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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 37


At this my heart trembles and leaps out of its place,


1 To hear his angry voice as it rumbles forth from his mouth!


Everywhere under the heavens he sends it, with his lightning, to the ends of the earth.


Again his voice roars -  the majestic sound of his thunder.


He does great things beyond our knowing; wonders past our searching out.


For he says to the snow, "Fall to the earth"; likewise to his heavy, drenching rain.


He shuts up all mankind indoors;


the wild beasts take to cover and remain quietly in their dens.


2 Out of its chamber comes forth the tempest; from the north winds, the cold.


With his breath God brings the frost, and the broad waters become congealed.


With hail, also, the clouds are laden, as they scatter their flashes of light.


3 He it is who changes their rounds, according to his plans, in their task upon the surface of the earth,


whether for punishment or mercy, as he commands.


Hearken to this, O Job! Stand and consider the wondrous works of God!


Do you know how God lays his commands upon them, and makes the light shine forth from his clouds?


Do you know how the clouds are banked, the wondrous work of him who is perfect in knowledge?


You, whom the streams of water fail when a calm from the south comes over the land,


4 Do you spread out with him the firmament of the skies, hard as a brazen mirror?


Teach us then what we shall say to him; we cannot, for the darkness, make our plea.


5 Will he be told about it when I speak, or when a man says he is being destroyed?


6 Nay, rather, it is as the light which men see not while it is obscured among the clouds, till the wind comes by and sweeps the clouds away.


7 From the North the splendor comes, surrounding God's awesome majesty!


The Almighty! we cannot discover him, pre-eminent in power and judgment; his great justice owes no one an accounting.


Therefore men revere him, though none can see him, however wise their hearts.



1 [2] Voice: the thunder.

2 [9] Chamber: where it was popularly believed storms were kept enclosed.

3 [12] Their rounds: of rain ( Job 36:27), of clouds (Job 36:29-30), of lightning and thunder ( Job 36:32-33), of snow ( Job 37:6), of winds ( Job 37:9).

4 [18] The firmament . . . mirror: the ancients thought of the sky as a ceiling above which were the "upper waters" (cf Genesis 1:6-7; 7:11); when this ceiling became as hard as metal, the usual rain failed to fall on the earth (cf Lev 26:19; Deut 28:23).

5 [20] Will an angel bring this to God's attention?

6 [21] Even though God seems not to know our circumstances, he does know them, just as surely as the sun shines, unseen by man, behind the clouds.

7 [22] Now the storms of doubt and ignorance disappear, and from the North, used here as a symbol for God's mysterious abode, comes the splendor of the manifestation of God's majestic ways.

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