Job 38:20
That you should take it to the bound thereof, and that you should know the paths to the house thereof?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) That thou shouldest take it—i.e., go with or track it.

Job 38:20. That thou shouldest take it — That is, bring, or lead it, namely, principally the light, and secondarily the darkness, as the consequent of it, to the bound thereof? — That is, through its whole course, from the place of its abode, whence it is supposed to come, to the end of the journey which it is to go. Didst thou direct or guide the light, or the sun, that it should at first take, and afterward constantly continue in that course which now it holds; that it should go from east to west, and rise, sometimes in one point or part of heaven, and sometimes in another; and that its day’s journey should be longer in one season of the year and shorter in another? This regular and excellent course must needs be the effect of great wisdom. And whose wisdom was it? Thine or mine? And that thou shouldest know — Namely, practically so as to direct or lead it in the manner now expressed, the paths to the house thereof? — Where thou mayest find it, and whence thou mayest fetch it.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!That thou shouldest take it to the bounds thereof - Margin, "or, at." The sense seems to be this: God asks Job whether he was so well acquainted with the sources of light, and the place where it dwelt, that he could take it under his guidance and reconduct it to its place of abode.

And that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof? - The same idea is repeated here. Light has a home; a place of abode. It was far distant - in some region unknown to man. Did Job know the way in which it came, and the place where it dwelt so well, that he could conduct it back again to its own dwelling? Umbreit, Noyes, and Herder, suppose that this is to be understood ironically.

"For thou hast reached its boundaries!

For then knowest the path to its dwelling!"

But it has been commonly regarded as a question, and thus understood it accords better with the connection.

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)? That thou shouldest take it, i.e. taking, bring or lead it, as this verb is oft used, as Exodus 25:2 Psalm 68:29, compared with Ephesians 4:11 1 Kings 3:24 17:10 Hosea 14:2. And many other such pregnant verbs there are in the Hebrew language, having the signification of two verbs included in one, And this it refers principally to the light, and secondarily to darkness, as the consequent of the other.

To the bound thereof, i.e. its whole course, from the place of its abode whence it is supposed to come, to the end of its journey which it is to go. Didst thou direct or guide the light or the sun, that he should at first take, and afterward constantly continue, in that course which now it holds; that it should go from east to west, and rise sometimes in one point or part of the heaven, and sometimes in another, and that its day’s journey should be longer in one season of the year, and shorter in another? This regular and excellent course must needs be the effect of great wisdom. And whose wisdom was it? thine or mine?

That thou shouldest know, to wit, practically, so as to direct or lead it in the manner now expressed.

The paths to the house thereof; where thou mayst find it, and whence thou mayst fetch it. 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.

That thou {n} shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?

(n) That you might appoint its highways and limits.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. take it to the bound thereof] The second clause, the path to its house, suggests that the bound or border of light is not the furthest limit to which it flows forth, but its own place of abode, the bound between it and darkness, from which it issues. Job is asked if he knows the way to the dwelling-place of light and darkness, so that he might take them back to the place of their abode.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). 12 Hast thou in thy life commanded a morning,

Caused the dawn to know its place,

13 That it may take hold of the ends of the earth,

So that the evil-doers are shaken under it?

14 That it changeth like the clay of a signet-ring,

And everything fashioneth itself as a garment.

15 Their light is removed from the evil-doers,

And the out-stretched arm is broken.

The dawn of the morning, spreading out from one point, takes hold of the carpet of the earth as it were by the edges, and shakes off from it the evil-doers, who had laid themselves to rest upon it the night before. נער, combining in itself the significations to thrust and to shake, has the latter here, as in the Arab. nâ‛ûra, a water-wheel, which fills its compartments below in the river, to empty them out above. Instead of ידּעתּה שׁחר with He otians, the Keri substitutes ידּעתּ השׁחר. The earth is the subj. to Job 38:14: the dawn is like the signet-ring, which stamps a definite impress on the earth as the clay, the forms which floated in the darkness of the night become visible and distinguishable. The subj. to Job 38:14 are not morning and dawn (Schult.), still less the ends of the earth (Ew. with the conjecture: יתיבצו, "they become dazzlingly white"), but the single objects on the earth: the light of morning gives to everything its peculiar garb of light, so that, hitherto overlaid by a uniform darkness, they now come forth independently, they gradually appear in their variegated diversity of form and hue. In כּמו לבוּשׁ, לבוש is conceived as accusative (Arab. kemâ libâsan, or thauban), while in כלבושׁ (Psalm 104:6, instar vestis) it would be genitive. To the end of the strophe everything is under the logical government of the ל of purpose in Job 38:13. The light of the evil-doers is, according to Job 24:17, the darkness of the night, which is for them in connection with their works what the light of day is for other men. The sunrise deprives them, the enemies of light in the true sense (Job 24:13), of this light per antiphrasin, and the carrying out of their evil work, already prepared for, is frustrated. The ע of רשׁעים, Job 38:13 and Job 38:15, is תלויה עין [Ayin suspensum,] which is explained according to the Midrash thus: the רשׁעים, now עשׁירים (rich), become at a future time רשׁים (poor); or: God deprives them of the עין (light of the eye), by abandoning them to the darkness which they loved.

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