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Bible Commentaries
Job 38

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Job Chapter 38

Job 38:1 "Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said," Elihu and Job’s three friends had greatly disputed with Job. Notice, God spoke to Job. God can be in any thing He desires to be. A whirlwind was probably, used here, because of the great confusion. Now, God spoke out of this confusion and settled it all.

Job 38:2 "Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?" God did not recognize Elihu or Job’s three friends. He would not allow them to speak for Him. Their counsel had been no good at all. They had hurt, instead of helped.

Job 38:3 "Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me." God, in this, was speaking as if Elihu was less than a man. These were the same questions that Elihu had asked Job. Now, God demanded Elihu to answer the same questions. If he knew God better than Job, then he could answer the questions He posed.

Job 38:4 "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding." What right did Elihu have to ask Job this, since he was not there when God created the earth? Of course, he could not answer, because he did not have understanding.

Job 38:5 "Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it?" I think, in all of this, God had waited patiently and allowed them to say all of these things to Job, and He finally had enough. Elihu had claimed to be speaking for God. God did not even recognize Elihu at all.

Job 38:6 "Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;" Of course, in all of this, we know that it was God. Elihu did not have any idea, any more than anyone else. This is that lesson that we must not correct others on things we know nothing of ourselves.

Job 38:7 "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" The "sons of God", in this verse, were, probably, speaking of the angels. It appears, that they were some of the first of the creations. We do know that the heavens were created before the earth. It speaks of this in Genesis chapter 1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Job 38:8 "Or [who] shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, [as if] it had issued out of the womb?" God put boundaries upon the water, so it would not cover the land, unless He commanded it. The seas breaking forth from the womb speaks of its birth. God gave everything the possibility to be, when He created them. The seas were no exception.

Job 38:9 "When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it," Perhaps, the wording here of the clouds pertaining to the sea, shows the sea’s dependence on God. Actually, the seas, and the sun, and the clouds all work together to bring rain to the earth.

Job 38:10 "And brake up for it my decreed [place], and set bars and doors,"

Job 38:11 "And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?" Even the sea is controlled by the laws of nature that God set into motion. Only at the command of God are the seas allowed to go beyond their original boundaries.

Job 38:12 "Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; [and] caused the dayspring to know his place;" God is going from one thing in creation to the other, and explaining that mere man had nothing to do with creating any of it. Not only did man have nothing to do with creating all of this, but was not even there when it was created. Man cannot speak of things of nature with knowledge then. God caused the separation of light, which causes day and night. Day springs forth each morning, and none of us understand exactly why.

Job 38:13 "That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?" Day seems to spring all at once as far as you can see. Those who love darkness of night to commit their sins in, are shocked by the suddenness of the morning.

Job 38:14 "It is turned as clay [to] the seal; and they stand as a garment." This, perhaps, is speaking of a seal such as a stamp of government. It seems to be just a clump of moist clay, until the design of the stamp is placed upon it. Perhaps, this is connected with the darkness before the dawn. In the dark, it is difficult to make things out. When dawn comes, we see designs in everything. A garment is but a shadow in the dark, but we can see it clearly when the sun comes up.

Job 38:15 "And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken." The wicked like the darkness better than they do the light. They can raise their arm against others in the dark without being found out. When the sun rises, it is as if their arm is broken, because it is useless to attack others with in the day.

Job 38:16 "Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?" God was asking this Elihu who had bragged of his knowledge, if he knew where the sea began?

Job 38:17 "Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?" He had not experienced death, so he knew nothing of that either. Notice, the "gates of death been opened". A person cannot even die, unless God opens death to him.

Job 38:18 "Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? Declare if thou knowest it all." The answer of this is no. Men have a little better way of discovering all of this today than in the time of Job. Even now, there are many mysteries pertaining to all of this. At first, people thought that the earth was flat. Then, they thought it was round. Now they say it is not exactly round, but a little more oval. Man really knows very little even today.

Job 38:19 "Where [is] the way [where] light dwelleth? and [as for] darkness, where [is] the place thereof," This is not speaking of the sun and moon. This is speaking of the source of all light. The One we call Jesus Christ is that Light. Darkness is the absence of Light. We would be hard pressed to determine where that Light originated and so would Job, Elihu, or Job’s friends.

Job 38:20 "That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths [to] the house thereof?" We are told to walk in the Light, as He is in the Light. The only way to find that path, is to fix our eyes on the Light {Jesus Christ}. We must walk toward Him to stay in the path of Light. We do not know where it begins.

Job 38:21 "Knowest thou [it], because thou wast then born? Or [because] the number of thy days [is] great?" This particular source of all light is the Light of Jesus. It gave everything and everyone the power to be. It is eternal. The Light is the beginning and the ending. You could have been born thousands of years ago, and yet not been there when Light began.

Job 38:22 "Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail," This just shows that only God knows the exact source of the snow or hail.

Job 38:23 "Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?" In several instances in the Bible, large hail came on the enemies of God in battle.

Job 38:24 "By what way is the light parted, [which] scattereth the east wind upon the earth?" This is asking for an explanation of the planning of God, which is an impossibility to mere man. Thousands of years later, we still do not know these secrets of God.

Job 38:25 "Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;" The answer is that God made all of this. The rivers flow into the ocean, and the ocean seems to never be too full. Job 38:26 "To cause it to rain on the earth, [where] no man [is; on] the wilderness, wherein [there is] no man;"

Job 38:27 "To satisfy the desolate and waste [ground]; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?" God sustains these places. Someday, someone will live there, and wonder where the wild flowers came from. This is the way God had of caring for the things He created.

Job 38:28 "Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?" Mankind has no idea how rain came into existence. Yes, the rain has a Father. He is a heavenly Father.

Job 38:29 "Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?" We all know that water can be changed to ice by drastically reducing the temperature where the water is. We do not understand why this happens though. Some things are left to the mystery of God.

Job 38:30 "The waters are hid as [with] a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen." This is speaking of the water being frozen over. When it turns to ice, it is as if the water is gone.

Job 38:31 "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?" About all we, or anyone else, could do would be to look at this through a telescope and admire it. Our knowledge of any more about them is very limited. There seems to be something that holds the stars in these groups together, but no one can cause them to come any closer than they already are.

Job 38:32 "Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?" This is speaking of some constellations that are not as familiar as Pleiades and Orion.

Job 38:33 "Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?" The laws of nature that God put into motion are understood to some extent by knowledgable man. There is no way that any of us could ever understand how God formed the universe. We certainly know very little about the heavens. Even the fact that God set the earth out into the open air, and told it to remain in place, is a mystery to me.

Job 38:34 "Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?" We cannot call down rain from heaven, unless it is the will of God.

Job 38:35 "Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we [are]?" Lightning is one of the most mysterious of all things of God. Man has discovered how to use the power of electricity, but even the source would be hard to explain. When I see lightning in the sky, it reminds me of the magnitude of God.

Job 38:36 "Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?" Wisdom is a gift from God. The understanding of man comes from the Holy Spirit of God teaching and guiding.

Job 38:37 "Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven," With all of the powerful telescopes that we have today, we are still not able to find the end of the universe. Every time the scientists believe they have counted the stars in the sky, they find a few more they forgot to count. The clouds heavy with rain only drop their rain, where God commands them to.

Job 38:38 "When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?" This is speaking of a drouth and famine.

Job 38:39 "Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions," Man does not go out into the wilderness where the lion lives, to make sure that he has food and water. God takes care of the animals needs, like He takes care of the needs of man. One of the most beautiful parts of creation is that God prepared the earth and everything on it, for the use of man, and then He made man. He provided for man, before He even made him.

Job 38:40 "When they couch in [their] dens, [and] abide in the covert to lie in wait?" Even the place where the lions hide away is a habitat that God arranged for them. God did not overlook anything in His creation. God taught the lion to couch in the den, and to lie in wait for its prey. God built the earth balanced. Each thing helped something else. In our world today, man is about to destroy the balance of nature.

Job 38:41 "Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat." Man does not care for the need of the raven, nor does he really care they are in need. Only God hears and understands the cry of the raven. One of the things we should have learned in this lesson, is the care and planning that God went to, to establish the world as we know it, for the use of man.

Job 38 Questions

1. The voice of God came to Job out of the _________.

2. Why did He choose that?

3. God did not recognize _________ or _____ ______ _______.

4. Elihu was less than a _______ in God’s sight.

5. What would God demand of Elihu?

6. What was God’s first question in Job 38:4?

7. What could Elihu answer to God?

8. Who were the "sons of God" in Job 38:7?

9. God put ___________ upon the waters.

10. When would be the only time they could get out of those boundaries?

11. Even the sea is controlled by the _______ of _______.

12. Why do the wicked love darkness?

13. What is the clay in Job 38:14?

14. What is unusual about death in Job 38:17?

15. At first people thought the earth was ______.

16. Then, men thought it to be _________.

17. What is verse 19 speaking of?

18. We are told to walk in the _______, as He is in the ________.

19. What is the source of all Light?

20. What did God say He reserved hail for?

21. Why does it rain where no man is?

22. Hath the rain a Father?

23. What is verse 30 speaking of?

24. What are Pleiades, Orion, Mazzaroth, and Arcturus?

25. What does lightning in the sky remind the author of?

26. Wisdom is a gift from _______.

27. Where does man’s understanding come from?

28. How many stars are there in the sky?

29. Who cares for the lion and the raven?

30. God built the earth _________.

31. What should we have learned in this lesson?

Verses 1-7

Job 38:1-7

Job 38

GOD ANSWERS JOB FROM THE WHIRLWIND (Job 38-41)

THE FIRST PORTION OF GOD’S RESPONSE: THE PROBLEM

Job 38:1-7

GOD ANSWERS JOB

"Then Jehovah answered Job out of

the whirlwind, and said,

Who is this that darkeneth counsel

By words without knowledge?

Gird up now thy loins like a man;

And I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?

Declare if thou hast understanding.

Who determined the measurements thereof, if thou knowest?

Or who stretched the line upon it?

Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened?

Or who laid the cornerstone thereof?

When the morning stars sang together,

And all the sons of God shouted for joy."

The most perplexing problem in the whole book of Job is in these two verses. Of whom is God speaking in Job 38:2? The question is not, "To whom does God speak"? That is clear enough. He spoke to Job. But the question is, "Of whom does he speak"? Scholars are sharply divided on the question. "Some commentators have applied Job 38:2 to Job, others to Elihu." It is the conviction of this writer that the words cannot possibly apply to anyone other than Elihu. The reasons behind this conviction are:

1. Applying the words to Job is a contradiction of Job 42:7-8. The advocates of that interpretation, however, are not bothered by the contradiction, "Because they assign the entire Epilogue to a different author from the poetic Dialogue, making it an argument for multiple authorship of Job." Although we have interpreted the Epilogue and the Prologue as the work of Moses, who was inspired of God, we cannot believe that his inspired approval of Job’s words regarding God would have been given if God indeed had said in Job 38:2, here, that those words were `without knowledge.’

2. The verse is profoundly true as an evaluation of the Elihu speeches, as we have frequently noted in the preceding notes.

3. The application of these words to Job leaves the entire six chapters of the Elihu speeches dangling without any response whatever from any person whomsoever, thus supporting the affirmation that the six chapters are an interpolation. Our acceptance of the unity of Job, as regards the whole of it, except the Prologue and the Epilogue forbids that explanation.

4. It cannot be denied that God interrupted and terminated Elihu’s tirade. God by that action indicated the same evaluation of Elihu’s words that Job 38:2 declares; and if Job 38:2 were placed in a parenthesis, that fact would be clearly indicated by the punctuation. The punctuation of the Holy Bible is the work of men, not of God; and where punctuation can be made to harmonize or explain difficult passages, it should be utilized for that purpose.

We shall not take the space to line up scholars on both sides of the question. The alleged problem disappears if we apply the words as God’s parenthetical and derogatory dismissal of everything Elihu said.

The big thing here is that Almighty God appeared to Job in one of the most remarkable theophanies in the Bible. What did that mean? It meant that God approved of Job, that Job’s integrity was established in the only place where it mattered, namely, with God Himself. In Job 31:5, Job had pleaded with God to answer him; and here God did so. That is the colossal fact of these concluding chapters; and it dramatically establishes the truth that God approved of Job, and that God loved him. God honored him as few men in the history of the world were honored; and the undeniable corollary of this is that Job 38:2 was in no sense whatever addressed to Job, but to Elihu.

May the Almighty answer me (Job 31:35), Job had pleaded; "And now God really answers, and indeed out of a storm."

God would at this point speak repeatedly to Job, asking many questions about many different things. The great truth that shines like the sun at perihelion here is not so much related to the particular things about which God questioned Job as it is to the incredible and glorious truth that Almighty God Himself was here carrying on a conversation with a mortal man! How, beyond all imagination, is the character of such a man elevated and glorified by this most astonishing event, unparalleled by anything else in the history of mankind, Jesus Christ himself alone standing any higher in such a relationship than did Job.

"Then Jehovah answered Job" (Job 38:1). God’s answer, however, is a surprise. He did not answer any of Job’s questions, except in the implications of this reply. "This was not because the questions have no answers." He answered Job with a barrage of counter-questions concerning the mysteries of the entire sidereal creation; and it is evident that this brought healing, comfort and satisfaction to Job.

God’s not giving specific answers to Job’s questions suggests that: (1) It is not possible for man to know all the answers and that, (2) It is enough to know that God loves him (as evidenced to Job in the very fact of God’s speaking to him). (3) Also, by God’s not giving Job a list of his transgressions, there is the dramatic affirmation that Job’s misfortunes did not come as punishment for his wickedness; and yet God did not reveal to Job the real secret of what had happened, namely, that exchange between God and Satan in the Prologue. (4) In this, there is another key discernment, 1e, that it is best for man not to know the reasons why this or that occurs in his life.

"Then Jehovah answered Job out of the whirlwind" (Job 38:1). Job’s troubles started when a great wind killed his children; and now in a whirlwind Job began his return to happiness and prosperity. This is not the storm that might have been described by Elihu in the previous chapter; because the final paragraph there, "Appears to describe the calm as the storm abates." The glorious light mentioned in that paragraph indicated the cessation of the storm.

The relation between a theophany and violent weather appears often in the Bible, as for example in Psalms 18:8-16, and in Exodus 19:16.

"Gird up now thy loins like a man" (Job 38:3). The word here rendered ’man’ is translated by Pope as `hero.’ "Gird your loins like a hero." Here is the true picture of God’s estimate of Job. In fact, Job is here invited to do the very thing he had longed to do, that is, to plead his case before God; and there is the implication that God considers Job worthy to do such a thing. This, God would most certainly not have done, if he had just finished saying that Job’s words without knowledge were darkening counsel.

All of the questions God asked were not for the purpose of humiliating Job, or mocking him. In this loving and gentle admonition God was leading Job into the knowledge that the specific answers he sought were impossible for mortal men to know. Note also, that God did not criticize Job for his tearful and aggressive search for such answers. The very questions that God asked constitute a heavenly endorsement of humanity’s ceaseless and diligent pursuit of every possible answer to the perplexing, nagging questions of all the mysteries that confront mankind in our earthly sojourn.

In the light of these considerations, we do not think that it is necessary to investigate all of these questions one by one. In the aggregate the answers to all of them were impossible for Job to know; and mankind today is no more able to answer all the questions than was he. Every great mystery that science has solved proves not to be the ultimate reality. Every door which the intelligence of men has unlocked has failed to disclose the Great Truth; but, conversely, has opened upon a corridor reaching into infinity with many doors remaining yet to be unlocked. Indeed, the Great Truth may not be any fact or formula whatever, but the Great Person, God Himself. This was the marvelous answer that came to Job. Knowing God and being loved and known by Him - that is the Great Answer, the Great Truth, the Great Joy, the Great Salvation, Eternal Life!

"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth, ... when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4-7). The mysteries of the sidereal creation are the theme here. Not Job, nor any other man, was present when such great things were done. As a matter of fact, man himself was relatively a late-arrival upon earth. "The sons of God" are here the angels, because man was last in the Creation.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 38:1. When the Lord got ready to enter the controversy he completely ignored Elihu. We are not told why he did so but we are sure that nothing had been said, in addition to that of the three friends, that deserved any attention. God spoke to Job with the accompaniment of a whirlwind. That would secure and hold the attention of those whom he wished to address.

Job 38:2. Words without knowledge means that the speakers had been talking about things that they did not understand.

Job 38:3. Loins in the O.T. is from different originals but the general meaning is the vigor or strength of man. To gird the loins meant for Job to summon all the human strength he had for the task about to be placed before him. And since he was to be called upon to answer certain questions, we know that loins was used figuratively, meaning that Job was to use his greatest strength of mind in answering. We should note very carefully that Job was to answer the questions like a man. That means he was to answer them from the standpoint of human knowledge. The answers would be clearly correct if they were done by using the one and greatest of all names which is God. The questions in this and the following chapters present a challenge to the unbeliever that he cannot meet. If he answers them by saying "God did it," he then gives up his position as an unbeliever. But if he refuses to let God into his speech he will not be able to answer the questions. In the study of this tremendous speech of God let us keep in mind always that Job was to answer the questions like a man, which means from a human standpoint, not regarding the existence of God.

Job 38:4. If there is no higher power than man, he was present at the foundation-laying of the earth; but was he?

Job 38:5. What power decided on the dimensions of the earth?

Job 38:6. If man is the highest power in the universe (as the unbelievers claim), then he should account for the foundation of the earth.

Job 38:7. When has the meaning of "at which time," going back to the time when the foundation of the earth was laid. Since that was before the creation of man, the sons of God were of necessity the angels. Moffatt so translates it and it agrees with the thought on Job 1:6; please read my comments at that place. Psalms 89:6 also gives light on the subject for these "sons of the mighty" are connected with the persons "in the heaven."

Verses 8-11

Job 38:8-11

Job 38:8-11

THE GOVERNMENT AND CONTROL OF THE SEA

"Or who shut up the sea with doors,

When it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb;

When I made clouds the garment thereof,

And thick darkness a swaddling band for it,

And marked out for it my bound,

And set bars and doors,

And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further;

And here shalt thy proud waves be staid?"

E.M. Zerr:

Job 38:8-11. The clouds cover the sea and it is completely shrouded in darkness, all without the actions of man. Hitherto refers to the bounds of the sea. Man can build partial bounds in the form of dikes or levees, but even they are often demolished by the relentless power of the waves. Who, then, has held the sea in its bounds as we know them through all the years; it was not man.

Verses 12-15

Job 38:12-15

Job 38:12-15

WONDERS OF MORNING; THE DAYSPRING; AND ENDS OF THE EARTH

"Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days began,

And caused the dayspring to know its place;

That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,

And the wicked be shaken out of it?

It is changed as clay under the seal;

And all things stand forth as a garment:

And from the wicked their light is withholden,

And the high arm is broken."

"That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it" (Job 38:13). These words are, in part, ambiguous. Pope’s rendition here seems to give a hint that there is a reference to the Deluge. "Did you ever ... snatch off the Earth’s skirts, shaking the wicked out of it?"

E.M. Zerr:

Job 38:12. Man can time the recurrence of daylight but he is powerless to lengthen or shorten the day.

Job 38:13. It stands for the dayspring or dawn mentioned in the preceding verse. It takes hold or reaches to the ends of the earth. Wicked might be shaken means that the darkness is chased away by the daylight and that deprives the wicked of their chance to operate. (Job 24:16-17.)

Job 38:14. It undoubtedly stands for the earth in the preceding verse. The pronoun is used in that verse after the mention of the earth and again in this one. The verse means that the earth turns just as we know it to do. The statement was made to explain God’s method of alternating the day and night. They refers to the limits surrounding the earth, such as the sky that stands round the earth as a garment.

Job 38:15. This has the same thought as Job 38:13 and Job 24:16-17.

Verses 16-18

Job 38:16-18

Job 38:16-18

REGARDING DEATH; SHEOL; AND THE SIZE OF THE EARTH

"Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea?

Or hast thou walked in the recesses of the deep?

Have the gates of death been revealed unto thee?

Or hast thou seen the gates of the shadow of death?

Hast thou comprehended the earth in its breadth?

Declare if thou knowest it all."

Yes, indeed, today, men have measured the breadth of theJob 38:22 iscovered its distance from the sun, weighed it, mapped it, explored most of it, etc.; but what about Job 38:17? Today, men are just as ignorant as was Job regarding what it is like one minute after death. In all of the really important things men are today just as hopelessly surroRevelation 16:21 darkness as was Job. Are we conscious after death? Isaiah 45 there be a resurrection? How did our human race begin? In all of such questions, the only answer must be sought within the pages of the Holy Bible, and nowhere else.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 38:16. Someone might answer that man has walked on the bottom of the sea. Yes, but it had not been done in the time of Job, yet the things that are found now were there when man first reached the depths.

Job 38:17. Man knows that he must die yet has no explanation for it. If there is no higher power than man he should know as much about death as he does of life.

Job 38:18-20. This takes the same comments as Job 38:12-13.

Verses 19-24

Job 38:19-24

Job 38:19-24

MORE WONDERS OF THE NATURAL WORLD

"Where is the way to the dwelling of light?

And as for darkness, where is the place thereof?.

That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof,

And that thou shouldest discern the paths to the house thereof

Doubtless thou knowest for thou wast then born,

And the number of thy days is great!

Hast thou entered the treasuries of the snow,

Or hast thou seen the treasuries of the hail,

Which I have reserved against the time of trouble,

Against the day of battle and war?

By what way is the light parted,

Or the east wind scattered upon the earth?"

"Hast thou seen the treasuries of the hail" (Job 38:22)? One may say, Well, that was no doubt a mystery to Job, but we know all about such things! Do we? "And great hail, every stone about the weight of a talent, cometh down out of heaven upColossians 2 men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for it was exceeding great" (Revelation 16:21). "The minimal weight of the New Testament talent Isaiah 45 pounds; and many scholars place it at 90 pounds." This prophecy reveals that particular hail as one of the phenomena attending the Second Advent of Christ and the onset of the Final Judgment; and thus we see that there are indeed some things in the treasuries of the hail of which men must remain in ignorance until "that .....

E.M. Zerr:

Job 38:18-20. This takes the same comments as Job 38:12-13.

Job 38:21. If man is the highest order of life, then he was present when the light was ordained; but was he?

Job 38:22-23. This paragraph asked a question that was prophetical of an interesting scientific discovery made in the course of World War I, in which Job 38:24 to Job 40:2 some ammunition was prematurely exploded. I shall quote the explanation that was given me by a student in chemistry:

"The rain, falling through the atmosphere, which was partially saturated with carbon dioxide (Colossians 2) absorbed some of the gas and formed a weak acid. This was carbonic acid. H2, which is found in soft drinks and in baking powder, etc., after it acts. The water containing some H2 was used in the making of explosives, but was unsafe because the H2 decomposed, forming new compounds and causing detonation. It was discovered that water obtained from snow or hail on high peaks could be used successfully. This discovery led to the more important discovery that CO, was causing the trouble. Water, freezing high above the comparatively heavy , fell on the mountains, and contained none of this gas. Of course there are easier ways of obtaining the gas-free water, but that was the way it was done in that particular incident."--Stafford Zerr, chemical student in Ball State Teachers’ College, Muncie, Indiana.

Thus we have a modern scientific discovery that verifies a statement of the Bible made several hundred years ago, before man knew anything about it. This all goes to prove there is a higher power than man.

Job 38:24-25. This is commented on at Job 38:11-12.

Verses 25-30

Job 38:25-30

Job 38:25-30

MORE QUESTIONS REGARDING NATURAL PHENOMENA

"Who hath cleft a channel for the waterflood,

Or a way for the lightning of the thunder;

To cause it to rain on a land where no man is;

On the wilderness, wherein there is no man;

To satisfy the waste and desolate ground,

And to cause the tender grass to spring forth?

Hath the rain a father?

Or who hath begotten the drops of dew?

Out of whose womb came the ice?

And the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?

The waters hide themselves, and become like stone,

And the face of the deep is frozen."

Do not men know all about things such as these? The answer is no!Job 38:31 of the greatest mysteries of the whole physical creation is mentioned in Job 38:30. Let it be noted that, due to freezing, the waters become like stone. Why then, should it have been the "face of the deep" the surface of ponds and rivers, would be `congealed’ (margin) or frozen? That amazing phenomenon that water expands when it freezes (contrary to practically every other liquid known to men) is inexplicable. No scientist ever failed to marvel at it! The answer lies with God alone.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 38:24-25. This is commented on at Job 38:11-12.

Job 38:26-28. Since it rains in places where no man has been some power higher than man must cause it.

Job 38:29-30. This is explained at Job 37:10.

Verses 31-33

Job 38:31-33

Job 38:31-33

QUESTIONS REGARDING THE CONSTELLATIONS

"Canst thou bind the cluster of the Pleiades,

Or loose the bands of Orion?

Canst thou lead forth the Mazaroth in their season?

Or canst thou guide the Bear with her train?

Knowest thou the ordinances of the heavens?

Canst thou establish the dominion thereof in the earth?"

Four of the stellations that adorn the heavens are mentioned here: (1) The Pleiades, always prominent in the Spring; (2) Orion which dominates the wintry skies; (3) Ursa Major (The Bear, or Great Dipper) prominent in the northern skies; and (4) the Mazaroth, "The meaning is obscure, but it is possibly the twelve Zodiacal signs, or those that dominate the southern skies." Significantly, the entire expanse of the starry heavens is brought into view here: the skies of summer and winter, and those of the northern and southern hemispheres.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 38:31. The Pleiades are called the "seven sisters" in popular folklore. Smith’s Bible Dictionary says this: "The Pleiades are a group of stars situated on the shoulder of the constellation Taurus. The rendering ’sweet influences’ of the A. V., Job 38:31, is a relic of the lingering belief in the power which stars exerted over human destiny." Regardless of its being a fanciful belief, it challenges man’s power over the cluster of stars.

Job 38:32. Mazzaroth is called the zodiac today, and Arcturus is the name of another constellation that figures in our almanacs. We are not especially concerned with all the notions that may be had of these heavenly bodies. The point is that unbelieving man will look to them for results and influences over which he knows he has no power. Until man can show some control over these bodies he must admit they were made by a power higher than man.

Job 38:33-38. This whole paragraph is practically on the same line of thought as much of the preceding verses. It challenges man to show his control over nature.

Verses 34-38

Job 38:34-38

Job 38:34-38

WHO HATH GIVEN UNDERSTANDING TO THE MIND?

"Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds,

That abundance of waters may cover thee?

Canst thou send forth lightnings, that they may go,

And say unto thee, Here we are?

Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts?

Or who hath given understanding to the mind?

Who can number the clouds by wisdom?

Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven,

When the dust runneth into a mass,

And the clods cleave fast together?"

The highlight here is the question regarding the mystery of the human mind. No matter how it may be viewed, there is nothing in the entire Creation that exceeds the glory and mystery of the human intelligence. How Mozart wrote a cantata at age seven, the faculty of memory, imagination, and comprehension of the most intricate and diverse matters - there’s hardly any limit to the human mind. Someone has said that a computer with the ability to do everything that the human mind is able to do would more than fill up the state of Louisiana!

One picks up the telephone and instantly recognizes a voice he has not heard in ten years! One, from memory, is able to match colors with a thousand variations. One quotes the sacred Gospel of Matthew from memory. On and on! What an unqualified marvel is the human mind! The question here is, "Who did this"? Such ability is not in men to create it; but God has freely given a mind every man.

"Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds" (Job 38:34)? The question here, "Can you make it rain"? This writer has seen the rain-dances of the Hopi Indians; and they could not make it rain any more than could Job. Also, present-day people are just as helpless as was Job.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 38:33-38. This whole paragraph is practically on the same line of thought as much of the preceding verses. It challenges man to show his control over nature.

Verses 39-41

Job 38:39-41

Job 38:39-41

THE REMARKABLE ENDOWMENT OF LOWER LIFE-FORMS

"Canst thou hunt the prey for the lioness,

Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,

When they couch in their dens,

And abide in the covert to lie in wait?

Who provideth for the raven his prey,

When his young ones cry unto God,

And wander for lack of food?"

The words of Jehovah are continued in the following chapters, where we shall find many other unanswerable questions regarding God’s care and preservation of the lower forms of life upon the planet earth. There is no species in the whole creation that does not exhibit and illustrate the fantastic intelligence of God in their creation and maintenance upon the earth. Every example of wild life around us is an example of God’s incredibly wise creation which sufficiently endowed them to survive, even in spite of human hostility. This writer once saw a cow and her new-born calf, less than an hour old, swim a swollen river in flood; and no one who ever saw a thing like that could ever doubt the Providence of God. Instinctively, that animal mother maintained the position of the calf on her side, up-stream of course; and both of them made it safely across.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 38:39-41. These dumb creatures could not care for themselves purely through their own intelligence; yet they exist independent of man, proving existence of some higher power.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Job 38". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/job-38.html.
 
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