Iyov 38

1 8 Then Hashem answered Iyov out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who is this that darkeneth etzah (counsel) with words without da’as?
3 Gird up now thy loins like a gever; for I will ask of thee, and thou wilt answer Me.
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of eretz? Tell, if thou hast binah.
5 Who hath drafted the dimensions thereof, if thou hast da’as? Or who hath stretched a measuring line across it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof set? Or who laid the even-pinnah (cornerstone) thereof
7 When the kokhvei boker sang together, and all the Bnei Elohim shouted for joy?
8 Or who shut up the yam behind doors? Who brought it forth, issuing out of the rekhem (womb)
9 When I made the anan the garment thereof, and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 And fixed bounds for it, and set bars and dlatot (doors),
11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further; and poh (here) shall thy proud waves be stopped?
12 Hast thou commanded the boker since thy yamim began; or caused the shachar (dawn) to know its place;
13 That it might seize the ends of ha’aretz, that the resha’im be shaken out of it?
14 It is changed like chomer (clay) under the khotam (seal); and they stand out like a garment.
15 And from the resha’im their ohr is denied, and the upraised zero’a shall be broken.
16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the yam? Or hast thou walked in the recesses of the tehom?
17 Have the sha’arei mavet been disclosed unto thee? Or hast thou seen the sha’arei tzalmavet?
18 Hast thou perceived the expanse of eretz? Tell Me if thou hast da’as of it all.
19 Where is the derech where ohr dwelleth? And as for choshech, where is the place thereof,
20 That thou shouldest take it to its border, and that thou shouldest have da’as of the paths to its bais?
21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? Or because the mispar of thy yamim is so great?
22 Hast thou entered into the otzrot (storehouses) of the snow? Or hast thou seen the otzrot of barad (hail),
23 Which I have reserved for the time of tzar, for the yom kerav (battle) and milchamah (war)?
24 Which is the derech where the ohr is distributed, where is scattered the east wind upon eretz?
25 Who hath cut a channel for the overflowing of waters, or a derech for the lightning of thunder,
26 To cause it to rain on eretz, where lo ish is; on midbar, wherein there is lo adam;
27 To saturate a desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the desheh to spring forth?
28 Hath the rain an av? Or who hath begotten the drops of tal (dew)?
29 Out of whose beten cometh the ice? And the frost of Shomayim, who giveth birth to it?
30 The mayim harden like even (stone), and the face of tehom is frozen.
31 Canst thou bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the bonds of Orion?
32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzarot in their times? Or canst thou guide the Bear with its banim?
33 Knowest thou the chukkot of Shomayim? Canst thou set the rule over ha’aretz?
34 Canst thou lift up thy kol (voice) to the clouds, that abundance of mayim may cover thee?
35 Canst thou send lightning bolts, that they may go and say unto thee, Hineinu (here we are)?
36 Who hath put chochmah in the inward parts, or who hath given binah to the mind?
37 Who can number the clouds in chochmah, or who can tip the waterskins of Shomayim,
38 When the dust hardens into a clump, and the clods cleave fast together?
39 Wilt thou hunt the teref for the lioness, or fill the appetite of her whelps,
40 When they crouch in their me’onot (dens), and abide in the lair to lie in ambush?
41 Who provideth for the raven his food? When his young ones cry unto El, they wander about for lack of okhel.

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Iyov 38 Commentary

Chapter 38

God calls upon Job to answer. (1-3) God questions Job. (4-11) Concerning the light and darkness. (12-24) Concerning other mighty works. (25-41)

Verses 1-3 Job had silenced, but had not convinced his friends. Elihu had silenced Job, but had not brought him to admit his guilt before God. It pleased the Lord to interpose. The Lord, in this discourse, humbles Job, and brings him to repent of his passionate expressions concerning God's providential dealings with him; and this he does, by calling upon Job to compare God's being from everlasting to everlasting, with his own time; God's knowledge of all things, with his own ignorance; and God's almighty power, with his own weakness. Our darkening the counsels of God's wisdom with our folly, is a great provocation to God. Humble faith and sincere obedience see farthest and best into the will of the Lord.

Verses 4-11 For the humbling of Job, God here shows him his ignorance, even concerning the earth and the sea. As we cannot find fault with God's work, so we need not fear concerning it. The works of his providence, as well as the work of creation, never can be broken; and the work of redemption is no less firm, of which Christ himself is both the Foundation and the Corner-stone. The church stands as firm as the earth.

Verses 12-24 The Lord questions Job, to convince him of his ignorance, and shame him for his folly in prescribing to God. If we thus try ourselves, we shall soon be brought to own that what we know is nothing in comparison with what we know not. By the tender mercy of our God, the Day-spring from on high has visited us, to give light to those that sit in darkness, whose hearts are ( 2 Corinthians. 4:6 ) government of the world is said to be in the sea; this means, that it is hid from us. Let us make sure that the gates of heaven shall be opened to us on the other side of death, and then we need not fear the opening of the gates of death. It is presumptuous for us, who perceive not the breadth of the earth, to dive into the depth of God's counsels. We should neither in the brightest noon count upon perpetual day, nor in the darkest midnight despair of the return of the morning; and this applies to our inward as well as to our outward condition. What folly it is to strive against God! How much is it our interest to seek peace with him, and to keep in his love!

Verses 25-41 Hitherto God had put questions to Job to show him his ignorance; now God shows his weakness. As it is but little that he knows, he ought not to arraign the Divine counsels; it is but little he can do, therefore he ought not to oppose the ways of Providence. See the all-sufficiency of the Divine Providence; it has wherewithal to satisfy the desire of every living thing. And he that takes care of the young ravens, certainly will not be wanting to his people. This being but one instance of the Divine compassion out of many, gives us occasion to think how much good our God does, every day, beyond what we are aware of. Every view we take of his infinite perfections, should remind us of his right to our love, the evil of sinning against him, and our need of his mercy and salvation.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the Lord takes up the controversy with Job; calls upon him to prepare to engage with him in it, and demands an answer to posing questions he puts to him, concerning the earth and the fabric of it, Job 38:1-7; concerning the sea, compared to an infant in embryo, at its birth, in its swaddling bands and cradle, Job 38:8-11; concerning the morning light, its spread and influence, Job 38:12-15; concerning the springs of the sea, the dark parts of the earth, the place both of light and darkness, Job 38:16-21; concerning the various meteors, snow, hail, rain, thunder, lightning, and the influences of the stars, Job 38:22-38; and concerning provision for lions and ravens, Job 38:40,41.

Iyov 38 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.