Job 36:29

29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?

Job 36:29 in Other Translations

29 Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?
29 Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds, the thunderings of his pavilion?
29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven?
29 Does anyone have the slightest idea how this happens? How he arranges the clouds, how he speaks in thunder?
29 Can anyone understand how the clouds spread out or how the thunder roars from God's pavilion?

Job 36:29 Meaning and Commentary

Job 36:29

Also can [any] understand the spreadings of the clouds
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.

Job 36:29 In-Context

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?
30 See how he scatters his lightning about him, bathing the depths of the sea.
31 This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Psalms 29:3; Jeremiah 10:13
  • 2. S Job 9:6; Job 26:14; Job 37:16; Psalms 18:7-15; Psalms 19:4,5; Psalms 104:2; Proverbs 8:28; Isaiah 40:22
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