Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations?
Speak if you have understanding.
Do you know who fixed its dimensions, or who measured it with a line?
Onto what were its bases sunk, or who set its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together, and all the divine beings shouted for joy?
Who closed the sea behind doors, when it gushed forth out of the womb, when I clothed it in clouds, a think darkness its swaddling band?
I made breakers My limit for it, and set up its bar and doors.
And said, “You may come so far and no farther; here your surging waves will stop.”
Have you ever commanded the day to break, assigned the dawn its place, so that it seizes the corners of the earth and shakes the wicked out of it?
אֵיפֹה הָיִיתָ בְּיָסְדִי־אָרֶץ הַגֵּד אִם־יָדַעְתָּ בִינָה׃
מִי־שָׂם מְמַדֶּיהָ כִּי תֵדָע אוֹ מִי־נָטָה עָלֶיהָ קָּו׃
עַל־מָה אֲדָנֶיהָ הָטְבָּעוּ אוֹ מִי־יָרָה אֶבֶן פִּנָּתָהּ׃
בְּרָן־יַחַד כּוֹכְבֵי בֹקֶר וַיָּרִיעוּ כָּל־בְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים׃
וַיָּסֶךְ בִּדְלָתַיִם יָם בְּגִיחוֹ מֵרֶחֶם יֵצֵא׃
בְּשׂוּמִי עָנָן לְבֻשׁוֹ וַעֲרָפֶל חֲתֻלָּתוֹ׃
וָאֶשְׁבֹּר עָלָיו חֻקִּי וָאָשִׂים בְּרִיחַ וּדְלָתָיִם׃
וָאֹמַר עַד־פֹּה תָבוֹא וְלֹא תֹסִיף וּפֹא־יָשִׁית בִּגְאוֹן גַּלֶּיךָ׃
הְמִיָּמֶיךָ צִוִּיתָ בֹּקֶר ידעתה שחר [יִדַּעְתָּה] [הַשַּׁחַר] מְקֹמוֹ׃
לֶאֱחֹז בְּכַנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ וְיִנָּעֲרוּ רְשָׁעִים מִמֶּנָּה׃
At the end of the Book of Job, God answer’s Job’s mournful plea for a fair trial with God. God answers Job’s call appearing in the form of a whirlwind, a powerful natural phenomenon, evoking the awesome mystery and creative power of the universe which in so many ways defies definition. God’s voice from amidst the whirlwind fills Job and his companions with hope; that even in the most uncertain tumultuous times, God has the power to appear and restore order.
God points out to Job that the world exists infinitely far beyond Job’s chronological and geographical conceptions. God describes a tour of the known universe from its very beginnings highlighting God’s awesome power and challenging Job with rhetorical questions which remind the human that he is but an infinitesimally small element of the grander universe.
And yet, God nonetheless speaks to Job, answering the call of the suffering individual. Majesty and intimacy in one moment, that is the awesome power of God.