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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Job 37

 

 

Introduction

Job 32-37. Speech of Elihu.—Reasons have already been given in the Introduction for regarding this as a later addition to the poem. The point of view of Elihu is very much that of Eliphaz, viz. that suffering is disciplinary. If it is rightly accepted, and its lesson learned, God will graciously restore the sufferer. An interesting point in the theology of Elihu is the idea of the intercession of angels (Job 33:23 ff.).


Verses 1-13

Job 37:1-13. Elihu trembles at this. Listen to the thunder. First the lightning flashes (Job 37:3) then the thunder follows (Job 37:4 f.).

Job 37:2 suggests that a thunderstorm was actually taking place while Elihu was speaking, and many see in this a preparation for the manifestation of Yahweh in ch. 38. It is not clear, however, that the author intended this, as he passes on from the thunderstorm to snow and rain. These God sends on the earth (Job 37:6). They stop the work of man (Job 37:7) and drive the beasts to the covert of their dens (Job 37:8). The storm comes out of the chamber (where it dwells), and cold from the granaries where it is treasured (reading "granaries "for the word translated "north" in Job 37:9 b, and omitting the words "of the south" in Job 37:9 a, to which there is nothing corresponding in the Hebrew). Ice is formed by the breath of God (i.e. the winter wind), and the waters are congealed (so mg.). God fills the cloud with moisture, and guides the lightning to do His will, whether for correction or for mercy.

Omit "or" in Job 37:13 a as a mistaken repetition, and read, "Whether it be for correction for His land, or for mercy."


Verses 14-18

Job 37:14-18. Job is invited to consider God's wonders. Does he know how God lays His charge upon them, i.e. probably the phenomena just described by Elihu in Job 37:1-13? Does he understand the flashing of the lightning, the balancing of the clouds, the warmth and stillness accompanying the sirocco? Can he spread out the firmament firm and bright as a metal mirror?


Verses 19-24

Job 37:19-24. How can he, whose mind is dark, address God? Shall I invite Him to converse and court destruction? (Job 37:19 f.). In Job 37:21 follow mg. "And now men cannot look on the light when it is bright in the skies when the wind hath passed and cleansed them" (i.e. when it has cleared away the clouds). But if man cannot look on the light in the skies how much less can he look on God? (Job 37:22). "The north" was conceived by the post-exilic Jews as the home of God (cf. Isaiah 14:13). The golden splendour is therefore the radiance streaming from God's throne. The Almighty is unsearchable, He is great in power, yet not unjust (Job 37:23). Men must fear him, He regards not those who think themselves wise (Job 37:24). In Job 37:23 render, "Touching the Almighty we cannot find Him out, He is excellent in power and in judgment, and to plenteous justice He doeth no violence" (Peake).

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Job 37:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/job-37.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 6th, 2019
the First Week of Advent
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