Job 38:38

Hebrew Bible

36 Who has put wisdom in the heart or has imparted understanding to the mind? 37 Who by wisdom can count the clouds, and who can tip over the water jars of heaven, 38 when the dust hardens into a mass, and the clumps of earth stick together? 39 “Do you hunt prey for the lioness and satisfy the appetite of the lions 40 when they crouch in their dens, when they wait in ambush in the thicket?

LXX Job 38:38


36 And who has given to women skill in weaving, or knowledge of embroidery? 37 And who is he that numbers the clouds in wisdom, and has bowed the heaven down to the earth? 38 For it is spread out as dusty earth, and I have cemented it as one hewn stone to another. 39 And wilt thou hunt a prey for the lions? and satisfy the desires of the serpents? 40 For they fear in their lairs, and lying in wait couch in the woods.

 Notes and References

"... The verses quoted in both the Apostolic Constitutions and the Christian Topography to describe the structure of the universe are taken from the books of Psalms, Isaiah, and Job rather than from the account of the Creation in Genesis, giving them a homiletic application to articulate and illustrate a specific physical shape of the cosmos. Both texts refer to the heavens as a curtain creating a tentlike structure above the earth and above the fi rmament, as in Isaiah 40:22,29 “... who stretcheth out the heavens like a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in,” and in Psalms 104:2, “Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment, Who hast stretched out the heavens like a tent.” Both describe the earth as suspended over nothingness and surrounded by oceans, as in Job 26:7, “He stretcheth out the north over the void, and hangs the earth upon nothing.” In both, the dust of the earth is gathered into a square box, as in Job 38:38, “When the dust runneth into a mass and the clods cleave fast together?,” which relies on the Septuagint translation used by Constantine of Antioch: “He has inclined heaven to earth and it has been poured out as the dust of the earth I have welded it as a square block of stone.” The use of the same verses suggests a common homiletic understanding of the biblical text as well as a shared conception of the structure of the universe ..."

Laderman, Shulamith "Cosmology, Art, and Liturgy" in Revel-Neher, Elisabeth, et al., editors. Between Judaism and Christianity: Art Historical Essays in Honor of Elisheva (Elisabeth) Revel-Neher (p. 124) Brill, 2009

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