Wisdom and creation (Bar 3:32-3:34)

But the one who knows

All things

Knows her.

He found her

By his understanding.

The one who prepared

The earth

For all time

Filled it

With four-footed creatures.

The one who sends forth

The light,

Then it goes.

He called it.

It obeyed him

Trembling.

The stars shone

In their watches.

They were glad.

He called them.

They said.

‘Here we are!’

They shone

With gladness

For him

Who made them.”

Baruch connected wisdom with creation, a great theme of late wisdom literature. Once again, this puts into doubt the Baruch authorship. God, who knows everything, knew about wisdom. Somehow wisdom was separate from God. God was able to find this wisdom, because of his understanding. God prepared the earth for all time in this static view of the earth. He filled it with four-footed creatures, while other creatures were not mentioned. God sent the light and it happened. He merely had to call it, and it happened. This is much like the first creation story in Genesis, chapter 1. The stars in the sky gladly followed his commands. They were like the prophets with this personification of stars saying that they were ready to shine with gladness in obedience to the creative God who made them.

Advertisements

The stars (Sir 43:9-43:10)

“The glory

Of the stars

Is the beauty

Of heaven.

There are

A gleaming array,

In the heights

Of the Lord.

On the orders

Of the Holy One,

They stand

As ordered.

They never relax

In their watches.”

Sirach indicates that the stars show the glory of the heavens. They glow in the heights as ordered by the Lord. They stand there fixed by the Holy One as they never relax. Once again, we see a static view of the universe with everything in their fixed place according to God.

Yahweh questions Job about the weather (Job 38:22-38:24)

“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.

Yahweh questions Job about the seas (Job 38:8-38:11)

“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?

I said.

‘Thus far shall you come!

No farther!

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.