|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:20-28 There is a two-fold wisdom; one hid in God, which is secret, and belongs not to us; the other made known by him, and revealed to man. One day's events, and one man's affairs, have such reference to, and so hang one upon another, that He only, to whom all is open, and who sees the whole at one view, can rightly judge of every part. But the knowledge of God's revealed will is within our reach, and will do us good. Let man look upon this as his wisdom, To fear the Lord, and to depart from evil. Let him learn that, and he is learned enough. Where is this wisdom to be found? The treasures of it are hid in Christ, revealed by the word, received by faith, through the Holy Ghost. It will not feed pride or vanity, or amuse our vain curiosity. It teaches and encourages sinners to fear the Lord, and to depart from evil, in the exercise of repentance and faith, without desiring to solve all difficulties about the events of this life.
Verse 26. - When he made a decree for the rain. God "made a decree for the rain" when be placed the fall of rain under fixed and unalterable laws. In some countries rainy seasons begin almost regularly on a fixed day in the calendar, while for several months in the year it is almost certain that rain will not fall. Even where there is no such exact regularity as this, the rainfall has its laws, since there are maxima and minima which are never exceeded. And a way for the lightning of the thunder. God gave laws to the electric current, and prescribed the "way" that it should take in its passage from heaven to earth, or from cloud to cloud, or from earth to heaven. Everything was ruled beforehand by Infinite Wisdom.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder. Decreed within himself that he would give it; for rain is his gift alone, and which none of the vanities of the Gentiles can give, and a wonderful blessing to the earth it is; and which God bestows on all sorts of men, both good and bad, and causes it to fall sometimes on one place and sometimes on another, sometimes in greater, sometimes in lesser showers; and according to his sovereign pleasure he gives or withholds it; the effects of which are quickly seen. Mr. Broughton renders the clause, "he made a bound for the rain, and a way for the lightning of thunder", or "the lightning and the thunder", as Ben Gersom, who thinks the copulative "and", is wanting. Thunder is from God, it is his voice, and the word here used is in the plural number, "voices" (m), signifying various claps of thunder; and lightning generally accompanies it, which, though first perceived, they are both at once the eye doing its office quicker than the ear; and a cloud also is usual; and so some render the word for lightning, as in Zechariah 10:1; it may signify the way of the lightning out of the thunder cloud, and attending claps of thunder; the thunder breaks the cloud and makes a path for the lightning: the Targum is,
"a path for the lightnings, which run with the voices or thunders;''
but, though the course or path the lightning steers is very quick and very extensive from east to west, and cannot be traced by us. God that made it knows it, and he knows the path and place of wisdom. Sephorno interprets this of the thunder and lightnings at the giving of the law, which he understands by wisdom, as do other Jewish writers: Pliny (n) speaks of thunder and lightning as chance matters; but Seneca (o) more truly ascribes them to divine power and Providence, as here.
(m) "vocum", Piscator, Mercerus, Drusius. (n) Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 43. (o) Nat. Quaest. l. 2. c. 13. 31.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. The decree regulating at what time and place, and in what quantity, the rain should fall.
a way—through the parted clouds (Job 38:25; Zec 10:1).
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