1At this my heart trembles
and leaps out of its place.
2Listen to his angry voice*
and the rumble that comes forth from his mouth!
3Everywhere under the heavens he sends it,
with his light, to the ends of the earth.
4Again his voice roars,
his majestic voice thunders;
he does not restrain them when his voice is heard.
5God thunders forth marvels with his voice;
he does great things beyond our knowing.
6He says to the snow, “Fall to the earth”;
likewise to his heavy, drenching rain.
7He shuts up all humankind indoors,
so that all people may know his work.
8The wild beasts take to cover
and remain quiet in their dens.
9Out of its chamber the tempest comes forth;
from the north winds, the cold.
10With his breath God brings the frost,
and the broad waters congeal.a
11The clouds too are laden with moisture,
the storm-cloud scatters its light.
12* He it is who changes their rounds, according to his plans,
to do all that he commands them
across the inhabited world.
13Whether for punishment or mercy,
he makes it happen.
14Listen to this, Job!
Stand and consider the marvels of God!
15Do you know how God lays his command upon them,
and makes the light shine forth from his clouds?
16Do you know how the clouds are banked,
the marvels of him who is perfect in knowledge?
17You, who swelter in your clothes
when calm lies over the land from the south,
18Can you with him spread out the firmament of the skies,
hard as a molten mirror?*
19Teach us then what we shall say to him;
we cannot, for the darkness, make our plea.
20Will he be told about it when I speak?
Can anyone talk when he is being destroyed?
21Rather, it is as the light that cannot be seen
while it is obscured by the clouds,
till the wind comes by and sweeps them away.*
22From Zaphon* the golden splendor comes,
surrounding God’s awesome majesty!
23The Almighty! We cannot find him,
preeminent in power and judgment,
abundant in justice, who never oppresses.
24Therefore people fear him;
none can see him, however wise their hearts.*
* [37:2] Voice: the thunder.
* [37:12–13] The translation of these verses is uncertain.
* [37:18] The firmament…mirror: the ancients thought of the sky as a ceiling above which were the “upper waters” (cf. Gn 1:6–7; 7:11); when this ceiling became as hard as metal, the usual rain failed to fall on the earth (cf. Lv 26:19; Dt 28:23).
* [37:21] Elihu argues that even though God seems not to know our circumstances, he does know them, just as surely as the sun shines behind the clouds.
* [37:22] Zaphon: the mythical mountain of the gods; cf. note on 26:7.
* [37:24] The concluding remark of Elihu is ironic in view of the appearance of the Lord in the next chapter and Job’s claim in 42:5.