This page is dedicated to discussion on the topic of the ‘windows of heaven’ — arrubot hashamaym and related expressions. I do have material on this topic that I have not published yet, in answer to commenter Mako. Until then Mako made some terrific points. I would note that it is important to not treat this expression in isolation from some other related expressions (like ‘treasuries’ or ‘storehouses’ of heaven). Cheers!
This is a synopsis of our main conclusions on this passage until a fuller treatment can be given.
Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a molten mirror?
(Job 37:18, NRSV)
תַּרְקִיעַ עִמּוֹ לִשְׁחָקִים חֲזָקִים כִּרְאִי מוּצָק
This passage is consistently used as one of the primary supporting texts for the ‘sky is a solid vault’ concept, and understandably so. The context of this passage is greatly important. It is a lengthy description of a storm which culminates with the theophany of God from the midst of an intense storm or tornado (seʿārâ, 38:1). Verse 15 speaks of God “causing the light of his cloud to shine forth.” The next two verses continue:
Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect, 17 you whose garments are hot when the earth is still because of the south wind? (NRSV)
Strikingly, our verse comes immediately after that verse, in which the clouds of the sky were the intense focus, as well as other quite local atmospheric phenomena, namely the hot blasting wind from the desert. A couple verses later we have this:
Continue reading “‘The Skies, Hard as a Molten Mirror’? – Job 37:18 (Synopsis)”