Job 37 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Job 37)

Verse 2

[2] Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth.

Hear — It is probable that while Elihu was speaking it thundered, and that tempest was begun, wherewith God ushered in his speech. And this might occasion his return to that subject of which he had discoursed before.

Voice — The thunder is called God's voice. Because by it God speaks to the children of men, to fear before him.

Mouth — That is produced by God's word or command, which is often signified by his mouth.

Verse 3

[3] He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth.

Directeth — His voice: which he guideth like an arrow to the mark, that it may do that work for which he sends it.

Verse 4

[4] After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard.

After — After the lightning, which is seen before the thunder is hard.

Them — The lightnings spoken of in the beginning of the verse.

Verse 6

[6] For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.

Strength — Those storms of rain which come with great force and irresistible violence.

Verse 7

[7] He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.

Sealeth — By these snows and rains he drives men out of the fields, and seals or binds up their hands from their work.

That — They may seriously contemplate on these, and other great and glorious works of God.

Verse 9

[9] Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.

Cold — Freezing winds.

Verse 10

[10] By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened.

The waters — The waters which had freely spread themselves before, are congealed and bound up in crystal fetters.

Verse 11

[11] Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud:

Watering — The earth. They spend themselves and are exhausted watering the earth, until they are weary.

Wearieth — Them with much water, and making them to go long journeys to water remote parts, and at last to empty themselves there: all which things make men weary; and therefore are here said to make the clouds weary by a common figure.

Scattereth — As for the white and lightsome clouds, he scatters and dissolves them by the wind or sun.

Verse 12

[12] And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.

Turned — The clouds are carried about to this or that place. Not by chance (though nothing seems to be more casual than the motions of the clouds) but by his order and governance.

Verse 13

[13] He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.

Correction — To scourge or correct men by immoderate showers.

Earth — The whole earth, which is said to be the Lord's, Psalms 24:1; 50:12, and so this may denote a general judgment by excessive rains inflicted upon the earth, and all its inhabitants, even the universal deluge, which came in great measure out of the clouds.

Mercy — For the benefit of mankind and for the cooling of the air and improving the fruits of the earth.

Verse 14

[14] Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.

Consider — If there be so much matter of wonder in the most obvious works of God, how wonderful must his secret counsels be?

Verse 15

[15] Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine?

Them — The things before mentioned, the clouds, rain, snow, and other meteors. Did God acquaint thee with his counsels in the producing and ordering of them? His cloud - Probably the rainbow, seated in a cloud, which may well be called God's cloud, because therein God puts his bow, Genesis 9:13.

Verse 16

[16] Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?

Balancings — How God doth as it were weigh the clouds in balances, so that although they are full of water, yet they are kept up by the thin air.

Verse 17

[17] How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?

Quieteth — The air about the earth.

From the south — By the sun's coming into the southern parts, which makes the air quiet and warm.

Verse 18

[18] Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?

With him — Wast thou his assistant in spreading out the sky like a canopy over the earth? Strong - Which though it be very thin and transparent, yet is also firm and compact and steadfast.

Looking glass — Made of brass and steel, as the manner then was. Smooth and polished, without the least flaw. In this, as in a glass, we may behold the glory of God and the wisdom of his handy-work.

Verse 19

[19] Teach us what we shall say unto him; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness.

Teach us — If thou canst.

Say unto him — Of these things.

Order — To maintain discourse with him, both because of the darkness of the matter, God's counsels being a great depth; and because of the darkness of our minds.

Verse 20

[20] Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up.

Shall — I send a challenge to God, or a message that I am ready to debate with him concerning his proceedings? Speak - If a man should be so bold to enter the lists with God.

Swallowed up — With the sense of his infinite majesty.

Verse 21

[21] And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them.

Light — The sun; which is emphatically called light, and here the bright light: which men cannot behold or gaze on, when the sky is very clear: and therefore it is not strange if we cannot see God, or discern his counsels and ways.

Them — The sky by driving away those clouds which darkened it.

Verse 22

[22] Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.

North — From the northern winds which scatter the clouds, and clear the sky. Elihu concludes with some short, but great sayings, concerning the glory of God. He speaks abruptly and in haste, because it should seem, he perceived God was approaching, and presumed he was about to take the work into his own hands.

Verse 23

[23] Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.

Find — We cannot comprehend him: his power, wisdom, justice, and his counsels proceeding from them are past our finding out.

Power — Therefore as he doth not need any unrighteous action to advance himself, so he cannot do it, because all such things are acts of weakness.

Judgment — In the just administration of judgment, he never did, nor can exercise that power unjustly, as Job seemed to insinuate.

Afflict — Without just cause.

Verse 24

[24] Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart.

Fear — Fear or reverence him, and humbly submit to him, and not presume to quarrel or dispute with him.

Wise of heart — Wise in their own eyes.

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