Jeremiah 10:13
When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
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(13) A multitude of waters.—Better, a rush of waters, following on the thunder, which is thought of as the voice of God (comp. Psalm 29:3). The prophet finds the tokens of Almighty Power alike in the fixed order of the Cosmos and its most catastrophic perturbations. The strict construction of the Hebrew gives, At the voice of His giving the roar of waters.

He maketh lightnings.—The last half of the verse agrees verbally with Psalm 135:7 (where see Note), and one is obviously a quotation from the other, or both from some common source. We have no data, however, for saying which is the older of the two. The idea of the “treasure chambers” from which the winds are brought appears in Job 38:22.

10:1-16 The prophet shows the glory of Israel's God, and exposes the folly of idolaters. Charms and other attempts to obtain supernatural help, or to pry into futurity, are copied from the wicked customs of the heathen. Let us stand in awe, and not dare provoke God, by giving that glory to another which is due to him alone. He is ready to forgive, and save all who repent and believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Faith learns these blessed truths from the word of God; but all knowledge not from that source, leads to doctrines of vanity.When ... - i. e., the rushing downpour of rain follows immediately upon the thunder. The rest of the verse is identical with marginal reference; but probably the words belong to Jeremiah, the Psalm being of comparatively late date.

With rain - For the rain Psalm 135:7.

13. Literally, "At the voice of His giving forth," that is, when He thunders. (Job 38:34; Ps 29:3-5).

waters—(Ge 1:7)—above the firmament; heavy rains accompany thunder.

vapours … ascend—(Ps 135:7).

treasures—His stores.

As in the former verse he relates God’s unspeakable power and wisdom in his creating and fixing the stated order of things; so here he further sets it forth in his providential ordering and disposing their accidents.

When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters; i.e. either at his command, when he is pleased to call for the rain; or rather, when he thundereth in the heavens, Job 37:4,5 Psa 77:18: though it often rains when it thunders not, and thunders when it rains not, yet when it rains and thunders the rain usually falls more forcibly from the clouds, and in more sudden plenty, as it were a more immediate consequent of it.

The heavens, viz. the lowest heaven, the region of the air.

The vapours; exhalations, whether wet or dry, causing wind or rain, by the ascending whereof the lower heavens gather them into clouds, which, when full and burdened, descend in showers for the conveniences of the earth and springs.

He maketh lightnings with rain: though fire and water be contrary, yet it opens the clouds to make way for the rain, and is produced in the midst of waters, all which is wonderful.

And bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures; which, partly, notes that it is secret and hidden, as coming from the caverns and hollow parts of the earth; no man knows from whence they come, or whither they go, John 3:8; and it is wonderful to observe how suddenly at a calm time the winds will rise how they will whirl about, how various, unconstant, and contrary in their motions; and partly, the plenty, both for vehemency and continuance, signified also by treasures, the plenty of snow and hail being thus expressed, Job 38:22; and partly, that it is at his disposal to bring out of his treasure when he pleases. See Psalm 135:7.

When he uttereth his voice,.... Declares his will and pleasure, issues out his commands; or when he thunders, for thunder is his voice, Job 37:2,

there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; they are covered with clouds, and these clouds full of water; which is brought about by the following means:

and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; from the north and south, as Kimchi observes from the philosophers; or from all parts of the earth, the most distant, and particularly from the sea, the border of the earth, from whence clouds arise, being exhaled by the sun; see 1 Kings 18:43.

He maketh lightnings with rain; which very often go together, and the one makes way for the other, Job 28:26, though they are so opposite one to another:

and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures; the caverns of the earth, or his fists, in which he holds it, Proverbs 30:4 and lets its loose at his pleasure; he has plenty of it in reserve; he is Lord over it; he sends it forth when he pleases, and it fulfils his will and his word.

When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
13. when he uttereth his voice, etc.] The sense is plain, though the form of the Hebrew in MT. is peculiar, and hence the alternative in mg. at the sound of his giving an abundance of waters, continuing, when he causeth or (simply), he causeth. Thunder, torrential rain, lightning, and winds mark Jehovah’s supremacy over the elements of the storm.

maketh lightnings for the rain] probably meaning, pierceth with his flash the clouds, so that they pour their contents upon the earth. For the v. cp. Psalm 135:7.

Verse 13. - When he uttereth his voice, etc. The phrase is difficult, but the Authorized Version probably gives the right sense. God's "voice" is the thunder (Psalm 29:3), which is accompanied by the gathering of heavy clouds ("His pavilion round about him," Psalm 18:11). He causeth the vapors to ascend, etc.; the storm-clouds coming up more and more thickly from the horizon. From this point the verse agrees with Psalm 135:7 (the psalm is full of such reminiscences, and is obviously very late). Lightning's with rain; rather, for the rain. The lightning's are, as it were, the heralds or attendants of the rain. The wind out of his treasures; a noble figure, used elsewhere of the snow and hail (Job 38:22), and of the waters of the sea (Psalm 33:7). Jeremiah 10:13The third strophe. - In it the almighty power of the living God is shown from His providential government of nature, the overthrow of the false gods in the time of judgment is declared, and, finally, the Creator of the universe is set forth as the God of Israel. - Jeremiah 10:12. "That made the earth by His power, that founded the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding stretched out the heavens. Jeremiah 10:13. When He thundering makes the roar of waters in the heavens, He causes clouds to rise from the ends of the earth, makes lightnings for the rain, and brings the wind forth out of His treasuries. Jeremiah 10:14. Brutish becomes every man without knowledge; ashamed is every goldsmith by reason of the image, for falsehood is his molten image, and there is no spirit in them. Jeremiah 10:15. Vanity are they, a work of mockery; in the time of their visitation they perish. Jeremiah 10:16. Not like these is the portion of Jacob: the framer of (the) all is He, and Israel is the stock of His inheritance: Jahveh of hosts is His name."

In point of form, "that made the earth," etc., connects with "Jahveh God," Jeremiah 10:10; but in respect of its matter, the description of God as Creator of heaven and earth is led up to by the contrast: The gods which have not made the heaven and the earth shall perish. The subject to עשׂה and the following verbs is not expressed, but may be supplied from the contrasted statement of Jeremiah 10:11, or from the substance of the several statements in Jeremiah 10:12. The connection may be taken thus: The true God is the one making the earth by His power equals is He that made, etc. As the creation of the earth is a work of God's almighty power, so the establishing, the founding of it upon the waters (Psalm 24:2) is an act of divine wisdom, and the stretching out of the heavens over the earth like a tent (Isaiah 40:22; Psalm 104:2) is a work of intelligent design. On this cf. Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 45:18; Isaiah 51:13. Every thunder-storm bears witness to the wise and almighty government of God, Jeremiah 10:13. The words לקול are difficult. Acc. to Ew. ֗307, b, they stand for לתּתּו קול: when He gives His voice, i.e., when He thunders. In support of this it may be said, that the mention of lightnings, rain, and wind suggests such an interpretation. But the transposition of the words cannot be justified. Hitz. has justly remarked: The putting of the accusative first, taken by itself, might do; but not when it must at the same time be stat. constr., and when its genitive thus separated from it would assume the appearance of being an accusative to תּתּו. Besides, we would expect לתת קולו rather than לתּתּו קול. קול תּתּו cannot grammatically be rendered: the voice which He gives, as Ng. would have it, but: the voice of His giving; and "roar of waters" must be the accusative of the object, governed by תּתּו. Hence we must protest against the explanation of L. de Dieu: ad vocem dationis ejus multitudo aquarum est in caelo, at least if ad vocem dationis is tantamount to simul ac dat. Just as little can לקול taken by itself mean thunder, so that ad vocem should, with Schnur., be interpreted by tonitru est dare ejus multitudinem aquae. The only grammatically feasible explanation is the second of those proposed by L. de Dieu: ad vocem dandi ipsum, i.e., qua dat vel ponit multitudinem aquarum. So Hitz.: at the roar of His giving wealth of waters. Accordingly we expound: at the noise, when He gives the roar of waters in heaven, He raises up clouds from the ends of the earth; taking, as we do, the ויּעלה to be a ו consec. introducing the supplementary clause. The voice or noise with which God gives the roar or the fulness of waters in the heaven, is the sound of the thunder. With this the gathering of the dark thunder-clouds is put into causal connection, as it appears to be to the eye; for during the thunder we see the thunder-clouds gather thicker and darker on the horizon. נשׂיא, the ascended, poetic word for cloud. Lightnings for the rain; i.e., since the rain comes as a consequence of the lightning, for the lightning seems to rend the clouds and let them pour their water out on the earth. Thunder-storms are always accompanied by a strong wind. God causes the wind to go forth from His store-chambers, where He has it also under custody, and blow over the earth. See a like simile of the store-chambers of the snow and hail, Job 38:22. From ויּעלה onwards, this verse is repeated in Psalm 135:7.

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