When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the
lightning of the thunder.
Decreed within himself that he would give it; for rain is his gift alone, and which none of the vanities of the Gentiles can give, and a wonderful blessing to the earth it is; and which God bestows on all sorts of men, both good and bad, and causes it to fall sometimes on one place and sometimes on another, sometimes in greater, sometimes in lesser showers; and according to his sovereign pleasure he gives or withholds it; the effects of which are quickly seen. Mr. Broughton renders the clause, "he made a bound for the rain, and a way for the lightning of thunder", or "the lightning and the thunder", as Ben Gersom, who thinks the copulative (w) , "and", is wanting. Thunder is from God, it is his voice, and the word here used is in the plural number, "voices" F13, signifying various claps of thunder; and lightning generally accompanies it, which, though first perceived, they are both at once the eye doing its office quicker than the ear; and a cloud also is usual; and so some render the word for lightning, as in ( Zechariah 10:1 ) ; it may signify the way of the lightning out of the thunder cloud, and attending claps of thunder; the thunder breaks the cloud and makes a path for the lightning: the Targum is,
``a path for the lightnings, which run with the voices or thunders;''but, though the course or path the lightning steers is very quick and very extensive from east to west, and cannot be traced by us. God that made it knows it, and he knows the path and place of wisdom. Sephorno interprets this of the thunder and lightnings at the giving of the law, which he understands by wisdom, as do other Jewish writers: Pliny F14 speaks of thunder and lightning as chance matters; but Seneca F15 more truly ascribes them to divine power and Providence, as here.
F13 (twlwq) "vocum", Piscator, Mercerus, Drusius.
F14 Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 43.
F15 Nat. Quaest. l. 2. c. 13. 31.