|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
35:1-8 Elihu reproves Job for justifying himself more than God, and called his attention to the heavens. They are far above us, and God is far above them; how much then is he out of the reach, either of our sins or of our services! We have no reason to complain if we have not what we expect, but should be thankful that we have better than we deserve.
Verse 5. - Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou; i.e. "look to the material sky and heavens, so far above thee and so unapproachable, and judge from them how far the God who made them is above thy puny, feeble self - how incapable he is of being touched by any of thy doings."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Look unto the heavens, and see,.... The firmament of heaven, in which are the sun and moon and stars:
and behold the clouds which are higher than thou; the clouds of the air or sky, which are lower than the starry heavens, yet these were higher than Job, and much more the starry heavens: but because the word has the signification of "thinness", which does not so well agree with the clouds, which are thick substances, condensed air; some take it to be meant of the supreme region of the heavens, which is pure and thin; so Sephorno: and Job is directed to look to these, not as stargazers do, such as are given to judicial astrology, to judge of the fates of men and kingdoms; but rather thereby to be led to the contemplation of God the author of them, and the glorious perfections of his being they display; and chiefly to observe the height of them, that they were out of his reach, and he could neither help them nor hurt them; that he could neither increase nor diminish the light of the celestial bodies, which he could only behold; nor either advance or hinder their course, nor in the least add to or abate their influence and efficacy; and if he could neither be beneficial nor harmful to them, how was it possible that he could be of any advantage or detriment to God, by any actions of his, good or bad, who is higher and out of sight? This is the answer Elihu in general returned, he more particularly replies as follows.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5-8. Elihu like Eliphaz (Job 22:2, 3, 12) shows that God is too exalted in nature to be susceptible of benefit or hurt from the righteousness or sin of men respectively; it is themselves that they benefit by righteousness, or hurt by sin.
behold the clouds, which are higher than thou—spoken with irony. Not only are they higher than thou, but thou canst not even reach them clearly with the eye. Yet these are not as high as God's seat. God is therefore too exalted to be dependent on man. Therefore He has no inducement to injustice in His dealings with man. When He afflicts, it must be from a different motive; namely, the good of the sufferer.
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