|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
38:25-41 Hitherto God had put questions to Job to show him his ignorance; now God shows his weakness. As it is but little that he knows, he ought not to arraign the Divine counsels; it is but little he can do, therefore he ought not to oppose the ways of Providence. See the all-sufficiency of the Divine Providence; it has wherewithal to satisfy the desire of every living thing. And he that takes care of the young ravens, certainly will not be wanting to his people. This being but one instance of the Divine compassion out of many, gives us occasion to think how much good our God does, every day, beyond what we are aware of. Every view we take of his infinite perfections, should remind us of his right to our love, the evil of sinning against him, and our need of his mercy and salvation.
Verse 37. - Who can number the clouds in wisdom? i.e. Who is wise enough to number the clouds, and say how many they are? Or who can stay the bottles of heaven! rather, Who can pour out? (see the Revised Version). The "bottles," or "water-skins," of heaven are the dense clouds heavy with rain, which alternately hold the moisture like a reservoir, and pour it out upon the earth. God alone can determine when the rain shall fall.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Who can number the clouds in wisdom?.... Or has such wisdom as to be able to count them when the heavens are full of them; hence they are used to denote a great multitude, Isaiah 55:8; or "declare" them (t), set forth and explain the nature of them, their matter, motion, and use; none can do this perfectly or completely. Aben Ezra interprets it, who can make them as sapphire? in which he is followed by Mr. Broughton and others (u); the sapphire is a precious stone, very clear and lucid, of a sky colour. And then the sense is, who can make a clear and serene sky, when it is cloudy? None but the Lord; see Job 37:11;
or who can stay the bottles of heaven? or "barrels", as Mr. Broughton; the clouds in which the rain is bottled or barrelled up; and when it is the pleasure of God to pour them out, who can stay, stop, or restrain them? or who can "cause them to lie down" (w)? that is, on the earth; to descend or "distil" on it, as the same translator. Who can do this, when it is the will of God to withhold them? To stop or unstop, those bottles, to restrain rain, or pour it forth, is entirely at his dispose, and not man's; see Job 38:34.
(t) "enarrabit", V. L. "vel explicabit", Mercerus, Schmidt. (u) Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vid. Ravii Orthograph. Ebr. p. 22. (w) "cubare faciet", Drusius, Schmidt; "quiescere", Montanus; "descendere", Pagninus, so Aben Ezra; "effundit humi", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
37. Who appoints by his wisdom the due measure of the clouds?
stay—rather, "empty"; literally, "lay down" or "incline" so as to pour out.
bottles of heaven—rain-filled clouds.
Job 38:37 Parallel Commentaries
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