It appears that all four of Job’s friends aren’t really concerned about Job, they’re just trying to impress You with the wisdom they think they have. They should run for political office, I can’t think of one politician that isn’t arrogant.
Elihu Declares His Opinion
Part 5 of 5
“For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:
Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.
Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?
Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea “(Job 36:27-30).
noise of his tabernacle…spreadeth his light – Thunder and lightning.
covereth the bottom of the sea – The lightening God sends is so powerful that it even lights up the depths of the sea.
“For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.
With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.
The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour” (Job 36:31-33).
With clouds he covereth the light – Lit. he lifts up the lightning with both hands. God is a powerful warrior who works with equal effectiveness with either hand(cf 1 Chr 12:2).
commandeth it not to shine…betwixt – God hurls the lightning with such precision that it strikes the exact mark he has chosen.
“The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapor” (Job 36:33).
A continuation of Elihu’s hymnic description of God’s marvels exhibited in the earth’s atmosphere, beginning in36:27. His heart pounds at the awesome display(see v 1).
The passage reveals a sophisticated observation of atmospheric conditions and their effects: the evaporation and distillation of water for rain(see 36:27), the clouds as holders of moisture (see 36:28; 37:11), and the cyclonic behavior of clouds (see v 12).
Such forces originate from God’s command and always perform His will for mankind, whether for good or for ill(v 13).
“At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place.
Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth.
He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth.
After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard.
God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.
For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.
He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work” (Job 37:1-7).
Heavy rain or snowfall forces men to cease from their normal activities, giving them a chance to reflect on God’s power revealed in the storm.
“Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places.
Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.
By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened” (Job 37:8-10).
breath of God – a metaphor for a chilling wind.
“Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud:
And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.
He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.
Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.
Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine?
Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?
How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?
Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?” (Job 37:11-18).
Job is challenged to ponder God’s power over the elements. The question format is also used in the divine discourses (chs 38-41).
“Teach us what we shall say unto him; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness” (Job 37:19).
we cannot order our speech – Job had dared to sign his defense and call for an audience with God(see 31:35). For this, Elihu seeks to shame him. But he softens his tone by including himself as one equally vulnerable to God’s majesty.
“Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up.
And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them.
Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.
Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in Judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.
Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart” (Job 37:20-24).
He respecteth not any…wise of heart – God decisions and actions aren’t influenced by people like Job, or anyone, who think they are wise enough to argue with Him.
The Gathering Storm
While Elihu appears to be continuing his preceding discourse in this section, the fact that an actual storm occurred is confirmed in Job 38:1.
Jupiter was the chief deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire. In Roman mythology, he negotiates with Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, to establish principles of Roman religion such as offering, or sacrifice.
Jupiter is usually thought to have originated as an aerial god. His identifying implement is the thunderbolt and his primary sacred animal is the eagle, which held precedence over other birds in the taking of auspices and became one of the most common symbols of the Roman army (see Aquila). The two emblems were often combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its claws a thunderbolt, frequently seen on Greek and Roman coins.
As the sky-god, he was a divine witness to oaths, the sacred trust on which justice and good government depend. Many of his functions were focused on the Capitoline Hill, where the citadel was located. In the Capitoline Triad, he was the central guardian of the state with Juno and Minerva. His sacred tree was the oak.
The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, and in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto, the Roman equivalents of Poseidon and Hades respectively.
Each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: sky, the waters, and the underworld. The Italic Diespiter was also a sky god who manifested himself in the daylight, usually identified with Jupiter. Tinia is usually regarded as his Etruscan counterpart.Therefore it is logical to treat these verses as describing the on setting squall. While they accurately describe a thunderstorm coming in from the north, the words may also be typical of the time of trouble with which the present dispensation shall come to an end.
The soft early drops of rain and the distant sound of thunder are noticed first. The oncoming clouds obscure the sun and the cattle are discontent. Then the lightning flashes in the sky as the thunder become a crashing roar.
He notices the beasts take cover and the cold turn the rain into sleet and hail. His sharp eye catches the balance of the clouds – the one high and overhanging with the lower clouds filled with moisture. Contrasting the usual warm southerly winds, with this fast charging storm from the north, he is awestruck by the power and majesty of the scene.
Even so, in the times of harvest, it was the early rains of truth which foretold of God’s coming judgments. As the enlightenment from the Lord became more clear, the noise of the progressing trouble was distinctly heard. Men could not see this as the Lord’s dealings because this troublous time hid them from the Lord.
God’s true message noted the contrast of the warm winds of God’s favor with the harsh north winds of his judgments. Both were necessary to accomplish their individual tasks. The Christian profits from both, as the wise man poetically said:
Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits(Song 4:16).