|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:24-33 Elihu endeavours to fill Job with high thought of God, and so to persuade him into cheerful submission to his providence. Man may see God's works, and is capable of discerning his hand in them, which the beasts are not, therefore they ought to give him the glory. But while the worker of iniquity ought to tremble, the true believer should rejoice. Children should hear with pleasure their Father's voice, even when he speaks in terror to his enemies. There is no light but there may be a cloud to intercept it. The light of the favour of God, the light of his countenance, the most blessed light of all, even that light has many a cloud. The clouds of our sins cause the Lord to his face, and hinder the light of his loving-kindness from shining on our souls.
Verse 30. - Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it. God flashes the weird brilliance of his lightning over the heaven - not over himself, as some translate (Rosenmuller, Cook). He lights up the whole sky at once with the electric splendour, and even covereth with it the bottom (literally, the roots) of the see. This is, of course, hyperbole; but it seems to be Elihu's meaning.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it,.... Upon his tabernacle; that is, upon the clouds, which are his tabernacle; either the light of the sun, whereby the clouds are dispersed and blotted out; an emblem of the blotting out of sin, or the forgiveness of it, Isaiah 44:22, which is like a clear shining after rain, 2 Samuel 23:4, or on a thin cloud, whereby the rainbow is formed, an emblem of peace and reconciliation by Christ; or lightning, which bursting out of the dark cloud is spread over it, when it seems to be all in flames. Cocceius renders it, "he spreads the light about himself"; God spreads it about himself, clothing himself with light as with a garment, and dwelling in light inaccessible to men: or he "spreads it upon him", upon man; causing his sun to shine on the just and unjust; or on it, the earth; so it was spread when first commanded to shine out of darkness, with which the earth in its primeval state was covered; and so it is spread every morning upon the earth; as soon as day breaks, the morning is spread upon the mountains, and in a short time it overspreads the whole hemisphere; an emblem this of the spread of the light of grace over the dark hearts of men, in conversion, which are like the earth in its chaotic state, or as in the night season covered with darkness; out of which they are called and brought by the grace of God, having the true light sprung and placed in their souls; which at first is but glimmering, and at best imperfect in the present state, yet is spreading and increasing, Proverbs 4:18; and of the spread of the great and glorious light of the Gospel in the world, in the times of the apostles, and as it will be in the latter day glory;
and covereth the bottom of the sea, or "the roots of the sea" (n); though one would think they should be rather covered with water and with darkness, as they are; see Job 38:8. This is to be understood either of the light of the sun, and the rays of it, which are so piercing and penetrating as to reach to the bottom of the sea, and cover it and exhale waters out of it; or of lightning, which is equally as piercing and penetrating, or more, and strikes to the very roots of the sea, and covers them, or rather discovers them, so that the channels of waters are seen, and the foundations of the world are discovered, Psalm 18:14; the Targum of this verse is,
"he spreads upon it rain, and covers the rocks or foundations of the sea;''
and the rain is called light according to Ramban, because by the descent of it the day is enlightened, and the darkness of the clouds removed; and by this means the bottom of the sea is covered, so that it passes its bounds and covers the rocks, that is, the borders of it, as others explain it (o).
(n) "radices maris", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (o) In Bar Tzemach in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
it—His tabernacle (Job 36:29). The light, in an instant spread over the vast mass of dark clouds, forms a striking picture.
spread—is repeated from Job 36:29 to form an antithesis. "He spreads not only clouds, but light."
covereth the bottom—roots.
of the sea—namely, with the light. In the storm the depths of ocean are laid bare; and the light "covers" them, at the same moment that it "spreads" across the dark sky. So in Ps 18:14, 15, the discovering of "the channels of waters" follows the "lightnings." Umbreit translates: "He spreadeth His light upon Himself, and covereth Himself with the roots of the sea" (Ps 104:2). God's garment is woven of celestial light and of the watery depths, raised to the sky to form His cloudy canopy. The phrase, "cover Himself with the roots of the sea," is harsh; but the image is grand.
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