December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 Then Job spoke again and said:
- What help you give to the powerless, what strength to the feeble arm!
- How you counsel, as though he had no wisdom; how profuse is the advice you offer!
- With whose help have you uttered those words, and whose is the breath that comes forth from you?
- 2 The shades beneath writhe in terror, the waters, and their inhabitants.
- 3 Naked before him is the nether world, and Abaddon has no covering.
- 4 He stretches out the North over empty space, and suspends the earth over nothing at all;
- He binds up the waters in his clouds, yet the cloud is not rent by their weight;
- He holds back the appearance of the full moon by spreading his clouds before it.
- 5 He has marked out a circle on the surface of the deep as the boundary of light and darkness.
- The pillars of the heavens tremble and are stunned at his thunderous rebuke;
- 6 By his power he stirs up the sea, and by his might he crushes Rahab;
- 7 With his angry breath he scatters the waters, and he hurls the lightning against them relentlessly; His hand pierces the fugitive dragon as from his hand it strives to flee.
- Lo, these are but the outlines of his ways, and how faint is the word we hear!
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1 [1-14] Probably to be read as Job's reply to Bildad's short speech. Some, however, would make it the reply to Zophar (Job 27:13-21); it would thus lead up to the poem of Job 28.
2  Shades: the dead in Sheol, the nether world; cf Psalm 6:6; 88:11.
3  Nether world: cf note to Psalm 6:6. Abaddon: Hebrew for "(place of) destruction," a synonym for nether world; cf Job 28:22; Rev 9:11.
4  The North: used here as a synonym for the firmament, the heavens; cf Isaiah 14, 13.
5  Circle: the horizon of the ocean which serves as the boundary for the activity of light and darkness.
6  Rahab: cf Job 9:13; see note on Psalm 89:11.
7  The fugitive dragon: the same term occurs in Isaiah 27:1 in apposition to Leviathan; see note on Job 3:8. This is actually Job 27:22.
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