|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
38:12-24 The Lord questions Job, to convince him of his ignorance, and shame him for his folly in prescribing to God. If we thus try ourselves, we shall soon be brought to own that what we know is nothing in comparison with what we know not. By the tender mercy of our God, the Day-spring from on high has visited us, to give light to those that sit in darkness, whose hearts are turned to it as clay to the seal, 2Co 4:6. God's way in the government of the world is said to be in the sea; this means, that it is hid from us. Let us make sure that the gates of heaven shall be opened to us on the other side of death, and then we need not fear the opening of the gates of death. It is presumptuous for us, who perceive not the breadth of the earth, to dive into the depth of God's counsels. We should neither in the brightest noon count upon perpetual day, nor in the darkest midnight despair of the return of the morning; and this applies to our inward as well as to our outward condition. What folly it is to strive against God! How much is it our interest to seek peace with him, and to keep in his love!
Verse 13. - That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? The idea seems to he that the dawn, suddenly appearing, seizes hold of all the ends of the earth "at one rush" (Canon Cook), and lights up the whole terrestrial region. The wicked, lovers of darkness, are taken by surprise, and receive a shock from which they recover with difficulty (comp. Job 24:16, 17). That they are "shaken from the earth" must be regarded as Oriental hyperbole.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,.... As when the morning light springs forth, it quickly does, reaching in a short time the extreme part of the hemisphere; which, and what goes before, may be applied to the light of the Gospel, and the direction of that under divine Providence in the several parts of the world, and unto the ends of it; see Psalm 19:4;
that the wicked might be shaken out of it? the earth, by means of the light; which may be understood either of wicked men who have been all night upon works of darkness, and be take themselves on the approach of light to private lurking places, like beasts of prey, so that the earth seems to be, as it were, clear of them; or of their being taken up in the morning for deeds done in the night, and brought to justice, which used to be exercised in mornings, Jeremiah 21:12; and so the earth rid of them: thus wicked men shun the light, of the Gospel, and are condemned by it; and in the latter day light and glory they will cease from the earth; see John 3:19.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. take hold of the ends, &c.—spread itself over the earth to its utmost bounds in a moment.
wicked—who hate the light, and do their evil works in the dark (Job 24:13).
shaken out of it—The corners (Hebrew, "wings" or "skirts") of it, as of a garment, are taken hold of by the dayspring, so as to shake off the wicked.
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