“Has the rain a father?
Who has begotten the drops of dew?
From whose womb did the ice come forth?
Who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven?
The waters become hard like stone.
The face of the deep is frozen.”
Rain is once again considered in anthropomorphic terms. Who is the father of rain? Whose womb did the light morning dew come from? Whose womb did the ice come from? How did the waters become like stone, frozen in place? These continuing poetic expressions about rain and ice pose the unanswerable questions about weather and its changing face. Certainly these poetic terms appear again and again in encyclical Laudato Si of Pope Francis I.
“Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain?
Who has cut a way for the thunderbolt?
Who brings rain on a land where no one lives?
Who brings rain on the desert that is empty of human life?
Who brings rain to satisfy the waste and desolate land?
Who brings rain to make the ground put forth grass?”
Yahweh questions Job about rain. How does it get out of the heavens in great torrents? How does the thunderbolt get from heaven to earth? Why is there rain where no one lives? Why is there rain in wastelands and desolate lands with no humans? Why and how does rain make the grass grow? These are basic childlike questions about rain. Most people assumed that rain was only to help humans. This sounds like the question about whether if a tree falls in the forest and there is no human there to see or hear it, does it make a noise. This is certainly a human centric point of view versus a cosmic view of the earth.
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow?
Have you seen the storehouses of the hail?
I have reserved these for the time of trouble.
I have reserved these for the day of battle and war.
What is the way to the place where the light is distributed?
Where is the east wind scattered upon the earth?”
Yahweh then wants to know where the snow and the hail are stored up for the times of trouble, battle, and war. Where is the light kept? Where is that east wind when it is not blowing. Once again, this is a static view of the world. There was considered to be one place where snow and hail were stored for bad days. Light was kept hidden in some undisclosed place, while the wind was held back waiting for just the right moment. Of course, Job would not know the answer to these questions.
“Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
Where is the place of darkness?
Where is its territory?
How can you discern the paths to its home?
Surely you know.
You were born then.
The number of your days is great!”
Yahweh wanted to know if Job knew where light and darkness could be found. He wondered if Job knew the path to each one. Surely, he should know this since he was born a human with a great number of days to his life. There is a little sarcasm in these questions since Job does have limited knowledge.
“Have you entered into the springs of the sea?
Have you walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you?
Have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Do you know all this?”
The depths of the seas were considered dark. Some were not sure that there was a bottom to the sea. Did Job know anything about the gates to death? Did he know anything about how wide or deep the earth was? If Job did not know this, he should.
“Have you commanded the morning
Since your days began?
Have you caused the dawn to know its place?
Have you caused the dawn to take hold of the skirts of the earth?
Have you caused the wicked to be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal.
It is dyed like a garment.
Light is withheld from the wicked.
Their uplifted arm is broken.”
Yahweh wanted to know if Job was in charge of making days begin. Obviously he was not. Somehow the morning sun put the wicked in their places. The morning sun changed the clay and dyed it like a garment. The wicked somehow were in darkness. Their arms would be broken if they lifted them to Yahweh.
“Who shut in the sea with doors?
When it burst forth from the womb?
When did I make the clouds as a garment?
When did I make thick darkness its swaddling band?
When did I prescribe bounds for it?
When did I set bars and doors?
‘Thus far shall you come!
Here shall your proud waves be stopped.”
Yahweh wanted to know where Job was when he set the limits on the seas. Yahweh had told the water to go no further. Thus the waves stopped at a certain point. What did Job have to do with any of this. The answer was nothing. Clearly the waters of the world had defined limits. To go beyond these limits they needed Yahweh’s approval. Once again this is a static view of the earth’s water system.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Do you have understanding?
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk?
Who laid its cornerstone?
When the morning stars sang together,
All the heavenly beings shouted for joy.”
Clearly this is an enclosed finished creation. This is not an expanding concept of creation. There was a foundation, a cornerstone, measurements, and bases. The earthly creation was like a large building, like a temple. God was the master contractor builder. God asked Job where he was when creation was happening. He probably has no response. Who did all the measurements? Certainly not Job. Who laid the brick lines, the bases, or cornerstones. It certainly was not Job. However, all the heavenly beings sang and shouted for joy. Job was not among them.
“Then Yahweh answered Job out of the whirlwind.
‘Who is this that darkens counsel?
Who speaks words without knowledge?
Gird up your loins like a man!
I will question you.
You shall declare to me!’”
Now finally, we hear from God himself. It is Yahweh, the God of Moses, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who speaks. He speaks to Job out of a whirlwind as he had done to many of his prophets. He had spoken to Moses in a cloud. Here there are 2 speeches of Yahweh and 2 responses of Job. Yahweh poses a series of questions to Job. He said that Job was speaking words without knowledge. He told him to be like a man. Even though Job is not Jewish, the God of Israel and not the almighty Shaddai was going to question him directly.
“No one can look on the light
When it is bright in the skies,
When the wind has passed and cleared them.
Out of the north comes golden splendor.
Around God is awesome majesty.
The Almighty Shaddai!
We cannot find him.
He is great in power and justice.
He is great in abundant righteousness.
He will not violate.
Therefore mortals fear him.
He does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”
The light of the sun is like God, we cannot look at it directly when it is bright in the sky. The wind and the clouds help us to see it. The almighty Shaddai comes in his awesome majesty from the north. This was a common Canaanite theory that God came from the north. We cannot find him. He is great in power, justice, and righteousness. He will never violate justice so that mortals fear him. However, beware of the people who think that they are wise and conceited in their own eyes.