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Ayub 38:1--40:24


VI. The Divine Speeches (38:1-42:6)

The Lord’s First Speech 1 

38:1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: 2 

38:2 “Who is this 3  who darkens counsel 4 

with words without knowledge?

38:3 Get ready for a difficult task 5  like a man;

I will question you

and you will inform me!

God’s questions to Job

38:4 “Where were you

when I laid the foundation 6  of the earth?

Tell me, 7  if you possess understanding!

38:5 Who set its measurements – if 8  you know –

or who stretched a measuring line across it?

38:6 On what 9  were its bases 10  set,

or who laid its cornerstone –

38:7 when the morning stars 11  sang 12  in chorus, 13 

and all the sons of God 14  shouted for joy?

38:8 “Who shut up 15  the sea with doors

when it burst forth, 16  coming out of the womb,

38:9 when I made 17  the storm clouds its garment,

and thick darkness its swaddling band, 18 

38:10 when I prescribed 19  its limits,

and set 20  in place its bolts and doors,

38:11 when I said, ‘To here you may come 21 

and no farther, 22 

here your proud waves will be confined’? 23 

38:12 Have you ever in your life 24  commanded the morning,

or made the dawn know 25  its place,

38:13 that it might seize the corners of the earth, 26 

and shake the wicked out of it?

38:14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; 27 

its features 28  are dyed 29  like a garment.

38:15 Then from the wicked the light is withheld,

and the arm raised in violence 30  is broken. 31 

38:16 Have you gone to the springs that fill the sea, 32 

or walked about in the recesses of the deep?

38:17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you? 33 

Have you seen the gates of deepest darkness? 34 

38:18 Have you considered the vast expanses of the earth?

Tell me, if you know it all!

38:19 “In what direction 35  does light reside,

and darkness, where is its place,

38:20 that you may take them to their borders

and perceive the pathways to their homes? 36 

38:21 You know, for you were born before them; 37 

and the number of your days is great!

38:22 Have you entered the storehouse 38  of the snow,

or seen the armory 39  of the hail,

38:23 which I reserve for the time of trouble,

for the day of war and battle? 40 

38:24 In what direction is lightning 41  dispersed,

or the east winds scattered over the earth?

38:25 Who carves out a channel for the heavy rains,

and a path for the rumble of thunder,

38:26 to cause it to rain on an uninhabited land, 42 

a desert where there are no human beings, 43 

38:27 to satisfy a devastated and desolate land,

and to cause it to sprout with vegetation? 44 

38:28 Does the rain have a father,

or who has fathered the drops of the dew?

38:29 From whose womb does the ice emerge,

and the frost from the sky, 45  who gives birth to it,

38:30 when the waters become hard 46  like stone,

when the surface of the deep is frozen solid?

38:31 Can you tie the bands 47  of the Pleiades,

or release the cords of Orion?

38:32 Can you lead out

the constellations 48  in their seasons,

or guide the Bear with its cubs? 49 

38:33 Do you know the laws of the heavens,

or can you set up their rule over the earth?

38:34 Can you raise your voice to the clouds

so that a flood of water covers you? 50 

38:35 Can you send out lightning bolts, and they go?

Will they say to you, ‘Here we are’?

38:36 Who has put wisdom in the heart, 51 

or has imparted understanding to the mind?

38:37 Who by wisdom can count the clouds,

and who can tip over 52  the water jars of heaven,

38:38 when the dust hardens 53  into a mass,

and the clumps of earth stick together?

38:39 “Do you hunt prey for the lioness,

and satisfy the appetite 54  of the lions,

38:40 when they crouch in their dens,

when they wait in ambush in the thicket?

38:41 Who prepares prey for the raven,

when its young cry out to God

and wander about 55  for lack of food?

39:1 “Are you acquainted with the way 56 

the mountain goats 57  give birth?

Do you watch as the wild deer give birth to their young?

39:2 Do you count the months they must fulfill,

and do you know the time they give birth? 58 

39:3 They crouch, they bear 59  their young,

they bring forth the offspring they have carried. 60 

39:4 Their young grow strong, and grow up in the open; 61 

they go off, and do not return to them.

39:5 Who let the wild donkey go free?

Who released the bonds of the donkey,

39:6 to whom I appointed the steppe for its home,

the salt wastes as its dwelling place?

39:7 It scorns the tumult in the town;

it does not hear the shouts of a driver. 62 

39:8 It ranges the hills as its pasture,

and searches after every green plant.

39:9 Is the wild ox willing to be your servant?

Will it spend the night at your feeding trough?

39:10 Can you bind the wild ox 63  to a furrow with its rope,

will it till the valleys, following after you?

39:11 Will you rely on it because its strength is great?

Will you commit 64  your labor to it?

39:12 Can you count on 65  it to bring in 66  your grain, 67 

and gather the grain 68  to your threshing floor? 69 

39:13 70 “The wings of the ostrich 71  flap with joy, 72 

but are they the pinions and plumage of a stork? 73 

39:14 For she leaves 74  her eggs on the ground,

and lets them be warmed on the soil.

39:15 She forgets that a foot might crush them,

or that a wild animal 75  might trample them.

39:16 She is harsh 76  with her young,

as if they were not hers;

she is unconcerned

about the uselessness of her labor.

39:17 For God deprived her of wisdom,

and did not impart understanding to her.

39:18 But as soon as she springs up, 77 

she laughs at the horse and its rider.

39:19 “Do you give the horse its strength?

Do you clothe its neck with a mane? 78 

39:20 Do you make it leap 79  like a locust?

Its proud neighing 80  is terrifying!

39:21 It 81  paws the ground in the valley, 82 

exulting mightily, 83 

it goes out to meet the weapons.

39:22 It laughs at fear and is not dismayed;

it does not shy away from the sword.

39:23 On it the quiver rattles;

the lance and javelin 84  flash.

39:24 In excitement and impatience it consumes the ground; 85 

it cannot stand still 86  when the trumpet is blown.

39:25 At the sound of the trumpet, it says, ‘Aha!’

And from a distance it catches the scent of battle,

the thunderous shouting of commanders,

and the battle cries.

39:26 “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, 87 

and spreads its wings toward the south?

39:27 Is it at your command 88  that the eagle soars,

and builds its nest on high?

39:28 It lives on a rock and spends the night there,

on a rocky crag 89  and a fortress. 90 

39:29 From there it spots 91  its prey, 92 

its eyes gaze intently from a distance.

39:30 And its young ones devour the blood,

and where the dead carcasses 93  are,

there it is.”

Job’s Reply to God’s Challenge

40:1 Then the Lord answered Job:

40:2 “Will the one who contends 94  with the Almighty correct him? 95 

Let the person who accuses God give him an answer!”

40:3 Then Job answered the Lord:

40:4 “Indeed, I am completely unworthy 96  – how could I reply to you?

I put 97  my hand over my mouth to silence myself. 98 

40:5 I have spoken once, but I cannot answer;

twice, but I will say no more.” 99 

The Lord’s Second Speech 100 

40:6 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

40:7 “Get ready for a difficult task 101  like a man.

I will question you and you will inform me!

40:8 Would you indeed annul 102  my justice?

Would you declare me guilty so that you might be right?

40:9 Do you have an arm as powerful as God’s, 103 

and can you thunder with a voice like his?

40:10 Adorn yourself, then, with majesty and excellency,

and clothe yourself with glory and honor!

40:11 Scatter abroad 104  the abundance 105  of your anger.

Look at every proud man 106  and bring him low;

40:12 Look at every proud man and abase him;

crush the wicked on the spot! 107 

40:13 Hide them in the dust 108  together,

imprison 109  them 110  in the grave. 111 

40:14 Then I myself will acknowledge 112  to you

that your own right hand can save you. 113 

The Description of Behemoth 114 

40:15 “Look now at Behemoth, 115  which I made as 116  I made you;

it eats grass like the ox.

40:16 Look 117  at its strength in its loins,

and its power in the muscles of its belly.

40:17 It makes its tail stiff 118  like a cedar,

the sinews of its thighs are tightly wound.

40:18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,

its limbs like bars of iron.

40:19 It ranks first among the works of God, 119 

the One who made it

has furnished it with a sword. 120 

40:20 For the hills bring it food, 121 

where all the wild animals play.

40:21 Under the lotus trees it lies,

in the secrecy of the reeds and the marsh.

40:22 The lotus trees conceal it in their 122  shadow;

the poplars by the stream conceal it.

40:23 If the river rages, 123  it is not disturbed,

it is secure, 124  though the Jordan

should surge up to its mouth.

40:24 Can anyone catch it by its eyes, 125 

or pierce its nose with a snare? 126 

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[38:1]  1 sn This is the culmination of it all, the revelation of the Lord to Job. Most interpreters see here the style and content of the author of the book, a return to the beginning of the book. Here the Lord speaks to Job and displays his sovereign power and glory. Job has lived through the suffering – without cursing God. He has held to his integrity, and nowhere regretted it. But he was unaware of the real reason for the suffering, and will remain unaware throughout these speeches. God intervenes to resolve the spiritual issues that surfaced. Job was not punished for sin. And Job’s suffering had not cut him off from God. In the end the point is that Job cannot have the knowledge to make the assessments he made. It is wiser to bow in submission and adoration of God than to try to judge him. The first speech of God has these sections: the challenge (38:1-3), the surpassing mysteries of earth and sky beyond Job’s understanding (4-38), and the mysteries of animal and bird life that surpassed his understanding (38:3939:30).

[38:1]  2 sn This is not the storm described by Elihu – in fact, the Lord ignores Elihu. The storm is a common accompaniment for a theophany (see Ezek 1:4; Nah 1:3; Zech 9:14).

[38:2]  3 tn The demonstrative pronoun is used here to emphasize the interrogative pronoun (see GKC 442 §136.c).

[38:2]  4 sn The referent of “counsel” here is not the debate between Job and the friends, but the purposes of God (see Ps 33:10; Prov 19:21; Isa 19:17). Dhorme translates it “Providence.”

[38:3]  5 tn Heb “Gird up your loins.” This idiom basically describes taking the hem of the long garment or robe and pulling it up between the legs and tucking it into the front of the belt, allowing easier and freer movement of the legs. “Girding the loins” meant the preparation for some difficult task (Jer 1:17), or for battle (Isa 5:27), or for running (1 Kgs 18:46). C. Gordon suggests that it includes belt-wrestling, a form of hand-to-hand mortal combat (“Belt-wrestling in the Bible World,” HUCA 23 [1950/51]: 136).

[38:4]  6 tn The construction is the infinitive construct in a temporal clause, using the preposition and the subjective genitive suffix.

[38:4]  7 tn The verb is the imperative; it has no object “me” in the text.

[38:5]  8 tn The particle כּ (ki) is taken here for a conditional clause, “if you know” (see GKC 498 §159.dd). Others take it as “surely” with a biting irony.

[38:6]  9 tn For the interrogative serving as a genitive, see GKC 442 §136.b.

[38:6]  10 sn The world was conceived of as having bases and pillars, but these poetic descriptions should not be pressed too far (e.g., see Ps 24:2, which may be worded as much for its polemics against Canaanite mythology as anything).

[38:7]  11 sn The expression “morning stars” (Heb “stars of the morning”) is here placed in parallelism to the angels, “the sons of God.” It may refer to the angels under the imagery of the stars, or, as some prefer, it may poetically include all creation. There is a parallel also with the foundation of the temple which was accompanied by song (see Ezra 3:10,11). But then the account of the building of the original tabernacle was designed to mirror creation (see M. Fishbane, Biblical Text and Texture).

[38:7]  12 tn The construction, an adverbial clause of time, uses רָנָן (ranan), which is often a ringing cry, an exultation. The parallelism with “shout for joy” shows this to be enthusiastic acclamation. The infinitive is then continued in the next colon with the vav (ו) consecutive preterite.

[38:7]  13 tn Heb “together.” This is Dhorme’s suggestion for expressing how they sang together.

[38:7]  14 tn See Job 1:6.

[38:8]  15 tn The MT has “and he shut up.” The Vulgate has “Who?” and so many commentaries and editions adopt this reading, if not from the Vulgate, then from the sense of the sequence in the text itself.

[38:8]  16 tn The line uses two expressions, first the temporal clause with גִּיחַ (giakh, “when it burst forth”) and then the finite verb יֵצֵא (yetse’, “go out”) to mark the concomitance of the two actions.

[38:9]  17 tn The temporal clause here uses the infinitive from שִׂים (sim, “to place; to put; to make”). It underscores the sovereign placing of things.

[38:9]  18 tn This noun is found only here. The verb is in Ezek 16:4, and a related noun is in Ezek 30:21.

[38:10]  19 tc The MT has “and I broke,” which cannot mean “set, prescribed” or the like. The LXX and the Vulgate have such a meaning, suggesting a verb עֲשִׁית (’ashiyt, “plan, prescribe”). A. Guillaume finds an Arabic word with a meaning “measured it by span by my decree.” Would God give himself a decree? R. Gordis simply argues that the basic meaning “break” develops the connotation of “decide, determine” (2 Sam 5:24; Job 14:3; Dan 11:36).

[38:10]  20 tn Dhorme suggested reversing the two verbs, making this the first, and then “shatter” for the second colon.

[38:11]  21 tn The imperfect verb receives the permission nuance here.

[38:11]  22 tn The text has תֹסִיף (tosif, “and you may not add”), which is often used idiomatically (as in verbal hendiadys constructions).

[38:11]  23 tn The MT literally says, “here he will put on the pride of your waves.” The verb has no expressed subject and so is made a passive voice. But there has to be some object for the verb “put,” such as “limit” or “boundary”; the translations “confined; halted; stopped” all serve to paraphrase such an idea. The LXX has “broken” at this point, suggesting the verse might have been confused – but “breaking the pride” of the waves would mean controlling them. Some commentators have followed this, exchanging the verb in v. 11 with this one.

[38:12]  24 tn The Hebrew idiom is “have you from your days?” It means “never in your life” (see 1 Sam 25:28; 1 Kgs 1:6).

[38:12]  25 tn The verb is the Piel of יָדַע (yada’, “to know”) with a double accusative.

[38:13]  26 sn The poetic image is that darkness or night is like a blanket that covers the earth, and at dawn it is taken by the edges and shaken out. Since the wicked function under the cover of night, they are included in the shaking when the dawn comes up.

[38:14]  27 sn The verse needs to be understood in the context: as the light shines in the dawn, the features of the earth take on a recognizable shape or form. The language is phenomenological.

[38:14]  28 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the objects or features on the earth) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[38:14]  29 tc The MT reads “they stand up like a garment” (NASB, NIV) or “its features stand out like a garment” (ESV). The reference could be either to embroidered decoration on a garment or to the folds of a garment (REB: “until all things stand out like the folds of a cloak”; cf. J. E. Hartley, Job [NICOT], 497, “the early light of day makes the earth appear as a beautiful garment, exquisite in design and glorious in color”). Since this is thought to be an odd statement, some suggest with Ehrlich that the text be changed to תִּצָּבַּע (titsabba’, “is dyed [like a garment]”). This reference would be to the colors appearing on the earth’s surface under daylight. The present translation follows the emendation.

[38:15]  30 tn Heb “the raised arm.” The words “in violence” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation to clarify the metaphor.

[38:15]  31 sn What is active at night, the violence symbolized by the raised arm, is broken with the dawn. G. R. Driver thought the whole verse referred to stars, and that the arm is the navigator’s term for the line of stars (“Two astronomical passages in the Old Testament,” JTS 4 [1953]: 208-12).

[38:16]  32 tn Heb “the springs of the sea.” The words “that fill” are supplied in the translation to clarify the meaning of the phrase.

[38:17]  33 tn Heb “uncovered to you.”

[38:17]  34 tn Some still retain the traditional phrase “shadow of death” in the English translation (cf. NIV). The reference is to the entrance to Sheol (see Job 10:21).

[38:19]  35 tn The interrogative with דֶרֶךְ (derekh) means “in what road” or “in what direction.”

[38:20]  36 tn The suffixes are singular (“that you may take it to its border…to its home”), referring to either the light or the darkness. Because either is referred to, the translation has employed plurals, since singulars would imply that only the second item, “darkness,” was the referent. Plurals are also employed by NAB and NIV.

[38:21]  37 tn The imperfect verb after the adverb אָז (’az, “then”) functions as a preterite: “you were born.” The line is sarcastic.

[38:22]  38 sn Snow and ice are thought of as being in store, brought out by God for specific purposes, such as times of battle (see Josh 10:11; Exod 9:2ff.; Isa 28:17; Isa 30:30; and Ps 18:12 [13]).

[38:22]  39 tn The same Hebrew term (אוֹצָר, ’otsar), has been translated “storehouse” in the first line and “armory” in the second. This has been done for stylistic variation, but also because “hail,” as one of God’s “weapons” (cf. the following verse) suggests military imagery; in this context the word refers to God’s “ammunition dump” where he stockpiles hail.

[38:23]  40 sn The terms translated war and battle are different Hebrew words, but both may be translated “war” or “battle” depending on the context.

[38:24]  41 tn Because the parallel with “light” and “east wind” is not tight, Hoffmann proposed ‘ed instead, “mist.” This has been adopted by many. G. R. Driver suggests “parching heat” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 91-92).

[38:26]  42 tn Heb “on a land, no man.”

[38:26]  43 tn Heb “a desert, no man in it.”

[38:27]  44 tn Heb “to cause to sprout a source of vegetation.” The word מֹצָא (motsa’) is rendered “mine” in Job 28:1. The suggestion with the least changes is Wright’s: צָמֵא (tsame’, “thirsty”). But others choose מִצִּיָּה (mitsiyyah, “from the steppe”).

[38:29]  45 tn Or “heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.

[38:30]  46 tn Several suggest that the verb is not from חָבָא (khava’, “to hide”) but from a homonym, “to congeal.” This may be too difficult to support, however.

[38:31]  47 tn This word is found here and in 1 Sam 15:32. Dhorme suggests, with others, that there has been a metathesis (a reversal of consonants), and it is the same word found in Job 31:36 (“bind”). G. R. Driver takes it as “cluster” without changing the text (“Two astronomical passages in the Old Testament,” JTS 7 [1956] :3).

[38:32]  48 tn The word מַזָּרוֹת (mazzarot) is taken by some to refer to the constellations (see 2 Kgs 23:5), and by others as connected to the word for “crown,” and so “corona.”

[38:32]  49 sn See Job 9:9.

[38:34]  50 tc The LXX has “answer you,” and some editors have adopted this. However, the reading of the MT makes better sense in the verse.

[38:36]  51 tn This verse is difficult because of the two words, טֻחוֹת (tukhot, rendered here “heart”) and שֶׂכְוִי (sekhvi, here “mind”). They have been translated a number of ways: “meteor” and “celestial appearance”; the stars “Procyon” and “Sirius”; “inward part” and “mind”; even as birds, “ibis” and “cock.” One expects them to have something to do with nature – clouds and the like. The RSV accordingly took them to mean “meteor” (from a verb “to wander”) and “a celestial appearance.” But these meanings are not well-attested.

[38:37]  52 tn The word actually means “to cause to lie down.”

[38:38]  53 tn The word means “to flow” or “to cast” (as in casting metals). So the noun developed the sense of “hard,” as in cast metal.

[38:39]  54 tn Heb “fill up the life of.”

[38:41]  55 tn The verse is difficult, making some suspect that a line has dropped out. The little birds in the nest hardly go wandering about looking for food. Dhorme suggest “and stagger for lack of food.”

[39:1]  56 tn The text uses the infinitive as the object: “do you know the giving birth of?”

[39:1]  57 tn Or “ibex.”

[39:2]  58 tn Here the infinitive is again a substantive: “the time of their giving birth.”

[39:3]  59 tc The Hebrew verb used here means “to cleave,” and this would not have the object “their young.” Olshausen and others after him change the ח (khet) to ט (tet) and get a verb “to drop,” meaning “drop [= give birth to] young” as used in Job 21:10. G. R. Driver holds out for the MT, arguing it is an idiom, “to breach the womb” (“Problems in the Hebrew text of Job,” VTSup 3 [1955]: 92-93).

[39:3]  60 tn Heb “they cast forth their labor pains.” This word usually means “birth pangs” but here can mean what caused the pains (metonymy of effect). This fits better with the parallelism, and the verb (“cast forth”). The words “their offspring” are supplied in the translation for clarity; direct objects were often omitted when clear from the context, although English expects them to be included.

[39:4]  61 tn The idea is that of the open countryside. The Aramaism is found only here.

[39:7]  62 sn The animal is happier in open countryside than in a busy town, and on its own rather than being driven by a herdsman.

[39:10]  63 tn Some commentators think that the addition of the “wild ox” here is a copyist’s error, making the stich too long. They therefore delete it. Also, binding an animal to the furrow with ropes is unusual. So with a slight emendation Kissane came up with “Will you bind him with a halter of cord?” While the MT is unusual, the sense is understandable, and no changes, even slight ones, are absolutely necessary.

[39:11]  64 tn Heb “leave.”

[39:12]  65 tn The word is normally translated “believe” in the Bible. The idea is that of considering something dependable and acting on it. The idea of reliability is found also in the Niphal stem usages.

[39:12]  66 tc There is a textual problem here: יָשׁוּב (yashuv) is the Kethib, meaning “[that] he will return”; יָשִׁיב (yashiv) is the Qere, meaning “that he will bring in.” This is the preferred reading, since the object follows it. For commentators who think the line too unbalanced for this, the object is moved to the second colon, and the reading “returns” is taken for the first. But the MT is perfectly clear as it stands.

[39:12]  67 tn Heb “your seed”; this must be interpreted figuratively for what the seed produces.

[39:12]  68 tn Heb “gather it”; the referent (the grain) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[39:12]  69 tn Simply, the MT has “and your threshing floor gather.” The “threshing floor” has to be an adverbial accusative of place.

[39:13]  70 tc This whole section on the ostrich is not included in the LXX. Many feel it is an interpolation and should therefore be deleted. The pattern of the chapter changes from the questions being asked to observations being made.

[39:13]  71 tn The word occurs only here and means “shrill cries.” If the MT is correct, this is a poetic name for the ostrich (see Lam 4:3).

[39:13]  72 tn Many proposals have been made here. The MT has a verb, “exult.” Strahan had “flap joyously,” a rendering followed by the NIV. The RSV uses “wave proudly.”

[39:13]  73 tn The point of this statement would be that the ostrich cannot compare to the stork. But there are many other proposals for this line – just about every commentator has a different explanation for it. Of the three words here, the first means “pinion,” the third “plumage,” and the second probably “stork,” although the LXX has “heron.” The point of this whole section is that the ostrich is totally lacking in parental care, whereas the stork is characterized by it. The Hebrew word for “stork” is the same word for “love”: חֲסִידָה (khasidah), an interpretation followed by the NASB. The most likely reading is “or are they the pinions and plumage of the stork?” The ostrich may flap about, but cannot fly and does not care for its young.

[39:14]  74 tn The meaning may have the connotation of “lays; places,” rather than simply abandoning (see M. Dahood, “The Root ’zb II in Job,” JBL 78 [1959]: 307f.).

[39:15]  75 tn Heb “an animal of the field.”

[39:16]  76 sn This verb, “to deal harshly; to harden; to treat cruelly,” is used for hardening the heart elsewhere (see Isa 63:17).

[39:18]  77 tn The colon poses a slight problem here. The literal meaning of the Hebrew verb translated “springs up” (i.e., “lifts herself on high”) might suggest flight. But some of the proposals involve a reading about readying herself to run.

[39:19]  78 tn The second half of the verse contains this hapax legomenon, which is usually connected with the word רַעְמָה (ramah, “thunder”). A. B. Davidson thought it referred to the quivering of the neck rather than the mane. Gray thought the sound and not the movement was the point. But without better evidence, a reading that has “quivering mane” may not be far off the mark. But it may be simplest to translate it “mane” and assume that the idea of “quivering” is part of the meaning.

[39:20]  79 sn The same ideas are found in Joel 2:4. The leaping motion is compared to the galloping of the horse.

[39:20]  80 tn The word could mean “snorting” as well (see Jer 8:16). It comes from the root “to blow.” If the horse is running and breathing hard, this could be the sense here.

[39:21]  81 tc The Hebrew text has a plural verb, “they paw.” For consistency and for stylistic reasons this is translated as a singular.

[39:21]  82 tn The armies would prepare for battles that were usually fought in the valleys, and so the horse was ready to charge. But in Ugaritic the word `mk means “force” as well as “valley.” The idea of “force” would fit the parallelism here well (see M. Dahood, “Value of Ugaritic for textual criticism,” Bib 40 [1959]: 166).

[39:21]  83 tn Or “in strength.”

[39:23]  84 tn This may be the scimitar (see G. Molin, “What is a kidon?” JSS 1 [1956]: 334-37).

[39:24]  85 tn “Swallow the ground” is a metaphor for the horse’s running. Gray renders the line: “quivering and excited he dashes into the fray.”

[39:24]  86 tn The use of אָמַן (’aman) in the Hiphil in this place is unique. Such a form would normally mean “to believe.” But its basic etymological meaning comes through here. The verb means “to be firm; to be reliable; to be dependable.” The causative here would mean “to make firm” or “to stand firm.”

[39:26]  87 tn This word occurs only here. It is connected to “pinions” in v. 13. Dhorme suggests “clad with feathers,” but the line suggests more the use of the wings.

[39:27]  88 tn Heb “your mouth.”

[39:28]  89 tn Heb “upon the tooth of a rock.”

[39:28]  90 tn The word could be taken as the predicate, but because of the conjunction it seems to be adding another description of the place of its nest.

[39:29]  91 tn The word means “search,” but can be used for a wide range of matters, including spying.

[39:29]  92 tn Heb “food.”

[39:30]  93 tn The word חֲלָלִים (khalalim) designates someone who is fatally wounded, literally the “pierced one,” meaning anyone or thing that dies a violent death.

[40:2]  94 tn The form רֹב (rov) is the infinitive absolute from the verb רִיב (riv, “contend”). Dhorme wishes to repoint it to make it the active participle, the “one who argues with the Almighty.”

[40:2]  95 tn The verb יִסּוֹר (yissor) is found only here, but comes from a common root meaning “to correct; to reprove.” Several suggestions have been made to improve on the MT. Dhorme read it יָסוּר (yasur) in the sense of “to turn aside; to yield.” Ehrlich read this emendation as “to come to an end.” But the MT could be read as “to correct; to instruct.”

[40:4]  96 tn The word קַלֹּתִי (qalloti) means “to be light; to be of small account; to be unimportant.” From this comes the meaning “contemptible,” which in the causative stem would mean “to treat with contempt; to curse.” Dhorme tries to make the sentence a conditional clause and suggests this meaning: “If I have been thoughtless.” There is really no “if” in Job’s mind.

[40:4]  97 tn The perfect verb here should be classified as an instantaneous perfect; the action is simultaneous with the words.

[40:4]  98 tn The words “to silence myself” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

[40:5]  99 tn Heb “I will not add.”

[40:6]  100 sn The speech can be divided into three parts: the invitation to Job to assume the throne and rule the world (40:7-14), the description of Behemoth (40:15-24), and the description of Leviathan (41:1-34).

[40:7]  101 tn See note on “task” in 38:3.

[40:8]  102 tn The verb פָּרַר (parar) means “to annul; to break; to frustrate.” It was one thing for Job to claim his own integrity, but it was another matter altogether to nullify God’s righteousness in the process.

[40:9]  103 tn Heb “do you have an arm like God?” The words “as powerful as” have been supplied in the translation to clarify the metaphor.

[40:11]  104 tn The verb was used for scattering lightning (Job 37:11). God is challenging Job to unleash his power and judge wickedness in the world.

[40:11]  105 tn Heb “the overflowings.”

[40:11]  106 tn The word was just used in the positive sense of excellence or majesty; now the exalted nature of the person refers to self-exaltation, or pride.

[40:12]  107 tn The expression translated “on the spot” is the prepositional phrase תַּחְתָּם (takhtam, “under them”). “Under them” means in their place. But it can also mean “where someone stands, on the spot” (see Exod 16:29; Jos 6:5; Judg 7:21, etc.).

[40:13]  108 tn The word “dust” can mean “ground” here, or more likely, “grave.”

[40:13]  109 tn The verb חָבַשׁ (khavash) means “to bind.” In Arabic the word means “to bind” in the sense of “to imprison,” and that fits here.

[40:13]  110 tn Heb “their faces.”

[40:13]  111 tn The word is “secret place,” the place where he is to hide them, i.e., the grave. The text uses the word “secret place” as a metonymy for the grave.

[40:14]  112 tn The verb is usually translated “praise,” but with the sense of a public declaration or acknowledgment. It is from יָדָה (yadah, in the Hiphil, as here, “give thanks, laud”).

[40:14]  113 tn The imperfect verb has the nuance of potential imperfect: “can save; is able to save.”

[40:15]  114 sn The next ten verses are devoted to a portrayal of Behemoth (the name means “beast” in Hebrew). It does not fit any of the present material very well, and so many think the section is a later addition. Its style is more like that of a textbook. Moreover, if the animal is a real animal (the usual suggestion is the hippopotamus), then the location of such an animal is Egypt and not Palestine. Some have identified these creatures Behemoth and Leviathan as mythological creatures (Gunkel, Pope). Others point out that these creatures could have been dinosaurs (P. J. Maarten, NIDOTTE, 2:780; H. M. Morris, The Remarkable Record of Job, 115-22). Most would say they are real animals, but probably mythologized by the pagans. So the pagan reader would receive an additional impact from this point about God’s sovereignty over all nature.

[40:15]  115 sn By form the word is the feminine plural of the Hebrew word for “beast.” Here it is an abstract word – a title.

[40:15]  116 tn Heb “with you.” The meaning could be temporal (“when I made you”) – perhaps a reference to the sixth day of creation (Gen 1:24).

[40:16]  117 tn In both of these verses הִנֶּה (hinneh, “behold”) has the deictic force (the word is from Greek δείκνυμι, deiknumi, “to show”). It calls attention to something by pointing it out. The expression goes with the sudden look, the raised eye, the pointing hand – “O look!”

[40:17]  118 tn The verb חָפַץ (khafats) occurs only here. It may have the meaning “to make stiff; to make taut” (Arabic). The LXX and the Syriac versions support this with “erects.” But there is another Arabic word that could be cognate, meaning “arch, bend.” This would give the idea of the tail swaying. The other reading seems to make better sense here. However, “stiff” presents a serious problem with the view that the animal is the hippopotamus.

[40:19]  119 tn Heb “the ways of God.”

[40:19]  sn This may be a reference to Gen 1:24, where the first of the animal creation was the cattle – bÿhemah (בְּהֵמָה).

[40:19]  120 tc The literal reading of the MT is “let the one who made him draw near [with] his sword.” The sword is apparently a reference to the teeth or tusks of the animal, which cut vegetation like a sword. But the idea of a weapon is easier to see, and so the people who favor the mythological background see here a reference to God’s slaying the Beast. There are again many suggestions on how to read the line. The RV probably has the safest: “He that made him has furnished him with his sword” (the sword being a reference to the sharp tusks with which he can attack).

[40:20]  121 tn The word בּוּל (bul) probably refers to food. Many take it as an abbreviated form of יְבוּל (yÿvul, “produce of the field”). The vegetation that is produced on the low hills is what is meant.

[40:22]  122 tn The suffix is singular, but must refer to the trees’ shade.

[40:23]  123 tn The word ordinarily means “to oppress.” So many commentators have proposed suitable changes: “overflows” (Beer), “gushes” (Duhm), “swells violently” (Dhorme, from a word that means “be strong”).

[40:23]  124 tn Or “he remains calm.”

[40:24]  125 tn The idea would be either (1) catch it while it is watching, or (2) in some way disabling its eyes before the attack. But others change the reading; Ball suggested “with hooks” and this has been adopted by some modern English versions (e.g., NRSV).

[40:24]  126 tn Ehrlich altered the MT slightly to get “with thorns,” a view accepted by Driver, Dhorme and Pope.

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