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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on Job

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38.1–42.6 : God speaks from the whirlwind.

God finally responds to Job and does so in a series of speeches that show humanity's limited knowledge and power.

38.1–39.30 :

God's first speech is struc tured as a series of rhetorical questions concerning creation.

38.1 :

The whirlwind, cf. 9.17; 40.6 . In the biblical worldview, storms typically accompanied a theophany (cf. Ps 18.7–15; 50.3; 58.3; Ezek 1.4; Nah 1.3; Zech 9.14; Hab 3 ). The Lord (Heb “yhwh”), otherwise found only in the prose prologue ( 1.1–2.13 ) and epilogue ( 42.7–17 ).

3 :

Gird up your loins like a man, an image of preparation for combat.

4–11 :

For the creator as architect, see Prov 8.27–30 . The earth was built on foundations (vv. 4–6; see Ps 78.69; 102.25; 104.5; Isa 48.13 ), and strict limits were set for the primeval waters of chaos (vv. 8–11; 26.10; Ps 104.9; 148.6 ).

7 :

Heavenly beings, lit. “sons of God”; see 1.6–12n. On the stars as members of the divine council, see 25.5; Judg 5.20 .

12–15 :

Daylight both transforms the earth and cleanses it of the wicked.

21 :

Here God sarcastically answers his own questions.

22–30 :

Meteorological phenomena are carefully, if extravagantly, dispensed by God; cf. vv. 34–38; 28.26; 37.6–13; Ps 135.7 .

31–33 :

On the constellations, see 9.9n.

38.39–39.30 :

God, not Job, knows the design of the animal world: the lions and ravens with their appetites, mountain goats and deer with their reproductive activities, the wild ass and wild ox with their freedom, the ostrich, both foolish and swift, the fearless battlestallion, and the hawk and the vulture with the ability to soar up high.

38.39 :

Lion, more precisely “lioness,” as in 4.11 .

41 :

Cf. Ps 147.9 .

39.16 :

On the ostrich's cruelty, see Lam 4.3 .

26 :

Toward the south, when it migrates.

27 :

Eagle, probably “vulture.”

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