1Then Job answered and said:#Perhaps to be read as Job’s reply to Bildad’s short speech.
2What help you give to the powerless,
what strength to the feeble arm!
3How you give counsel to one without wisdom;
how profuse is the advice you offer!
4With whose help have you uttered those words,
whose breath comes forth from you?#a. [26:4] Gn 2:7.
5The shades#Shades: the dead in Sheol, the nether world; cf. Ps 88:11; Is 26:14. beneath writhe in terror,#b. [26:5] Prv 9:18.
the waters, and their inhabitants.
6Naked before him is Sheol,#Sheol: cf. note on Ps 6:6. Abaddon: Hebrew for “(place of) destruction,” a synonym for nether world; cf. Jb 28:22; Rev 9:11.
and Abaddon has no covering.#c. [26:6] Ps 139:7–12.
7He stretches out Zaphon#Zaphon: lit., “the north,” used here as a synonym for the firmament, the heavens; cf. Is 14:13. over the void,
and suspends the earth over nothing at all;
8He binds up the waters in his clouds,
yet the cloud is not split by their weight;
9He holds back the appearance of the full moon
by spreading his clouds before it.
10He has marked out a circle#Circle: the horizon of the ocean which serves as the boundary for the activity of light and darkness; cf. Prv 8:27. on the surface of the deep#d. [26:10] Jb 38:8–11; Prv 8:29.
as the boundary of light and darkness.
11The pillars of the heavens tremble
and are stunned at his thunderous rebuke;#e. [26:11] Jb 9:6; Ps 18:16; 104:7.
12By his power he stilled Sea,
by his skill he crushed Rahab;#Rahab: another name for the primeval sea-monster; see notes on Jb 3:8 and Ps 89:11; cf. also Jb 7:12; 9:13.
13By his wind the heavens were made clear,
his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.#The fleeing serpent: the same term occurs in Is 27:1 in apposition to Leviathan; see note on Jb 3:8. #f. [26:13] Is 27:1.
14Lo, these are but the outlines of his ways,
and what a whisper of a word we hear of him:
Who can comprehend the thunder of his power?