|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 20. - That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof. Can Job "take" light and darkness, and lead them to their proper places, and make them observe their proper "bounds," as God can (Genesis 1:4)? And that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof (comp. ver. 19).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof,.... Either darkness, or rather the light; take it as it were by the hand, and guide and direct its course to its utmost bound. This only the Lord can do and does: he has set a tabernacle for the sun, which goes forth at his command as a strong man to run a race; whose going forth is from the end of the heavens, and his circuit unto the ends of it: in which his course is so steered and directed by the Lord, that he never misses his way or errs from it; but keeps his path exactly, as well as knows its rising and setting, its utmost bounds;
and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof? from whence it sets out, and whither it returns; see Psalm 19:4. And so the light and darkness of prosperity and adversity, as well as natural light and darkness, are of God, at his disposal, and bounded by him, and therefore his will should be submitted to; which is the doctrine the Lord would teach Job by all this.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. Dost thou know its place so well as to be able to guide, ("take" as in Isa 36:17) it to (but Umbreit, "reach it in") its own boundary, that is, the limit between light and darkness (Job 26:10)?
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