|<< Job 37|
Job 38-39 Listen
Finally...God's turn to speak (Job 38)
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 frozen.
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 heaven,
38 When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?
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 wait?
41 Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.
It's finally time for God to speak...and he speaks from a whirlwind. I'm guessing that everybody present could hear God's words as he spoke here. God immediately gets to the core issue when he says in verse 2, "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?" In other words, y'all don't know anything! Then God spends the next two chapters addressing the magnificence of creation that Job and his friends could not begin to fathom; only God could. You know...all Job ever wanted was a hearing before God. Here ya go, Job!
In these two chapters (38-39), God points out the magnificent mysteries of His creation. Since man has so little understanding of God's creation, how can man presume to understand the actions of God as in this case of the trial of Job. It should be noted that Job himself lacked an understanding of God along with his outspoken friends. So, this word from God is for all of them.
These two chapters are full of rapid-fire illustrations of nature that are beyond man's comprehension with regard to their origin or means of accomplishment. God is saying, "So you haven't been able to figure any of these basic laws of my creation out, but you think you have figured out why Job has experienced this trouble?" Both chapters demonstrate God's disdain for man's understanding of the ways of God in light of the fact that those who spoke to Job represented themselves as great men of wisdom. Here, God is setting the record straight on their real level of understanding.
Notice the reference to the angels in Job 38:7, "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" A few other references in this chapter are worth some special attention. In 38:31-32 God mentions the constellations (Pleiades and Orion), and perhaps the "Mazzaroth" of verse 32 is a reference to the entire zodiac; many scholars think so.
God continues speaking (Job 39)
1 Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?
2 Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?
3 They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows.
4 Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them.
5 Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?
6 Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings.
7 He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.
8 The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.
9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
12 Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
13 Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?
14 Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,
15 And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.
16 She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labour is in vain without fear;
17 Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.
18 What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.
19 Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?
20 Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible.
21 He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men.
22 He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword.
23 The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield.
24 He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.
25 He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
26 Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?
27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?
28 She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.
29 From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.
30 Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.
Chapter 39 continues God's monologue to Job and his friends which began in chapter 38. We hear of God's awesome authority over the earth...nature itself! In light of God's omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, what do Job and his friends actually know...about anything?
Let's review: God's overwhelming point in these two chapters is that Job and his friends knew nothing of which they were speaking; they were just expressing their hunches based upon traditional thought, not fact. Think about it; people still do exactly that today with great regularity. How many times do you hear of so-called Godly counsel that has no basis in scriptural principle whatsoever? It's amazing that so many people, Christian and non-Christian alike, so willingly give potentially life-altering counsel to others based upon their own unsubstantiated hunches.
In Job 39:9-10 God makes reference to the unicorn. Following is Easton's entry regarding the unicorn found in the Old Testament:
Unicorn: described as an animal of great ferocity and strength. It was in reality a two-horned animal; but the exact reference of the word so rendered (reem) is doubtful. Some have supposed it to be the buffalo; others, the white antelope, called by the Arabs rim. Most probably, however, the word denotes the Bos primigenius (primitive ox), which is now extinct all over the world. This was the auerochs of the Germans, and the urus described by Caesar (Gal. Bel., vi.28) as inhabiting the Hercynian forest. The word thus rendered has been found in an Assyrian inscription written over the wild ox or bison, which some also suppose to be the animal intended (comp. Deut. 33:17; Ps. 22:21; 29:6; 92:10).
God continues speaking in Job 40 (see notes).