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Job 38:22 ESV,

Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,

What are these storehouses of snow and/or hail?

There doesn't appear to be any special insight from the Hebrew text, as each word simply means exactly as translated:

Storehouses: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/214.htm

Snow: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7950.htm

Hail: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1259.htm

My first assumption is that since snow and hail descend from the sky, out of the clouds, that perhaps God is asking Job if he's ever been high up into the atmosphere, that the storehouses for these elements are then metaphors for sky and cloud.

And perhaps that is so. But perhaps it is not. Any insight is appreciated.

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Job 38:

19“What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!

22“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?
24What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

All these are poetic rhetorical questions, not to be taken literally. They all point to some poetic (metaphoric) locations.

Hail formation is describe in https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/hail/:

Hailstones are formed when raindrops are carried upward by thunderstorm updrafts into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere and freeze. Hailstones then grow by colliding with liquid water drops that freeze onto the hailstone’s surface. If the water freezes instantaneously when colliding with the hailstone, cloudy ice will form as air bubbles will be trapped in the newly formed ice. However, if the water freezes slowly, the air bubbles can escape and the new ice will be clear. The hail falls when the thunderstorm's updraft can no longer support the weight of the hailstone, which can occur if the stone becomes large enough or the updraft weakens.

The process is dynamic and not stationary. The 'storehouses' of the hail is a metaphor that hardly captures this dynamic process.

What are these storehouses of snow and/or hail?

I'd focus more on the broader idea of poetic rhetoric and less on the specific metaphoric locations. The point is that these concepts are beyond Job's understanding.

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The whole passage in Job 38, 39, 40 is full or poetic and literary license and metaphor. Here is a sample:

  • V5 - who stretched a measuring line across it?
  • V7 - the morning stars sang together
  • V8 - Who enclosed the sea behind doors
  • V9 - I made the clouds its garment
  • V10 - set in place its [the sea's] bars and doors
  • V14 - its hills stand out like the folds of a garment
  • V17 - Have the gates of death been revealed to you?
  • V19 - Do you know where darkness resides,
  • V28 - Does the rain have a father? Who has begotten the drops of dew?
  • V29 - From whose womb does the ice emerge?
  • V31 - Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades

Thus, the passage is full of Hebrew metaphor and personification. I do not believe that it should be read too literally, else we begin to ask about the literal chains of the Pleiades and the literal doors of death, etc.

The "storehouses" of rain and snow are in the same literary genre.

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Otserot אֽוֹצְרֹתָֽ are "Treasuries" of YHVH for storage, referenced in Deuteronomy 32:34.

These Godly Treasuries (full of water for rain/snow/hail) are above the Heavens as stated in Psalm 148:4 "Praise Him, highest heavens and the water that is above the heavens." (הַֽלְלוּהוּ שְׁמֵ֣י הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם וְ֜הַמַּ֗יִם אֲשֶׁ֚ר | מֵעַ֬ל הַשָּׁמָֽיִם) where no man can reach.

Psalm 148:8 illustrates that Weather is pre-made by YHVH as an instrument of His Word : "Fire and hail, snow and vapor, a storm wind, performing His Word." (אֵ֣שׁ וּ֖בָרָד שֶׁ֥לֶג וְקִיט֑וֹר ר֥וּחַ סְ֜עָרָ֗ה עֹ֘שָׂ֥ה דְבָרֽוֹ)

In Iyov אִ֖יּוֹב "Job" 38:22 - The Otserot אוֹצְר֖וֹת "Treasuries" of Snow & Hail reiterates for us that all storm patterns are pre-made by YHVH:

[Iyov אִ֖יּוֹב | Job 38:22] "Have you come to the treasuries of snow, and did you see the treasuries of hail?" (הֲבָאתָ אֶל־אֹֽצְר֣וֹת שָׁ֑לֶג וְאוֹצְר֖וֹת בָּרָ֣ד תִּרְאֶֽה)

Notice the Teasuries of Hail secures harsher weather, illustrated by אוֹצְר֖וֹת the two extra vav's - unlike the אֹֽצְר֣וֹת Treasuries of Snow requiring only 1 vav to secure a softer storm.

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