Job 37


‘At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place. Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth. He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back. God’s voice thunders in marvellous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ So that everyone he has made may know his work, he stops all people from their labour. The animals take cover; they remain in their dens. The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them. At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them. He brings the clouds to punish people, or to water his earth and show his love.’ Job 37:1-13

Elihu Continues With His Speech

In this chapter, Elihu addresses many topics similar to what God Himself says in His speeches. He exalts God for His control over the storms, all of which He causes to happen for one of three reasons.

1. Correction. 2. His world, or 3. Kindness.

Elihu is basically saying, that Job shouldn’t question the One who is able to control the physical universe. In other words, if God is so powerful, then Job is not in a place to question Him.

The thunder announces the presence of God and the cattle feel warned by the sound of the storm. In dealing with ice and snow, Elihu emphasises the helplessness of mankind.

When God breathes, ice is formed and lakes are frozen over. The clouds obey the will of God and scatter throughout the heavens at His command. In other words, mankind should do the same in response to the will of God.

Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Nor is there a sound in nature more descriptive of, or more becoming, the majesty of God, than that of thunder. We hear the breeze in its rustling, the rain in its pattering, the hail in its rattling, the wind in its hollow howlings, the cataract in its dash, the bull in his bellowing, the lion in his roar but we hear God, the Almighty, the Omnipresent, in the continuous peal of thunder! This sound, and this sound only, becomes the majesty of Jehovah.’

‘Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge? You who swelter in your clothes when the land lies hushed under the south wind, can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze? “Tell us what we should say to him; we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness. Should he be told that I want to speak? Would anyone ask to be swallowed up? Now no one can look at the sun, bright as it is in the skies after the wind has swept them clean. Out of the north he comes in golden splendour; God comes in awesome majesty. The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress. Therefore, people revere him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?” Job 37:14-24

Elihu once again appeals to Job to listen to what he is saying, and so, discern the instruction of God. He compares Job, in his pitiful and weak condition, to the omnipotence of God.

Job has said that he wants to be instructed by God, he said he will cover his mouth and listen to God in silence, Job 9:3 / Job 9:15. However, he has never said, as Elihu insinuates, that he would like to teach God.

A few commentators believe a great storm is approaching, out of which God will eventually speak, Job 38:1.

While it is, Elihu will use it as a visual aid. Elihu says the sun will once again come out, and so will the truth be eventually revealed.

Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The rushing mighty wind, for which the description of the thunder and lightning had prepared poor, confounded, astonished Job, proclaims the presence of Yahweh and out of this whirlwind, God answers for and proclaims himself! Reader, canst thou not conceive something of what these men felt? Art thou not astonished, perplexed, confounded, in reading over these descriptions of the thunder of God’s power? Prepare, then, to hear the voice of God himself out of this whirlwind.’

Elihu also says that God isn’t unjust and will not do wrongful violence to righteous men but He will punish the wrongdoer. In other words, Elihu believes that men fear God because if they are wise of heart, God will not have any regard for them.

Solomon, however, states that God’s delay in executing justice causes men to not fear Him, Ecclesiastes 8:11.

Go To Job 38