Wesley's Notes on the Bible
But Job answered and said,
How hast thou helped him that is without power? how savest thou the arm that hath no strength?
How hast thou counselled him that hath no wisdom? and how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is?
To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?
26:4 To whom - For whose instruction hast thou uttered these things? For mine? Dost thou think I do not know, that which the meanest persons are not unacquainted with; that God is incomparably greater and better than his creatures? Whose spirit - Who inspired thee with this profound discourse of thine?
Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.
26:5 Dead things - Job having censured Bildad's discourse, proceeds to shew how little he needed his information in that point. Here he shews that the power and providences of God reaches not only to the things we see, but also to the invisible parts of the world, not only to the heavens above and their inhabitants, and to men upon earth, of which Bildad discoursed, chap.25:2,3, but also to such persons or things as are under the earth, or under the waters; which are out of our sight and reach; yet not out of the ken of Divine providence. These words may be understood; either, of dead, or lifeless things, such as amber, pearl, coral, metals, or other minerals, which are formed or brought forth; by the almighty power of God, from under the waters; either in the bottom of the sea, or within the earth, which is the lowest element, and in the scripture and other authors spoken of as under the waters; this being observed as a remarkable work of God's providence, that the waters of the sea, which are higher than the earth, do not overwhelm it. Or, of dead men, and of the worst of them, such as died in their sins, and after death were condemned to farther miseries; for of such this very word seems to be used, Prov 2:18 9:18, who are here said to mourn or groan from under the waters; from the lower parts of the earth, or from under those subterranean waters, which are supposed to be within and under the earth; Psalm 33:7, and from under the inhabitants thereof; either of the waters or of the earth, under which these waters are, or with the other inhabitants thereof; of that place under the waters, namely, the apostate spirits. So the sense is, that God's dominion is over all men, yea, even the dead, and the worst of them, who though they would not own God, nor his providence, while they lived, yet now are forced to acknowledge and feel that power which they despised, and bitterly mourn under the sad effects of it in their infernal habitations.
Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.
26:6 Hell - Is in his presence, and under his providence. Hell itself, that place of utter darkness, is not hid from his sight. Destruction - The place of destruction.
He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
26:7 North - The northern part of the heavens, which is put for the whole visible heaven, because Job and his friends lived in a northern climate. Nothing - Upon no props or pillars, but his own power and providence.
He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them.
He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it.
26:9 Holdeth - From our view, that his glory may not dazzle our sight; he covereth it with a cloud. Throne - The heaven of heavens, where he dwelleth.
He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.
The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.
26:11 Pillars - Perhaps the mountains which by their height and strength seem to reach and support the heavens. Astonished - When God reproveth not them, but men by them, manifesting his displeasure by thunders, or earthquakes.
He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud.
By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.
Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?
26:14 Parts - But small parcels, the outside and visible work. Portion - Of his power and wisdom, and providence. His Power - His mighty power, is aptly compared to thunder; in regard of its irresistible force, and the terror which it causes to wicked men.