Job 37:5


King James Version (KJV)

God thunders marvelously with his voice; great things does he, which we cannot comprehend.

American King James Version (AKJV)

God thunders marvelously with his voice; great things does he, which we cannot comprehend.

American Standard Version (ASV)

God thundereth marvellously with his voice; Great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

He does wonders, more than may be searched out; great things of which we have no knowledge;

Webster's Revision

God thundereth marvelously with his voice; great things he doeth, which we cannot comprehend.

World English Bible

God thunders marvelously with his voice. He does great things, which we can't comprehend.

English Revised Version (ERV)

God thundereth marvelously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.

Clarke's Job 37:5 Bible Commentary

God thundereth marvellously with his voice - This is the conclusion of Elihu's description of the lightning and thunder: and here only should chapter 36 have ended. He began, Job 36:29, with the noise of God's tabernacle; and he ends here with the marvellous thundering of Jehovah. Probably the writer of the book of Job had seen the description of a similar thunder storm as given by the psalmist, Psalm 77:16-19 : -

Psalm 77:16 The waters saw thee, O God!The waters saw thee, and were afraid.Yea, the deeps were affrighted!

Psalm 77:17 The clouds poured out water;The ethers sent forth a sound;Yea, thine arrows went abroad.

Psalm 77:18 The voice of thy thunder was through the expanse:The lightnings illumined the globe;The earth trembled and shook!

Psalm 77:19 Thy way is in the sea,And thy paths on many waters;But thy footsteps are not known.

Great things doeth he - This is the beginning of a new paragraph; and relates particularly to the phenomena which are afterwards mentioned. All of them wondrous things; and, in many respects, to us incomprehensible.

Barnes's Job 37:5 Bible Commentary

God thundereth marvelously - He thunders in a wonderful manner. The idea is, that the voice of his thunder is an amazing exhibition of his majesty and power.

Great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend - That is, not only in regard to the thunder and the tempest, but in other things. The description of the storm properly ends here, and in the subsequent verses Elihu proceeds to specify various other phenomena, which were wholly incomprehensible by man. The reference here to the storm, and to the other grand and incomprehensible phenomena of nature, is a most appropriate introduction to the manifestation of God himself as described in the next chapter, and could not but have done much to prepare Job and his friends for that sublime close of the controversy.

The passage before us Job 36:29-33; Job 37:1-5, is probably the earliest description of a thunderstorm on record. A tempest is a phenomenon which must early have attracted attention, and which we may expect to find described or alluded to in all early poetry. It may be interesting, therefore, to compare this description of a storm, in probably the oldest poem in the world, with what has been furnished by the masters of song in ancient and modern times, and we shall find that in sublimity and beauty the Hebrew poet will suffer nothing in comparison. In one respect, which constitutes the chief sublimity of the description. he surpasses them all: I mean in the recognition of God. In the Hebrew description. God is every where in the storm He excites it; he holds the lightnings in both hands; he directs it where he pleases; he makes it the instrument of his pleasure and of executing his purposes. Sublime, therefore, as is the description of the storm itself, furious as is the tempest; bright as is the lightning: and heavy and awful as is the roar of the thunder, yet the description derives its chief sublimity from the fact that "God" presides over all, riding on the tempest and directing the storm as he pleases. Other poets have rarely attempted to give this direction to the thoughts in their description of a tempest, if we may except Klopstock, and they fall, therefore, far below the sacred poet. The following is the description of a storm by Elihu, according to the exposition which I have given:

Who can understand the outspreading of the clouds,

And the fearful thunderings in his pavilion?

Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it;

He also covereth the depths of the sea.

By these he executeth judgment upon the people,

By these he giveth food in abundance.

With his hands he covereth the lightning,

And commandeth it where to strike.

He pointeth out to his friends -

The collecting of his wrath is upon the wicked.

At this also my heart palpitates,


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