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Job Replies: God’s Majesty Is Unsearchable


Then Job answered:


“How you have helped one who has no power!

How you have assisted the arm that has no strength!


How you have counseled one who has no wisdom,

and given much good advice!


With whose help have you uttered words,

and whose spirit has come forth from you?


The shades below tremble,

the waters and their inhabitants.


Sheol is naked before God,

and Abaddon has no covering.


He stretches out Zaphon over the void,

and hangs the earth upon nothing.


He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,

and the cloud is not torn open by them.


He covers the face of the full moon,

and spreads over it his cloud.


He has described a circle on the face of the waters,

at the boundary between light and darkness.


The pillars of heaven tremble,

and are astounded at his rebuke.


By his power he stilled the Sea;

by his understanding he struck down Rahab.


By his wind the heavens were made fair;

his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.


These are indeed but the outskirts of his ways;

and how small a whisper do we hear of him!

But the thunder of his power who can understand?”


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Verses 1–4

Job derided Bildad's answer; his words were a mixture of peevishness and self-preference. Bildad ought to have laid before Job the consolations, rather than the terrors of the Almighty. Christ knows how to speak what is proper for the weary, Isa 50:4; and his ministers should not grieve those whom God would not have made sad. We are often disappointed in our expectations from our friends who should comfort us; but the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, never mistakes, nor fails of his end.

Verses 5–14

Many striking instances are here given of the wisdom and power of God, in the creation and preservation of the world. If we look about us, to the earth and waters here below, we see his almighty power. If we consider hell beneath, though out of our sight, yet we may conceive the discoveries of God's power there. If we look up to heaven above, we see displays of God's almighty power. By his Spirit, the eternal Spirit that moved upon the face of the waters, the breath of his mouth, Ps 33:6, he has not only made the heavens, but beautified them. By redemption, all the other wonderful works of the Lord are eclipsed; and we may draw near, and taste his grace, learn to love him, and walk with delight in his ways. The ground of the controversy between Job and the other disputants was, that they unjustly thought from his afflictions that he must have been guilty of heinous crimes. They appear not to have duly considered the evil and just desert of original sin; nor did they take into account the gracious designs of God in purifying his people. Job also darkened counsel by words without knowledge. But his views were more distinct. He does not appear to have alleged his personal righteousness as the ground of his hope towards God. Yet what he admitted in a general view of his case, he in effect denied, while he complained of his sufferings as unmerited and severe; that very complaint proving the necessity for their being sent, in order to his being further humbled in the sight of God.