|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 32. - With clouds he covereth the light; rather, he covereth both his hands with light, i.e. with the lightning. So Vul was represented in Assyrian and Zeus in Greek mythology, as filling their hands with thunderbolts, and hurling them upon their foes in their wrath. And commandeth it not to shine, etc. This rendering is wholly indefensible. Translate, And layeth command upon it that it strike the mark (compare the Revised Version).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
With clouds he covereth the light,.... Either the lightning, which is hid and covered in the black dark cloud until it bursts out of it; or the light of the sun, which is wonderful, that waters naturally clear and transparent, when formed into clouds, should obstruct the rays of the sun and darken it; see Ezekiel 32:7; and thus it was in the storm and tempest the Apostle Paul was in many days, which was so thick and dark, that the sun and stars did not appear of a long time, Acts 27:20;
and commandeth it not to shine, by the cloud that cometh betwixt; that is, commands the sun that it shines not, or hinders it from shining, by reason of the intervening clouds; this is an emblem of sin interposing between God and his people, which causes him to hide his face from them and not shine upon them: sins are comparable to clouds for numbers, being more than can be told; and for their nature and quality, like clouds they rise out of the earthly and carnal heart of man; and which is also like a troubled sea which cannot rest; and which reach up unto heaven and bring down wrath and vengeance from thence on wicked men; and in God's own people, like the clouds they intercept the light of his countenance, the bright shining of the sun of righteousness, the comfort, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit: the words may be rendered, "with hands he covers the light, and commands that it shine not by reason of what comes between": and they are understood by some, as by Schmidt particularly, of the eclipses of the sun and moon, when God as it were covers them with hands, and suffers them not to shine by intervening bodies; so the eclipse of the sun is occasioned by the moon's coming between that and the earth, and the eclipse of the moon by the interposition of the earth between that and the sun; the Targum is,
"because of rapine of hands he restrains rain, and commands it to descend because of him that prays,''
who comes between and intercedes for a sinful people, as Elijah did; or, as others, he commands the lightning that it harms not because of him that comes between and intercedes with his prayers.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32. Rather, "He covereth (both) His hands with light (lightning, Job 37:3, Margin), and giveth it a command against his adversary" (literally, the one "assailing" Him, Ps 8:2; 139:20; Job 21:19). Thus, as in Job 36:31, the twofold effects of His waters are set forth, so here, of His light; in the one hand, destructive lightning against the wicked; in the other, the genial light for good to His friends, &c. (Job 36:33) [Umbreit].
Job 36:32 Parallel Commentaries
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