Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Job 40

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole BibleMorgan's Exposition

Verses 1-24

There is a pause in the unveiling as Jehovah speaks directly to His servant and asks for an answer to the things that He has said. The answer is full of suggestiveness. The man who in mighty speech and strong defiance had been of unbroken spirit in the presence of all the arguments of his friends now cried out,

Behold, I am of small account. What shall I answer Thee?

He has learned the wisdom of, and he listens as Jehovah speaks.

Again Jehovah proceeds, and He charges Job to "gird up" his "loins like a man." In each case there is in this introductory word the suggestion of God's consciousness of man's dignity. The things He has been describing cannot hear or answer this divine wisdom. Job can, and he is called on to exercise these distinctive powers of his humanity. Job had exhibited his folly in that in the midst of all his suffering he had by inference blamed on God's method. This God now challenges, yet not to explain it, but first to suggest to Job that he attempt to occupy God's place in the universe. There is a fine and tender satire in Jehovah's call to Job to assume the reins of government. Let him do this in the moral realm, in which his criticism has been at work. Let him abase and humble the proud and lofty and evil and wicked ones. When Job can do this, then Jehovah will acknowledge that Job's own right hand can save him.

Having challenged Job thus, Jehovah now suggests two experiments. He brings before him two animals, nonmoral, and suggests that Job exercise his authority and power over them. This is much easier than governing men. The material always yields itself to man's government with greater ease than the moral. If this man can be made to feel his absolute weakness in the lower sphere he will naturally deduce therefrom his impotence in the higher things. If he cannot govern these, how can he assume the functions of the One who made them, and perfectly governs them? The description of behemoth leaves very little room for doubt that the animal we know as the hippopotamus is intended.

Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Job 40". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/job-40.html. 1857-84.
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