JOB CHAPTER 37.
The End of Elihu's Speech.
THE LAST WORD ON THE MIRACLES IN NATURE. — V. 1. At this, namely, the powerful exhibition of God's majesty, as just described, also my heart trembleth and is moved out of his place, springing up, giving a bound, as the awe of the spectacle took hold upon it. It seems also that the storm of which the next chapter speaks had gathered and was about to break at this point. V. 2. Hear attentively the noise of His voice, the roar of the Lord's voice in the thunder which was now to be heard plainly, and the sound that goeth out of His mouth, the great rumbling as the distant storm rolled forward. V. 3. He directeth it under the whole heaven, sending forth the roaring and rumbling, and His lightning unto the ends of the earth, for the entire earth is lit up by each flash. V. 4. After it a voice roareth, the thunder-clap following after the flash; He thundereth with the voice of His excellency, in token of His great majesty; and He will not stay them, not restrain the lightnings, when His voice is heard, for as the storm approaches, the flash of the lightning and the roar of thunder follow in quick succession, there being an almost uninterrupted crashing. V. 5. God thundereth marvelously with His voice, this remark closing the description of the coming storm; great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend, this statement leading the way to a description of other wonderful phenomena in nature. V. 6. For He saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth, His command being, Fall to the earth, and the snow doing His behest; likewise to the small rain, the showers of rain, and to the great rain of His strength, torrents,. which fall at His command. V. 7. He sealeth up the hand of every man, keeping him from doing his ordinary work at the time of such rains, that all men may know His work, come to the knowledge of His almighty power and realize their absolute dependence upon Him. V. 8. Then the beasts go into dens, creeping into their coverts at the approach of winter or of the rainy season, and remain in their places, hibernating in their lairs while the fields are desolate. V. 9. Out of the south cometh the whirlwind, rushing forth as from an enclosure in which it had been confined, and cold out of the north, literally, “from the cloud-scatterers,” for frost usually follows clearing skies. V. 10. By the breath of God frost is given, the cold blast, sent from God, sweeps over the face of the water and forms ice; and the breadth of the waters is straitened, arrested, bound in the icy fetters of winter. V. 11. Also by watering He wearieth the thick cloud, loading it, weighting it down with a burden of moisture; He scattereth His bright cloud, spreading out far and wide the clouds of His light, those which contain His lightning; v. 12. and it is turned round about by His counsels, that is, the cloud twists and turns and revolves as the storm approaches, piloted by the will of God, that they may do whatever He commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth, that is, over the wide expanse, the habitable land of the earth. Cp. Ps. 148, 7. 8. V. 13. He causeth it to come, steering the storm, causing the clouds to unload their burdens, whether for correction, namely, when a devastating storm proves a scourge, or for His land, or for mercy, when He knows it to be necessary for the earth, when He wants to dispense His blessings in a gentle rain. Thus the majesty of God, as apparent in nature, vindicates all His actions, showing that it is His privilege, His right, to deal with men as He sees fit.
FINAL ADMONITION ADDRESSED TO JOB. — V. 14. Hearken unto this, O Job: Stand still, spending some time in contemplation of the miracles just set forth by Elihu, and consider the wondrous works of God. V. 15. Dost thou know when God disposed them, when He thinks about these miracles, when He plans to have them performed, and caused the light of His cloud to shine? Could Job explain the phenomenon of lightning as it flashes forth from the dark mass of clouds? V. 16. Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, by what power they are poised and gently float along in the atmosphere, the wondrous works of Him which is perfect in knowledge? Elihu here digresses to set forth another phenomenon, which likewise teaches the wisdom of the Creator. V. 17. How thy garments are warm when He quieteth the earth by the south wind? It is a direct challenge to Job: Thou, whose clothes become hot when the land becomes sultry from the south, as the torrid heat of summer gradually travels northward! V. 18. Hast thou with Him spread out the sky, the vault, or firmament, of the clouds and the arch of the sky, which is strong and as a molten looking-glass? The reference being to the polished metal mirrors then in use. The description exactly fits the dazzling brilliance of the Oriental sky in summer. V. 19. Teach us what we shall say unto Him, how mortal man may argue with the almighty Creator and Preserver of the world; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness, man's understanding being incapable of grasping and explaining the miracles of nature. V. 20. Shall it be told Him that I speak? Elihu here realizes, as it were, in a flash that even his speech is almost presumption in God's sight. If a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up. The, thought underlying this statement or question is that man courts destruction even in trying to explain adequately the miracles of God. V. 21. And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds, the brightness which shines behind the clouds being veiled from the eyes; but the wind passeth and cleanseth them, clearing the sky, dispelling the clouds, so that the brilliance of the heavens is again seen. V. 22. Fair weather cometh out of the north, literally, “golden brightness,” for when the north wind scatters the clouds after a storm, light shines forth in wonderful splendor; with God is terrible majesty, shining from the garment of His glory, which, in the poet's mind, fills the whole sky. V. 23. Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out, man can understand and fathom His essence neither with his senses nor with his mind; He is excellent in power and in judgment and in plenty of justice; He will not afflict, in spite of His incomparable excellence and majesty He is not like a cruel and arbitrary tyrant, He in no wise perverts the ends of justice. V. 24. Men do therefore fear Him, namely, such as follow true wisdom; He respecteth not any that are wise of heart, He does not deem those worthy of notice who are proud of their own knowledge, wise in their own conceit. All the knowledge which men now have of God is but imperfect. Only when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.