Job 38:31

31 "Can you bind the chains of 1the Pleiades or loose the cords of 2Orion?

Job 38:31 Meaning and Commentary

Job 38:31

Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades
Of which (See Gill on Job 9:9); and this constellation of the seven stars which is meant, rising in the spring, the pleasantnesses of the season, as the word may be rendered, may be intended here; which cannot be restrained or hindered from taking place in the proper course of the year; which is beautifully described in ( Song of Solomon 2:12 Song of Solomon 2:13 ) ; and may in a spiritual sense relate to the effects of powerful and efficacious grace, the influences of which are irresistible, and cause a springtime in the souls of men, where it was before winter, a state of darkness, deadness, coldness, hardness, and unfruitfulness, but now the reverse. Some versions read, "the bands of the Pleiades" F12, as if the sense was, canst thou gather and bind, or cluster together, such a constellation as the seven stars be, as I have done? thou canst not; and so not stop their rising or hinder their influences, according to the other versions:

or loose the bands of Orion? of which (See Gill on Job 9:9) and ( Amos 5:8 ) . This constellation appears in the winter, and brings with it stormy winds, rain, snow, and frost, which latter binds up the earth, that seeds and roots in it cannot spring up; and binds the hands of men from working, by benumbing them, or rendering their materials or utensils useless; for which reasons bands are ascribed to Orion, and are such strong ones that it is not in the power of men to loose: the seasons are not to be altered by men; and, Job might be taught by this that it was not in his power to make any change in the dispensations of Providence; to turn the winter of adversity into the spring of prosperity; and therefore it was best silently to submit to the sovereignty of God, and wait his time for a change of circumstances.


F12 (hmyk twndem) (desmon pleiadov) , Sept. "nexus stellarum", Schmidt; so Jarchi and Targum.--According to the Talmud, the word signifies an hundred stars. Vid. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 58. 2.

Job 38:31 In-Context

29 From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the frost of heaven?
30 The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
31 "Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion?
32 Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?

Cross References 2

  • 1. Job 9:9; Amos 5:8
  • 2. Job 9:9; Amos 5:8
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.