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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Job 38

Introduction

1God challenges Job to answer.
4God, by his mighty works, convinces Job of ignorance,
31and of imbecility.

Verse 1

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
37:1,2,9,14; Exodus 19:16-19; Deuteronomy 4:11,12; 5:22-24; 1 Kings 19:11; 2 Kings 2:1,11; Ezekiel 1:4; Nahum 1:3
Reciprocal: Genesis 3:8 - cool of the day; Genesis 9:10 - General; Job 11:5 - General; Job 31:35 - Oh; Job 40:1 - General; Job 40:6 - out; Psalm 111:2 - works; Matthew 17:5 - a voice

Verse 2

Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
12:3; 23:4,5; 24:25; 26:3; 27:11; 34:35; 35:16; 42:3; 1 Timothy 1:7
Reciprocal: Job 6:26 - reprove; Job 11:5 - General; Job 33:3 - my lips; Job 37:19 - we; Psalm 106:33 - he spake; Psalm 139:4 - there is not; Romans 9:20 - who art; Colossians 2:18 - intruding; James 4:12 - who

Verse 3

Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Gird
40:7; Exodus 12:11; 1 Kings 18:46; Jeremiah 1:17; 1 Peter 1:13
for
13:15,22; 23:3-7; 31:35-37
answer thou me
Heb. make me know.
Reciprocal: Job 42:4 - I will; Proverbs 31:17 - girdeth; Isaiah 41:1 - let the people; Isaiah 41:21 - Produce; Romans 9:20 - who art

Verse 4

<I>Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
Where
Proverbs 8:22,29,30; 30:4
I
Genesis 1:1; Psalms 102:25; 104:5; Hebrews 1:2,10
hast
Heb. knowest.
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 2:8 - the pillars; Job 9:6 - the pillars; Job 15:7 - or wast thou; Job 34:13 - Who hath given; Job 37:15 - Dost; Job 38:12 - since; Job 38:21 - General; Psalm 18:15 - foundations; Psalm 24:2 - For; Psalm 90:2 - Before; Psalm 119:90 - thou hast; Proverbs 8:25 - General; Proverbs 25:2 - the glory; Ecclesiastes 11:5 - even; Isaiah 24:23 - before his ancients gloriously; Isaiah 40:12 - measured; Isaiah 40:22 - stretcheth; Jeremiah 10:12 - hath made; Jeremiah 27:5 - made; Amos 4:13 - he that; Jonah 2:6 - the earth

Verse 5

Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
laid
11:9; 28:25; Proverbs 8:27; Isaiah 40:12,22
who hath stretched
Psalms 19:4; 78:55; Isaiah 34:11; Zechariah 2:1,2; 2 Corinthians 10:16
Reciprocal: Zechariah 1:16 - and

Verse 6

Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
Whereupon
26:7; 1 Samuel 2:8; Psalms 24:2; 93:1; 104:5; Zechariah 12:1; 2 Peter 3:5
foundations
Heb. sockets.
Exodus 26:18-25
fastened
Heb. made to sink. or.
Psalms 118:22; 144:12; Isaiah 28:16; Ephesians 2:20,21
Reciprocal: Job 7:12 - I a sea; Zechariah 4:7 - shoutings

Verse 7

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
the morning
Revelation 2:28; 22:16
the sons
1:6; 2:1; Psalms 104:4; Revelation 5:11
shouted
Ezra 3:11,12; Zechariah 4:7
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:16 - to rule; Genesis 1:31 - very good; Exodus 31:17 - and was refreshed; Leviticus 23:24 - a memorial; Judges 5:1 - Sang Deborah; Psalm 5:11 - shout; Psalm 148:2 - all his angels; Daniel 3:25 - the Son of God; Luke 2:13 - a multitude; Revelation 1:16 - he had

Verse 8

Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
who
10; Genesis 1:9; Psalms 33:7; 104:9; Proverbs 8:29; Jeremiah 5:22
out
Reciprocal: Genesis 7:11 - all; Exodus 14:29 - walked; 1 Kings 17:4 - I have commanded; Job 11:10 - shut up; Job 26:10 - compassed; Job 36:30 - and; Job 38:28 - Hath the; Psalm 24:2 - and; Psalm 29:10 - sitteth; Psalm 65:7 - noise; Psalm 89:9 - General; Psalm 107:24 - his wonders; Psalm 146:6 - the sea; Proverbs 3:20 - the depths; Matthew 8:26 - and rebuked; Luke 8:25 - being

Verse 9

When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
thick
Genesis 1:2
Reciprocal: Job 26:8 - bindeth up; Job 36:29 - the spreadings

Verse 10

And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
brake up for it my decreed place
or, established my decree upon it.
26:10; Genesis 1:9,10; 9:15; Psalms 104:9; Jeremiah 5:22
Reciprocal: Job 2:6 - save; Job 38:8 - who; Job 41:14 - the; Psalm 95:5 - The sea is his; Psalm 148:6 - He hath also; Ecclesiastes 1:7 - the rivers run; Jeremiah 31:35 - when

Verse 11

And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
Hitherto
Thus far shall thy flux and reflux extend. The tides are marvellously limited and regulated, not only by the lunar and solar attraction, but by the quantum of time required to remove any part of the earth's surface, by its rotation round its axis, from under the immediate attractive influence of the sun and moon. Hence the attraction of the sun and moon, and the gravitation of the sea to its own centre, which prevent too great a flux on the one hand, and too great reflux on the other, are some of those bars and doors by which its proud waves are stayed, and prevented from coming farther.
Psalms 65:6,7; 93:3,4; Proverbs 8:29; Mark 4:39-41
but
1:22; 2:6; Psalms 76:10; 89:9; Isaiah 27:8; Luke 8:32,33; Revelation 20:2,3,7,8
thy proud waves
Heb. the pride of thy waves.
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 30:2 - slew not; 2 Samuel 22:16 - rebuking; 1 Kings 13:28 - the lion had; Job 9:8 - treadeth; Psalm 46:3 - the waters; Psalm 95:5 - The sea is his; Psalm 104:9 - hast set; Psalm 124:5 - the proud; Psalm 148:6 - He hath also; Ecclesiastes 1:7 - the rivers run; Isaiah 17:13 - rebuke; Jeremiah 5:22 - placed; Jeremiah 31:35 - when; Nahum 1:4 - rebuketh; Mark 4:41 - What

Verse 12

Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
commanded
Genesis 1:5; Psalms 74:16; 136:7,8; 148:3-5
since
4,21; 8:9; 15:7
the dayspring
Luke 1:78; 2 Peter 1:19
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:14 - Let there; Genesis 1:17 - General; Job 9:7 - sealeth; Job 24:16 - they know; Job 25:3 - upon whom; Job 38:19 - the way; Job 38:24 - General; Job 38:33 - canst; Psalm 65:8 - outgoings; Psalm 104:19 - General; Amos 5:8 - and turneth

Verse 13

That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
take
Psalms 19:4-6; 139:9-12
ends
Heb. wings.
37:3; *marg:
the wicked
24:13-17; Exodus 14:27; Psalms 104:21,22,35
Reciprocal: Job 24:16 - they know; Job 25:3 - upon whom; Job 38:19 - the way; Job 38:24 - General; Job 38:33 - canst; Amos 5:8 - and turneth

Verse 14

It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
as a
Psalms 104:2,6
Reciprocal: James 2:5 - Hearken

Verse 15

And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
from
5:14; 18:5,18; Exodus 10:21-23; 2 Kings 6:18; Proverbs 4:19; Isaiah 8:21,22; Jeremiah 13:16; Acts 13:10,11
the high
Psalms 10:15; 37:17; Ezekiel 30:22
Reciprocal: Daniel 11:6 - retain

Verse 16

Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
the springs
Psalms 77:19; Proverbs 8:24; Jeremiah 51:36
walked
26:5,6
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 14:20 - to know; Job 28:3 - the stones; Job 41:32 - deep

Verse 17

Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
the gates
Psalms 9:13; 107:18; 116:3
the shadow
3:5; 12:22; Psalms 23:4; 107:10,14; Amos 5:8; Matthew 4:16
Reciprocal: Job 10:22 - the shadow of death; Job 28:3 - the stones; Matthew 16:18 - and the; Hebrews 4:13 - naked

Verse 18

Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
Psalms 74:17; 89:11,12; Isaiah 40:28; Jeremiah 31:37; Revelation 20:9

Verse 19

Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
the way
12,13; Genesis 1:3,4,14-18; Deuteronomy 4:19; Isaiah 45:7; John 1:9; 8:12
darkness
Psalms 18:11; 104:20; 105:28; Jeremiah 13:16; Ezekiel 32:8; Amos 4:13; Matthew 27:45
Reciprocal: Job 9:7 - sealeth; Job 28:7 - a path

Verse 20

That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
it to
or, it at. the bound.
Genesis 10:19; 23:17
Reciprocal: Job 9:7 - sealeth

Verse 21

Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?
4,12; 15:7

Verse 22

Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
6:16; 37:6; Psalms 33:7; 135:7
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:6 - Let there; Exodus 9:23 - and hail; Deuteronomy 28:12 - open; Job 36:31 - by; Psalm 147:17 - casteth; Psalm 148:8 - Fire; Jeremiah 10:13 - bringeth; Jeremiah 51:16 - bringeth; Revelation 11:19 - and great

Verse 23

Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
36:31; 36:13; Exodus 9:18,24; Joshua 10:11; Isaiah 30:30; Ezekiel 13:11-13; Matthew 7:27; Revelation 16:21
Reciprocal: Exodus 9:23 - and hail; Psalm 135:7 - he bringeth; Psalm 147:17 - casteth; Revelation 11:19 - and great

Verse 24

By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
12,13; Jonah 4:8; Matthew 24:27
Reciprocal: Job 28:7 - a path; Job 37:15 - the light; Psalm 135:7 - he maketh lightnings; Psalm 147:8 - covereth

Verse 25

Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
28:26; 36:27,28; 37:3-6; Psalms 29:3-10
Reciprocal: Exodus 19:16 - thunders; Leviticus 26:4 - Then I; Job 36:30 - he; Job 37:15 - the light; Job 37:21 - General; Psalm 29:10 - sitteth; Psalm 104:13 - watereth; Jeremiah 10:13 - maketh

Verse 26

To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
To cause
It is well known that rain falls copiously in thunder storms. The flash is first seen, the clap is next heard, and last the rain descends; though in fact they all take place at the same time. The lightning traverses all space in no perceivable succession of time. Sound is propagated at the rate of 1,142 feet in a second. Rain travels still more slowly, and will be seen sooner or later according to the weight of the drops, and the distance of the cloud. Now as water is composed of two elastic airs or gases, called oxygen and hydrogen, in the proportion of 88 of the former and 11 3/4 of the latter in 100 parts, the electric spark, or matter of lightning, passing through the atmosphere, ignites and decomposes those gases, which explode; and the water falls down in the form of rain. This explosion, as well as the rushing in of the circumambient air to restore the equilibrium, will account for the clap and peal; and thus by the lightning of thunder God causes it to rain on the earth.
on the wilderness
Psalms 104:10-14; 107:35; 147:8,9; Isaiah 35:1,2; 41:18,19; 43:19,20; Jeremiah 14:22; Hebrews 6:7,8
Reciprocal: Genesis 2:5 - had not; Job 5:10 - fields; Job 36:31 - he giveth; Job 37:13 - for his; Psalm 65:12 - drop; Psalm 135:7 - he maketh lightnings; Proverbs 3:20 - the clouds; Acts 14:17 - and gave

Verse 28

Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
Hath the
8; 5:9,10; 1 Samuel 12:17,18; Psalms 65:9,10; Jeremiah 5:24; 10:13; 14:22; Joel 2:23; Amos 4:7; Matthew 5:45
dew
29:19; Genesis 27:28,39; Deuteronomy 33:13,28; 2 Samuel 1:21; 1 Kings 17:1; Proverbs 3:20; Hosea 14:5
Reciprocal: Genesis 2:4 - the generations; Psalm 90:2 - Before

Verse 29

Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?
8; 6:16; 37:10; Psalms 147:16,17
Reciprocal: Psalm 90:2 - Before

Verse 30

The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
the face
37:10
frozen
Heb. taken.
Reciprocal: Job 41:32 - deep; Psalm 147:17 - who can stand

Verse 31

Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
Pleiades
or, the seven stars. Heb. Cimah.
9:9; *marg:; Amos 5:8
Orion
or, Cesil.
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:14 - and let; Job 37:17 - he

Verse 32

Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
Mazzaroth
or, the twelve signs. Probably the same as mazzaloth.
2 Kings 23:5
guide Arcturus
Heb. guide them.
9:9
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:14 - and let; Amos 5:8 - maketh

Verse 33

Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
the ordinances
Genesis 1:16; 8:22; Psalms 119:90,91; Jeremiah 31:35,36; 33:25
canst
12,13
Reciprocal: Psalm 148:6 - He hath also

Verse 34

Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?
1 Samuel 12:18; Amos 5:8; Zechariah 10:1; James 5:18
Reciprocal: Job 36:27 - he; Job 36:30 - he; Jeremiah 10:13 - uttereth; Jeremiah 51:16 - there is; Matthew 8:9 - Go

Verse 35

Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?
Canst
Exodus 9:23-25,29; Leviticus 10:2; Numbers 11:1; 16:35; 2 Kings 1:10,14; Revelation 11:5,6
Here we are
Heb. Behold us.
1 Samuel 22:12; Isaiah 6:8; *marg:; 65:1
Reciprocal: Job 36:30 - he; Psalm 18:14 - he shot; Psalm 29:7 - flames; Jeremiah 10:13 - uttereth; Matthew 8:9 - Go; Matthew 24:27 - as

Verse 36

Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
Who hath put
32:8; Psalms 51:6; Proverbs 2:6; Ecclesiastes 2:26; James 1:5,17
who hath given
Exodus 31:3; 36:1,2; Isaiah 28:26

Verse 37

Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,
number
Genesis 15:5; Psalms 147:4
or who
Genesis 8:1; 9:15
stay
Heb. cause to lie down.
Reciprocal: Genesis 8:2 - the rain; Job 26:8 - bindeth up; Job 36:29 - the spreadings; Job 37:13 - whether; Psalm 104:13 - watereth; Jeremiah 5:24 - that giveth

Verse 38

When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?
groweth into hardness
or, is turned into mire. Heb. is poured.
Reciprocal: Job 37:13 - whether

Verse 39

Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,
Wilt
4:10,11; Psalms 34:10; 104:21; 145:15,16
appetite
Heb. life.
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:24 - Let; Genesis 1:30 - General; Numbers 24:9 - couched; Psalm 8:8 - The fowl; Proverbs 6:7 - General

Verse 40

When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
Genesis 49:9; Numbers 23:24; 24:9
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:24 - Let

Verse 41

Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.
Psalms 104:27,28; 147:9; Matthew 6:26; Luke 12:24 Reciprocal: Genesis 6:21 - General; Genesis 8:7 - a raven; Genesis 16:11 - hath; Leviticus 11:13 - the eagle; 1 Kings 17:4 - I have commanded; Psalm 50:11 - know; Psalm 104:21 - seek; Joel 1:20 - cry

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 38". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/job-38.html.