Job 36:27

27 “He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams[a] ;

Job 36:27 in Other Translations

27 For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:
27 For he draws up the drops of water; they distill his mist in rain,
27 He draws up the water vapor and then distills it into rain.
27 "He pulls water up out of the sea, distills it, and fills up his rain-cloud cisterns.
27 For He makes waterdrops evaporate; they distill the rain into its mist,

Job 36:27 Meaning and Commentary

Job 36:27

For he maketh small the drops of rain
Elihu proceeds to give instances and proofs of the greatness of God, and begins with rain, as Eliphaz does, ( Job 5:9 Job 5:10 ) ; a common phenomenon, what is very frequent, and well known in all ages and countries, and by all men, more or less; and yet there are some things relative to it which are beyond the comprehension of men, and show the greatness and incomprehensibleness of God: and the design of this, and all other instances of this kind, is to convince Job of his folly in searching out the causes and reasons of God's works of providence, when the common works of nature lie out of the reach of men; and to reconcile him to them, and bring him patiently to submit to the will of God, whose ways are past finding out; and some render the words, "he restrains the drops of rain" F7; he withholds it from the earth, which causes a drought, and so brings on a famine; others, "he subtracts", or draws out, or draws up, the drops of water F8, which he exhales by the heat of the sun out of the earth and out of the sea; see ( Psalms 135:7 ) ( Amos 5:8 ) ; and which are drawn up in small particles, but form large bodies of waters in the clouds; and which are let down again upon the earth in small drops, in an easy and gentle manner, and so soak into the earth and make it fruitful; which is what is meant by our version here: this is a wonderful instance of God's power, wisdom, and goodness, and is beyond our comprehension; for no mortal man can tell how the Almighty parts and divides those large quantities of water in the clouds, that sometimes hang over our heads, into millions and ten thousand times ten thousand millions of drops, even innumerable; and causes these waters in such a manner to descend on the earth; lets them not fall at once, or in waterspouts, which would wash away the inhabitants of cities and towns, the cattle of the field, and the produce of the earth, as at the general deluge;

they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:
the water, drawn up and formed into large bodies in the heavens, pours down rain in a gentle and plentiful manner, according to the quantity of vapours exhaled out of the earth and sea; if a small quantity is drawn up, a small quantity is let down; and if a large quantity is attracted, a large quantity, or a plentiful shower, is given: some think that a small rain is meant in the preceding clause, and a great rain in this; for there is the small rain and the great rain of his strength, ( Job 37:6 ) . The word translated "pour" has the signification of liquefying, melting, and dissolving, and of purging and purifying; and which is applicable to clouds which melt and dissolve gradually as they descend in drops upon the earth; and the water which they let down is of all the most clear and pure, as Galen and Hippocrates F9, those eminent physicians, have observed; and a late celebrated one tells us {k}, that rain water is so truly distilled by nature, that the chemist, with all his distilling art, cannot produce purer water; for, though it is exhaled out of the dirty earth, out of miry places, bogs, and ditches, yet, being bound up in the clouds as in a garment, and passing through the atmosphere, it comes down to us pure as if it had been percolated or strained through a linen cloth; and though the water as drawn up out of the sea is salt, yet carried up into the air, and there, as in an alembic, distilled, it descends to us sweet and fresh, and has not the least brackishness in it.


F7 (Mym ypjn ergy) "aufert stillas pluviae et prohibebit", Pagninus; so Vatablus, Tigurine version, Targum, & Ben Gersom.
F8 "Attrahit", Codurcus; "subtrahit", i.e. "a mare", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schultens.
F9 Apud Pinedam in loc.
F11 Boerhaav. Elem. Chem. p. 600. apud Schultens in loc.

Job 36:27 In-Context

25 All humanity has seen it; mortals gaze on it from afar.
26 How great is God—beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.
27 “He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams ;
28 the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind.
29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Job 26:8
  • 2. S 2 Samuel 1:21; Job 28:26; Job 38:28; Isaiah 55:10; Psalms 147:8

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "distill from the mist as rain"
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