|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:5-14 Many striking instances are here given of the wisdom and power of God, in the creation and preservation of the world. If we look about us, to the earth and waters here below, we see his almighty power. If we consider hell beneath, though out of our sight, yet we may conceive the discoveries of God's power there. If we look up to heaven above, we see displays of God's almighty power. By his Spirit, the eternal Spirit that moved upon the face of the waters, the breath of his mouth, Ps 33:6, he has not only made the heavens, but beautified them. By redemption, all the other wonderful works of the Lord are eclipsed; and we may draw near, and taste his grace, learn to love him, and walk with delight in his ways. The ground of the controversy between Job and the other disputants was, that they unjustly thought from his afflictions that he must have been guilty of heinous crimes. They appear not to have duly considered the evil and just desert of original sin; nor did they take into account the gracious designs of God in purifying his people. Job also darkened counsel by words without knowledge. But his views were more distinct. He does not appear to have alleged his personal righteousness as the ground of his hope towards God. Yet what he admitted in a general view of his case, he in effect denied, while he complained of his sufferings as unmerited and severe; that very complaint proving the necessity for their being sent, in order to his being further humbled in the sight of God.
Verse 13. - By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; or, by his spirit the heavens are brightness; i.e. at a breath from his mouth the heavens, lately all cloud and storm (vers. 8-11), recover their serenity, are calm and clear and bright. Our experience says, "After a storm comes a calm." Job notes that both alike are from God. His hand hath formed the crooked serpent; rather, his hand hath pierced the swift serpent (see the Revised Version). The reference is probably to "the war in heaven," already suggested by the mention of" Rahab" (ver. 12). In that war, according to the tradition that had reached Job, a great serpent, like the Egyptian Apepi (Apophis), had borne a part.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens,.... The visible heavens, with the sun, moon, and stars, with which they are studded and bespangled, and look exceeding beautiful; and the invisible heavens, with angels, the morning stars, and glorified saints, who especially in the resurrection morn will shine not only like stars, but as the sun in the firmament of heaven; and the church, which is the heaven below, is garnished with Gospel ministers, adorned with the gifts and graces of the spirit of God:
his hand hath formed the crooked serpent; because Job in the preceding clause has respect to the heavens and the ornament of them, this has led many to think that some constellation in the heavens is meant by the crooked serpent, either the galaxy, or milky way, as Ben Gersom and others; or the dragon star, as some in Aben Ezra (c): but rather Job descends again to the sea, and concludes with taking notice of the wonderful work of God, the leviathan, with which God himself concludes his discourse with him in the close of this book, which is called as here the crooked or "bar serpent", Isaiah 27:1; and so the Targum understands it,
"his hand hath created leviathan, which is like unto a biting serpent.''
Some understand it of the crocodile, and the epithet agrees with it, whether it be rendered a "bar serpent", as some (d); that is, straight, stretched out, long, as a bar, the reverse of our version; or "fleeing" (e), as others; the crocodile being, as Pliny (f) says, terrible to those that flee from it, but flees from those that pursue it. Jarchi interprets it of Pharaoh, or leviathan, both an emblem of Satan, the old serpent, the devil, who is God's creature, made by him as a creature, though not made a serpent, or a devil, by him, which was of himself. Some have observed the trinity of persons in these words, and who doubtless were concerned in the creation of all things; here is "Jehovah", of whom the whole context is; and "his Spirit", who, as he moved upon the face of the waters at the first creation, is here said to beautify and adorn the heavens; "and his hand"; his Son, the power and wisdom of God, by whom he made all things.
(c) So Dickinson. Physic. Vet. & Vera, c. 9. sect. 23. p. 137. (d) "serpentem vectem", Pagninus, Cocceius; "oblongum instar vectis", Schmidt; "oblongum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "longa trabe rectior". Vide Metamorph. l. 3. Fab. 1. ver. 78. (e) "Fugacem", Montanus, Vatablus; "fugiens", Codurcus. (f) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 25.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Umbreit less simply, "By His breath He maketh the heavens to revive": namely, His wind dissipates the clouds, which obscured the shining stars. And so the next clause in contrast, "His hand doth strangle," that is, obscures the north constellation, the dragon. Pagan astronomy typified the flood trying to destroy the ark by the dragon constellation, about to devour the moon in its eclipsed crescent-shape like a boat (Job 3:8, Margin). But better as English Version (Ps 33:6).
crooked—implying the oblique course, of the stars, or the ecliptic. "Fleeing" or "swift" [Umbreit] (Isa 27:1). This particular constellation is made to represent the splendor of all the stars.
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