1. Verses 1-41 Who answers Job in this chapter? (1-3) Why now?
What did the Lord tell Job to brace himself for in verse three? (3)
What do you think about that?
What are some questions that God asked Job concerning the earth? (4-21)
What are some questions that God asked Job concerning weather? (22-30, 34-38)
What are some questions that God asked Job concerning the stars? (31-33)
What are some questions that God asked Job concerning the animals? (39-41)
What is the focus of the Lord’s first round of questions to Job in these verses? (4-41)
What is He telling Job? Why?
What do the Lord’s questions reveal about Himself in these verses? (1-39)
1. When will God speak?
2. What does God say?
3. What will He reveal?
***Job 38:1 The Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind - It is not סופה suphah, as in the preceding chapter, Job_37:9; but סורה searah, which signifies something turbulent, tumultuous, or violently agitated; and here may signify what we call a tempest, and was intended to fill Job’s mind with solemnity, and an awful sense of the majesty of God. The Chaldee has, a whirlwind of grief, making the whole rather allegorical than real; impressing the scene on Job’s imagination.
Job 38:2 Counsel - God's counsel. For the great matter of the dispute between Job and his friends, was concerning God's counsel and providence in afflicting Job; which Job had endeavoured to obscure and misrepresent. This first word which God spoke, struck Job to the heart. This he repeats and echoes to, Job_42:3, as the arrow that stuck fast in him.
*Job 38:3 Gird up now thy loins like a man,.... Like a man of valour that girds on his harness for battle: Job is bid to prepare for the controversy the Lord was entering into with him; and bring forth his strong reasons and most powerful arguments in his own defence. The allusion is to the custom in the eastern countries, where they wore long garments, to gird them about their loins, when they engaged in work or war. Job had blustered what he would do, and now he is dared to it; see Job_23:4; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me; put questions to him, to which he required a direct and positive answer. Jehovah takes the part of the opponent in this dispute, and gives that of the respondent to Job; since Job himself had put it to his option which to take, Job_13:22.
***Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? - Thou hast a limited and derived being; thou art only of yesterday; what canst thou know? Didst thou see me create the world?
Job 38:5 Measures - Who hath prescribed how long and broad and deep it should be. Line - the measuring line to regulate all its dimensions.
***Job 38:6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? - How does it continue to revolve in the immensity of space? What supports it? Has it foundations like a building, and is it fastened with a key-stone, to keep the mighty fabric in union?
Job 38:12 Morning - Didst thou create the sun, and appoint the order and succession of day and night. Since - Since thou wast born: this work was done long before thou wast born. To know - To observe the punctual time when, and the point of the heavens where it should arise; which varies every day.
Job 38:13 That - That this morning light should in a moment spread itself, from one end of the hemisphere to the other. Shaken - From the face of the earth. And this effect the morning - light hath upon the wicked, because it discovers them, whereas darkness hides them; and because it brings them to condign punishment, the morning being the usual time for executing judgment.
***Job 38:17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? - Dost thou know in what the article of death consists? This is as inexplicable as the question, What is animal life? The doors of the shallow of death? - צלמות tsalmaveth, the intermediate state, the openings into the place of separate spirits. Here two places are distinguished: מות maveth, death, and צלמות tsalmaveth, the shadow of death. It will not do to say, death is the privation of life, for what then would be the shadow of that privation?
Job 38:18 Breadth - The whole compass and all the parts of it?
Job 38:28 Father - Is there any man that can beget or produce rain at his pleasure?
**Job 38:29 Out of whose womb came the ice? - That is, who has caused or produced it? The idea is, that it was not by any human agency, or in any known way by which living beings were propagated. And the hoary frost of heaven - Which seems to fall from heaven. The sense is, that it is caused wholly by God; see the notes at Job_37:10.
Job 38:31 Bind - Restrain or hinder them. Pleiades - The seven stars, which bring in the spring. Bands - By which it binds up the air and earth, by bringing storms of rain and hail or frost and snow. Orion - This constellation rises in November, and brings in winter. Both summer and winter will have their course? God indeed can change them when he pleases, can make the spring cold, and so bind the influences of Pleiades, and the winter warm, and so loose the bands of Orion; but we cannot.
***Job 38:32 Mazzaroth in his season? - This is generally understood to mean the signs of the zodiac. מזרות Mazzaroth, according to Parkhurst, comes from מזר mazar, to corrupt; and he supposes it to mean that pestilential wind in Arabia, called simoom, the season of which is the summer heats.
Job 38:33 Ordinances - The laws which are firmly established concerning their order, motion, or rest, and their powerful influences upon this lower world. Didst thou give these laws? Or dost thou perfectly know them? Canst thou - Manage and over rule their influences.
***Job 38:34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds - Canst thou produce lightning and thunder, that water may be formed, and poured down upon the earth? Thunder is called קלות koloth, voices; for it is considered the voice of God: here then Job’s voice, קולך kolecha, is opposed to the voice of Jehovah!
Job 38:38 Mire - By reason of much rain.
***Job 38:39 Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? - Rather the lioness, or strong lion. Hast thou his instinct? Dost thou know the habits and haunts of such animals as he seeks for his food? Thou hast neither his strength, his instinct nor his cunning. In the best Hebrew Bibles, the thirty-ninth chapter begins with this verse, and begins properly, as a new subject now commences, relating to the natural history of the earth, or the animal kingdom; as the preceding chapter does to astronomy and meteorology.
**Job 38:40 When they couch in their dens - For the purpose of springing upon their prey. And abide in the covert to lie in wait? - The usual posture of the lion when he seeks his prey. He places himself in some unobserved position in a dense thicket, or crouches upon the ground so as not to be seen, and then springs suddenly upon his victim. The common method of the lion in taking his prey is to spring or throw himself upon it from the place of his ambush, with one vast bound and to inflict the mortal blow with one stroke of his paw. If he misses his aim, however, he seldom attempts another spring at the same object, but deliberately returns to the thicket in which he lay in concealment. See the habits of the lion illustrated in the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, “Mazology.”
Job 38:41 Raven - Having mentioned the noblest of brute creatures, he now mentions one of the most contemptible; to shew the care of God's providence over all creatures, both great and small. Their young ones are so soon forsaken by their dams, that if God did not provide for them in a more than ordinary manner, they would be starved to death. And will he that provides for the young ravens, fail to provide for his own children.
* Gills Commentaries ** Barnes Commentaries *** Clarke's Commentaries
All others by Wesley