Chapter 38

1Then the Lord answered Job from the tempest and said,   אוַיַּֽעַן־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֶת־אִ֖יּוֹב מִ֥ן | (כתיב מִ֥נ) הַסְּעָרָ֗ה וַיֹּֽאמַר:
from the tempest: Heb. מן הסערה. Count your hairs and I will give you as many answers. From the tempest with which you reproached Me (above 9:17), “He Who would crush me with a tempest,” I will answer you, as you will hear at the end of the chapter (verse 25), “Who has separated a place for the hair?” a shaft for every hair. Another explanation: With a tempest He afflicted him, and with a tempest He healed him, as is explained in Sifrei(?).  
2"Who is this who gives dark counsel, with words, without knowledge?   במִ֚י זֶ֨ה | מַחְשִׁ֖יךְ עֵצָ֥ה בְמִלִּ֗ין בְּֽלִי־דָֽעַת:
who gives dark counsel: Dark and foolish counsel. Another explanation: Who is this who gives dark counsel… without knowledge? Said the Holy One, blessed be He: Who is this who darkens counsel, frustrates words, i.e., with a multiplicity of words; for I wrote: “and that man was sincere and upright,” at the beginning of the Book, in order that My name should rest on Him, but he came and darkened and frustrated what I counseled with his many words. Whereupon Job replies to Him (below 42:3): “Who is this Who hides counsel?” Had I known Your counsel, I would not have spoken so much. Then the Holy One blessed be He, answers him, “Neither did Abraham know; yet he passed ten” [tests]. So I found.  
3Now gird your loins like a man, and I will ask you and [you] tell Me.   גאֱזָר־נָ֣א כְגֶ֣בֶר חֲלָצֶ֑יךָ וְ֜אֶשְׁאָֽלְךָ֗ וְהֽוֹדִיעֵֽנִי:
Now gird your loins like a man: He intimated to him that he should arouse himself from his illness and his sufferings.  
4Where were you when I founded the earth? Tell if you know understanding.   דאֵיפֹ֣ה הָ֖יִיתָ בְּיָסְדִי־אָ֑רֶץ הַ֜גֵּ֗ד אִם־יָדַ֥עְתָּ בִינָֽה:
Where: Heb. אֵי פֹה, lit. where here.  
5Who placed its measures if you know, or who extended a line over it?   המִי־שָׂ֣ם מְ֖מַדֶּיהָ כִּ֣י תֵדָ֑ע א֚וֹ מִֽי־נָטָ֖ה עָלֶ֣יהָ קָּֽו:
its measures: Heb. מְמַדֶיהָ [like] מִדוֹתֶיהָ.  
6On what were its sockets sunk, or who laid its cornerstone?   ועַל־מָ֖ה אֲדָנֶ֣יהָ הָטְבָּ֑עוּ א֥וֹ מִֽי־יָֽ֜רָ֗ה אֶ֣בֶן פִּנָּתָֽהּ:
laid its cornerstone: in the middle of the sea, whence the entire world was founded. Where were you?  
7When the morning stars sing together, and all the angels of God shout?   זבְּרָן־יַ֖חַד כּ֣וֹכְבֵי בֹ֑קֶר וַ֜יָּרִ֗יעוּ כָּל־בְּנֵ֥י אֱלֹהִֽים:
When… sing together: from the beginning the stars of light.  
8And [who] shut up the sea with doors when it broke forth and issued out of the womb?   חוַיָּ֣סֶךְ בִּדְלָתַ֣יִם יָ֑ם בְּ֜גִיח֗וֹ מֵרֶ֥חֶם יֵצֵֽא:
the sea with doors: The sand, which is its boundary.  
when it broke forth: Heb. בגיחו, when it broke forth from the deep, like (Ps. 22:10), “that You drew me (גחי) forth from the womb”; drew me forth.  
9When I made the cloud its raiment and the dark cloud its wrapping?   טבְּשׂוּמִ֣י עָנָ֣ן לְבֻשׁ֑וֹ וַֽ֜עֲרָפֶ֗ל חֲתֻלָּתֽוֹ:
When I made the cloud: around the ocean, which encompasses the world, and clouds encompass it like raiment.  
its wrapping: Heb. חתלתו, its wrapping, like (Ezek. 16:4), “nor were you swaddled חתלת) (והחתל לא.”  
10And broke for it My prescribed limit, and placed a bar and doors?   יוָֽאֶשְׁבֹּ֣ר עָלָ֣יו חֻקִּ֑י וָֽ֜אָשִׂ֗ים בְּרִ֣יחַ וּדְלָתָֽיִם:
and broke: I made breaks in it [the sea] all around to keep it back within them, and they are its boundary, which it shall not pass, as in (Josh 7:5), “and they pursued them until the quarries (השברים) ” which are the ditches around the city.  
11And said, 'Until here you may come but no further, and here [your strength] shall place your waves with pride.'   יאוָאֹמַ֗ר עַד־פֹּ֣ה תָ֖בוֹא וְלֹ֣א תֹסִ֑יף וּפֹ֥א יָ֜שִׁ֗ית בִּגְא֥וֹן גַּלֶּֽיךָ:
12In [all] your days, did you command the morning? Did you tell the dawn its place?   יבהֲמִיָּמֶיךָ צִוִּ֣יתָ בֹּ֑קֶר יִדַּ֖עְתָּ הַשַּׁ֣חַר (כתיב יִדַּ֖עְתָּהַ שַּׁ֣חַר) מְקוֹמֽוֹ:
In [all] your days: From the day you were born.  
13To grasp the corners of the earth so that the wicked shall be shaken from it?   יגלֶֽאֱחֹז בְּכַנְפ֣וֹת הָאָ֑רֶץ וְיִנָּֽעֲר֖וּ רְשָׁעִ֣ים מִמֶּֽנָּה:
To grasp the corners of the earth: Moreover, in all your days, did you command [anyone] to grasp the corners of the earth like a man who grasps the corners of a garment and shakes it? So am I destined to grasp it [the earth] by its corners and shake the wicked [out of it]. Likewise, Scripture states (Isa. 31:3): “and the Lord shall turn His hand, and the helper shall stumble,” like a person who, holding something in his hand, drops it by inclining his hand.  
14The seal changes like clay and they shall stand like a garment.   ידתִּתְהַפֵּךְ כְּחֹ֣מֶר חוֹתָ֑ם וְ֜יִֽתְיַצְּב֗וּ כְּמ֣וֹ לְבֽוּשׁ:
changes: in formation.  
The seal… like clay: The cast of man’s countenance [changes] when he dies, and at the resurrection of the dead they will live again, and they will stand up in their clothing.  
15And their light shall be withheld from the wicked, and the high arm shall be broken.   טווְיִמָּנַ֣ע מֵרְשָׁעִ֣ים אוֹרָ֑ם וּזְר֥וֹעַ רָ֜מָ֗ה תִּשָּׁבֵֽר:
And… shall be withheld: then from the wicked their light, and the high arm shall be broken.  
16Have you come until the locks of the sea, and have you walked in the searching out of the deep?   טזהֲבָאתָ עַד־נִבְכֵי־יָ֑ם וּבְחֵ֥קֶר תְּ֜ה֗וֹם הִתְהַלָּֽכְתָּ:
the locks of the sea: Heb. נבכי, like (Ex. 14:3), “They are trapped (נבכים) in the land.”  
17Have the gates of death been revealed to you, and do you see the gates of the shadow of death?   יזהֲנִגְל֣וּ לְ֖ךָ שַֽׁעֲרֵי־מָ֑וֶת וְשַֽׁעֲרֵ֖י צַלְמָ֣וֶת תִּרְאֶֽה:
the gates of death: This is Gehinnom.  
18Do you understand [everything] until the breadths of the earth? Tell if you know it all.   יחהִתְבֹּנַנְתָּ עַד־רַֽחֲבֵי־אָ֑רֶץ הַ֜גֵּ֗ד אִם־יָדַ֥עְתָּ כֻלָּֽהּ:
19Which is the way to [the place] where the light dwells, and as for darkness-where is its place?   יטאֵי־זֶ֣ה הַ֖דֶּרֶךְ יִשְׁכָּן־א֑וֹר וְ֜חֹ֗שֶׁךְ אֵי־זֶ֥ה מְקֹמֽוֹ:
20That you should take it to its border and that you should understand the paths of its house?   ככִּ֣י תִ֖קָּחֶנּוּ אֶל־גְּבוּל֑וֹ וְכִ֥י תָ֜בִין נְתִיב֥וֹת בֵּיתֽוֹ:
21You knew- for then you were born, and the number of your days would be many.   כאיָדַעְתָּ כִּי־אָ֣ז תִּוָּלֵ֑ד וּמִסְפַּ֖ר יָמֶ֣יךָ רַבִּֽים:
You knew: all this.  
for then you were born: when I created (them).  
22Have you come to the treasures of snow, and did you see the treasures of hail?   כבהֲבָאתָ אֶל־אֹֽצְר֣וֹת שָׁ֑לֶג וְאוֹצְר֖וֹת בָּרָ֣ד תִּרְאֶֽה:
23That I saved for a time of trouble, for a day of battle and war?   כגאֲשֶׁר־חָשַׂ֥כְתִּי לְעֶ֣ת־צָ֑ר לְי֥וֹם קְ֜רָ֗ב וּמִלְחָמָֽה:
That I saved: I withheld.  
for a time of trouble: For the five kings in Gibeon.  
for a day of battle: The war of Gog and Magog.  
24Which way is the light parted, [which way] does the eastern one spread it over the earth?   כדאֵי־זֶ֣ה הַ֖דֶּרֶךְ יֵחָ֣לֶק א֑וֹר יָפֵ֖ץ קָדִ֣ים עֲלֵי־אָֽרֶץ:
is the light parted: The irradiation of the sun, which diverges this way and that way like the horns of a hind.  
the eastern one: The sun of the east.  
25Who has separated a place for the hair and a way for the cloud of the thunderclaps?   כהמִֽי־פִלַּ֣ג לַשֶּׁ֣טֶף תְּעָלָ֑ה וְ֜דֶ֗רֶךְ לַֽחֲזִ֥יז קֹלֽוֹת:
Who has separated a place for the hair: Heb. לטשף. In Arabia, a hair is called שִׁיטְפָא. To every hair on the head I have given תְעָלָה, a separate shaft from which to draw sap. If two would draw from the same shaft, a person’s eyesight would fail. These have not been changed by Me, how then should I change אִיוֹב, Job, for אוֹיֵב, enemy? And this is the meaning of מן הסערה, from the hair. Another explanation: לַשֶטֶף a streaming raindrop. I set apart for each drop a hole in the clouds, for if they were to come down [together] from one opening, they would soften the earth and turn it into a mire.  
and a way for the cloud of the thunderclaps: who parted? Every thunderclap has its own path, and if two of them would go along one path, the creatures would not be able to bear the sound.  
26To rain on the earth where no man is; a desert in which there is no man.   כולְהַמְטִיר עַל־אֶ֣רֶץ לֹֽא־אִ֑ישׁ מִ֜דְבָּ֗ר לֹֽא־אָדָ֥ם בּֽוֹ:
27To sate darkness and desolation and to cause a source of grass to sprout.   כזלְהַשְׂבִּ֣יעַ שֹׁ֖אָה וּמְשֹׁאָ֑ה וּלְ֜הַצְמִ֗יחַ מֹ֣צָא דֶֽשֶׁא:
darkness: A land that is dark because of hunger.  
28Has the rain a father, or who begot the waves of dew?   כחהֲיֵשׁ־לַמָּטָ֥ר אָ֑ב א֥וֹ מִי־ה֜וֹלִ֗יד אֶגְלֵי־טָֽל:
waves of dew: Heb. אגלי, waves of גלי, dew, and the “aleph” is superfluous, as in (above 13:17), “and to my speech (ואחותי) in your ears.” The “aleph” is superfluous at the beginning of the word because it is a noun, and similarly (Ezek. 21:20), “the scream of (אבחת) the sword,” like נבוח, barking, the scream of the sword. Another explanation: is like אַגְנֵי, basins of dew. A type of basins, divisions in which the dew is deposited. The “lammed” is interchangeable with a “nun,” and so in the Book of Ezra (Neh. 13: 7), chamber (נִשְׁכָּה) like לִשְׁכָּה.  
29From whose womb did the ice emerge, and the frost of the heaven-who bore it?   כטמִבֶּ֣טֶן מִ֖י יָצָ֣א הַקָּ֑רַח וּכְפֹ֥ר שָׁ֜מַ֗יִם מִ֣י יְלָדֽוֹ:
and the frost: glass or glassa in Old French.  
30Like a stone, the water hides, and the face of the deep is caught.   לכָּאֶבֶן מַ֣יִם יִתְחַבָּ֑אוּ וּפְנֵ֥י תְ֜ה֗וֹם יִתְלַכָּֽדוּ:
Like a stone… hides: because of the ice that congeals in drops upon their faces.  
and the face of the deep is caught: and held together by it.  
31Can you tie the chains of the Pleiades or loose the straps of Orion?   לאהַתְקַשֵּׁר מַֽעֲדַנּ֣וֹת כִּימָ֑ה אֽוֹ־מֽוֹשְׁכ֖וֹת כְּסִ֣יל תְּפַתֵּֽחַ:
the chains of the Pleiades: [Tie] the chains of the Pleiades so that all its cold should not go forth and destroy the world with cold.  
or loose the straps of Orion: to bring out its heat, to mitigate the cold of the Pleiades.  
32Can you take out the constellations each in its time, and can you console Ayish for her children?   לבהֲתֹצִ֣יא מַזָּר֣וֹת בְּעִתּ֑וֹ וְ֜עַ֗יִשׁ עַל־בָּנֶ֥יהָ תַנְחֵֽם:
constellations: All the other constellations.  
and… Ayish: The largest star in the Pleiades, to which many stars are attached. He took two stars from it to open the windows of the Deluge, and they were placed in the constellation of Aries and the Holy One, blessed be He, is destined to restore them to her. Tanchuma.  
33Do you know the ordinances of heaven; can you place his dominion upon the earth?   לגהֲיָדַעְתָּ חֻקּ֣וֹת שָׁמָ֑יִם אִם־תָּשִׂ֖ים מִשְׁטָר֣וֹ בָאָֽרֶץ:
his dominion: The dominion of the constellations appointed to bring upon the earth cold and heat, summer and winter.  
34Can you lift up your voice to the cloud, or will an abundance of water cover you?   לדהֲתָרִ֣ים לָעָ֣ב קוֹלֶ֑ךָ וְֽשִׁפְעַת־מַ֥יִם תְּכַסֶּֽךָּ:
Can you lift up your voice to the cloud: to command it to tie up with the darkness of water so that an abundance of water cover you? That is the darkening of clouds, like (above 22:11), “or darkness so that you do not see.”  
[or] will an abundance of water: from Heaven cover you by your commands.  
35Will you send forth lightning bolts so that they should go and say to you, 'Here we are'?   לההַֽתְשַׁלַּ֣ח בְּרָקִ֣ים וְיֵלֵ֑כוּ וְיֹֽאמְר֖וּ לְךָ֣ הִנֵּֽנוּ:
and say to you: in the place where they were sent, ‘Here we are; we have performed our errand,’ because they need not return to their place to reply to their Sender, for the Shechinah is everywhere.  
36Who placed wisdom in the inward parts or who gave the rooster understanding?   לומִי־שָׁ֖ת בַּטֻּח֣וֹת חָכְמָ֑ה א֚וֹ מִֽי־נָתַ֖ן לַשֶּׂ֣כְוִי בִינָֽה:
in the inward parts: These are the reins.  
the rooster: Heb. לשכוי. This is the rooster in the language of the Sages (Rosh Hashanah 26a). And some say: This is the heart, which looks (שוכה), watches, and considers the coming events.  
37Who charges the skies with wisdom, and who brings down the bottles of heaven?   לזמִֽי־יְסַפֵּ֣ר שְׁחָקִ֣ים בְּחָכְמָ֑ה וְנִבְלֵ֥י שָׁ֜מַ֗יִם מִ֣י יַשְׁכִּֽיב:
charges: Heb. יספר, will speak and charge with their mission.  
the bottles: Made like bottles in which the rains are collected, as in (I Sam. 1:24), “and an earthenware jug (ונבל) of wine.”  
38When the dust was poured into a mass and the clods cleaved together?   לחבְּצֶ֣קֶת עָ֖פָר לַמּוּצָ֑ק וּרְגָבִ֥ים יְדֻבָּֽקוּ:
When the dust was poured: On the day that I poured the dust.  
into a mass: for the foundation of the world, into its midst.  
and the clods cleaved together: around it on all sides, until its length and width were filled.  
39Do you hunt the prey for the old lion, or do you fill the appetite of the young lions?   לטהֲתָצ֣וּד לְלָבִ֣יא טָ֑רֶף וְחַיַּ֖ת כְּפִירִ֣ים תְּמַלֵּֽא:
40When they crouch in their dens, they abide in the covert to lie in wait?   מכִּי־יָשֹׁ֥חוּ בַמְּעוֹנ֑וֹת יֵֽשְׁב֖וּ בַסֻּכָּ֣ה לְמוֹ־אָֽרֶב:
they crouch: They stand crouching to lie in wait.  
to lie in wait: so is the habit of those who lie in wait, to crouch and to stoop themselves so that they will not be recognized.  
41Who prepares for the raven his prey, when his young cry out to God, they wander for lack of food?   מאמִ֚י יָכִ֥ין לָֽעֹרֵ֗ב צֵ֫יד֥וֹ כִּֽי־יְ֖לָדָיו (כתיב יְ֖לָדָו) אֶל־אֵ֣ל יְשַׁוֵּ֑עוּ יִ֜תְע֗וּ לִבְלִי־אֹֽכֶל:
they wander for lack of food: for their own fathers hate them, and the Holy One, blessed be He, prepares gnats for them, which are created from their dung, and they enter their mouths.