Verse 32. "With clouds he covereth the light. " - This is all extraordinary saying, rwa hmk µypk l[ al cappayim kissah or, which Mr. Good translates, "He brandisheth the blaze athwart the concave." The Vulgate, with which all the other versions less or more agree, has, In manibus abscondit lucem, "In his hands he hideth the light;" or, more literally, "By the hollow of his hands ( µypk cappayim) he concealeth the light, ( rwa or,") the fountain of light, i.e., the SUN.
And commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.- I am afraid this is no translation of the original. Old Coverdale is better: - And at his commandement it commeth agayne; which is a near copy of the Vulgate. Here again Mr. Good departs from all the versions, both ancient and modern, by translating thus: - "And launcheth his penetrating bolt." Dr. Stock, in my opinion, comes nearer the original and the versions in his translation: - "And giveth charge as to what it shall meet." The mending of the text by conjecture, to which we should only recur in desperate necessity, has furnished Mr. Good and Reiske with the above translation. For my own part, I must acknowledge an extreme difficulty both here and in the concluding verse, on which I am unwilling to lay a correcting hand. I think something of the doctrine of eclipses is here referred to; the defect of the solar light, by the interposition of the moon. So in the time of an eclipse God is represented as covering the body of the sun with the hollow of his hand, and thus obscuring the solar light, and then removing his hand so as to permit it to re- illuminate the earth. Mr. Good gets his translation by dividing the words in a different manner from the present text. I shall give both: - Hebrew: [ygpmb hyl[ wxyw Vayetsav aleyha bemaphgia Mr. Good: [ygpm bhyl [wxyw Veyezvo liahbe mapegio.
Of which he learnedly contends, "And launcheth his penetrating bolt," is the literal sense. The change here made, to produce the above meaning, is not a violent one; and I must leave the reader to judge of its importance.
Verse 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: - w[r wyl[ dygy Yaggid alaiv reo hlw[ l[ Pa hnqm 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 dygy yaggid, Houbigant reads dyny yanid; and for hnqm mikneh, tanqm mikkinath; and translates thus: "He agitates with himself his thunder, from the indignation of his wrath against iniquity."