on Job 36 :32
With clouds he covereth the light - This is all extraordinary saying, על כפים כמה אור al cappayim kissah or, which Mr. Good translates, "He brandisheth the blaze athwart the concave." The Vulgate, with which all the other versions less or more agree, has, In manibus abscondit lucem, "In his hands he hideth the light;" or, more literally, "By the hollow of his hands (כפים cappayim) he concealeth the light, (אור or,") the fountain of light, i.e., the Sun.
And commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt - I am afraid this is no translation of the original. Old Coverdale is better: - And at his commandement it commeth agayne; which is a near copy of the Vulgate. Here again Mr. Good departs from all the versions, both ancient and modern, by translating thus: - "And launcheth his penetrating bolt." Dr. Stock, in my opinion, comes nearer the original and the versions in his translation: -
"And giveth charge as to what it shall meet."
The mending of the text by conjecture, to which we should only recur in desperate necessity, has furnished Mr. Good and Reiske with the above translation. For my own part, I must acknowledge an extreme difficulty both here and in the concluding verse, on which I am unwilling to lay a correcting hand. I think something of the doctrine of eclipses is here referred to; the defect of the solar light, by the interposition of the moon. So in the time of an eclipse God is represented as covering the body of the sun with the hollow of his hand, and thus obscuring the solar light, and then removing his hand so as to permit it to re-illuminate the earth.
Mr. Good gets his translation by dividing the words in a different manner from the present text. I shall give both: -
ויצו עליה במפגיע
Vayetsav aleyha bemaphgia
ויצוע ליהב מפגיע
Veyezvo liahbe mapegio.
Of which he learnedly contends, "And launcheth his penetrating bolt," is the literal sense. The change here made, to produce the above meaning, is not a violent one; and I must leave the reader to judge of its importance.
on Job 36 :32
Terrors come upon him like waters,
In the night a tempest stealeth him away.
The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth,
And it sweeps him away from his place. Job 27:20-21.
(c) The dew had been carefully observed, yet the speakers did not understand its phenomena. How it was produced; whether it descended from the atmosphere, or ascended from the earth, they did not profess to be able to explain. It was regarded as one of the things which God only could understand; yet the manner in which it is spoken of shows that it had attracted deep attention, and led to much inquiry:
Hath the rain a father?
And who hath begotten the drops of the dew? Job 38:28.
(d) The same remarks may be made of the formation of the hoar frost, of snow, of hail, and of ice. There is no theory suggested to account for them but they are regarded as among the things which God alone could comprehend, and which evinced his wisdom. There had been evidently much careful observation of the facts, and much inquiry into the cause of these things but the speakers did not profess to be able to explain them. To this day, also, there is much about them which is unexplained, and the farther the investigation is carried, the more occasion is there to admire the wisdom of God in the formation of these things, See the notes on the passages that will now be referred to:
From whose womb came the ice;
The hoar-frost of heaven, who gave it birth? Job 38:29 (note).
By the breath of God frost is produced,
And the broad waters become compressed. Job 37:10 (note).
For he saith to the snow, "Be thou on the earth." Job 37:6 (note).
Hast thou been into the storehouses of snow?
on Job 36 :32
36:32 Clouds - With thick and black clouds spread over the whole heavens. Light - The sun. The cloud - Which God interposes as a veil between the sun and earth.