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1. Jehovah appears unexpectedly in a whirlwind (already gathering Job 37:1, 2), the symbol of "judgment" (Ps 50:3, 4, &c.), to which Job had challenged Him. He asks him now to get himself ready for the contest. Can he explain the phenomena of God's natural government? How can he, then, hope to understand the principles of His moral government? God thus confirms Elihu's sentiment, that submission to, not reasonings on, God's ways is man's part. This and the disciplinary design of trial to the godly is the great lesson of this book. He does not solve the difficulty by reference to future retribution: for this was not the immediate question; glimpses of that truth were already given in the fourteenth and nineteenth chapters, the full revelation of it being reserved for Gospel times. Yet even now we need to learn the lesson taught by Elihu and God in Job.
4. To understand the cause of things, man should have been present
at their origin. The finite creature cannot fathom the infinite wisdom
of the Creator
(Job 28:12; 15:7, 8).
6. foundations--not "sockets," as Margin.
7. So at the founding of Zerubbabel's temple
So hereafter at the completion of the Church, the temple of the Holy
as at its foundation
(Lu 2:13, 14).
8. doors--floodgates; these when opened caused the flood
or else, the shores.
10. brake up for--that is, appointed it. Shores are generally broken and abrupt cliffs. The Greek for "shore" means "a broken place." I broke off or measured off for it my limit, that is, the limit which I thought fit (Job 26:10).
11. stayed--Hebrew, "a limit shall be set to."
12-15. Passing from creation to phenomena in the existing inanimate
13. take hold of the ends, &c.--spread itself over the earth to its
utmost bounds in a moment.
14. Explaining the first clause of
does the second clause. As the plastic clay presents the various
figures impressed on it by a seal, so the earth, which in the dark was
void of all form, when illuminated by the dayspring, presents a variety
of forms, hills, valleys, &c.
15. their light--by which they work; namely, darkness, which is
is extinguished by daylight.
17. seen--The second clause heightens the thought in the first. Man during life does not even "see" the gates of the realm of the dead ("death," Job 10:21); much less are they "opened" to him. But those are "naked before God" (Job 26:6).
19-38. The marvels in heaven. "What is the way (to the place wherein) light dwelleth?" The origin of light and darkness. In Ge 1:3-5, 14-18, "light" is created distinct from, and previous to, light-emitting bodies, the luminaries of heaven.
22. treasures--storehouses, from which God draws forth snow and hail. Snow is vapor congealed in the air before it is collected in drops large enough to form hail. Its shape is that of a crystal in endless variety of beautiful figures. Hail is formed by rain falling through dry cold air.
23. against the time of trouble--the time when I design to chastise men (Ex 9:18; Jos 10:11; Re 16:21; Isa 28:17; Ps 18:12, 13; Hag 2:17).
24. is . . . parted--parts, so as to diffuse itself over the whole
earth, though seeming to come from one point. Light travels from the
sun to the earth, ninety millions of miles, in eight minutes.
27. As though the desolate ground thirsted for God's showers. Personification. The beauty imparted to the uninhabited desert pleases God, for whom primarily all things exist, and He has ulterior designs in it.
28. Can any visible origin of rain and dew be assigned by man? Dew is moisture, which was suspended in the air, but becomes condensed on reaching the--in the night--lower temperature of objects on the earth.
29. Job 37:10.
30. The unfrozen waters are hid under the frozen, as with a
covering of stone.
31. sweet influences--the joy diffused by spring, the time when the Pleiades appear. The Eastern poets, Hafiz, Sadi, &c., describe them as "brilliant rosettes." GESENIUS translates: "bands" or "knot," which answers better the parallelism. But English Version agrees better with the Hebrew. The seven stars are closely "bound" together (see on Job 9:9). "Canst thou bind or loose the tie?" "Canst thou loose the bonds by which the constellation Orion (represented in the East as an impious giant chained to the sky) is held fast?" (See on Job 9:9).
32. Canst thou bring forth from their places or
Margin; to which Mazzaroth here is equivalent) into the
sky the signs of the Zodiac at their respective seasons--the twelve
lodgings in which the sun successively stays, or appears, in the sky?
33. ordinances--which regulate the alternations of seasons, &c.
35. Here we are--at thy disposal (Isa 6:8).
36. inward parts . . . heart--But "dark clouds" ("shining phenomena")
[MAURER], referring to the consultation of these as
signs of weather by the husbandman
But Hebrew supports English Version. The connection is,
"Who hath given thee the intelligence to comprehend in any degree the
phenomena just specified?"
37. Who appoints by his wisdom the due measure of the clouds?
38. groweth, &c.--rather, pour itself into a mass by the rain, like molten metal; then translate Job 38:38, "Who is it that empties," &c., "when," &c.? The English Version, however, is tenable: "Is caked into a mass" by heat, like molten metal, before the rain falls; "Who is it that can empty the rain vessels, and bring down rain at such a time?" (Job 38:38).
40. lie in wait?--for their prey (Ps 10:9).