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Chapter 38

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   1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

   2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

   3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and
   answer thou me.

   4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if
   thou hast understanding.

   5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath
   stretched the line upon it?

   6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the
   corner stone thereof;

   7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted
   for joy?

   8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had
   issued out of the womb?

   9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a
   swaddlingband for it,

   10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,

   11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall
   thy proud waves be stayed?

   12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the
   dayspring to know his place;

   13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked
   might be shaken out of it?

   14 It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.

   15 And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm
   shall be broken.

   16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked
   in the search of the depth?

   17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the
   doors of the shadow of death?

   18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou
   knowest it all.

   19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is
   the place thereof,

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

   21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number
   of thy days is great?

   22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen
   the treasures of the hail,

   23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day
   of battle and war?

   24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon
   the earth?

   25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a
   way for the lightning of thunder;

   26 To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the
   wilderness, wherein there is no man;

   27 To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of
   the tender herb to spring forth?

   28 Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?

   29 Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who
   hath gendered it?

   30 The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is

   31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands
   of Orion?

   32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide
   Arcturus with his sons?

   33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion
   thereof in the earth?

   34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters
   may cover thee?

   35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee,
   Here we are?

   36 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given
   understanding to the heart?

   37 Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of

   38 When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast

   39 Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the
   young lions,

   40 When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in

   41 Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto
   God, they wander for lack of meat.
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Commentary for Job 38

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   God calls upon Job to answer. (1-3) God questions Job. (4-11)
   Concerning the light and darkness. (12-24) Concerning other mighty
   works. (25-41)1-3 Job had silenced, but had not convinced his friends.
   Elihu had silenced Job, but had not brought him to admit his guilt
   before God. It pleased the Lord to interpose. The Lord, in this
   discourse, humbles Job, and brings him to repent of his passionate
   expressions concerning God's providential dealings with him; and this
   he does, by calling upon Job to compare God's being from everlasting to
   everlasting, with his own time; God's knowledge of all things, with his
   own ignorance; and God's almighty power, with his own weakness. Our
   darkening the counsels of God's wisdom with our folly, is a great
   provocation to God. Humble faith and sincere obedience see farthest and
   best into the will of the Lord.
   4-11 For the humbling of Job, God here shows him his ignorance, even
   concerning the earth and the sea. As we cannot find fault with God's
   work, so we need not fear concerning it. The works of his providence,
   as well as the work of creation, never can be broken; and the work of
   redemption is no less firm, of which Christ himself is both the
   Foundation and the Corner-stone. The church stands as firm as the
   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!
   25-41 Hitherto God had put questions to Job to show him his ignorance;
   now God shows his weakness. As it is but little that he knows, he ought
   not to arraign the Divine counsels; it is but little he can do,
   therefore he ought not to oppose the ways of Providence. See the
   all-sufficiency of the Divine Providence; it has wherewithal to satisfy
   the desire of every living thing. And he that takes care of the young
   ravens, certainly will not be wanting to his people. This being but one
   instance of the Divine compassion out of many, gives us occasion to
   think how much good our God does, every day, beyond what we are aware
   of. Every view we take of his infinite perfections, should remind us of
   his right to our love, the evil of sinning against him, and our need of
   his mercy and salvation.
   Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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