Job 38
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1  Then Hashem answered Iyov out of the whirlwind, and said:

א  וַיַּעַן יְהוָה אֶת אִיּוֹב מנהסערה (מִן הַסְּעָרָה) וַיֹּאמַר.

2  Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

ב  מִי זֶה מַחְשִׁיךְ עֵצָה בְמִלִּין בְּלִי דָעַת.

3  Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto Me.

ג  אֱזָר נָא כְגֶבֶר חֲלָצֶיךָ וְאֶשְׁאָלְךָ וְהוֹדִיעֵנִי.

4  Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast the understanding.

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

ד  אֵיפֹה הָיִיתָ בְּיָסְדִי אָרֶץ הַגֵּד אִם יָדַעְתָּ בִינָה.

38:4   Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?

In this chapter, the Lord himself responds to Job’s questioning of Divine justice. He says that since Job was not around when God created the world, he can not possibly understand the way in which He runs the world. Rabbi Judah Halevi, in his book the “Kuzari,” suggests that it is precisely because man was not around to witness the creation of the world that the Lord introduces himself in the first of the Ten Commandments as the God who took the Jews out of Egypt, rather than the God who created the world (Exodus 20:2). They could not relate to God as creator, since they did not explicitly know him as such. However, the exodus was experienced by the entire nation of Israel, and thus proved to them the existence of God beyond a shadow of a doubt. Furthermore, Nachmanides explains that God’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 the Jewish people.Comment

5  Who determined the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who stretched the line upon it?

ה  מִי שָׂם מְמַדֶּיהָ כִּי תֵדָע אוֹ מִי נָטָה עָלֶיהָ קָּו.

6  Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner-stone thereof,

ו  עַל מָה אֲדָנֶיהָ הָטְבָּעוּ אוֹ מִי יָרָה אֶבֶן פִּנָּתָהּ.

7  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

ז  בְּרָן יַחַד כּוֹכְבֵי בֹקֶר וַיָּרִיעוּ כָּל בְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים.

8  Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth, and issued out of the womb;

ח  וַיָּסֶךְ בִּדְלָתַיִם יָם בְּגִיחוֹ מֵרֶחֶם יֵצֵא.

9  When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,

ט  בְּשׂוּמִי עָנָן לְבֻשׁוֹ וַעֲרָפֶל חֲתֻלָּתוֹ.

10  And prescribed for it My decree, and set bars and doors,

י  וָאֶשְׁבֹּר עָלָיו חֻקִּי וָאָשִׂים בְּרִיחַ וּדְלָתָיִם.

11  And said: ‘Thus far shalt thou come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed’?

יא  וָאֹמַר עַד פֹּה תָבוֹא וְלֹא תֹסִיף וּפֹא יָשִׁית בִּגְאוֹן גַּלֶּיךָ.

12  Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days began, and caused the dayspring to know its place;

יב  הֲמִיָּמֶיךָ צִוִּיתָ בֹּקֶר ידעתה שחר (יִדַּעְתָּ הַשַּׁחַר) מְקֹמוֹ.

13  That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?

יג  לֶאֱחֹז בְּכַנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ וְיִנָּעֲרוּ רְשָׁעִים מִמֶּנָּה.

14  It is changed as clay under the seal; and they stand as a garment.

יד  תִּתְהַפֵּךְ כְּחֹמֶר חוֹתָם וְיִתְיַצְּבוּ כְּמוֹ לְבוּשׁ.

15  But from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm is broken.

טו  וְיִמָּנַע מֵרְשָׁעִים אוֹרָם וּזְרוֹעַ רָמָה תִּשָּׁבֵר.

16  Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? Or hast thou walked in the recesses of the deep?

טז  הֲבָאתָ עַד נִבְכֵי יָם וּבְחֵקֶר תְּהוֹם הִתְהַלָּכְתָּ.

17  Have the gates of death been revealed unto thee? Or hast thou seen the gates of the shadow of death?

יז  הֲנִגְלוּ לְךָ שַׁעֲרֵי מָוֶת וְשַׁעֲרֵי צַלְמָוֶת תִּרְאֶה.

18  Hast thou surveyed unto the breadths of the earth? Declare, if thou knowest it all.

יח  הִתְבֹּנַנְתָּ עַד רַחֲבֵי אָרֶץ הַגֵּד אִם יָדַעְתָּ כֻלָּהּ.

19  Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and as for darkness, where is the place thereof;

יט  אֵי זֶה הַדֶּרֶךְ יִשְׁכָּן אוֹר וְחֹשֶׁךְ אֵי זֶה מְקֹמוֹ.

20  That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?

כ  כִּי תִקָּחֶנּוּ אֶל גְּבוּלוֹ וְכִי תָבִין נְתִיבוֹת בֵּיתוֹ.

21  Thou knowest it, for thou wast then born, and the number of thy days is great!

כא  יָדַעְתָּ כִּי אָז תִּוָּלֵד וּמִסְפַּר יָמֶיךָ רַבִּים.

22  Hast thou entered the treasuries of the snow, or hast thou seen the treasuries of the hail,

כב  הֲבָאתָ אֶל אֹצְרוֹת שָׁלֶג וְאוֹצְרוֹת בָּרָד תִּרְאֶה.

23  Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

כג  אֲשֶׁר חָשַׂכְתִּי לְעֶת צָר לְיוֹם קְרָב וּמִלְחָמָה.

24  By what way is the light parted, or the east wind scattered upon the earth?

כד  אֵי זֶה הַדֶּרֶךְ יֵחָלֶק אוֹר יָפֵץ קָדִים עֲלֵי אָרֶץ.

25  Who hath cleft a channel for the waterflood, or a way for the lightning of the thunder;

כה  מִי פִלַּג לַשֶּׁטֶף תְּעָלָה וְדֶרֶךְ לַחֲזִיז קֹלוֹת.

26  To cause it to rain on a land where no man is, on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;

כו  לְהַמְטִיר עַל אֶרֶץ לֹא אִישׁ מִדְבָּר לֹא אָדָם בּוֹ.

27  To satisfy the desolate and waste ground, and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?

כז  לְהַשְׂבִּיעַ שֹׁאָה וּמְשֹׁאָה וּלְהַצְמִיחַ מֹצָא דֶשֶׁא.

28  Hath the rain a father? Or who hath begotten the drops of dew?

כח  הֲיֵשׁ לַמָּטָר אָב אוֹ מִי הוֹלִיד אֶגְלֵי טָל.

29  Out of whose womb came the ice? And the hoar-frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?

כט  מִבֶּטֶן מִי יָצָא הַקָּרַח וּכְפֹר שָׁמַיִם מִי יְלָדוֹ.

30  The waters are congealed like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.

ל  כָּאֶבֶן מַיִם יִתְחַבָּאוּ וּפְנֵי תְהוֹם יִתְלַכָּדוּ.

31  Canst thou bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

לא  הַתְקַשֵּׁר מַעֲדַנּוֹת כִּימָה אוֹ מֹשְׁכוֹת כְּסִיל תְּפַתֵּחַ.

32  Canst thou lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season? Or canst thou guide the Bear with her sons?

לב  הֲתֹצִיא מַזָּרוֹת בְּעִתּוֹ וְעַיִשׁ עַל בָּנֶיהָ תַנְחֵם.

33  Knowest thou the ordinances of the heavens? Canst thou establish the dominion thereof in the earth?

לג  הֲיָדַעְתָּ חֻקּוֹת שָׁמָיִם אִם תָּשִׂים מִשְׁטָרוֹ בָאָרֶץ.

34  Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?

לד  הֲתָרִים לָעָב קוֹלֶךָ וְשִׁפְעַת מַיִם תְּכַסֶּךָּ.

35  Canst thou send forth lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee: ‘Here we are’?

לה  הַתְשַׁלַּח בְּרָקִים וְיֵלֵכוּ וְיֹאמְרוּ לְךָ הִנֵּנוּ.

36  Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? Or who hath given understanding to the mind?

לו  מִי שָׁת בַּטֻּחוֹת חָכְמָה אוֹ מִי נָתַן לַשֶּׂכְוִי בִינָה.

37  Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven,

לז  מִי יְסַפֵּר שְׁחָקִים בְּחָכְמָה וְנִבְלֵי שָׁמַיִם מִי יַשְׁכִּיב.

38  When the dust runneth into a mass, and the clods cleave fast together?

לח  בְּצֶקֶת עָפָר לַמּוּצָק וּרְגָבִים יְדֻבָּקוּ.

39  Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lioness? Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,

לט  הֲתָצוּד לְלָבִיא טָרֶף וְחַיַּת כְּפִירִים תְּמַלֵּא.

40  When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?

מ  כִּי יָשֹׁחוּ בַמְּעוֹנוֹת יֵשְׁבוּ בַסֻּכָּה לְמוֹ אָרֶב.

41  Who provideth for the raven his prey, when his young ones cry unto God, and wander for lack of food?

מא  מִי יָכִין לָעֹרֵב צֵידוֹ כִּי יְלָדָו אֶל אֵל יְשַׁוֵּעוּ יִתְעוּ לִבְלִי אֹכֶל.

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Job 38