Job 38

1Then Hashem replied to Iyov out of the tempest and said:

אוַיַּעַן־יְהֹוָה אֶת־אִיּוֹב מנ הסערה [מִן ] [הַסְּעָרָה] וַיֹּאמַר׃

2Who is this who darkens counsel, Speaking without knowledge?

במִי זֶה מַחְשִׁיךְ עֵצָה בְמִלִּין בְּלִי־דָעַת׃

3Gird your loins like a man; I will ask and you will inform Me.

גאֱזָר־נָא כְגֶבֶר חֲלָצֶיךָ וְאֶשְׁאָלְךָ וְהוֹדִיעֵנִי׃

4Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? Speak if you have understanding.

ay-FOH ha-YEE-ta b'-yos-DEE A-retz ha-GAYD im ya-DA-ta vee-NAH

דאֵיפֹה הָיִיתָ בְּיָסְדִי־אָרֶץ הַגֵּד אִם־יָדַעְתָּ בִינָה׃

 38:4   Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations?

Rabbi Judah Halevi (1075-1141)

In this chapter, Hashem finally responds to Iyov’s questioning of His justice. He says that since Iyov was not around when God created the world, he cannot possibly understand the way in which He runs the world. Rabbi Judah Halevi, in his book The Kuzari, suggests that precisely because man was not around to witness the creation of the world, Hashem introduces Himself in the first of the ten commandments as the God who took the Children of Israel out of Egypt, rather than the God who created the world (Exodus 20:2). The people could not relate to God as creator, since they did not explicitly know him as such. However, the Exodus, which was experienced by the entire Nation of Israel, proved God’s existence to them beyond a shadow of a doubt. Furthermore, Ramban explains that Hashem’s manipulation of nature during the Exodus proves that He is indeed the Creator of the natural order of the world, and that He continues to be involved in the running of the world and the lives of His people.

5Do you know who fixed its dimensions Or who measured it with a line?

המִי־שָׂם מְמַדֶּיהָ כִּי תֵדָע אוֹ מִי־נָטָה עָלֶיהָ קָּו׃

6Onto what were its bases sunk? Who set its cornerstone

ועַל־מָה אֲדָנֶיהָ הָטְבָּעוּ אוֹ מִי־יָרָה אֶבֶן פִּנָּתָהּ׃

7When the morning stars sang together And all the divine beings shouted for joy?

זבְּרָן־יַחַד כּוֹכְבֵי בֹקֶר וַיָּרִיעוּ כָּל־בְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים׃

8Who closed the sea behind doors When it gushed forth out of the womb,

חוַיָּסֶךְ בִּדְלָתַיִם יָם בְּגִיחוֹ מֵרֶחֶם יֵצֵא׃

9When I clothed it in clouds, Swaddled it in dense clouds,

טבְּשׂוּמִי עָנָן לְבֻשׁוֹ וַעֲרָפֶל חֲתֻלָּתוֹ׃

10When I made breakers My limit for it, And set up its bar and doors,

יוָאֶשְׁבֹּר עָלָיו חֻקִּי וָאָשִׂים בְּרִיחַ וּדְלָתָיִם׃

11And said, “You may come so far and no farther; Here your surging waves will stop”?

יאוָאֹמַר עַד־פֹּה תָבוֹא וְלֹא תֹסִיף וּפֹא־יָשִׁית בִּגְאוֹן גַּלֶּיךָ׃

12Have you ever commanded the day to break, Assigned the dawn its place,

יבהְמִיָּמֶיךָ צִוִּיתָ בֹּקֶר ידעתה שחר [יִדַּעְתָּה] [הַשַּׁחַר] מְקֹמוֹ׃

13So that it seizes the corners of the earth And shakes the wicked out of it?

יגלֶאֱחֹז בְּכַנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ וְיִנָּעֲרוּ רְשָׁעִים מִמֶּנָּה׃

14It changes like clay under the seal Till [its hues] are fixed like those of a garment.

ידתִּתְהַפֵּךְ כְּחֹמֶר חוֹתָם וְיִתְיַצְּבוּ כְּמוֹ לְבוּשׁ׃

15Their light is withheld from the wicked, And the upraised arm is broken.

טווְיִמָּנַע מֵרְשָׁעִים אוֹרָם וּזְרוֹעַ רָמָה תִּשָּׁבֵר׃

16Have you penetrated to the sources of the sea, Or walked in the recesses of the deep?

טזהֲבָאתָ עַד־נִבְכֵי־יָם וּבְחֵקֶר תְּהוֹם הִתְהַלָּכְתָּ׃

17Have the gates of death been disclosed to you? Have you seen the gates of deep darkness?

יזהֲנִגְלוּ לְךָ שַׁעֲרֵי־מָוֶת וְשַׁעֲרֵי צַלְמָוֶת תִּרְאֶה׃

18Have you surveyed the expanses of the earth? If you know of these—tell Me.

יחהִתְבֹּנַנְתָּ עַד־רַחֲבֵי־אָרֶץ הַגֵּד אִם־יָדַעְתָּ כֻלָּהּ׃

19Which path leads to where light dwells, And where is the place of darkness,

יטאֵי־זֶה הַדֶּרֶךְ יִשְׁכָּן־אוֹר וְחֹשֶׁךְ אֵי־זֶה מְקֹמוֹ׃

20That you may take it to its domain And know the way to its home?

ככִּי תִקָּחֶנּוּ אֶל־גְּבוּלוֹ וְכִי־תָבִין נְתִיבוֹת בֵּיתוֹ׃

21Surely you know, for you were born then, And the number of your years is many!

כאיָדַעְתָּ כִּי־אָז תִּוָּלֵד וּמִסְפַּר יָמֶיךָ רַבִּים׃

22Have you penetrated the vaults of snow, Seen the vaults of hail,

כבהֲבָאתָ אֶל־אֹצְרוֹת שָׁלֶג וְאֹצְרוֹת בָּרָד תִּרְאֶה׃

23Which I have put aside for a time of adversity, For a day of war and battle?

כגאֲשֶׁר־חָשַׂכְתִּי לְעֶת־צָר לְיוֹם קְרָב וּמִלְחָמָה׃

24By what path is the west wind dispersed, The east wind scattered over the earth?

כדאֵי־זֶה הַדֶּרֶךְ יֵחָלֶק אוֹר יָפֵץ קָדִים עֲלֵי־אָרֶץ׃

25Who cut a channel for the torrents And a path for the thunderstorms,

כהמִי־פִלַּג לַשֶּׁטֶף תְּעָלָה וְדֶרֶךְ לַחֲזִיז קֹלוֹת׃

26To rain down on uninhabited land, On the wilderness where no man is,

כולְהַמְטִיר עַל־אֶרֶץ לֹא־אִישׁ מִדְבָּר לֹא־אָדָם בּוֹ׃

27To saturate the desolate wasteland, And make the crop of grass sprout forth?

כזלְהַשְׂבִּיעַ שֹׁאָה וּמְשֹׁאָה וּלְהַצְמִיחַ מֹצָא דֶשֶׁא׃

28Does the rain have a father? Who begot the dewdrops?

כחהֲיֵשׁ־לַמָּטָר אָב אוֹ מִי־הוֹלִיד אֶגְלֵי־טָל׃

29From whose belly came forth the ice? Who gave birth to the frost of heaven?

כטמִבֶּטֶן מִי יָצָא הַקָּרַח וּכְפֹר שָׁמַיִם מִי יְלָדוֹ׃

30Water congeals like stone, And the surface of the deep compacts.

לכָּאֶבֶן מַיִם יִתְחַבָּאוּ וּפְנֵי תְהוֹם יִתְלַכָּדוּ׃

31Can you tie cords to Pleiades Or undo the reins of Orion?

לאהַתְקַשֵּׁר מַעֲדַנּוֹת כִּימָה אוֹ־מֹשְׁכוֹת כְּסִיל תְּפַתֵּחַ׃

32Can you lead out Mazzaroth in its season, Conduct the Bear with her sons?

לבהֲתֹצִיא מַזָּרוֹת בְּעִתּוֹ וְעַיִשׁ עַל־בָּנֶיהָ תַנְחֵם׃

33Do you know the laws of heaven Or impose its authority on earth?

לגהֲיָדַעְתָּ חֻקּוֹת שָׁמָיִם אִם־תָּשִׂים מִשְׁטָרוֹ בָאָרֶץ׃

34Can you send up an order to the clouds For an abundance of water to cover you?

לדהֲתָרִים לָעָב קוֹלֶךָ וְשִׁפְעַת־מַיִם תְּכַסֶּךָּ׃

35Can you dispatch the lightning on a mission And have it answer you, “I am ready”?

לההַתְשַׁלַּח בְּרָקִים וְיֵלֵכוּ וְיֹאמְרוּ לְךָ הִנֵּנוּ׃

36Who put wisdom in the hidden parts? Who gave understanding to the mind?

לומִי־שָׁת בַּטֻּחוֹת חָכְמָה אוֹ מִי־נָתַן לַשֶּׂכְוִי בִינָה׃

37Who is wise enough to give an account of the heavens? Who can tilt the bottles of the sky,

לזמִי־יְסַפֵּר שְׁחָקִים בְּחָכְמָה וְנִבְלֵי שָׁמַיִם מִי יַשְׁכִּיב׃

38Whereupon the earth melts into a mass, And its clods stick together.

לחבְּצֶקֶת עָפָר לַמּוּצָק וּרְגָבִים יְדֻבָּקוּ׃

39Can you hunt prey for the lion, And satisfy the appetite of the king of beasts?

לטהֲתָצוּד לְלָבִיא טָרֶף וְחַיַּת כְּפִירִים תְּמַלֵּא׃

40They crouch in their dens, Lie in ambush in their lairs.

מכִּי־יָשֹׁחוּ בַמְּעוֹנוֹת יֵשְׁבוּ בַסֻּכָּה לְמוֹ־אָרֶב׃

41Who provides food for the raven When his young cry out to Hashem And wander about without food?

מאמִי יָכִין לָעֹרֵב צֵידוֹ כִּי־ילדו [יְלָדָיו] אֶל־אֵל יְשַׁוֵּעוּ יִתְעוּ לִבְלִי־אֹכֶל׃