘Pour down.’ 20 

37:7 He causes everyone to stop working, 21 

so that all people 22  may know 23  his work.

37:8 The wild animals go to their lairs,

and in their dens they remain.

37:9 A tempest blows out from its chamber,

icy cold from the driving winds. 24 

37:10 The breath of God produces ice,

and the breadth of the waters freeze solid.

37:11 He loads the clouds with moisture; 25 

he scatters his lightning through the clouds.

37:12 The clouds 26  go round in circles,

wheeling about according to his plans,

to carry out 27  all that he commands them

over the face of the whole inhabited world.

37:13 Whether it is for punishment 28  for his land,

or whether it is for mercy,

he causes it to find its mark. 29 

37:14 “Pay attention to this, Job!

Stand still and consider the wonders God works.

37:15 Do you know how God commands them, 30 

how he makes lightning flash in his storm cloud? 31 

37:16 Do you know about the balancing 32  of the clouds,

that wondrous activity of him who is perfect in knowledge?

37:17 You, whose garments are hot

when the earth is still because of the south wind,

37:18 will you, with him, spread out 33  the clouds,

solid as a mirror of molten metal?

37:19 Tell us what we should 34  say to him.

We cannot prepare a case 35 

because of the darkness.

37:20 Should he be informed that I want 36  to speak?

If a man speaks, surely he would be swallowed up!

37:21 But now, the sun 37  cannot be looked at 38 

it is bright in the skies –

after a wind passed and swept the clouds away. 39 

37:22 From the north he comes in golden splendor; 40 

around God is awesome majesty.

37:23 As for the Almighty, 41  we cannot attain to him!

He is great in power,

but justice 42  and abundant righteousness he does not oppress.

37:24 Therefore people fear him,

for he does not regard all the wise in heart.” 43 

1 tn The last part has the verbal construction, “and we do not know.” This clause is to be used adverbially: “beyond our understanding.”

2 tn The verb means “to filter; to refine,” and so a plural subject with the drops of water as the subject will not work. So many read the singular, “he distills.”

3 tn This word עֵד (’ed) occurs also in Gen 2:6. The suggestion has been that instead of a mist it represents an underground watercourse that wells up to water the ground.

4 tn Heb “his booth.”

5 tn The word actually means “to spread,” but with lightning as the object, “to scatter” appears to fit the context better.

6 tn The word is “light,” but taken to mean “lightning.” Theodotion had “mist” here, and so most commentators follow that because it is more appropriate to the verb and the context.

7 tn Heb “roots.”

8 tn The verb is יָדִין (yadin, “he judges”). Houbigant proposedיָזוּן (yazun, “he nourishes”). This has found wide acceptance among commentators (cf. NAB). G. R. Driver retained the MT but gave a meaning “enriches” to the verb (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 88ff.).

9 tn R. Gordis (Job, 422) prefers to link this word with the later Hebrew word for “arch,” not “hands.”

10 tn Because the image might mean that God grabs the lightning and hurls it like a javelin (cf. NLT), some commentators want to change “covers” to other verbs. Dhorme has “lifts” (נִשָּׂא [nissa’] for כִּסָּה [kissah]). This fit the idea of God directing the lightning bolts.

11 tn Peake knew of over thirty interpretations for this verse. The MT literally says, “He declares his purpose [or his shout] concerning it; cattle also concerning what rises.” Dhorme has it: “The flock which sniffs the coming storm has warned the shepherd.” Kissane: “The thunder declares concerning him, as he excites wrath against iniquity.” Gordis translates it: “His thunderclap proclaims his presence, and the storm his mighty wrath.” Many more could be added to the list.

12 tn The imperative is followed by the infinitive absolute from the same root to express the intensity of the verb.

13 tn The word is the usual word for “to meditate; to murmur; to groan”; here it refers to the low building of the thunder as it rumbles in the sky. The thunder is the voice of God (see Ps 29).

14 tn Heb “wings,” and then figuratively for the extremities of garments, of land, etc.

15 tn The verb simply has the pronominal suffix, “them.” The idea must be that when God brings in all the thunderings he does not hold back his lightning bolts either.

16 tn The form is the Niphal participle, “wonders,” from the verb פָּלָא (pala’, “to be wonderful; to be extraordinary”). Some commentators suppress the repeated verb “thunders,” and supply other verbs like “shows” or “works,” enabling them to make “wonders” the object of the verb rather than leaving it in an adverbial role. But as H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 236) notes, no change is needed, for one is not surprised to find repetition in Elihu’s words.

17 tn Heb “and we do not know.”

18 tn The verb actually means “be” (found here in the Aramaic form). The verb “to be” can mean “to happen, to fall, to come about.”

19 tn Heb “and [to the] shower of rain and shower of rains, be strong.” Many think the repetition grew up by variant readings; several Hebrew mss delete the second pair, and so many editors do. But the repetition may have served to stress the idea that the rains were heavy.

20 tn Heb “Be strong.”

21 tn Heb “by the hand of every man he seals.” This line is intended to mean with the heavy rains God suspends all agricultural activity.

22 tc This reading involves a change in the text, for in MT “men” is in the construct. It would be translated, “all men whom he made” (i.e., all men of his making”). This is the translation followed by the NIV and NRSV. Olshausen suggested that the word should have been אֲנָשִׁים (’anashim) with the final ם (mem) being lost to haplography.

23 tn D. W. Thomas suggested a meaning of “rest” for the verb, based on Arabic. He then reads אֱנוֹשׁ (’enosh) for man, and supplies a ם (mem) to “his work” to get “that every man might rest from his work [in the fields].”

24 tn The “driving winds” reflects the Hebrew “from the scatterers.” This refers to the north winds that bring the cold air and the ice and snow and hard rains.

25 tn The word “moisture” is drawn from רִי (ri) as a contraction for רְוִי (rÿvi). Others emended the text to get “hail” (NAB) or “lightning,” or even “the Creator.” For these, see the various commentaries. There is no reason to change the reading of the MT when it makes perfectly good sense.

26 tn The words “the clouds” are supplied from v. 11; the sentence itself actually starts: “and it goes round,” referring to the cloud.

27 tn Heb “that it may do.”

28 tn Heb “rod,” i.e., a rod used for punishment.

29 tn This is interpretive; Heb “he makes find it.” The lightning could be what is intended here, for it finds its mark. But R. Gordis (Job, 429) suggests man is the subject – let him find what it is for, i.e., the fate appropriate for him.

30 tn The verb is בְּשׂוּם (bÿsum, from שִׂים [sim, “set”]), so the idea is how God lays [or sets] [a command] for them. The suffix is proleptic, to be clarified in the second colon.

31 tn Dhorme reads this “and how his stormcloud makes lightning to flash forth?”

32 tn As indicated by HALOT 618 s.v. מִפְלָשׂ, the concept of “balancing” probably refers to “floating” or “suspension” (cf. NIV’s “how the clouds hang poised” and J. E. Hartley, Job [NICOT], 481-82, n. 2).

33 tn The verb means “to beat out; to flatten,” and the analogy in the next line will use molten metal. From this verb is derived the word for the “firmament” in Gen 1:6-8, that canopy-like pressure area separating water above and water below.

34 tn The imperfect verb here carries the obligatory nuance, “what we should say?”

35 tn The verb means “to arrange; to set in order.” From the context the idea of a legal case is included.

36 tn This imperfect works well as a desiderative imperfect.

37 tn The light here must refer to the sun in the skies that had been veiled by the storm. Then, when the winds blew the clouds away, it could not be looked at because it was so dazzling. Elihu’s analogy will be that God is the same – in his glory one cannot look at him or challenge him.

38 tn The verb has an indefinite subject, and so should be a passive here.

39 tn Heb “and cleaned them.” The referent is the clouds (v. 18), which has been supplied in the translation for clarity. There is another way of reading this verse: the word translated “bright” means “dark; obscured” in Syriac. In this interpretation the first line would mean that they could not see the sun, because it was darkened by the clouds, but then the wind came and blew the clouds away. Dhorme, Gray, and several others take it this way, as does the NAB.

40 tn The MT has “out of the north comes gold.” Left in that sense the line seems irrelevant. The translation “golden splendor” (with RV, RSV, NRSV, NIV) depends upon the context of theophany. Others suggest “golden rays” (Dhorme), the aurora borealis (Graetz, Gray), or some mythological allusion (Pope), such as Baal’s palace. Golden rays or splendor is what is intended, although the reference is not to a natural phenomenon – it is something that would suggest the glory of God.

41 tn The name “Almighty” is here a casus pendens, isolating the name at the front of the sentence and resuming it with a pronoun.

42 tn The MT places the major disjunctive accent (the atnach) under “power,” indicating that “and justice” as a disjunctive clause starting the second half of the verse (with ESV, NASB, NIV, NLT). Ignoring the Masoretic accent, NRSV has “he is great in power and justice.”

43 sn The phrase “wise of heart” was used in Job 9:4 in a negative sense.

TIP #13: Chapter View to explore chapters; Verse View for analyzing verses; Passage View for displaying list of verses. [ALL]
created in 0.04 seconds
powered by