To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Or to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth - In the desert. There God works alone. No man is there to cultivate the extended wilds, and yet an unseen agency is going forward. The grass springs up; the bud opens; the leaf expands; the flowers breathe forth their fragrance as if they were under the most careful cultivation. All this must be the work of God, since it cannot even be pretended that man is there to produce these effects. Perhaps one would be more deeply impressed with a sense of the presence of God in the pathless desert, or on the boundless prairie, where no man is, than in the most splendid park, or the most tastefully cultivated garden which man could make. In the one case, the hand of God alone is seen; in the other, we are constantly admiring the skill of man.To satisfy, by raining, not sparingly, but liberally and abundantly upon it.
To cause the bud of the tender herb to springforth; there being many excellent and useful herbs found in desert places, which otherwise would be utterly neglected and despised. Proverbs 30:16; and yet God can and does give it rain to its full satisfaction, Psalm 104:13; so the Lord satisfies souls, comparable to dry and thirsty ground, by his word and ordinances, with the goodness and fatness of his house; see Psalm 63:1;
and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? grass for the cattle, and herb for the service of men, Psalm 104:14; of like use is the word in a spiritual sense for the budding and increase of the graces of the Spirit in the Lord's people; see Deuteronomy 32:2.To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 27. - To satisfy the desolate and waste ground. Parched ground seems to cry aloud for water, and so to make a piteous appeal to Heaven. Perhaps rain is not wholly wasted, even on the bare sands of the Sahara, or the rugged rocks of Tierra del Fuego. It may have uses which are beyond our cognizance. And to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth. Where the rain produces herbage, it is certainly of use, for wherever there is herbage there are always insects, whose enjoyment of life has every appearance of being intense.
And hast thou gone into the foundation of the deep?
17 Were the gates of death unveiled to thee,
And didst thou see the gates of the realm of shades?
18 Hast thou comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Speak, in so far as thou knowest all this!
19 Which is the way to where the light dwelleth,
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That thou mightest bring it to its bound,
And that thou mightest know the paths of its house?
21 Thou knowest it, for then wast thou born,
And the number of thy days is great! -
The root נב has the primary notion of obtruding itself upon the senses (vid., Genesis, S. 635), whence נבך in Arabic of a rising country that pleases the eye (nabaka, a hill, a hillside), and here (cognate in root and meaning נבע, Syr. Talmud. נבג, Arab. nbg, nbṭ, scatuirire) of gushing and bubbling water. Hitzig's conjecture, approved by Olsh., נבלי, sets aside a word that is perfectly clear so far as the language is concerned. On חקר vid., on Job 11:7. The question put to Job in Job 38:17, he must, according to his own confession, Job 26:6, answer in the negative. In order to avoid the collision of two aspirates, the interrogative ה is wanting before התבּננתּ, Ew. 324, b; התבנן עד signifies, according to Job 32:12, to observe anything carefully; the meaning of the question therefore is, whether Job has given special attention to the breadth of the earth, and whether he consequently has a comprehensive and thorough knowledge of it. כּלּהּ refers not to the earth (Hahn, Olsh., and others), but, as neuter, to the preceding points of interrogation. The questions, Job 38:19, refer to the principles of light and darkness, i.e., their final causes, whence they come forth as cosmical phenomena. ישׁכּן־אור is a relative clause, Ges. 123, 3, c; the noun that governs (the Regens) this virtual genitive, which ought in Arabic to be without the art. as being determined by the regens, is, according to the Hebrew syntax, which is freer in this respect, הדּרך (comp. Ges. 110, 2). That which is said of the bound of darkness, i.e., the furthest point at which darkness passes away, and the paths to its house, applies also to the light, which the poet perhaps has even prominently (comp. Job 24:13) before his mind: light and darkness have a first cause which is inaccessible to man, and beyond his power of searching out. The admission in Job 38:21 is ironical: Verily! thou art as old as the beginning of creation, when light and darkness, as powers of nature which are distinguished and bounded the one by the other (vid., Job 26:10), were introduced into the rising world; thou art as old as the world, so that thou hast an exact knowledge of its and thine own contemporaneous origin (vid., Job 15:7). On the fut. joined with אז htiw denioj . regularly in the signification of the aorist, vid., Ew. 134, b. The attraction in connection with מספּר is like Job 15:20; Job 21:21.
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