With clouds he covereth the light
Either the lightning, which is hid and covered in the black dark cloud until it bursts out of it; or the light of the sun, which is wonderful, that waters naturally clear and transparent, when formed into clouds, should obstruct the rays of the sun and darken it; see ( Ezekiel 32:7 ) ; and thus it was in the storm and tempest the Apostle Paul was in many days, which was so thick and dark, that the sun and stars did not appear of a long time, ( Acts 27:20 ) ;
and commandeth it [not to shine], by [the cloud] that
that is, commands the sun that it shines not, or hinders it from shining, by reason of the intervening clouds; this is an emblem of sin interposing between God and his people, which causes him to hide his face from them and not shine upon them: sins are comparable to clouds for numbers, being more than can be told; and for their nature and quality, like clouds they rise out of the earthly and carnal heart of man; and which is also like a troubled sea which cannot rest; and which reach up unto heaven and bring down wrath and vengeance from thence on wicked men; and in God's own people, like the clouds they intercept the light of his countenance, the bright shining of the sun of righteousness, the comfort, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit: the words may be rendered, "with hands he covers the light, and commands [that it shine not] by [reason of] what comes between": and they are understood by some, as by Schmidt particularly, of the eclipses of the sun and moon, when God as it were covers them with hands, and suffers them not to shine by intervening bodies; so the eclipse of the sun is occasioned by the moon's coming between that and the earth, and the eclipse of the moon by the interposition of the earth between that and the sun; the Targum is,
``because of rapine of hands he restrains rain, and commands it to descend because of him that prays,''who comes between and intercedes for a sinful people, as Elijah did; or, as others, he commands the lightning that it harms not because of him that comes between and intercedes with his prayers.