Job 36:31
For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(31) For by themi.e., these roots of the sea, these drops of water, these rain-clouds. “He judgeth peoples” by withholding them, or “giveth meat in abundance” by sending rain on the earth; or He may use them in excess, to chastise nations by inundations and the like. The change from roots of the sea to bottom of the sea in the Authorised Version has obscured the meaning of “them” in the next verse, unless, indeed, we understand it generally, by these things.

Job 36:31-33. For by them he judgeth the people — By thunder and lightning, and rain from the clouds, he executes his judgments against ungodly people. He giveth meat — By the same clouds by which he punisheth wicked men, he provideth plentiful showers to drop fatness upon the earth. With clouds he covereth the light — With thick and black clouds spread over the whole heavens, as in times of great thunders and lightnings, he obscures the light of the day, or the splendour of the shining sun. Hebrew, על כפים, gnal cappaim, with hands he covereth the sun; either the clouds are so called for their resemblance to hands, or the meaning is, that God covereth the light as by the hollow of his hand. And commandeth it not to shine — Or, יצו, jetzav, giveth a charge concerning it, that it shall be covered; by the cloud that cometh betwixt — Which God interposes as a veil between the sun and the earth. The noise thereof showeth concerning it — The thunder gives notice of the approaching rain. The cattle also, &c. — As the thunder, so also the cattle showeth concerning the vapour — Concerning the coming of the rain, by a strange instinct, seeking for shelter when a change of weather is near.

36:24-33 Elihu endeavours to fill Job with high thought of God, and so to persuade him into cheerful submission to his providence. Man may see God's works, and is capable of discerning his hand in them, which the beasts are not, therefore they ought to give him the glory. But while the worker of iniquity ought to tremble, the true believer should rejoice. Children should hear with pleasure their Father's voice, even when he speaks in terror to his enemies. There is no light but there may be a cloud to intercept it. The light of the favour of God, the light of his countenance, the most blessed light of all, even that light has many a cloud. The clouds of our sins cause the Lord to his face, and hinder the light of his loving-kindness from shining on our souls.For by them judgeth he the people - By means of the clouds, the rain, the dew, the tempest, and the thunderbolt. The idea seems to be, that he makes use of all these to execute his purposes on mankind. He can either make them the means of imparting blessings, or of inflicting the severest, judgments. He can cause the tornado to sweep over the earth; he can arm the forked lightning against the works of art; he can withhold rain and dew, and spread over a land the miseries of famine.

He giveth meat in abundance - That is, by the clouds, the dew, the rain. The idea is, that he can send timely showers if he chooses, and the earth will be clothed with plenty. All these things are under his control, and he can, as he pleases, make them the means of comfort to man, or of punishing him for his sins; compare Psalm 65:11-13.

31. These (rain and lightnings) are marvellous and not to be understood (Job 36:29), yet necessary. "For by them He judgeth (chastiseth on the one hand), &c. (and on the other, by them) He giveth meat" (food), &c. (Job 37:13; 38:23, 27; Ac 14:17). By thunder and lightning he manifests his displeasure and executes his judgments against ungodly people or countries.

He giveth meat in abundance; or, and (which conjunction is oft understood) he giveth meat, &c., i.e. by the selfsame clouds he punisheth wicked men by thunder and lightning, and provideth for others by those plentiful showers which accompany them.

For by them judgeth he the people,.... That is, by the clouds; which the Lord uses both in a way of judgment, as expressed in this clause; and in a way of mercy, as in the following; by these, and what issue out of them, as rain, hail, winds, thunder, and lightning, he sometimes punishes the inhabitants of the earth, as he did the old world by a deluge of water, which came partly from the fountains of the great deep, and partly from the windows of heaven, which destroyed man and beast, and the increase of the earth, Genesis 7:11; he punished the Egyptians by a violent storm of hail, Exodus 9:23; and slew many of the Canaanites with hailstones, Joshua 10:11; Pharaoh and his host sunk like lead when he blew with his wind, Exodus 15:10; and Sodom and Gomorrah, with the cities of the plain, were destroyed with thunder and lightning, fire and brimstone, from heaven, Genesis 19:24; as the army of the Philistines were discomfited by thunder in the times of Samuel, 1 Samuel 7:10; and the captains of fifties, with their men, were consumed by lightning in the times of Elijah, 2 Kings 1:14; and as the heavens and the earth will be burnt with fire at the end of all things, Matthew 13:40, 2 Peter 3:12;

he giveth meat in abundance; very plentifully, or to a multitude of creatures, both men and cattle; who have a liberal supply of food by means of the clouds and rain, which falling upon the earth make it fruitful, so that it gives bread to the eater, and seed to the sower; causes grass to grow up for the beasts of the field, and produces bread corn, oil, and wine, for the benefit of men; an emblem of the variety and plenty of spiritual food dispensed to the churches of Christ, through the ministry of the word, and by the ministers of it.

For by them judgeth he {y} the people; he giveth meat in abundance.

(y) He shows that the rain has a double use: the one that it declares God's judgments, when it overflows any places, and the other that it makes the land fruitful.

31. For by them judgeth he the people] Rather, the peoples. He judges the peoples by the lightning and the rain cloud. By the one He “scatters” and “discomfits” His enemies (Psalm 18:14), and by the other He watereth the earth and makes it fruitful (Isaiah 55:10).

Verse 31. - For by them judgeth he the people. By his clouds God works two opposite effects. On the one hand, he executes judgment upon the peoples, destroying their crops, causing widespread ruin by inundations, smiting and slaying numbers with his thunderbolts; on the other, he giveth meat in abundance, restoring to the parched earth its fertility by means of copious and refreshing showers, stimulating vegetation, and so furthering the harvest. Job 36:3130 Behold, He spreadeth His light over Himself,

And the roots of the sea He covereth.

31 For thereby He judgeth peoples,

He giveth food in abundance.

32 Both hands He covereth over with light,

And directeth it as one who hitteth the mark.

33 His noise announceth Him,

The cattle even that He is approaching.

A few expositors (Hirz., Hahn, Schlottm.) understand the celestial ocean, or the sea of the upper waters, by ים, Job 36:30; but it is more than questionable (vid., on Job 9:8) whether ים is used anywhere in this sense. Others as (Umbr., Ew.) the masses of water drawn up to the sky out of the depths of the sea, on which a Persian passage cited by Stick. (who, however, regards the Waw of ושׁרשׁי as Waw adaequationis) from Schebisteri may be compared: "an exhalation rises up out of the sea, and comes down at God's command upon the deserts." In both cases כּסּה would be equivalent to כסה עליו, obtegit se, which in and of itself is possible. But he who has once witnessed a storm in the neighbourhood of the sea, will decide in favour of one of the three following explanations: (1.) He covereth the uprooted ground of the sea (comp. Psalm 18:15.) with the subsiding waves (Blumenf.); but then Job 36:30 would require to be understood of the light of the brightening sky following the darkness of the storm, which is improbable in respect of Job 36:32. (2.) While the sky is brilliantly lighted up by the lightning, the abysses of the ocean are veiled in a so much deeper darkness; the observation is correct, but not less so another, that the lightning by a thunder-storm, especially when occurring at night, descends into the depths of the sea like snares that are cast down (פּחים, Psalm 11:6), and the water is momentarily changed as it were into a sea of flame; accordingly it may be explained, (3.) Behold, He spreadeth over Himself His light (viz., the light which incessantly illumines the world), and the roots of the sea, i.e., the sea down to its depths, He covers with it, since He makes it light through and through (Stuhlm. Wolfs.). Thus, as it appears, Jerome also interprets: Et (si voluerit) fulgurare lumine suo desuper, cardines quoque maris operiet.

(Note: The Targ. translates אור, Job 36:30, Job 36:32, by מטרא, pluvia, according to the erroneous opinion of R. Jochanan: כל אורה שׁנאמר באליהוא אינו אלא בירידת גשׁמים. Aben-Ezra and Kimchi explain even עלי־אור, Isaiah 18:4, according to this passage. The lxx translates Job 36:30: ἰδοὺ ἐκτενεῖ ἐπ ̓ αὐτὸν ἠδώ (Cod. Alex. επ αυτον το τοξον; Cod. Sinait. επ αυτην ηωδη (with the corrections ηδω and τοξον), probably according to the reading אידו for אורו. But what connection have ἠδώ and rainbow?)

This, that He makes the light of the lightning His manifestation (פּרשׂ עליו), and that He covers the earth down to the roots of the sea beneath with this light, is established in Job 36:31 from the design, partly judicial, partly beneficial, which exists in connection with it. בּם refers as neuter (like בּהם, Job 22:21) to the phenomena of the storm; מכבּיר (with the adverbial ל like לרב, Job 26:3), what makes great equals a making great, abundance (only here), is n. hiphil. after the form משׁהית, perdens equals perditio. In Job 36:32 God is represented under a military figure as a slinger of lightnings: He covers light over both hands, i.e., arms both completely with light (comp. סכסך and Arab. škk, totum se operire armis), and directs it (עליה referring to אור as fem. like Jeremiah 13:16, and sometimes in the Talmud). But what is the meaning of בּמפגּיע? Hahn takes מפגיע as n. hiphil. like מכביר: an object of attack; but what then becomes of the original Hiphil signification? It ought to be בּמפגּע (Job 7:20), as Olsh. wishes to read it. Ew., Hirz., and others, after the example of Theod. (lxx), Syr., Jer., translate: against the adversary; מפגיע ;yrasre signifies indeed the opposite in Isaiah 49:16 : intercessor (properly, one who assails with prayers); however, it would be possible for this word, just as פגע c. acc. (which signifies usually a hostile meeting, Exodus 5:3 and freq., but sometimes also a friendly, Isaiah 47:3; Isaiah 64:4), to be an ἐναντιόσημον. We prefer to abide by the usage of the language as we have it, according to which הפגיע signifies facere ut quid incurset s. petat, Isaiah 53:6; מפגיע therefore is one who hits, in opposition to one who misses the mark. The Beth is the Beth essentiae (vid., on Job 23:13), used here like Exodus 6:3; Psalm 55:19; Isaiah 40:10. With both hands He seizes the substance of the lightning, fills them with it so that they are completely covered by it, and gives it the command (appoints it its goal), a sure aimer!

Job 36:31 Interlinear
Job 36:31 Parallel Texts

Job 36:31 NIV
Job 36:31 NLT
Job 36:31 ESV
Job 36:31 NASB
Job 36:31 KJV

Job 36:31 Bible Apps
Job 36:31 Parallel
Job 36:31 Biblia Paralela
Job 36:31 Chinese Bible
Job 36:31 French Bible
Job 36:31 German Bible

Bible Hub

Job 36:30
Top of Page
Top of Page