Chapter 37

1From this too does my heart quake and spring from its place.   אאַף־לְ֖זֹאת יֶֽחֱרַ֣ד לִבִּ֑י וְ֜יִתַּ֗ר מִמְּקוֹמֽוֹ:
and spring: Heb. ויתר, and spring, like (Lev. 11:21) “to hop (לנתר) with them upon the earth.” And this means that his heart is astonished.  
2Hear attentively the noise of His voice and the sound that emanates from His mouth.   בשִׁמְע֚וּ שָׁמ֣וֹעַ בְּרֹ֣גֶז קֹל֑וֹ וְ֜הֶ֗גֶה מִפִּ֥יו יֵצֵֽא:
Hear attentively the noise of His voice: The thunders that He thunders in the sky are like a sound that emanates from His mouth.  
3Beneath the entire heaven I have seen it, and His light is upon the ends of the earth.   גתַּֽחַת־כָּל־הַשָּׁמַ֥יִם יִשְׁרֵ֑הוּ וְ֜אוֹר֗וֹ עַל־כַּנְפ֥וֹת הָאָֽרֶץ:
Beneath the entire heaven I have seen it: Heb. ישרהו, I have seen it, like (Num. 24:17), “I behold it (אשורנו).” They are the lights illuminated by the lightnings.  
4In its wake, a voice roars; it thunders with the voice of its pride, and He will not cut them off for his voice will be heard.   דאַֽחֲרָ֚יו | יִשְׁאַג־ק֗וֹל יַ֖רְעֵם בְּק֣וֹל גְּאוֹנ֑וֹ וְלֹ֥א יְ֜עַקְּבֵ֗ם כִּֽי־יִשָּׁמַ֥ע קוֹלֽוֹ:
In its wake: [i. e., in the wake] of that light, the thunder roars, and it thunders with the voice of its pride. Those are the lightnings and the thunders, which bring the rain.  
and He will not cut them off: The Omnipresent [will not cut off the thunder and the lightning].  
for… will be heard: before Him the voice of the one who prays.  
He will… cut them off: Heb. יעקבם, He will cut them off, [and in the language of the Mishnah we learned (Sotah 16a): in three instances, the halachah supplants (עוקבת) the text].  
5God thunders with His voice wondrous [thunders]; He performs great deeds, but we do not know.   היַרְעֵ֚ם אֵ֣ל בְּ֖קוֹלוֹ נִפְלָא֑וֹת עֹשֶׂ֥ה גְ֜דֹל֗וֹת וְלֹ֣א נֵדָֽע:
6For He says to the snow, 'Be upon the earth'; likewise to the shower of rain and to the showers of His mighty rain.   וכִּ֚י לַשֶּׁ֨לֶג | יֹאמַ֗ר הֱוֵ֫א אָ֥רֶץ וְגֶ֥שֶׁם מָטָ֑ר וְ֜גֶ֗שֶׁם מִטְר֥וֹת עֻזּֽוֹ:
For He says to the snow: through these voices.  
‘Be upon the earth’; likewise to the shower of rain and to the showers of His mighty rain: That is to say that it comes from the four directions.  
7By the hand of every man he seals so that every man should know his deed.   זבְּיַד־כָּל־אָדָ֥ם יַחְתּ֑וֹם לָ֜דַ֗עַת כָּל־אַנְשֵׁ֥י מַֽעֲשֵֽׂהוּ:
By the hand of every man he seals: When a man sins before Him, the man himself signs his signature on the day of his death to the sins that he committed, which are written before him.  
so that every man should know his deed: to let him know for what he is being judged.  
8The beasts go into ambush, and in their dens they dwell.   חוַתָּב֣וֹא חַיָּ֣ה בְמוֹ־אָ֑רֶב וּבִמְעֽוֹנוֹתֶ֣יהָ תִשְׁכֹּֽן:
The beasts go into ambush: That is to say that the Omnipresent has many more agents through which to mete out His punishments: the inciting of wild beasts, the tempest, and the cold.  
9From the Chamber comes a tempest, and from Mezarim the cold.   טמִן־הַ֖חֶדֶר תָּב֣וֹא סוּפָ֑ה וּמִמְּזָרִ֥ים קָרָֽה:
and from Mezarim: There is a treasury, named Mezarim.  
10From the breath of God He gives forth ice and the breadth of waters in a flood.   ימִנִּשְׁמַת־אֵ֥ל יִתֶּן־קָ֑רַח וְרֹ֖חַב מַ֣יִם בְּמוּצָֽק:
From the breath of: By His wind.  
and the breadth of the waters in a flood: When they are poured out in retribution.  
11Aph Beri burdens the cloud; he scatters His rain cloud.   יאאַף־בְּ֖רִי יַטְרִ֣יחַ עָ֑ב יָ֜פִ֗יץ עֲנַ֣ן אוֹרֽוֹ:
Aph Beri: The name of the angel who is appointed over the clouds, and he scatters the Omnipresent’s rain cloud.  
12And he turns around in circuits by His guidance for their work; whatever He commands them upon the face of the habitable world,   יבוְה֚וּא מְסִבּ֨וֹת | מִתְהַפֵּ֣ךְ בְּתַחְבּוּלֹתָ֣יו (כתיב בְּתַחְבּוּלֹתָ֣ו) לְפָֽעֳלָ֑ם כֹּ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר יְצַוֵּ֓ם | עַל־פְּנֵ֖י תֵבֵ֣ל אָֽרְצָה:
And he: who is thus appointed.  
turns around in circuits by His guidance: [i.e., by the guidance] of the Omnipresent.  
for their work: namely, of the rains; for the work which is incumbent upon them to do, either good or evil, he is turned about with many circuits, as [the passage] that we learned (Rosh Hashanah 17b): if Israel were perfectly righteous on Rosh Hashanah so that [much] rain was decreed for them, and they should later become sinful-it would be impossible to decrease it [the amount of rain] because the decree would already have gone forth; but the Holy One, blessed be He, would let it come down out of its season and upon a land that did not require it. “And sometimes to do good” ; how is this? etc.  
whatever He commands them: Those rains, to do on earth. [Another explanation: And he turns around in circuits with His guidance-He causes the clouds and the winds to encompass the mountains so that they should be watered from all sides. In the Aggadah of “ Vehayah ekev” (Sifrei Ekev 39).]  
13Whether for the rod, whether for His land, or for kindness that He cause it to come.   יגאִם־לְשֵׁ֥בֶט אִם־לְאַרְצ֑וֹ אִם־לְ֜חֶ֗סֶד יַמְצִאֵֽהוּ:
Whether for the rod: Whether for the punishment of men, He lets them fall on mountains and hills, which are not places for sowing.  
whether for His land: To let them fall as originally decreed, neither for the rod nor within the boundary of justice [i.e., for more benefit than strict justice warrants], but midway between [these two extremes].  
or for kindness: If the generation became more righteous than they were on Rosh Hashanah, then the rain which was decreed to fall in an average manner, shall be turned about by the guidance of their circuits to fall, with kindness, in their season and upon the land that requires them, so that not a drop of them should go to waste.  
that He cause it to come: The rain, in one of these ways.  
14Hearken to this, Job; stand still and ponder the wonders of God.   ידהַֽאֲזִ֣ינָה זֹּ֣את אִיּ֑וֹב עֲ֜מֹ֗ד וְהִתְבּוֹנֵ֚ן | נִפְלְא֬וֹת אֵֽל:
15Do you know how God places upon them and the rain of His cloud appears?   טוהֲתֵדַע בְּשֽׂוּם־אֱל֣וֹהַּ עֲלֵיהֶ֑ם וְ֜הוֹפִ֗יעַ א֣וֹר עֲנָנֽוֹ:
how God places: the law of the covenant upon them, how they are suspended by His decree.  
16Do you know about the revelations of the clouds, of the wonders of Him Who is perfect in knowledge?   טזהֲתֵדַע עַל־מִפְלְשֵׂי־עָ֑ב מִ֜פְלְא֗וֹת תְּמִ֣ים דֵּעִֽים:
the revelations of the clouds: Heb. מפלשי, the revelation of the clouds, an expression of an open (מפלש) alley, i. e., to the length and the width of the clouds.  
Do you know: concerning them, the wonders of Him Who is perfect in knowledge?  
17How your garments are warm when the earth is silenced from the south wind?   יזאֲשֶׁר־בְּגָדֶ֥יךָ חַמִּ֑ים בְּהַשְׁקִ֥ט אֶ֜֗רֶץ מִדָּרֽוֹם:
How your garments are warm: How your garments are warm when He silences the earth from the south wind, so that it should not kill the world with cold, because the east wind warms it. As it is stated (Jonah 4:8): “a stilling east wind,” which quiets all other winds before it.  
18Did you spread out the skies with Him, which are as strong as a molten mirror?   יחתַּרְקִ֣יעַ עִ֖מּוֹ לִשְׁחָקִ֑ים חֲ֜זָקִ֗ים כִּרְאִ֥י מוּצָֽק:
strong: the skies.  
as a molten mirror: Like a mirror into which women look.  
[molten: tristre, which is very strong.]  
19Let us know what we shall say to Him; we cannot set up [judgment] because of darkness.   יטהֽ֖וֹדִיעֵנוּ מַה־נֹּ֣אמַר ל֑וֹ לֹ֥א־נַֽ֜עֲרֹ֗ךְ מִפְּנֵי־חֹֽשֶׁךְ:
Let us know what we shall say to Him: To the Holy One, blessed be He, when we contend with Him. We will not be able to set up a case with Him because of the darkness which conceals and surrounds Him.  
20Need it be told to Him when I speak, or need a man tell what is kept a secret?   כהַֽיְסֻפַּר־ל֖וֹ כִּ֣י אֲדַבֵּ֑ר אִם־אָ֥מַר אִ֜֗ישׁ כִּ֣י יְבֻלָּֽע:
Need it be told to Him when I speak: Is He like mortals, that He must be told what we are saying?  
or need a man tell: utter with his mouth.  
what is kept a secret: so that it should be revealed to Him immediately, like (II Sam. 17:16), “lest the king be told secretly (יבלע) ” [lest] it be revealed. But our Sages (Meg. 18a) explained:  
Can all His praise be told Him, that I should speak: That we should speak of Him and His might?  
Has any man said: to tell them all,  
he would surely be destroyed: from his place.  
21And now, they did not see the rain; it is [like] bright [clouds] in the skies, and a wind came and cleared them away.   כאוְעַתָּ֚ה | לֹ֘א רָ֚אוּ א֗וֹר בָּהִ֣יר ה֖וּא בַּשְּׁחָקִ֑ים וְר֥וּחַ עָֽ֜בְרָ֗ה וַתְּטַֽהֲרֵֽם:
And now, they did not see the rain: At the conclusion of his words, Elihu returns to chide Job’s three companions for not finding an answer. He therefore says, “And now, these three companions of yours, who should have answered you all these things that I said to you…”  
did not see the rain": They are like stillborn babies, who did not see wisdom.  
it is [like] bright [clouds] in the skies: It is like many bright clouds that appear in the skies to bring down rain, but the wind comes and clears them away, makes them pass away, and no rain falls. That is their analogy; they began to answer you, but at the end, they remained silent and did not answer.  
22Gold[en splendor] comes from the north; on God there is an awesome glory.   כבמִצָּפוֹן זָהָ֣ב יֶֽאֱתֶ֑ה עַל־אֱ֜ל֗וֹהַּ נ֣וֹרָא הֽוֹד:
Gold[en splendor] comes from the north: It is as though he is returning to his previous statements. [“And now, they did not see the rain.”] Another explanation: The homily of the Sages (Taanith 7b) is that when the sky is full of spots, [i.e., full] of many clouds, to cause rain to fall, a wind passes and cleanses them away, and no rain falls. This is a homily of the Sages, but it does not fit the sequence of the verses.  
Gold comes from the north: The north wind blows and drives away the rain. Then the sun shines, like (Zech. 4:12), “that empty out the gold[en oil] from themselves.”  
on God: From before Him.  
Gold comes from the north: The good gold is hidden for those who bring themselves to the commandments of the Holy One, blessed be He, and believe in the very awesome God.  
23We have not found the Almighty great in power, and with judgment and much righteousness He does not afflict.   כגשַׁדַּ֣י לֹֽא־מְ֖צָאנֻהוּ שַׂגִּיא־כֹ֑חַ וּמִשְׁפָּ֥ט וְרֹב־צְ֜דָקָ֗ה לֹ֣א יְעַנֶּֽה:
We have not found the Almighty great in power: to arouse His judgments upon the creatures with the greatness of His power, but with clemency. He makes atonements for the creatures with small things, according to their ability: a handful of [fine flour from] a meal offering, a half shekel, turtle doves and young pigeons, cattle and flocks; and He did not burden them to seek a wild ox or an antelope.  
and with judgment: Sufferings.  
He does not afflict: the creatures excessively. Likewise, He does nor afflict them to [force them into] becoming overly righteous to an impossible extent, but each man according to his ability.  
24Therefore, men fear Him; He does not look upon any wise of heart."   כדלָכֵן יְרֵא֣וּהוּ אֲנָשִׁ֑ים לֹא־יִ֜רְאֶ֗ה כָּל־חַכְמֵי־לֵֽב:
Therefore, men fear Him: to debate with Him. (because)  
He does not look upon any wise of heart: who want to deal wisely with Him, because their wisdom is as nothing in His eyes. Our Sages (Rosh Hashanah 17a) explained this as referring to Job. Elihu says to him, “Because you would impose excessive fear upon your generation, you did not merit having wise-hearted sons remain alive to you.”