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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Job 38

 

 

Verses 1-6

God Reveals Himself to Job by His Creation - Did not Job believe God heard his prayers in the midst of his prosperity? How much more should God hear him in the midst of his suffering? In a mighty display of nature's energy, a whirlwind approaches Job , and a divine voice begins to come forth and speak to Job. God now reveals His true character to Job because his friends had misrepresented Him. He reveals Himself as the omnipotent Creator of the universe, who daily watches over each aspect of His creatures with love and concern through His omniscience and omnipresence. More specifically, God reveals that He alone is just and Job and all of mankind are in need of redemption through faith in God. In man's fallen condition since the Garden of Eden, all of creation has been made subject to vanity and endures suffering. God will now lead Job into an act of intercession for his friends in order to receive his own deliverance as a testimony that man will have to redeem himself. Yet, what man is qualified to redeem mankind? Job will understand that it must be a Prayer of Manasseh , a man who was righteous before God, a man who must suffer, a man who must be an intercessor, that will redeem mankind. The fullness of this revelation will come at the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, when God Himself becomes a man to redeem His people, and with it, all of creation.

We find a similar passage of Scripture in Isaiah 40:12 to Isaiah 41:29, where God challenges backslidden Israel to produce her reasons for trusting in idols ( Job 41:21). In a similar manner God reveals to Israel her frailty and weakness in the midst of His majestic creation that reveals Him as the divine creator of all things.

Here is a proposed outline:

God's First Speech — Job 38:1 to Job 40:2

Job's Reply — Job 40:3-5

God's Second Speech — Job 40:6 to Job 41:34

Job's Reply — Job 42:1-6

Job 38:1 to Job 42:6 — God Reveals Himself to Job by His Creation (The Purpose of the Sciences and Art) - The Lord spoke to me this morning and said that the sciences and arts are an expression of God's divine nature. God reveals His divine nature through His creation ( Job 38-41), and the sciences are the tools that mankind uses to explore His creation. The arts are an expression of man's heart and emotions, and when the Spirit of God is allowed to inspire mankind, he speaks in poetry and Song of Solomon , in paintings and other works of art. (March 24, 2009)

Job 38:1 to Job 40:2God's First Speech to Job: The Story of His Creation - In Job 38:1 to Job 40:2 God delivers His first speech to Job. The story of creation recorded in Job 38:1 to Job 40:2 serves as a testimony to Job of God's divine attributes. In this passage of Scripture the Lord revealed to Job His omnipotence, His omniscience, His omnipresence, and His infinite wisdom and power over all of His creation. He reveals to Job the fact that He daily oversees the activities of His creation. God's description of creating the heavens and earth in Job 38:4-38 reveals His omnipotence. His description of overseeing and sustaining His creatures reveals His omniscience and omnipresence.

In the study of the Holy Scriptures we discover a number of passages revealing the events in the Story of Creation. For example, we have the testimony of the Father's role in Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:4 as the One who has planned and foreknown all things in His creation. We also have the testimony of the Jesus Christ the Son's role in creation recorded John 1:1-14, who is the Word of God through whom all things were created. In Proverbs 8:22-31 we have the testimony of the Holy Spirit's role in creation as the Wisdom and Power of God. 2 Peter 3:5-7 refers to the story of creation with emphasis upon God's pending destruction of all things in order to judge the sins of mankind. Hebrews 11:3 tells us how it is by faith that we understand how the world was created by the Word of God. Another passage of Scripture that reveals the story of Creation is found in Job 38:1 to Job 40:2, where the wisdom and majesty of God Almighty are revealed by describing the details of how His creation came into existence. We can find other brief references to the creation of the earth throughout the Scriptures, such as Psalm 104and many other individual verses.

Here is a proposed summary of Job 38:1 to Job 40:2 :

God Asks Job for Dialogue — Job 38:1-3

God As Creator of the Earth Job 38:4-38

God Created the Earth — Job 38:4-7

God Created the Seas — Job 38:8-11

God Created Day and Night — Job 38:12-15

The Depths and Breath of the Sea & Earth — Job 38:16-18

God Created Light and Darkness — Job 38:19-21

God Created Snow and Ice — Job 38:22-30

God Created the Stars & Constellations — Job 38:31-33

God Created the Clouds — Job 38:34-38

God As Sustainer of Life on the Earth — Job 38:39 to Job 39:30

God Sustains the Lion — Job 38:39-40

God Sustains the Raven — Job 38:41

God Sustains the Wild Goats & Deer — Job 39:1-4

God Sustains the Wild Donkey — Job 39:5-8

God Sustains the Wild Ox — Job 39:9-12

God Sustains the Ostrich — Job 39:13-18

God Sustains the Horse — Job 39:19-25

God Sustains the Hawk — & Eagle — Job 39:26-30

God Concludes His First Speech — Job 40:1-2


Verses 1-41

Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

Job 38:1Comments- In Job 38:1 God answers Job out of a whirlwind. Note that Job's children were destroyed by a whirlwind ( Job 1:18-19). While Job was associating a whirlwind with evil, he is put into a situation where the whirlwind had a good purpose, to serve as an instrument by which God in heaven comes down to speak to Job and to bring deliverance to his suffering.

Job 1:18-19, "While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother"s house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee."

Ezekiel was called into the ministry during a vision in which the Lord appeared to him in a whirlwind ( Ezekiel 1:4). Both Job and Ezekiel received divine visitations during a time of great distress in their lives.

Ezekiel 1:4, "And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire."

Also, Elijah was caught up to heaven in a whirlwind ( 2 Kings 2:11).

2 Kings 2:11, "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."

Job 38:2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

Job 38:2Comments- God appears to be referring to Job's three friends in His comments on those who darken counsel by words without knowledge; for He tells Eliphaz the Temanite in Job 42:7 that he and his two friends have spoken of Him that which was not right, and He says that Job had spoken that which was right.

Job 38:3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

Job 38:3Comments- Rawlinson notes that Job had already asked God a number of times for a hearing in which he could plead his case ( Job 9:32-35; Job 13:3; Job 13:18-22; Job 23:4-7; Job 31:35). 26] God now answers his prayer.

26] George Rawlinson, Job , in The Pulpit Commentary, ed. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph Exell (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1950), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001), notes on Job 38:3.

"Gird up now thy loins like a man" - Comments- God tells Job to gird up his loins like a man and interact with Him in dialogue. Job must prepare himself for the context, which Otto Zckler describes as a series of questions and answers between the two contestants. 27] The phrase "Gird up now thy loins like a man" is not uncommon to the Scriptures. We find it used on a number of occasions. The Philistines were able to encourage themselves and win the battle. See:

27] Otto Zckler, The Book of Job , trans. by L. J. Evans, in Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, ed. Philip Schaff (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1872), 602.

1 Samuel 4:7-9, "And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore. Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews , as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight."

The children of Israel encouraged, or strengthened themselves in the Lord:

Judges 20:22, "And the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day."

Note that there was another time when David encouraged himself in the Lord.

1 Samuel 30:6, "And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."

King David told his son Solomon to be strong like a man should be.

1 Kings 2:2, "I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;"

Paul exhorted the Corinthians to be strong like a man as they pursued a lifestyle of sanctification within their church members.

1 Corinthians 16:13, "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong."

"for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me" - Comments- God will demand of Job a reply to His forthcoming speech, which is recorded in Job 40:3-4. Thus, Job will be given an opportunity to plead his case as he requested during the course of his dialogues with the three friends.

Job 38:4-7 — The Founding of the Earth - Job 38:4-7 described the beginning of the creation of the earth when God laid its foundations. It was a time when God, in His infinite Wisdom of Solomon , calculated its design and size ( Job 38:5-6). It was also a time of great celebration as the "morning stars" and angels sang together in harmony and joy. Radmacher notes that great building projects in the ancient Near East began with similar celebrations. 28] We see such festive occasions in the laying of the foundation of the second temple ( Ezra 3:10), and of the future temple prophesied in Zechariah ( Zechariah 4:7-9).

28] Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, and H. Wayne House, eds, Job , in Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1999), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), notes on Job 38:4-7.

Ezra 3:10, "And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel."

Zechariah 4:7-9, "Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you."

Perhaps this passage of Scripture refers to three steps in the initial creation of the earth: the laying of its foundations, the design of its size, and its suspension by gravity to orbit the sun. We see this aspect of creation described in Genesis 1:1-2.

Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

Job 38:4Comments- When man builds a structure on earth, the first step is to determine the size and strength of a foundation. Once this foundation has been designed and built, the rest of the building is able to rest upon this structure. In a similar way God begins describing to Job the story of Creation beginning with its foundation.

"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth" - Comments- The phrase "the foundation(s) of the earth" can be found fourteen times in the Scriptures ( Job 38:4, Psalm 82:5; Psalm 102:25; Psalm 104:5, Proverbs 8:29, Isaiah 24:18; Isaiah 40:21; Isaiah 48:13; Isaiah 51:13; Isaiah 51:16, Jeremiah 31:37, Micah 6:2, Zechariah 12:1, Hebrews 1:10), and the phrase "the foundation(s) of the world" can be found seven times ( 2 Samuel 22:16, Psalm 18:15, Ephesians 1:4, Hebrews 4:3; Hebrews 9:26, 1 Peter 1:20, Revelation 17:8).

Psalm 104:5-6 says, "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains." This passage tells us that the "foundations of the earth" were covered by "the deep", which appears to be the top primordial lay of soupy soil and water that covered the earth in Genesis 1:1-2. Thus, one popular interpretation of the phrase "the foundations of the earth" is to say it refers to the lower layers of earth's crust that supports the top layer of soil and water that supports life on earth. This would require the word "earth" ( אֶרֶץ) (H 776) in Job 38:4 to refer to soil rather than to the entire planet itself.

Job 38:5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Job 38:5Comments- The earth's size is critical to its ability to sustain life. If the earth were too large it would be a gaseous planet like Jupiter and Saturn and incapable of sustaining life. If it were too small it not have the gravity to create an atmosphere to sustain life, and would look barren like Mercury, Venus and Mars. The Lord measured the earth's size to the necessary specifications of the laws of gravity so that it could accept and sustain life.

Job 38:6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

Job 38:6 — "Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened?" - Comments- The earth was "hung" in the sun's solar system, being fastened, or suspended, in orbit around the sun by its gravitational pull.

"or who laid the corner stone thereof" - Comments- The description of the founding of the earth in Job 38:4-6 is likened to the laying of the cornerstone at a new construction site. This cornerstone determines the direction and dimensions the rest of the building that rests upon it.

Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Job 38:7 — "When the morning stars sang together" - Comments- Job 38:7 personifies the stars singing for joy at the time God created the earth. It is widely understood that "the morning stars" mean angelic beings (Henry, 29] Clarke, 30] Barnes, JFB, 31] Zöckler). In support of this view, Zöckler and Barnes refer to Isaiah 14:12 where Lucifer is called the "son of the morning," and the fact that this statement stands parallel to "sons of God" in Hebrew poetry. 32] Barnes suggests these morning stars refer to the more "distinguished" angelic beings in heaven. Since Job 38:7 informs us that angels were created before the heavens and the earth, and since the sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth day in the Creation Story ( Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:3), it appears that the phrase "morning stars" stands parallel to and synonymous with "sons of God", so that both phrases refer to angelic beings. We also find the phrase "morning star" used in Revelation 22:16 as a reference the Jesus Christ, who shines brighter than any other saint of God, and in Revelation 2:28.

29] Matthew Henry, Job, in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on Job 38:7.

30] Adam Clarke, Job , in Adam Clarke"s Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on Job 38:7.

31] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Job , in A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Job 38:7.

32] Otto Zckler, The Book of Job , trans. by L. J. Evans, in Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, ed. Philip Schaff (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1872), 602; Albert Barnes, Notes, Critical, Illustrative, and Practical, on the Book of Job , vol 2 (New York: George A. Leavitt, 1852), 213.

Isaiah 14:12, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"

Revelation 2:28, "And I will give him the morning star."

Revelation 22:16, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."

We also find a similar phrase "the day star" used in 2 Peter 1:19.

2 Peter 1:19, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:"

However, Rawlinson interprets "the morning stars" in a literal sense as the stars of heaven singing together. 33] This would require the creation story of Job 38:4-7 to include all six days of creation so that the heavenly bodies would have had time to be created on the fourth day. Amazingly, modern science now supports this possibility. The first man to discover extra-terrestrial noise was Karl Jansky, who discovered radio waves coming from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy in August 1931, opening the door for the science of radio astronomy. 34] Since then, scientists have discovered that the planet earth emits a number of sounds, from "an ear-piercing series of chirps" to low frequency "hums". This implies that all planetary bodies emit sounds of varying frequencies, so that all solar systems emits sounds, giving scientific evidence that "stars sing together". 35]

33] George Rawlinson, Job , in The Pulpit Commentary, edited by H. D. M. Spence and Joseph Exell (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1950), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001), notes on Job 38:7.

34] "Karl Guthe Jansky," in Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia (San Francisco, California: Wikipedia Foundation, Inc.) [on-line]; accessed 20 January 2009; available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Guthe_Jansky: Internet; Ronald Smothers, "Commemorating a Discovery in Radio Astronomy," in The New York Times, 9 June 1998 [on-line]; accessed 20 January 2009; available from http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9804E 3DE 153AF 93AA 35755C 0A 96E 958260; Internet.

35] Robert Roy Britt, "Earth's Screams Recorded in Space," on Fox News [on-line]; accessed Wednesday, 2July 2008; available at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0 ,2933 ,374621 ,00.html; Internet. This article reads, "Earth emits an ear-piercing series of chirps and whistles that could be heard by any aliens who might be listening, if they"re out there. The sound is awful, a new recording from space reveals. Scientists have known about the radiation since the 1970s. It is created high above the planet, where charged particles from the solar wind collide with Earth"s magnetic field. It is related to the phenomenon that generates the colorful aurora, or Northern Lights. The radio waves are blocked by the ionosphere, a charged layer atop our atmosphere, so they do not reach Earth. That"s good, because the out-of-this-world radio waves are 10 ,000 times stronger than even the strongest military signal, the researchers said, and they would overwhelm all radio stations on the planet. Theorists had long figured the radio waves, which were not well studied, oozed into space in an ever-widening cone, like light from a torch. But new data from the European Space Agency"s Cluster mission, a group of four high-flying satellites, reveals the bursts of radio waves head off to the cosmos in beam-like fashion, instead. This means they"re more detectable to anyone who might be listening. The Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR), as it is called, is beamed out in a narrow plane, as if someone had put a mask over a torch and left a slit for the radiation to escape. This flat beam could be detected by aliens who"ve figured this process out, the researchers say. The knowledge could also be used by Earth"s astronomers to detect planets around other stars, if they can build a new radio telescope big enough for the search. They could also learn more about Jupiter and Saturn by studying AKR, which should emit from the auroral activity on those worlds, too. ‘Whenever you have aurora, you get AKR,' said Robert Mutel, a University of Iowa researcher involved in the work. The AKR bursts — Mutel and colleagues studied 12 ,000 of them — originate in spots the size of a large city a few thousand miles above Earth and above the region where the Northern Lights form. ‘We can now determine exactly where the emission is coming from,' Mutel said. Our planet is also known to hum, a mysterious low-frequency sound thought to be caused by the churning ocean or the roiling atmosphere."

Job 38:7 — "and all the sons of God shouted for joy" - Comments- To whom is the phrase "sons of God" referring to, celestial beings, or angels? Note:

Job 1:6,"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them."

Job 2:1, "Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD."

Job 38:7, "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"

Note the use of the term "son of men" in Psalm 4:2; Psalm 31:19; Psalm 33:13; Psalm 57:4; Psalm 58:1; Psalm 145:2, Proverbs 8:4; Proverbs 8:31, Ecclesiastes 1:13; Ecclesiastes 2:3; Ecclesiastes 2:8; Ecclesiastes 3:10; Ecclesiastes 3:18-19; Ecclesiastes 8:11; Ecclesiastes 9:3; Ecclesiastes 9:12, Isaiah 52:14, Jeremiah 32:19, Daniel 5:21, Daniel 10:16, Joel 1:12, Micah 5:7. Since this phrase is used primarily in the Hebrew books of poetry, it appears to be a poetic term, since there was a Hebrew word for angel ( מַלְאָךְ) (H 4397) that was used two hundred fourteen (214) times in the Old Testament. Its poetic nature becomes even more evident when the phrase is contrasted with "the daughters of men" and "sons of men."

Note "man....son of man" in Psalm 8:4, "What is Prayer of Manasseh , that thou art mindful of him? and the son of Prayer of Manasseh , that thou visitest him?"

Note also: Hosea 1:10, "Ye are the sons of the living God." This is a reference to the church age and its future. Thus, in the New Testament, the phrase, "we are sons of God" is used. So:

Romans 8:16, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."

Conclusion: "Sons of God" in Genesis 6:2 seems to refer to angelic creatures of God, and "sons of man" refers to earthly humans.

The ancient Jewish The Book of Jubilees, written a few centuries before Christ, describes these "sons of God" as angels who had come down to the sons of men in order to teach them in the ways of righteousness. But some of them defiled themselves with the daughters of men.

"And in the second week of the tenth jubilee 449-55 A.M.] Mahalalel took unto him to wife Dinah, the daughter of Barakiel the daughter of his father"s brother, and she bare him a son in the third week in the sixth year, 461 A.M.] and he called his name Jared, for in his days the angels of the Lord descended on the earth, those who are named the Watchers, that they should instruct the children of men, and that they should do judgment and uprightness on the earth..…And in the twelfth jubilee, 582-88] in the seventh week thereof, he took to himself a wife, and her name was Edna, the daughter of Danel, the daughter of his father"s brother, and in the sixth year in this week 587 A.M.] she bare him a son and he called his name Methuselah. And he was moreover with the angels of God these six jubilees of years, and they showed him everything which is on earth and in the heavens, the rule of the sun, and he wrote down everything. And he testified to the Watchers, who had sinned with the daughters of men; for these had begun to unite themselves, so as to be defiled, with the daughters of men, and Enoch testified against (them) all." (The Book of Jubilees 415-23) 36]

36] The Book of Jubilees, trans. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol 2, ed. R. H. Charles, 1-82 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 18-9.

Job 38:8-11 — God Garments the Earth With Clouds and the Sea - Job 38:8-11 describes the forming of the seas and the clouds that would appear to garment the earth if viewed from space. A properly sized earth could now sustain an atmosphere and hold liquid water on its surface. The sea below and the clouds above need to be in place in preparation for the creation of life. We see this aspect of creation in Genesis 1:6-10, when God created a firmament to divide the waters into seas and clouds.

Job 38:8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?

Job 38:8Comments- Once the earth was sized correctly to sustain an atmosphere so that it could hold liquid water ( Job 38:5), and fastened in orbit by gravity ( Job 38:6), God was able to use the laws of physics to separate the waters from the land and create the seas.

Job 38:9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,

Job 38:9Comments- The atmosphere was necessary in order to sustain life. Clouds were formed from separating the waters below and the waters above.

Job 38:10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,

Job 38:11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?

Job 38:12-13God Created Light to Judge the Wicked - The dawn takes the earth by its edges and shakes it. Then, all the wicked fall out, i.e, when morning comes, all the wicked (children of darkness) run and hide ( John 3:19). We see the creation of light on the first day of the Creation Story ( Genesis 1:3-5).

John 3:19, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

Job 38:15 And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.

Job 38:15Comments- God's plan of redemption for mankind is designed to sustain righteousness upon earth while judging the wicked. However, redemption is not limited to mankind, but the rest of His creation as well; for the earth was made subject to vanity at the time of man's fall. Paul the apostle tells us that all of creation groans and travails, awaiting the redemption of mankind so that it can be restored to perfect order ( Romans 8:19-23). Thus, every aspect of God's creation is designed to judge wickedness and man's pride. Job 38:15 tells us that light is withheld from the wicked. We know that in Hell there is no light, because the presence of God is not there to give light. Figuratively speaking, Jesus spoke in parables to the people, hiding the light of God's truth from those who would not seek Him as their Lord and Saviour.

Job 38:16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?

Job 38:16Comments- The earliest recorded references about man's knowledge that springs existed in the depths of the sea are found in the writings of Strabo, a Roman geographer who lived 63 B.C. to A.D 21.

Job 38:23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

Job 38:23Comments- The Scriptures give us a number of examples of God using hail to judge mankind.

Exodus 9:18, "Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now."

Exodus 9:24, "So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation."

Joshua 10:11, "And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword."

Isaiah 30:30, "And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones."

Ezekiel 13:11-13, "Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it."

Revelation 16:21, "And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."

Job 38:31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

Job 38:31 — "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades" - Word Study on "sweet influences" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word ( מַעֲדַנָּה) (H 4575) means, "bands," and is derived from the root verb ( עָנַד), which means, "to bind." K&D translate it "bindings" or "twistings." The LXX uses the Greek word δεσμό ν (band).

Comments- The English translation "sweet influences" (KJV) reflects the view that this Hebrew word is derived from the root verb ( עָדַן) (eden), which echoes the idea of pleasure or delight. William Wright says the phrase "sweet influences" is derived from the belief that the stars held sway over man's destiny. 37] However, other commentators believe this phrase reflects the dawning and pleasures of spring in April when these stars become first visible after hiding throughout the course of winter (see Clarke, JFB).

37] William Aldis Wright, "Pleiades," in Dr. William Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, vol 3, eds. H. B. Hackett and Ezra Abbot (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1889), 2549.

Word Study on "Pleiades" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word ( כִּימָה) (kiymah) (Pleiades) (H 3598) means, "a heap, a cluster." Strong defines this word as "Pleiades, seven stars," and is derived from an unused primitive root ( כּוּמָז) (H 3558) that means, "to store away." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word "cimah" is found three times in the Old Testament ( Job 9:9; Job 38:31, Amos 5:8), being translated in the KJV as, "Pleiades 2, seven stars 1."

Job 9:9, "Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south."

Job 38:31, "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?"

Amos 5:8, "Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:"

Comments- Webster tells us that the English name "Pleiades" is derived from Greek mythology, referring to "the seven daughters of Atlas and the nymph Pleione, fabled to have been made by Jupiter a constellation in the sky." As a constellation, it is "a group of small stars in the neck of the constellation Taurus." Since there are only six of these pleiads that are "distinctly visible to the naked eye," the ancient Greeks supposed that "a sister had concealed herself out of shame for having loved a mortal, Sisyphus." Hence, the KJV renders this same Hebrew word as "the seven stars" in Amos 5:8.

Job 38:31 — "or loose the bands of Orion" - Word Study on "Orion" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "Orion" "kes-eel" ( כְּסִיל) (H 3685) means, "a fool." Strong says it is derived from the primitive root ( כָּסַל) (H 3684), which literally means, "to be fat," and figuratively, "to be silly." Thus, this constellation is also called "the Fool." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used only 4times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Orion 3, constellation 1." This word is used in Job 38:31 and Amos 5:8 as the name of one of several constellations. Isaiah 13:10 uses this word in its plural form in a wider sense to mean all of the constellations in the heavens.

Job 38:31, "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?"

Amos 5:8, "Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:"

Isaiah 13:10, "For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine."

Comments- Webster says that Orion is "a large and bright constellation on the equator between the stars Aldebaran and Sirius…it contains a remarkable nebula visible to the naked eye." In addition, John Gill tells us that the Hebrew name "Cesil" ( כְּסִיל) is a derivative of the name of the Hebrew month "Cisleu," which corresponds to the Roman calendar of November and December at which time this constellation is visible in the Middle East. He says because this constellation appears during the stormy, winter season, Virgil referred to it as "nimbosus Orion," or "stormy Orion." 38]

38] John Gill, Job , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Job 9:9.

Comments- The legend of this constellation is of a celebrated mythological hero who was bound in the heavens for an unsuccessful war against the gods. Thus, Job 38:31 describes Orion as being bound with cords. Among the Eastern tradition this individual was identified as Nemrod, who rebelled against the Lord in Genesis. 39] However, the Greeks identified this person as Orion, a celebrated hunter in the oldest Greek mythology of a gigantic stature. 40]

39] Albert Barnes, Job , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Job 9:9.

40] David H. Levy, "Orion," in The World Book Encyclopedia, vol 14 (Chicago: World Book, Inc, 1994), 856.

Job 38:32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?

Job 38:32 — "Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season" - Word Study on "Mazzaroth" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "Mazzaroth" "mazzarah" ( מַזָּרֹות) (H 4216) means, "the signs of the Zodiac." Strong says it means, "some noted constellation;" but since it is used only in the plural, "perhaps the zodiac." BDB says it refers to "the 12signs of the Zodiac and their 36 constellations." Strong says the word many have originated from ( נָזַר) (H 5144), which means, "to dedicate, consecrate, separate." This suggests that the constellations of the Zodiac were set apart for a particular purpose. This Hebrew word is only used one time in the Old Testament. Holladay suggests that this word may take the broader meaning of "the constellations," or it may refer specifically to Venus, it being "the evening and morning star," or "Hyades (in Taurus)." These particular stars could be viewed as one of the morning stars. Holladay and John Gill also suggest that it may refer to the southern constellations which are "separated," or "hidden," from view from this region of the world.

The LXX transliterates the Hebrew word as " μαζουρωθ" in Job 38:32, which means that these Hebrew letters are simply converted into another alphabet. Jerome translates it "luciferum" (VgClem) as a reference to the morning star. In the KJV and many other modern English versions, the Hebrew word ( מַזָּרֹות) is not translated, but rather transliterated as "Mazzaroth" (ASV, BBE, ESV, HNV, JPS, KJV, LXX, NAB, NRSV, RSV, YLT). Many other English versions translate this Hebrew word to give the broader meaning, "the constellations" (Darby, God'sWord, LITV, NIV, WEB). The NCV reads, "the stars." The NLT reads, "the sequence [of the seasons]." Rotherham translates it, "The Signs of the Zodiac."

Word Study on "season" - Strong says the Hebrew word "season" "ayth" ( עֵת) (H 6256) means, "time." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 296 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "time 257, season 16, when 7, always 4, eveningtide + 061532, misc 10."

Comments- The sentence, "Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season?" could read, "Can you bring forth the twelve major constellations and their thirty-six associated constellations in the twelve times [months] of the year?"

Job 38:32 — "or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons" - Word Study on "Arcturus" - Strong tells us that the Hebrew word "ayish" ( עַיִשׁ) (H 5906) comes from ( עוּש) (H 5789), which means, "to hasten." However, Easton suggests that the word "aish" is derived from an Arabic word meaning "night-watcher" because this constellation revolves around the North Pole and never sets. John Gill says that Arcturus does set in the horizon, first appearing in early September at the beginning of stormy weather preceding winter. 41]

41] John Gill, Job , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Job 9:9.

Comments- Webster tells us that the English name Arcturus is derived from the Latin "arcturus" (OE. artik, OF. artique, F. arctique, L. arcticus, L. Arcturus), which is derived from the Greek words αρκτος ουρα , meaning "bear tail." It is in the same family of words with "arctic," which means, "Pertaining to, or situated under, the northern constellation called the Bear." In addition, the alternate title "Ursa Major" is derived from the Latin "ursus" meaning, "bear."

Scholars give us several opinions as to the identification of the Hebrew word "Arcturus" "ayish" ( עַיִשׁ) (H 5906). Some say that it refers to the constellation commonly known as "the Great Bear," "Ursa Major," or "Charles' Wain" (Smith, ISBE) 42] Others, such as Easton, tells us that Arcturus refers to a single star called "bear-keeper," which is the brightest star within the constellation Bootes located near the Bear.

42] E. W. Maunder, "Arcturus," and "Astronomy, II," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word ( עַיִשׁ) is used only 2times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Arcturus 2." Its second use in found in Job 38:32 and makes a reference to "his sons," which supports the second view that the Hebrew word Arcturus is the brightest star within a constellation of stars. However, it may be that the name for this bright star is being used to identify its constellation as well.

Job 38:32, "Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?"

Comments- The NIV reads, "the Bear with its cubs." Rotherham reads, "the Bear and her Young." JFB says that this refers to Ursa Major and the three stars in its tail.

Job 38:33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?

Job 38:33Comments- The ancients understood that the heavens held mysterious laws that determined the seasons and other natural events upon the earth.

"Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven" - Comments- Job 38:33 a tells us that there are laws that govern the heavenly bodies, which we know today as the laws of physics.

"canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?" - Comments- Job 38:33 b can be interpreted to read that the earth answers to these heavenly ordinances (BBE, KD). For example, since 1792 The Old Farmer's Almanac has been used in an effort to plant crops by these laws, and ancient astrologers advised kings by watching the course of the stars and heavenly bodies. Yet, today much knowledge of the laws and effects of the universe are still beyond our knowledge.

BBE, "Have you knowledge of the laws of the heavens? did you give them rule over the earth?"

Keil & Delitzsch, "Knowest thou the laws of heaven, Or dost thou define its influence on the earth?" 43]

43] C. F. Keil, and F. Delitzsch, The Book of Job , in Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on Job 38:31-38.

We find similar statements in Genesis 1:14-19 and Jeremiah 31:35

Genesis 1:14, "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day."

Jeremiah 31:35, "Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:"

Job 38:38 When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?

Job 38:38Comments- Job 38:38 describes the dry earth in need of rain and moisture in order to fulfill its design and purpose of growing plants to feed the beasts of the field, and providing a place they can rest.


Verse 39

God As Sustainer of Life on the Earth — - In Job 38:39 to Job 39:30 God reveals Himself as the sustainer of all life on earth. Here is a proposed outline of this passage:

God Sustains the Lion — Job 38:39-40

God Sustains the Raven — Job 38:41

God Sustains the Wild Goats & Deer — Job 39:1-4

God Sustains the Wild Donkey — Job 39:5-8

God Sustains the Wild Ox — Job 39:9-12

God Sustains the Ostrich — Job 39:13-18

God Sustains the Horse — Job 39:19-25

God Sustains the Hawk & Eagle — Job 39:26-30

In this passage of Scripture God will describe the mysteries of nature. Modern science explains animal behaviour as an instinct with which all animals have at birth. Others call these mysteries "Mother Nature." Actually, God is directing each animal's behaviour upon earth.

Illustration- As young boys roaming the woods in Florida, we found a bird"s nest with three small birds in it. It seems that they were either young mocking birds or blue jays. In our excitement we snatched them out of their nest and took them home to feed and raise them ourselves. Kids love pets. All three of us worked to feed them. Ants crawled on them. Then, Mom came and tried to help us out. Yet the four of us were not able to raise those three small birds. Unfortunately, these small birds died. God had equipped one little mother bird to do what three boys and a mom could not do.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Job 38:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/job-38.html. 2013.

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