|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
37:1-13 The changes of the weather are the subject of a great deal of our thoughts and common talk; but how seldom do we think and speak of these things, as Elihu, with a regard to God, the director of them! We must notice the glory of God, not only in the thunder and lightning, but in the more common and less awful changes of the weather; as the snow and rain. Nature directs all creatures to shelter themselves from a storm; and shall man only be unprovided with a refuge? Oh that men would listen to the voice of God, who in many ways warns them to flee from the wrath to come; and invites them to accept his salvation, and to be happy. The ill opinion which men entertain of the Divine direction, peculiarly appears in their murmurs about the weather, though the whole result of the year proves the folly of their complaints. Believers should avoid this; no days are bad as God makes them, though we make many bad by our sins.
Verse 10. - By the breath of God frost is given (comp. Psalm 147:16-18). "The breath of God," which is a metaphor for the will of God, causes alike both frost and thaw. And the breadth of the waters is straitened; or, congealed. A broad expanse of water is suddenly turned by frost into a stiff and solid mass.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
By the breath of God frost is given,.... By the word of God, as the Targum; at his command it is, at his word it comes, and at his word it goes, Psalm 147:15; or by his will, as Ben Gersom interprets it, when it is his pleasure it should be, it appears; it may be understood of a freezing wind from the Lord, for a wind is sometimes expressed by the breath of his nostrils, Psalm 18:15; and as the word "God" added to things increases the signification of them, as mountains of God are strong mountains; so the breath of God may signify a strong wind, as Sephorno notes, the north wind (q);
and the breadth of the waters is straitened; by the frost they are reduced and brought into a narrower compass; or made hard, as Mr. Broughton renders it; so hard as to walk upon, to draw carriages on, and lay weights and burdens very great upon; or become compact or bound together, like metal melted, poured out, and consolidated; though some think it refers to the thawing of ice by the south winds (r), when the waters return to their former breadth; which is done by the breath or commandment of God, as appears from the place before quoted from the psalmist, Psalm 18:15; for it may be rendered, "and the breadth of the waters is pouring out", so the Targum, when thawed; or through the pouring down of rain, so the Syriac and Arabic versions, "he sends forth plenty of water".
(q) "Induroque nives", &c. Ovid. (r) "----cum vere reverso Bistoniae tepuere nives", &c. Statii Theb. l. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. the breath of God—poetically, for the ice-producing north wind.
straitened—physically accurate; frost compresses or contracts the expanded liquid into a congealed mass (Job 38:29, 30; Ps 147:17, 18).
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