Job 26:13


King James Version (KJV)

By his spirit he has garnished the heavens; his hand has formed the crooked serpent.

American King James Version (AKJV)

By his spirit he has garnished the heavens; his hand has formed the crooked serpent.

American Standard Version (ASV)

By his Spirit the heavens are garnished; His hand hath pierced the swift serpent.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

By his wind the heavens become bright: by his hand the quickly moving snake was cut through.

Webster's Revision

By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

World English Bible

By his Spirit the heavens are garnished. His hand has pierced the swift serpent.

English Revised Version (ERV)

By his spirit the heavens are garnished; his hand hath pierced the swift serpent.

Clarke's Job 26:13 Bible Commentary

By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens - See the observations below.

Barnes's Job 26:13 Bible Commentary

By his spirit - The word spirit here is either synonymous with wisdom, referring to the wisdom by which God made the heavens; or with breath - meaning, that he did it by his own command. There is no evidence that Job refers to the Third Person of the Trinity - the Holy Spirit - as being especially engaged in the work of creation. The word spirit is often used to denote one's self; and the meaning here is, that God had done it. This was one of the exhibitions of his power and skill.

He hath garnished the heavens - He has formed the stars which constitute so beautiful an ornament of the heavens.

His hand hath formed the crooked serpent - Or, rather, the fleeing serpent - ברח נחשׁ nāchâsh bârı̂ach; see the notes at Isaiah 27:1. There can be no doubt that Job refers here to one of the constellations, which it seems was then known as the serpent or dragon. The practice of forming pictures of the heavens, with a somewhat fanciful resemblance to animals, was one of the most early devices of astronomy, and was evidently known in the time of Job; compare the notes at Job 9:9. The object was, probably, to aid the memory; and though the arrangement is entirely arbitrary, and the resemblance wholly fanciful, yet it is still continued in the works of astronomy, as a convenient help to the memory, and as aiding in the description of the heavenly bodies. This is probably the same constellation which is described by Virgil, in language that strikingly resembles that here uscd by Job:

Maximus hic flexu sinuoso elabitur anguis

Circum, perque duas in morem fluminis Arctos,

Arctos oceani metuentes sequore tingi.

Geor. i.244.

Around our pole the spiry Dragon glides,

And, like a winding stream, the Bears divides;

The less and greater, who by Fate's decree

Abhor to die beneath the Southern sea.


The figure of the Serpent, or "the Dragon," is still one of the constellations of the heavens, and there can be little doubt that it is the same that is referred to in this ancient book. On the celestial globes it is drawn between the Ursa Major and Cepheus, and is made to embrace the pole of the ecliptic in its convolutions. The head of the monster is under the foot of Hercules; then there is a coil tending eastwardly about 17 degrees north of Lyra; then he winds northwardly about 14 degrees to the second coil, where he reaches almost to the girdle of Cepheus; then he loops down and makes a third coil somewhat in the shape of the letter "U," about 15 degrees below the first; and then he holds a westerly course for about 13 degrees, and passes between the head of the Greater and the tail of the Lesser Bear. The constellation has 80 stars; including four of the second magnitude, seven of the third, and twelve of the fourth.


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