Job 37 Study Notes


37:1-5 Elihu sensed God’s power in the thunderstorm. The extent of its working is beyond human comprehension, but it is under the control of the exalted one (36:26).

37:6-8 Both the snow (38:22) and torrential rains (1Kg 18:45; Ezk 13:11) are under God’s control. They testify to his handiwork. Under such conditions even beasts seek shelter from the elements. If winter is in view (as in Jb 37:9-10), Elihu may be noting the process of animal hibernation.

37:9-10 Elihu portrayed as the breath of God the chilling winds of winter, transforming the landscape by the power of the Lord and under his direction. Snow and ice are rare but not unheard of in Israel (2Sm 23:20).

37:11-13 God forms and controls all weather and sends it to accomplish his purposes. This may include punishment (lit “a rod”) for disobedience or a special blessing and evidence of God’s faithful love toward his people for covenant obedience (Dt 11:13-15). Elihu implied that Job should understand this so he may recognize God’s dealing with him for correction and restoration (Ps 119:71).

37:14-16 Elihu believed that contemplation of God’s wonders would give Job insight.

37:17-18 Elihu now asked whether Job had any part in bringing the hot sirocco winds. The cloudless sky is like a vast metal mirror over the landscape.

37:19-20 Job had spoken previously of wanting to present his case before the Lord, confident that he was in the right (13:18; 23:4) and would be vindicated (31:35-37). Elihu maintained that no one has the wisdom to debate God, let alone win. If man cannot understand God’s basic activities in the natural world, how can he expect to speak boldly in his presence?

37:21-22 If the sun is too dazzling to behold, the splendor of the Lord is even more so (Ac 22:6-11; 26:13). Therefore, God softens his appearance (Ezk 1:4-28; Mt 17:2). The imagery may suggest the approach of a storm from the north (see Pr 25:23) as the sun’s rays streamed through the gathering clouds with a golden glow. This would herald the Lord’s presence (Ps 18:2). The north (Hb tsaphon) was linked with God’s residence in some cultures of the ancient Near East (Jb 23:9; 26:7; cp. Ps 48:2; Is 14:13-14).

37:23 Elihu implied that Job’s quest for a personal hearing before God (13:14-16; 31:35-37) was ill-founded. Elihu maintained that God was not singling out Job for persecution as he had complained (10:20; 16:12; 30:19,21). Such was impossible because God’s basic moral character functioned in accordance with his justice and righteousness (Dt 32:4; Jnh 4:2).

37:24 Elihu’s final advice was to fear God (Ec 12:13). This is wise, as Job himself had admitted (Jb 28:28). But God does not favorably regard the person who is wise in heart (one who prides himself as having superior wisdom). True wisdom begins with reverential fear of God (Pr 1:7). Elihu was from the beginning angry with Job because he believed that Job was self-righteous (Jb 32:2). Although Job feared God, he was playing God in his own life despite his constant acts of piety (1:5; cp. chap. 31). Job had been certain of his righteousness (27:6), but he had failed to recognize God’s essential justice and righteousness (32:2; 37:23). Elihu’s advice to Job was that he should truly fear (revere) God and turn from his self-centeredness. Then he would understand both God’s power and his moral integrity (42:2-6). Thus Job would find God sufficient for his every trial.