Divided a water-course - The original תעלה tealah, from עלה alah, to ascend, may signify rather a cloud, or clouds in general, where the waters are stored up. I cannot see how the overflowings or torrents of water can be said to ascend any other way than by evaporation; and it is by this Divine contrivance that the earth is not only irrigated, but even dried; and by this means too much moisture is not permitted to lie upon the ground, which would not only be injurious to vegetation, but even destroy it. But query, may not a waterspout be intended?
A way for the lightning of thunder - "A path for the bolt of thunder." God is represented as directing the course even of the lightning; he launches the bolt, and makes the path in which it is to run. To grasp, manage, and dart the thunderbolt or lightning, was a work which heathenism gave to Jupiter, its supreme god. None of the inferior deities were capable of this. But who can thunder with a voice like the Almighty? He is The Thunderer.
Who hath divided a water-course for the overflowing of waters - That is, for the waters that flow down from the clouds. The idea seems to be this, that the waters of heaven, instead of pouring down in floods, or all coming down together, seemed to flow in certain canals formed for them; as if they had been cut out through the clouds for that purpose. The causes of rain, the manner in which water was suspended in the clouds, and the reasons why the rain did not come down altogether in floods, early attracted attention, and gave occasion to investigation. The subject is more than once referred to in this book; see the notes at Job 26:8.
Or a way for the lightning of thunder - For the thunder-flash. The idea is this: a path seems to be opened in the dark cloud for the passage of the flash of lightning. How such a path was made, by what agency or by what laws, was the question proposed for inquiry. The lightning seemed at once to burst through the dark cloud where there was no opening and no sign of a path before, and pursue its zig-zag journey as if all obstructions were removed, and it passed over a beaten path. The question is, who could have traced out this path for the thunder-flash to go in? Who could do it but the Almighty? And still, with all the light that science has cast on the subject, we may repeat the question.
“Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.”
The earliest as well as the most sublime of poetic utterances known to man are found in the Scriptures. Before the oldest of the world's poets had sung, the shepherd of Midian recorded those words of God to Job—in their majesty unequaled, unapproached, by the loftiest productions of human genius: Ed 159.1Read in context »