2 Shall one who should be disciplined complain against Shaddai? He who arraigns Hashem must respond.
ב הֲרֹב עִם־שַׁדַּי יִסּוֹר מוֹכִיחַ אֱלוֹהַּ יַעֲנֶנָּה׃
4 See, I am of small worth; what can I answer You? I clap my hand to my mouth.
ד הֵן קַלֹּתִי מָה אֲשִׁיבֶךָּ יָדִי שַׂמְתִּי לְמוֹ־פִי׃
5 I have spoken once, and will not reply; Twice, and will do so no more.
ה אַחַת דִּבַּרְתִּי וְלֹא אֶעֱנֶה וּשְׁתַּיִם וְלֹא אוֹסִיף׃
6 Then Hashem replied to Iyov out of the tempest and said:
7 Gird your loins like a man; I will ask, and you will inform Me.
ז אֱזָר־נָא כְגֶבֶר חֲלָצֶיךָ אֶשְׁאָלְךָ וְהוֹדִיעֵנִי׃
8 Would you impugn My justice? Would you condemn Me that you may be right?
ha-AF ta-FAYR mish-pa-TEE tar-shee-AY-nee l’-MA-an titz-DAK
ח הַאַף תָּפֵר מִשְׁפָּטִי תַּרְשִׁיעֵנִי לְמַעַן תִּצְדָּק׃
40:8 Would you condemn Me that you may be right?
The Sages of the Talmud (Bava Batra 15a) try to determine the time period in which Iyov lived. Although some opinions have him living during the period of the Exodus from Egypt (see commentary to 2:7), another suggests that he was among the Babylonian exiles who returned to the Land of Israel after the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash. The identification of Iyov with the generation that experienced the destruction of the Temple and exile from Eretz Yisrael is fitting. Throughout the book, Iyov struggles with the reality that he is suffering, though seemingly righteous. He challenges God’s justice, trying to make sense of the age-old question about why bad things happen to good people. Likewise, the Jews at the time of the exile also struggled to understand why they deserved to suffer as they did (see Ezekiel 18). Though the Jews sinned and Iyov did not, his personal suffering is seen as emblematic of the suffering of the Nation of Israel.1 comment
9 Have you an arm like Hashem‘s? Can you thunder with a voice like His?
ט וְאִם־זְרוֹעַ כָּאֵל לָךְ וּבְקוֹל כָּמֹהוּ תַרְעֵם׃
10 Deck yourself now with grandeur and eminence; Clothe yourself in glory and majesty.
י עֲדֵה נָא גָאוֹן וָגֹבַהּ וְהוֹד וְהָדָר תִּלְבָּשׁ׃
11 Scatter wide your raging anger; See every proud man and bring him low.
יא הָפֵץ עֶבְרוֹת אַפֶּךָ וּרְאֵה כָל־גֵּאֶה וְהַשְׁפִּילֵהוּ׃
12 See every proud man and humble him, And bring them down where they stand.
יב רְאֵה כָל־גֵּאֶה הַכְנִיעֵהוּ וַהֲדֹךְ רְשָׁעִים תַּחְתָּם׃
13 Bury them all in the earth; Hide their faces in obscurity.
יג טָמְנֵם בֶּעָפָר יָחַד פְּנֵיהֶם חֲבֹשׁ בַּטָּמוּן׃
14 Then even I would praise you For the triumph your right hand won you.
יד וְגַם־אֲנִי אוֹדֶךָּ כִּי־תוֹשִׁעַ לְךָ יְמִינֶךָ׃
15 Take now behemoth, whom I made as I did you; He eats grass, like the cattle.
טו הִנֵּה־נָא בְהֵמוֹת אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂיתִי עִמָּךְ חָצִיר כַּבָּקָר יֹאכֵל׃
16 His strength is in his loins, His might in the muscles of his belly.
טז הִנֵּה־נָא כֹחוֹ בְמָתְנָיו וְאֹנוֹ בִּשְׁרִירֵי בִטְנוֹ׃
17 He makes his tail stand up like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are knit together.
יז יַחְפֹּץ זְנָבוֹ כְמוֹ־אָרֶז גִּידֵי פחדו [פַחֲדָיו] יְשֹׂרָגוּ׃
18 His bones are like tubes of bronze, His limbs like iron rods.
יח עֲצָמָיו אֲפִיקֵי נְחוּשָׁה גְּרָמָיו כִּמְטִיל בַּרְזֶל׃
19 He is the first of Hashem‘s works; Only his Maker can draw the sword against him.
יט הוּא רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכֵי־אֵל הָעֹשׂוֹ יַגֵּשׁ חַרְבּוֹ׃
20 The mountains yield him produce, Where all the beasts of the field play.
כ כִּי־בוּל הָרִים יִשְׂאוּ־לוֹ וְכָל־חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה יְשַׂחֲקוּ־שָׁם׃
21 He lies down beneath the lotuses, In the cover of the swamp reeds.
כא תַּחַת־צֶאֱלִים יִשְׁכָּב בְּסֵתֶר קָנֶה וּבִצָּה׃
22 The lotuses embower him with shade; The willows of the brook surround him.
כב יְסֻכֻּהוּ צֶאֱלִים צִלֲלוֹ יְסֻבּוּהוּ עַרְבֵי־נָחַל׃
23 He can restrain the river from its rushing; He is confident the stream will gush at his command.
כג הֵן יַעֲשֹׁק נָהָר לֹא יַחְפּוֹז יִבְטַח כִּי־יָגִיחַ יַרְדֵּן אֶל־פִּיהוּ׃
24 Can he be taken by his eyes? Can his nose be pierced by hooks?
כד בְּעֵינָיו יִקָּחֶנּוּ בְּמוֹקְשִׁים יִנְקָב־אָף׃
25 Can you draw out Leviathan by a fishhook? Can you press down his tongue by a rope?
כה תִּמְשֹׁךְ לִוְיָתָן בְּחַכָּה וּבְחֶבֶל תַּשְׁקִיעַ לְשֹׁנוֹ׃
26 Can you put a ring through his nose, Or pierce his jaw with a barb?
כו הֲתָשִׂים אַגְמוֹן בְּאַפּוֹ וּבְחוֹחַ תִּקּוֹב לֶחֱיוֹ׃
27 Will he plead with you at length? Will he speak soft words to you?
כז הֲיַרְבֶּה אֵלֶיךָ תַּחֲנוּנִים אִם־יְדַבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ רַכּוֹת׃
28 Will he make an agreement with you To be taken as your lifelong slave?
כח הֲיִכְרֹת בְּרִית עִמָּךְ תִּקָּחֶנּוּ לְעֶבֶד עוֹלָם׃
29 Will you play with him like a bird, And tie him down for your girls?
כט הַתְשַׂחֶק־בּוֹ כַּצִּפּוֹר וְתִקְשְׁרֶנּוּ לְנַעֲרוֹתֶיךָ׃
30 Shall traders traffic in him? Will he be divided up among merchants?
ל יִכְרוּ עָלָיו חַבָּרִים יֶחֱצוּהוּ בֵּין כְּנַעֲנִים׃
31 Can you fill his skin with darts Or his head with fish-spears?
לא הַתְמַלֵּא בְשֻׂכּוֹת עוֹרוֹ וּבְצִלְצַל דָּגִים רֹאשׁוֹ׃
32 Lay a hand on him, And you will never think of battle again.
לב שִׂים־עָלָיו כַּפֶּךָ זְכֹר מִלְחָמָה אַל־תּוֹסַף׃