Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 36:27

"For He draws up the drops of water, They distill rain from the mist,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Meteorology and Celestial Phenomena;   The Topic Concordance - God;   Judges;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Clouds;   Rain;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Testimony;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Stacte;   Holman Bible Dictionary - God;   Job, the Book of;   Mist;   Water;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Stacte;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Stacte,;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elihu;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Distil;   Omnipotence;   Stacte;   Vapor;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Poetry;   Providence;   Rain;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He maketh small the drops of water - This appears simply to refer to evaporation, and perhaps it would be better to translate יגרע yegara, "he exhales;" detaches the smallest particles of the aqueous mass from the surface in order to form clouds, as reservoirs for the purpose of furnishing rain for the watering of the earth. God is seen in little things, as well as great things; and the inconceivably little, as well as the stupendously great, are equally the work of Omnipotence.

They pour down rain - These exceedingly minute drops or vapor become collected in clouds; and then, when agitated by winds, etc. many particles being united, they become too heavy to be sustained by the air in which they before were suspended, and so fall down in rain, which is either a mist, a drizzle, a shower, a storm, or a waterspout, according to the influence of different winds, or the presence and quantum of the electric fluid. And all this is proportioned, לאדו le -edo, "to its vapor," to the quantity of the fluid evaporated and condensed into clouds.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 36:27". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-36.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For he maketh small the drops of water - Elihu now appeals, as he proposed to do, to the works of God, and begins with what appeared so remarkable and inexplicable, the wisdom of God in the rain and the dew, the tempest and the vapor. That which excited his wonder was, the fact in regard to the suspension of water in the clouds, and the distilling of it on the earth in the form of rain and dew. This very illustration had been used by Eliphaz for a similar purpose (Notes, Job 5:9-10), and whether we regard it as it “appears” to people without the light which science has thrown upon it, or look at the manner in which God suspends water in the clouds and sends it down in the form of rain and dew, with all the light which has been furnished by science, the fact is one that evinces in an eminent degree the wisdom of God. The word which is rendered “maketh small” (גרע gâra‛ ), means properly “to scrape off, to detract, to diminish, to take away from.” In the Piel, the form used here, it means, according to Gesenius, “to take to one‘s self, to attract;” and the sense here, according to this, is, that God attracts, or draws upward the drops of water. So it is rendered by Herder, Noyes, Umbreit, and Rosenmuller. The idea is, that he “draws up” the drops of the water to the clouds, and then pours them down in rain. If the meaning in our common version be retained, the idea would be, that it was proof of great wisdom in God that the water descended in “small drops,” instead of coming down in a deluge; compare the notes at Job 26:8.

They pour down rain - That is, the clouds pour down the rain.

According to the vapour thereof - - לאדו le'êdô The idea seems to be, that the water thus drawn up is poured down again in the form of a “vapory rain,” and which does not descend in torrents. The subject of admiration in the mind of Elihu was, that water should evaporate and ascend to the clouds, and be held there, and then descend again in the form of a gentle rain or fine mist. The reason for admiration is not lessened by becoming more fully acquainted with the laws by which it is done than Elihu can be supposed to have been.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 36:27". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-36.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For he maketh small the drops of rain,.... Elihu proceeds to give instances and proofs of the greatness of God, and begins with rain, as Eliphaz does, Job 5:9; a common phenomenon, what is very frequent, and well known in all ages and countries, and by all men, more or less; and yet there are some things relative to it which are beyond the comprehension of men, and show the greatness and incomprehensibleness of God: and the design of this, and all other instances of this kind, is to convince Job of his folly in searching out the causes and reasons of God's works of providence, when the common works of nature lie out of the reach of men; and to reconcile him to them, and bring him patiently to submit to the will of God, whose ways are past finding out; and some render the words, "he restrains the drops of rain"F7יגרע נטפי מים "aufert stillas pluviae et prohibebit", Pagninus; so Vatablus, Tigurine version, Targum, & Ben Gersom. ; he withholds it from the earth, which causes a drought, and so brings on a famine; others, "he subtracts", or draws out, or draws up, the drops of waterF8"Attrahit", Codurcus; "subtrahit", i.e. "a mare", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schultens. , which he exhales by the heat of the sun out of the earth and out of the sea; see Psalm 135:7, Amos 5:8; and which are drawn up in small particles, but form large bodies of waters in the clouds; and which are let down again upon the earth in small drops, in an easy and gentle manner, and so soak into the earth and make it fruitful; which is what is meant by our version here: this is a wonderful instance of God's power, wisdom, and goodness, and is beyond our comprehension; for no mortal man can tell how the Almighty parts and divides those large quantities of water in the clouds, that sometimes hang over our heads, into millions and ten thousand times ten thousand millions of drops, even innumerable; and causes these waters in such a manner to descend on the earth; lets them not fall at once, or in waterspouts, which would wash away the inhabitants of cities and towns, the cattle of the field, and the produce of the earth, as at the general deluge;

they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: the water, drawn up and formed into large bodies in the heavens, pours down rain in a gentle and plentiful manner, according to the quantity of vapours exhaled out of the earth and sea; if a small quantity is drawn up, a small quantity is let down; and if a large quantity is attracted, a large quantity, or a plentiful shower, is given: some think that a small rain is meant in the preceding clause, and a great rain in this; for there is the small rain and the great rain of his strength, Job 37:6. The word translated "pour" has the signification of liquefying, melting, and dissolving, and of purging and purifying; and which is applicable to clouds which melt and dissolve gradually as they descend in drops upon the earth; and the water which they let down is of all the most clear and pure, as Galen and HippocratesF9Apud Pinedam in loc. , those eminent physicians, have observed; and a late celebrated one tells usF11Boerhaav. Elem. Chem. p. 600. apud Schultens in loc. , that rain water is so truly distilled by nature, that the chemist, with all his distilling art, cannot produce purer water; for, though it is exhaled out of the dirty earth, out of miry places, bogs, and ditches, yet, being bound up in the clouds as in a garment, and passing through the atmosphere, it comes down to us pure as if it had been percolated or strained through a linen cloth; and though the water as drawn up out of the sea is salt, yet carried up into the air, and there, as in an alembic, distilled, it descends to us sweet and fresh, and has not the least brackishness in it.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 36:27". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-36.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For he maketh small the drops of water: they s pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:

(s) That is, the rain comes from those drops of water which he keeps in the clouds.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 36:27". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-36.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:

For — Having affirmed that God's works are incomprehensibly great and glorious, he now proves it from the most common works of nature and providence. And hence he leaves it to Job to consider how much more deep and inconceivable the secret counsels of God must be.

Water — He orders matters so wisely, that the waters which are in the clouds, do not fall down at once in spouts, which would be pernicious to the earth and to mankind; but by degrees, and in drops.

According — According to the proportion of vapours which the heat of the sun hath drawn up by the earth or sea. So it notes that great work of God by which the rain is first made of vapours, and afterwards resolved into vapours, or into the matter of succeeding vapours, by a constant rotation.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 36:27". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-36.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 36:27 For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:

Ver. 27. For he maketh small the drops of water] Here Elihu beginneth to instance the greatness of God in his works, and particularly in the meteors; many of which Aristotle confesseth he understood not. And this I dare say, saith a learned interpreter here, that there is not extant any poem, either of the Greeks or Latins, which may be compared with this stately eloquence of Elihu in describing those natural effects which are caused in the air; and for the same cause are of the philosophers called meteors, or airy impressions; as namely, clouds, rain, hail, snow, thunder, lightning, and such like; whereof he here discourseth very gravely and learnedly; and first of rain, which he describeth, 1. By the form or manner of producing it, Job 36:27-28 2. By the largeness of the clouds, and their noise, Job 36:29 3. By the sudden succession of fair weather and foul, Job 36:30. And lastly, by the different use thereof in the three last verses of this chapter: God maketh small the drops of water; that is, he raineth by dividing the drops in the cloud, causing them to come down guttatim, piece-meal; and not by whole spouts, or pail fulls. Others read it, Subtrahit Deus, God draweth up drops of water, viz. out of the sea, the rivers, and other moist places, whence those vapours do ascend, of which are generated those drops of rain: Psalms 147:8, "He covereth the heaven with clouds, he prepareth rain for the earth," &c.

They pour down rain according to the vapours thereof] As the vapours are greater or lesser, so is the rain. The rain ascendeth in thin vapours, but descendeth oft in thick showers; so do our poor prayers come down in greatest blessings; and we are sure of as much mercy as we bring faith to carry it away.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 36:27". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-36.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 36:27. For he maketh small, &c.— Who causeth the exhalations of the waters to mount on high, which form the rain in his clouds, (Job 36:28.) when the heavens pour down.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 36:27". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-36.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Having affirmed that God’s works are incomprehensibly great and glorious, he now enters upon the proof of it; and he proveth it from the most common and visible works of nature and providence, which if thoroughly considered, are full of wonder, and past the reach of the greatest philosophers, who indeed speak of them only by guess, and by their innumerable disputations about them discover their ignorance in them. And hence he leaves it to Job to consider how incomparably more deep and unconceivable the secret counsels and judgments of God must needs be, and therefore how foolish and presumptuous a thing it was for him to judge and censure them.

He maketh small the drops of water, i.e. he orders matters so wisely and graciously, that the waters which are in the clouds do not fall down at once in spouts, or rivers, or seas; which would be both unprofitable and pernicious to the earth, and to mankind; but by degrees, and in drops; which is best for men’s safety and comfort, and for the refreshment of the earth. And this he observes as a wonderful work of God, without whose providence herein those waters might constantly or commonly fall in spouts, as sometimes part of them hath done.

They; either the waters, last mentioned; or the clouds, as it is expressed in the next verse; or the active verb is used impersonally, which is frequent in the Hebrew language, they pour down rain, for the rain is poured down.

Pour down; or, melt or dissolve; which word is borrowed from metallists, who dissolve metals with fire, and then pour them forth by degrees and in parcels; as the clouds are dissolved, and then poured forth in drops, as was now expressed.

According to the vapour thereof, i.e. according to the proportion of vapours which the heat of the sun hath drawn up from the earth or sea into the clouds. Or,

into the vapour thereof. So it notes that great work of God, by which the rain is first made of vapours, and afterwards resolved into vapours, or into the matter of succeeding vapours, by a constant rotation and reciprocation.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 36:27". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-36.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

27.Maketh small — Rather, draweth up; exhaleth (Dr. Clarke) through the process of evaporation.

According to the vapour thereof Through his vapour-cloud, (Furst,) or from its vapour, (Gesenius,) which Dr. T. Lewis renders in place of mist, in allusion to Genesis 2:6. Science still uses the same term “vapour-cloud” to designate the mysterious birthplace of the rain. The ancients looked upon rain not only as coming from their deity, (Aratus,) but as the special gift of God. (Herodotus, Job 2:13.) The Talmud (in Taanith, ch. i) records an ancient saying of the Jews, that there be three keys which God hath reserved in his own hand, and hath not delivered to any minister or substitute, namely, the keys of life, and of rain, and of the resurrection of the dead. See notes on Job 5:10-11; Job 26:8.

Man abundantly — Or the multitude of men, so widespread is the fall of rain.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 36:27". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-36.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Floods. God causes the water on the earth to evaporate, (Calmet) to form the clouds, (Haydock) which afterwards fall in torrents. (Menochius) --- Theodotion, "the drops of rain are numbered by him," &c., chap. xxvi. 8.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 36:27". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-36.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

The water-vapor cycle is one example of God"s majesty, for by His laws God draws up moisture which distills or condenses and forms rain for man in abundance (see Ecc. 1:7).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 36:27". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-36.html. 1999-2014.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(27) The drops of water.—The origin and first beginnings of the tempest are described. “He maketh small,” or draweth up by exhalation. “They pour down rain,” or “they distil in rain from His vapour,” or “belonging to the vapour thereof.” The rain is first absorbed, and then distilled and poured down.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 36:27". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-36.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:
he
5:9; 38:25-28,34; Genesis 2:5,6; Psalms 65:9-13; Isaiah 5:6; Jeremiah 14:22
the vapour
33; Psalms 148:8
Reciprocal: Genesis 7:4 - For;  Job 37:4 - he will;  Job 37:6 - likewise to the small;  Job 37:11 - he wearieth;  Psalm 147:8 - covereth;  Proverbs 3:20 - the clouds;  Jeremiah 5:24 - that giveth;  Jeremiah 10:13 - He causeth;  Zechariah 10:1 - bright clouds

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 36:27". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-36.html.