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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 26


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!



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 [5] Shades: the dead in Sheol, the nether world; cf Psalm 6:6; 88:11.

3 [6] 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 [7] The North: used here as a synonym for the firmament, the heavens; cf Isaiah 14, 13.

5 [10] Circle: the horizon of the ocean which serves as the boundary for the activity of light and darkness.

6 [12] Rahab: cf Job 9:13; see note on Psalm 89:11.

7 [13] 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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