on Job 36 :33
The noise thereof showeth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapor - I think this translation very unhappy. I shall give each hemistich in the original: -
יגיד עליו רעו
Yaggid alaiv reo
מקנה אף על עולה
Mikneh aph al oleh.
I think this may be translated without any violence to any word in the text: -
Its loud noise (or his thunder) shall proclaim concerning him;
A magazine of wrath against iniquity.
This is literal, and gives, in my opinion, a proper meaning of the passage, and one in strict connection with the context. And it is worthy of remark that every wicked man trembles at the noise of thunder and the flash of lightning, and considers this a treasury of Divine wrath, emphatically called among us the artillery of the skies; and whenever the noise is heard, it is considered the voice of God. Thus the thunder declares concerning him. The next chapter, which is a continuation of the subject here, confirms and illustrates this meaning. For יגיד yaggid, Houbigant reads יניד yanid; and for מקנה mikneh, מקנאת mikkinath; and translates thus: "He agitates with himself his thunder, from the indignation of his wrath against iniquity."
on Job 36 :33
The noise thereof showeth concerning it - The word "noise" here has been inserted by our translators as a version of the Hebrew word (רעו rê‛ô), and if the translators attached any idea to the language which they have used, it seems to have been that the noise attending the lightning, that is, the thunder, furnished an illustration of the power and majesty of God. But it is not possible to educe this idea from the original, and perhaps it is not possible to determine the sense of the passage. Herder renders it, "He pointeth out to them the wicked." Prof. Lee, "By it he announceth his will." Umbreit, "He makes known to it his friend;" that is, he points out his friend to the light, so that it may serve for the happiness of that friend. Noyes, "He uttereth to him his voice; to the herds and the plants." Rosenmuller," He announces what he has decreed against people, and the flocks which the earth has produced."
Many other expositions have been proposed, and there is no reasonable ground of hope that an interpretation will be arrived at which will be free from all difficulty. The principal difficulty in this part of the verse arises from the word רעו rê‛ô, rendered in our version, "The noise thereof." This may be from רוע rûa‛, and may mean a noise, or outcry, and so it is rendered here by Gesenius, "He makes known to him his thunder, that is, to man, or to his enemies." Or the word may mean "his friend," as the word רע rêa‛ is often used; Job 2:11; Job 19:21; Proverbs 27:17; Sol 5:16; Hosea 3:1. Or it may denote "will, thought, desire;" Psalm 139:2, Psalm 139:17. A choice must be made between these different meanings according to the view entertained of the scope of the passage. To me it seems that the word ""friend"" will better suit the connection than anyone of the other interpretations proposed. According to this, the idea is, that God points out "his friends" to the lightning which he holds in his hand, and bids it spare them. He has entire control of it, and can direct it where he pleases, and instead of sending it forth to work indiscriminate destruction, he carefully designates those on whom he wishes it to strike, but bids it spare his friends.
The cattle also concerning the vapour - Margin, "that which goeth up." What idea the translators attached to this phrase it is impossible now to know, and the probability is, that being conscious of utter inability to give any meaning to the passage, they endeavored to translate the "words" of the original as literally as possible. Coverdale evidently felt the same perplexity, for he renders it, "The rising up thereof showeth he to his friends and to the cattle." Indeed almost every translator and expositor has had the same difficulty, and each one has proposed a version of his own. Aa examination of the "words" employed is the only hope of arriving at any satisfactory view of the passage. The word rendered "cattle" (מקנה miqneh), means properly:
(1) expectation, hope, confidence; Ezekiel 28:26; Ezra 10:2;
(2) a gathering together, a collection, as
(a) of waters, Genesis 1:10; Exodus 7:19,
(b) a gathering together, a collection, or company of people, horses, etc. - a caravan. So it may possibly mean in 1 Kings 10:28, where interpreters have greatly differed.
The word "cattle," therefore, by no means expresses its usual signification. That would be better expressed by "gathering, collecting," or "assembling." The word rendered also (אף 'aph), denotes:
(1) also, even, more, besides, etc., and
(2) "the nose," and then "anger" - from the effect of anger in producing hard breathing, Proverbs 22:24; Deuteronomy 32:22; Deuteronomy 29:20.
Here it may be rendered, without impropriety, "anger," and then the phrase will mean, "the collecting, or gathering together of anger." The word rendered "vapour" (עולה ‛ovelâh - if from עלה ‛âlâh), means that which "ascends," and would then mean anything that ascends - as smoke, vapor; or as Rosenmuller supposes, what "ascends" or "grows" from the ground - that is, plants and vegetables, And so Umbreit, "das Gewachs" - "plants of any kind." Note. But with a slight variation in the pointing עולה ‛ovelâh - instead of עולה ‛oleh), the word means "evil, wickedness, iniquity" - from our word "evil;" Job 24:20; Job 6:29; Job 11:14; Job 13:7; and it may, without impropriety, be regarded as having this signification here, as the points have no authority. The meaning of the whole phrase then will be, "the gathering, or collecting of his wrath is upon evil, that is, upon the wicked;" and the sense is, that while, on the one hand, God, who holds the lightning in his hands, points out to it his friends, so that they are spared; on the other hand the gathering together, or the condensation, of his wrath is upon the evil. That is, the lightnings - so vivid, so mighty, and apparently so wholly beyond law or control, are under his direction, and he makes them the means of executing his pleasure. His friends are spared; and the condensation of his wrath is on his foes. This exposition of the passage accords with the general scope of the remarks of Elihu, and this view of the manner in which God controls even the lightning, was one that was adapted to fill the mind with exalted conceptions of the majesty and power of the Most High.
on Job 36 :33
36:33 The noise - The thunder gives notice of the approaching rain. Also - And as the thunder, so also the cattle sheweth, concerning the vapour, concerning the coming of the rain, by a strange instinct, seeking for shelter, when a change of weather is near.