Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 36:30

"Behold, He spreads His lightning about Him, And He covers the depths of the sea.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Meteorology and Celestial Phenomena;   Thompson Chain Reference - Light, Physical;   Light-Darkness;   The Topic Concordance - God;   Judges;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Light;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Providence of God;   Testimony;   Holman Bible Dictionary - God;   Job, the Book of;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elihu;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bottom;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Light;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He spreadeth his light upon it - Or, as Mr. Good translates, "He throweth forth from it his flash." These two verses may both have an allusion to the sudden rarefaction of that part of the atmosphere whence the thunder proceeds, by the agency of the electric fluid; the rushing in of the air on each side to restore the equilibrium, which the passage of the fire had before destroyed. The noise produced by this sudden rushing in of the air, as well as that occasioned by the ignition of the hydrogen gas, which is one of the constituents of water, is the thunder of his tabernacle, viz., the atmosphere, where God appears, in such cases, to be manifesting his presence and his power. Elihu says that God spreadeth his light upon it. This is spoken in reference to the flashes and coruscations of lightning in the time of thunder storms, when, even in a dark night, a sudden flash illuminates for a moment the surface of the earth under that place.

And covereth the bottom of the sea - He doth whatsoever it pleaseth him in the heavens above, in the earth beneath, in the sea, and in all deep places. Yea, the depths of the sea are as much under his control and influence as the atmosphere, and its whole collection of vapours, meteors, and galvanic and electric fluids.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 36:30". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-36.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it - That is, upon his tabernacle or dwelling-place - the clouds. The allusion is to lightning, which flashes in a moment over the whole heavens. The image is exceedingly beautiful and graphic. The idea of “spreading out” the light in an instant over the whole of the darkened heavens, is that which Elihu had in his mind, and which impressed him so forcibly. On the difficulty in regard to the translation of the Septuagint here, see Schleusner on the word ἡδὼ hēdō And covereth the bottom of the sea - Margin, “roots.” The word roots is used to denote the bottom, as being the lowest part of a thing - as the roots of a tree. The meaning is that he covers the lowest part of the sea with floods of waters; and the object of Elihu is to give an exalted conception of the greatness of God, from the fact that his agency is seen in the higlest and the lowest objects. He spreads out the clouds, thunders in his tabernacle, diffuses a brilliant light over the heavens, and at the same time is occupied in covering the bottom of the sea with the floods. He is Lord over all, and his agency is seen every where. The highest and the lowest objects are under his control, and his agency is seen above and below. On the one hand, he covers the thick and dense clouds with light; and on the other, he envelopes the depth of the ocean in impenetrable darkness.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 36:30". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-36.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it,.... Upon his tabernacle; that is, upon the clouds, which are his tabernacle; either the light of the sun, whereby the clouds are dispersed and blotted out; an emblem of the blotting out of sin, or the forgiveness of it, Isaiah 44:22, which is like a clear shining after rain, 2 Samuel 23:4, or on a thin cloud, whereby the rainbow is formed, an emblem of peace and reconciliation by Christ; or lightning, which bursting out of the dark cloud is spread over it, when it seems to be all in flames. Cocceius renders it, "he spreads the light about himself"; God spreads it about himself, clothing himself with light as with a garment, and dwelling in light inaccessible to men: or he "spreads it upon him", upon man; causing his sun to shine on the just and unjust; or on it, the earth; so it was spread when first commanded to shine out of darkness, with which the earth in its primeval state was covered; and so it is spread every morning upon the earth; as soon as day breaks, the morning is spread upon the mountains, and in a short time it overspreads the whole hemisphere; an emblem this of the spread of the light of grace over the dark hearts of men, in conversion, which are like the earth in its chaotic state, or as in the night season covered with darkness; out of which they are called and brought by the grace of God, having the true light sprung and placed in their souls; which at first is but glimmering, and at best imperfect in the present state, yet is spreading and increasing, Proverbs 4:18; and of the spread of the great and glorious light of the Gospel in the world, in the times of the apostles, and as it will be in the latter day glory;

and covereth the bottom of the sea, or "the roots of the sea"F14שרשי הים "radices maris", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. ; though one would think they should be rather covered with water and with darkness, as they are; see Job 38:8. This is to be understood either of the light of the sun, and the rays of it, which are so piercing and penetrating as to reach to the bottom of the sea, and cover it and exhale waters out of it; or of lightning, which is equally as piercing and penetrating, or more, and strikes to the very roots of the sea, and covers them, or rather discovers them, so that the channels of waters are seen, and the foundations of the world are discovered, Psalm 18:14; the Targum of this verse is,

"he spreads upon it rain, and covers the rocks or foundations of the sea;'

and the rain is called light according to Ramban, because by the descent of it the day is enlightened, and the darkness of the clouds removed; and by this means the bottom of the sea is covered, so that it passes its bounds and covers the rocks, that is, the borders of it, as others explain itF15In Bar Tzemach in loc. .

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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 36:30". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-36.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Behold, he spreadeth his light upon u it, and covereth the x bottom of the sea.

(u) Upon the cloud.

(x) That men cannot come to the knowledge of the springs of it.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 36:30". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-36.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

light — lightning.

it — His tabernacle (Job 36:29). The light, in an instant spread over the vast mass of dark clouds, forms a striking picture.

spread — is repeated from Job 36:29 to form an antithesis. “He spreads not only clouds, but light.

covereth the bottomroots.

of the sea — namely, with the light. In the storm the depths of ocean are laid bare; and the light “covers” them, at the same moment that it “spreads” across the dark sky. So in Psalm 18:14, Psalm 18:15, the discovering of “the channels of waters” follows the “lightnings.” Umbreit translates: “He spreadeth His light upon Himself, and covereth Himself with the roots of the sea” (Psalm 104:2). God‘s garment is woven of celestial light and of the watery depths, raised to the sky to form His cloudy canopy. The phrase, “cover Himself with the roots of the sea,” is harsh; but the image is grand.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 36:30". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-36.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.

Light — The lightning; fitly God's light, because God only can light it.

It — Upon the cloud, which is in a manner the candlestick in which God sets up this light.

The sea — The lightning spreads far and wide over all the parts of the sea, and pierceth deep, reaching even to the bottom of it.

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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 36:30". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-36.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 36:30 Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.

Ver. 30. Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it] That is, his fair weather, clearing up the cloudy sky, as some expound it; or, as others, his lightning shot forth every way, Psalms 18:13; Psalms 18:15; Psalms 144:6. Or the sunbeams spread upon the sea, and drawing up vapours; unde mare hoc loco nubium radix dicitur, saith Brentius, whence the sea is here called the root of the clouds; or the surface of the sea is called the root of it, in regard to the wandering waves which are cut in asunder, after the manner of roots; so saith Vatablus. Those that by light here understand lightnings, say, that God maketh them dart so abundantly through the waters of the sea, that they do, as it were, cover all the bottom of it.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 36:30". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-36.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

His light, i.e. the lightning; of which the whole context speaks, which is fitly called God’s light, as it is called God’s lightning, Psalms 144:6, because God only can light it.

Upon it, i.e. upon the cloud, which is in a manner the candlestick in which God sets up this light.

Covereth the bottom of the sea; the lightning spreads far and wide over all the parts of the sea, and pierceth deep, reaching even to the bottom of it, and spreading itself upon it, and so covering it like a gay and glorious garment, suddenly cast over and covering the body of a man or woman; or as God is said to cover himself with light as with a garment, Psalms 104:2.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 36:30". 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

30.Light upon it — More properly, light around himself.

Covereth the bottom of the sea Covereth (himself) with the roots of the sea. Others read as in the text of Authorized Version. Job had spoken also of the roots of the mountains, (Job 28:9,) and even of the roots of the human foot, (Job 13:27.) The sublime thought of the text weaves together celestial light and ocean depth to form fit garment for the Almighty. An old Orphic hymn has a like expression: —

Thou who holdest the roots of the sea,

Thy dark-gleaming throne.

 

 

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 36:30". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-36.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ends. Literally, "the hinges," or poles, cardines. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "roots;" Aristotle (Meteor. ii. 1.) and Hesoid (Theog. 727,) use the same term, (Calmet) to denote the fountains which supply the sea. (Haydock) --- Who ever discovered these deep recesses? Eliu describes a thunder-storm, when the sea is covered with darkness. He intimates that the pavilion of God, though hidden from us by the clouds, is not destitute of light. (Calmet) --- God inhabits light inaccessible. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 36:30". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-36.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

God covers the depths of the sea so that man on land cannot see them.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 36:30". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-36.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

bottom = roots or offspring, i.e. clouds.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 36:30". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/job-36.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.

Light - lightning.

It - His tabernacle. The light, in an instant spread over the vast mass of dark clouds, forms a striking picture. "Spread" is repeated from Job 36:29, to form an antithesis, 'He spreads not only clouds but light.'

Covereth the bottom (roots) of the sea - namely, with the light. In the storm the depths of ocean are laid bare; and the light "covers" them at the same moment that it "spreads" across the dark sky. So in Psalms 18:14-15, the discovering of "the channels of waters" follows the "lightnings." Umbreit translates, 'He spreadeth His light upon Himself, and covereth Himself with the roots of the sea' (Psalms 104:2): God's garment is woven of celestial light, and of the watery depths raised to the sky to form His cloudy canopy. The phrase 'cover Himself with the roots (the depths) of the sea' is harsh; but the image is grand.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 36:30". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-36.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(30) His light appears to mean here the lightning which flashes forth from the cloud.

And covereth the bottom of the sea.—Literally, it hath covered the roots of the sea: i.e., it, the lightning, or He, God, hath covered those clouds which are composed of the roots of the sea, that is, the drops of water which are exhaled from the sea.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 36:30". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-36.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.
he
38:25,34,35; Luke 17:24
and
38:8-11; Genesis 1:9; Exodus 14:22,28; 15:4,5; Psalms 18:11-16; 104:5-9
bottom
Heb. roots.
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:3 - Let;  Job 37:11 - he scattereth;  Job 37:15 - the light

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 36:30". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-36.html.