The day of Yahweh is near!
It will come
From the Almighty Shaddai!
Therefore all hands
Will be feeble.
Every human heart
They will be dismayed.
Pangs will seize them.
Agony will seize them.
They will be in anguish
Like a woman in labor.
They will look aghast
At one another.
Their faces will be aflame.”
It is hard to tell from the text itself if this is a reference to the destruction of Babylon or some general end of the world destruction. The context, however, leans towards the fall of Babylon. This destructive day of Yahweh, the Lord, is near since there is a mention of God as the almighty Shaddai. Everyone’s hands will be weak as their hearts will melt. They will be dismayed with pangs and agony. They will be in anguish like a woman in labor at childbirth. They will get no comfort from each other as they will have fiery faces. This does not sound good.
“Yahweh gives the command.
Great is the company
Of those who bore the tidings.
‘The kings of the armies,
The women at home
Divide the spoils.
Although they stayed among the sheepfolds,
The wings of a dove covered with silver,
Its pinions with green gold.
When the almighty Shaddai scattered kings there,
Snow fell on Zalmon.”
When Yahweh gave the command, the armies of the enemy kings were defeated. They fled. The women at home or in the sheepfolds divided the spoils of the fleeing armies. This sounds like a settled people rather than a group in the wilderness. Among these spoils they found a silver dove with green gold feathers. When the almighty Shaddai, as opposed to Yahweh, scattered these kings, snow fell on Mount Zalmon, which was near Shechem. This mountain was mentioned in Judges, chapter 9. Snow would have been rare as this incident was not mentioned elsewhere in the biblical literature.
“I have made a covenant with my eyes.
How then could I look upon a virgin?
What would be my portion from God above?
What would be my heritage from the Almighty Shaddai on high?
Does not calamity befall the unrighteous?
Does not disaster fall on the workers of iniquity?
Does he not see my ways?
Does he not number all my steps?”
Now Job goes into high drive as he proclaims why he is right and the others are wrong. This is an apologia for his life. It is a kind of negative confession as he explains what he did and why it is not wrong. His covenant is with his eyes. Somehow the eyes reveal all the secrets of a person. As for the virgin, did he have any evil intentions? What is God going to give him? What will be his heritage from the almighty high Shaddai? He agreed that calamity and disaster fall on the unrighteous and the iniquitous people. However, he asked God to see his ways. He recognized that God had numbered his steps.