New American Standard Bible
"Do you know about the layers of the thick clouds, The wonders of one perfect in knowledge,
King James Bible
Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?
Darby Bible Translation
Dost thou know about the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him that is perfect in knowledge?
World English Bible
Do you know the workings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge?
Young's Literal Translation
Dost thou know the balancings of a cloud? The wonders of the Perfect in knowledge?
Job 37:16 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds? - That is, Dost thou know how the clouds are poised and suspended in the air? The difficulty to be explained was, that the clouds, so full of water, did not fail to the earth, but remained suspended in the atmosphere. They were poised and moved about by some unseen hand. Elihu asks what kept them there; what prevented their falling to the earth; what preserved the equilibrium so that they did not all roll together. The phenomena of the clouds would be among the first that would attract the attention of man, and in the early times of Job it is not to be supposed that the subject could be explained. Elihu assumes that they were held in the sky by the power of God, but what was the nature of his agency, he says, man could not understand, and hence, he infers that God should be regarded with profound veneration. We know more of the facts and laws respecting the clouds than was understood then, but our knowledge in this, as in all other things, is fitted only to exalt our conceptions of the Deity, and to change blind wonder into intelligent adoration.
The causes of the suspension of the clouds are thus stated in the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, Art. Meteorology: "When different portions of the atmosphere are intermixed so as to produce a deposition of moisture;" (compare the notes at Job 38:28), "the consequence will be the formation of a cloud. This cloud, from its increased specific gravity, will have a tendency to sink downward; and were the lower strata of the air of the same temperature with the cloud, and saturated with moisture, it would continue to descend until it reached the surface of the earth - in the form of rain, or what is commonly called mist. In general, however, the cloud in its descent passes through a warmer region, when the condensed moisture again passes into a vapor, and consequently ascends until it reaches a temperature sufficiently low to recondense it, when it will begin again to sink. This oscillation will continue until the cloud settles at the point where the temperature and humidity are such as that the condensed moisture begins to be dissipated, and which is found on an average to be between two and three miles above the surface of the earth." By such laws the "balancing" of the clouds is secured, and thus is shown the wisdom of Him that is "perfect in knowledge."
The wondrous works of him that is perfect in knowledge - Particularly in the matter under consideration. He who can command the lightning, and hold the clouds suspended in the air, Elihu infers must be perfect in knowledge. To a Being who can do this, everything must be known. The reasoning of Elihu here is well-founded, and is not less forcible now than it was in the time of Job.
LibraryWhether those to whom Christ's Birth was Made Known were Suitably Chosen?
Objection 1: It would seem that those to whom Christ's birth was made known were not suitably chosen. For our Lord (Mat. 10:5) commanded His disciples, "Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles," so that He might be made known to the Jews before the Gentiles. Therefore it seems that much less should Christ's birth have been at once revealed to the Gentiles who "came from the east," as stated Mat. 2:1. Objection 2: Further, the revelation of Divine truth should be made especially to the friends of God, …
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica
The Knowledge of God
Who does great and unsearchable things, Wonders without number.
"For truly my words are not false; One who is perfect in knowledge is with you.
"Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds, The thundering of His pavilion?
"God thunders with His voice wondrously, Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.
"Listen to this, O Job, Stand and consider the wonders of God.
"Do you know how God establishes them, And makes the lightning of His cloud to shine?
You whose garments are hot, When the land is still because of the south wind?
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