“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?
Can you loosen the cords of Orion?
Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season?
Can you guide the Bear with its children?
Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?”
The ancients were well aware of the heavens and their clusters of stars. The Greek named the Pleiades constellation as the nearest cluster of stars to earth. It has 7 bright blue stars, usually referred to as the 7 sisters chained together. Orion was a cluster of stars as a great Greek hunter. Mazzaroth is more difficult to ascertain, but it may mean the whole star system. The Bear constellation may refer to the big bear and little bear constellations. Job was asked if he knew the laws of the heavens. If he did not know them, then how could he establish any rules on earth? This was a common thought. Since you did not know the laws of heaven, how could you determine the laws of earth?
“Then Job answered.
‘Indeed I know that it is so.
But how can a man be just before God?
If one wished to contend with him,
One could not answer him once in a thousand times.
God has a wise heart.
He is mighty in strength.
Who has resisted God?
Who has succeeded?
He removes mountains.
They do not know it,
When he overturns them in his anger.
Who shakes the earth out of its place?
Who makes its pillars tremble?
Who commands the sun?
It does not rise without him.
Who seals up the stars?
Who alone stretched out the heavens?
Who trampled the waves of the sea?
Who made the Bear?
Who made the Orion?
Who made the Pleiades?
Who made the chambers of the south?
Who does great things beyond understanding?
Who does marvelous things without number?
He passes by me.
I do not see him.
He moves on.
But I do not perceive him.
He snatches away.
Who can stop him?
Who will say to him?
‘What are you doing?’”
Job posed the basic question of how could a mere moral become just before God? What is righteousness? In a sense he is answering Eliphaz rather than Bildad. God is a thousand times better than man. He is wise and strong. Who could resist God successfully? He moves mountains in his anger and they do not even know it. He commands the sun, the stars, and the waves of the sea. He makes all the heavenly constellations of stars like the Bear, the Orion, and the Pleiades. In fact these clusters of stars were sometimes thought of as gods. God stretches out the heavens like a tent. He does great marvelous things that we sometimes do not understand. He passes by and we don’t see him. No one asks him what he is doing. He just does it. No one can stop him.