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3. directeth it--however zigzag the lightning's course; or, rather,
it applies to the pealing roll of the thunder. God's all-embracing power.
4. The thunderclap follows at an interval after the flash.
5. (Job 36:26; Ps 65:6; 139:14). The sublimity of the description lies in this, that God is everywhere in the storm, directing it whither He will [BARNES]. See Ps 29:1-11, where, as here, the "voice" of God is repeated with grand effect. The thunder in Arabia is sublimely terrible.
6. Be--more forcible than "fall," as
7. In winter God stops man's out-of-doors activity.
8. remain--rest in their lairs. It is beautifully ordered that during the cold, when they could not obtain food, many lie torpid, a state wherein they need no food. The desolation of the fields, at God's bidding, is poetically graphic.
9. south--literally, "chambers"; connected with the south
The whirlwinds are poetically regarded as pent up by God in His
southern chambers, whence He sends them forth (so
As to the southern whirlwinds (see
they drive before them burning sands; chiefly from February to May.
10. the breath of God--poetically, for the ice-producing north wind.
11-13. How the thunderclouds are dispersed, or else employed by God,
either for correction or mercy.
12. it--the cloud of lightning.
13. Literally, "He maketh it (the rain-cloud) find place," whether for correction, if (it be destined) for His land (that is, for the part inhabited by man, with whom God deals, as opposed to the parts uninhabited, on which rain is at other times appointed to fall, Job 38:26, 27) or for mercy. "If it be destined for His land" is a parenthetical supposition [MAURER]. In English Version, this clause spoils the even balance of the antithesis between the "rod" (Margin) and "mercy" (Ps 68:9; Ge 7:1-24).
14. (Ps 111:2).
16. Hebrew, "Hast thou understanding of the balancings," &c.,
how the clouds are poised in the air, so that their watery gravity does
not bring them to the earth? The condensed moisture, descending by
gravity, meets a warmer temperature, which dissipates it into vapor
(the tendency of which is to ascend) and so counteracts the descending
17. thy garments, &c.--that is, dost thou know how thy body grows
warm, so as to affect thy garments with heat?
18. with him--like as He does
19. Men cannot explain God's wonders; we ought, therefore, to be
dumb and not contend with God. If Job thinks we ought, "let him teach
us, what we shall say."
20. What I a mortal say against God's dealings is not worthy of
being told HIM.
In opposition to Job's wish to "speak" before God
(Job 13:3, 18-22).
21. cleanseth--that is, cleareth the air of clouds. When the "bright light" of the sun, previously not seen through "clouds," suddenly shines out from behind them, owing to the wind clearing them away, the effect is dazzling to the eye; so if God's majesty, now hidden, were suddenly revealed in all its brightness, it would spread darkness over Job's eyes, anxious as he is for it (compare, see on Job 37:19) [UMBREIT]. It is because now man sees not the bright sunlight (God's dazzling majesty), owing to the intervening "clouds" (Job 26:9), that they dare to wish to "speak" before God (Job 37:20). Prelude to God's appearance (Job 38:1). The words also hold true in a sense not intended by Elihu, but perhaps included by the Holy Ghost. Job and other sufferers cannot see the light of God's countenance through the clouds of trial: but the wind will soon clear them off, and God shall appear again: let them but wait patiently, for He still shines, though for a time they see Him not (see on Job 37:23).
22. Rather, "golden splendor." MAURER
translates "gold." It is
found in northern regions. But God cannot be "found out," because of
Thus the twenty-eighth chapter corresponds; English Version is
23. afflict--oppressively, so as to "pervert judgment" as Job implied (see on Job 8:3); but see on Job 37:21, end of note. The reading, "He answereth not," that is, gives no account of His dealings, is like a transcriber's correction, from Job 33:13, Margin.
24. do--rather, "ought."