Also can [any] understand the spreadings of the
Or "of a cloud" F12, a thick cloud, a single one; which sometimes at the beginning is very small, about the size of a man's hand, ( 1 Kings 18:44 ) ; and which in a little time spreads all over the heavens, and covers them with black clouds and darkness; none can understand, describe, and tell by what means so small a cloud at first appearance is spread to such a prodigious extent; and which is done partly for the use of God himself, to be a pavilion or tent around him, ( Psalms 18:11 ) ( 97:2 ) ; and partly for the use of men, either to let down ram on the several parts of the world, or to be a sort of an umbrella to men, to shelter them from scorching heat; nor can any understand how the clouds, stretched out to such a compass, are poised and balanced in the air, so as to retain their position as long as it is the pleasure of God; see ( Job 37:16 ) . Ben Gersom, who is followed by others F13, interprets this of the differences of the clouds, which are unaccountable, as to the form and colour of them being curious, and the matter which they contain or what issues from them; out of some rain, others hail, others snow and sleet, others wind, others thunder and lightning; and yet all arise from the same, even from vapours exhaled from the earth and sea; some become moist and cold, others hot and dry. As clouds are emblems of Gospel ministers, ( Isaiah 5:6 ) ; this may lead us to observe the different gifts of grace bestowed on them, and the different uses they are of; some are Boanergeses, sons of thunder, ( Mark 3:17 ) ; others Barnabases, sons of consolation, ( Acts 4:36 ) ; and the extent of the Gospel ministry all over the world, which first began as a small cloud over the land of Judea, and then was spread throughout the Gentile world;
[or] the noise of his tabernacle;
the tabernacle of God, which are the clouds, which are laid as the flooring of his palace, and are drawn about him as a tent or pavilion, ( Psalms 104:3 ) ( 18:11 ) , where he sits invisible, and from whence, as a general of an army, he issues out his orders, and sends forth his artillery, rain, hail, snow, thunder, and lightning, and stormy wind fulfilling his word; the noise hereof is either the noise of the waters in the clouds, the sound of an abundance of rain, ( 1 Kings 18:41 ) ; or of the blustering winds, by which the clouds are moved and portend rain; or of the thunder that bursts out of them with a vehement noise, and which is usually followed with rain; and the thunder of his power who can understand? ( Job 26:14 ) . This may be an emblem of the voice of God in his Gospel out of his tabernacle, the church, which the natural man understands not; or the voice of God in his providences, in which he speaks to men once and twice, and they perceive it not.
F12 (be) "nubis", Montanus, Tigurine version, Mercerus, Piscator, Schultens.
F13 (yvrpm) "differentias", Pagninus; "varietates", Vatablus.