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Job 36:22-33

Context

36:22 Indeed, God is exalted in his power;

who is a teacher 1  like him?

36:23 Who has prescribed his ways for him?

Or said to him, ‘You have done what is wicked’?

36:24 Remember to extol 2  his work,

which people have praised in song.

36:25 All humanity has seen it;

people gaze on it from afar.

The Work and Wisdom of God

36:26 “Yes, God is great – beyond our knowledge! 3 

The number of his years is unsearchable.

36:27 He draws up drops of water;

they distill 4  the rain into its mist, 5 

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? 6 

36:30 See how he scattered 7  his lightning 8  about him;

he has covered the depths 9  of the sea.

36:31 It is by these that he judges 10  the nations

and supplies food in abundance.

36:32 With his hands 11  he covers 12  the lightning,

and directs it against its target.

36:33 13 His thunder announces the coming storm,

the cattle also, concerning the storm’s approach.

1 tn The word מוֹרֶה (moreh) is the Hiphil participle from יָרַה (yarah). It is related to the noun תּוֹרָה (torah, “what is taught” i.e., the law).

2 tn The expression is “that you extol,” serving as an object of the verb.

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

4 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.”

5 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.

6 tn Heb “his booth.”

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

8 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.

9 tn Heb “roots.”

10 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.).

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

12 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.

13 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.



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