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Job 37:14-18

Context

37:14 “Pay attention to this, Job!

Stand still and consider the wonders God works.

37:15 Do you know how God commands them, 1 

how he makes lightning flash in his storm cloud? 2 

37:16 Do you know about the balancing 3  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 4  the clouds,

solid as a mirror of molten metal?

1 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.

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

3 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).

4 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.



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