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Job 36:27-33

Context

36:27 He draws up drops of water;

they distill 1  the rain into its mist, 2 

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? 3 

36:30 See how he scattered 4  his lightning 5  about him;

he has covered the depths 6  of the sea.

36:31 It is by these that he judges 7  the nations

and supplies food in abundance.

36:32 With his hands 8  he covers 9  the lightning,

and directs it against its target.

36:33 10 His thunder announces the coming storm,

the cattle also, concerning the storm’s approach.

1 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.”

2 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.

3 tn Heb “his booth.”

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

5 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.

6 tn Heb “roots.”

7 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.).

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

9 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.

10 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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