Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Job 9:7

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Which commandeth the sun - Obscures it either with clouds, with thick darkness, or with an eclipse.

Sealeth up the stars - Like the contents of a letter, wrapped up and sealed, so that it cannot be read. Sometimes the heavens become as black as ebony, and no star, figure, or character, in this great book of God can be read.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not - Schultens supposes that all this is a description of the deluge - when the mountains were removed, when the fountains of the deep were broken up, and when the sun was obscured and seemed not to rise. Others have supposed that it refers to the fact that the sun is darkened by clouds and tempests, and appears not to rise and shine upon the earth. Others suppose that the allusion is to an eclipse; and others, that it is to the power of God, and means that the rising of the sun depends on him, and that if he should choose to give the command, the heavenly bodies would rise and give light no more. It seems probable that the meaning is, that God has power to do this; that the rising of the sun depends on him; and that he could delay it, or prevent it, at his pleasure. His power over the sun was shown in the time of Joshua, when, at his command, it stood still; but it is not necessary to suppose that there is any reference to this fact here. The whole meaning of the language is met by the supposition that it refers to the power of God, and affirms what he could do, or if it refer to any fact that had been observed, that the allusion is to the darkening of the sun by an eclipse or a tempest. No argument can be derived, therefore, from the expression, in regard to the age of the book.

And sealeth up the stars - The word “seal” in the Scriptures (חתם châtham ) is used with considerable latitude of signification. It is employed in the sense of shutting, closing, making fast - as when anything was sealed, it was shut up or made fast. The Hebrews often used a seal, where we would use a lock, and depended on the protection derived from the belief that one would not break open that which was sealed, where we are obliged to rely on the security of the lock against force. If there were honor and honesty among people everywhere, a seal would be as secure as a lock - as in a virtuous community a sealed letter is as secure as a merchant‘s iron “safe.” To “seal up the stars,” means so to shut them up in the heavens, as to prevent their shining; to hide them from the view. They are concealed, hidden, made close - as the contents of a letter, a package, or a room are by a seal, indicating that no one is to examine them, and concealing them from the view. So God hides from our view the stars by the interposition of clouds.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
In this answer Job declared that he did not doubt the justice of God, when he denied himself to be a hypocrite; for how should man be just with God? Before him he pleaded guilty of sins more than could be counted; and if God should contend with him in judgment, he could not justify one out of a thousand, of all the thoughts, words, and actions of his life; therefore he deserved worse than all his present sufferings. When Job mentions the wisdom and power of God, he forgets his complaints. We are unfit to judge of God's proceedings, because we know not what he does, or what he designs. God acts with power which no creature can resist. Those who think they have strength enough to help others, will not be able to help themselves against it.