|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 31. - For by them judgeth he the people. By his clouds God works two opposite effects. On the one hand, he executes judgment upon the peoples, destroying their crops, causing widespread ruin by inundations, smiting and slaying numbers with his thunderbolts; on the other, he giveth meat in abundance, restoring to the parched earth its fertility by means of copious and refreshing showers, stimulating vegetation, and so furthering the harvest.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For by them judgeth he the people,.... That is, by the clouds; which the Lord uses both in a way of judgment, as expressed in this clause; and in a way of mercy, as in the following; by these, and what issue out of them, as rain, hail, winds, thunder, and lightning, he sometimes punishes the inhabitants of the earth, as he did the old world by a deluge of water, which came partly from the fountains of the great deep, and partly from the windows of heaven, which destroyed man and beast, and the increase of the earth, Genesis 7:11; he punished the Egyptians by a violent storm of hail, Exodus 9:23; and slew many of the Canaanites with hailstones, Joshua 10:11; Pharaoh and his host sunk like lead when he blew with his wind, Exodus 15:10; and Sodom and Gomorrah, with the cities of the plain, were destroyed with thunder and lightning, fire and brimstone, from heaven, Genesis 19:24; as the army of the Philistines were discomfited by thunder in the times of Samuel, 1 Samuel 7:10; and the captains of fifties, with their men, were consumed by lightning in the times of Elijah, 2 Kings 1:14; and as the heavens and the earth will be burnt with fire at the end of all things, Matthew 13:40, 2 Peter 3:12;
he giveth meat in abundance; very plentifully, or to a multitude of creatures, both men and cattle; who have a liberal supply of food by means of the clouds and rain, which falling upon the earth make it fruitful, so that it gives bread to the eater, and seed to the sower; causes grass to grow up for the beasts of the field, and produces bread corn, oil, and wine, for the benefit of men; an emblem of the variety and plenty of spiritual food dispensed to the churches of Christ, through the ministry of the word, and by the ministers of it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
31. These (rain and lightnings) are marvellous and not to be understood (Job 36:29), yet necessary. "For by them He judgeth (chastiseth on the one hand), &c. (and on the other, by them) He giveth meat" (food), &c. (Job 37:13; 38:23, 27; Ac 14:17).
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