New English Translation
25 When he made[a] the force of the wind
and measured[b] the waters with a gauge,
26 when he imposed a limit[c] for the rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,[d]
27 then he looked at wisdom[e] and assessed its value;[f]
he established[g] it and examined it closely.[h]
- Job 28:25 tn Heb “he gave weight to the wind.” The form is the infinitive construct with the ל (lamed) preposition. Some have emended it to change the preposition to the temporal ב (bet) on the basis of some of the versions (e.g., Latin and Syriac) that have “who made.” This is workable, for the infinitive would then take on the finite tense of the previous verbs. An infinitive of purpose does not work well, for that would be saying God looked everywhere in order to give wind its proper weight (see R. Gordis, Job, 310).
- Job 28:25 tn The verb is the Piel perfect, meaning “to estimate the measure” of something. In the verse, the perfect verb continues the function of the infinitive preceding it, as if it had a ו (vav) prefixed to it. Whatever usage that infinitive had, this verb is to continue it (see GKC 352 §114.r).
- Job 28:26 tn Or “decree.”
- Job 28:26 tn Or “thunderbolt,” i.e., lightning. Heb “the roaring of voices/sounds,” which describes the nature of the storm.
- Job 28:27 tn Heb “it”; the referent (wisdom) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Job 28:27 tn The verb סָפַר (safar) in the Piel basically means “to tell; to declare; to show” or “to count; to number.” Many commentators offer different suggestions for the translation. “Declared” (as in the RSV, NASB, and NRSV) would be the simplest—but to whom did God declare it? Besides “appraised” which is the view of Pope, Dhorme and others (cf. NAB, NIV), J. Reider has suggested “probed” (“Etymological studies in biblical Hebrew,” VT 2 : 127), Strahan has “studied,” and Kissane has “reckoned.” The difficulty is that the line has a series of verbs, which seem to build to a climax, but without more details it is hard to know how to translate them when they have such a range of meaning.
- Job 28:27 tc The verb כּוּן (kun) means “to establish; to prepare” in this stem. There are several mss that have the form from בִּין (bin, “discern”), giving “he discerned it,” making more of a parallel with the first colon. But the weight of the evidence supports the traditional MT reading.
- Job 28:27 tn The verb חָקַר (khaqar) means “to examine; to search out.” Some of the language used here is anthropomorphic, for the sovereign Lord did not have to research or investigate wisdom. The point is that it is as if he did this human activity, meaning that as in the results of such a search God knows everything about wisdom.