Job 38:23 MEANING

Job 38:23
(23) The time of trouble.--As was the case with the Canaanites, in Joshua 10:11. (Comp. Psalm 18:13.)

Verse 23. - Which I have reserved against the time of trouble. Hail is reckoned throughout Scripture as one of the ministers of the Divine vengeance (see Exodus 9:18-29; Exodus 10:5-15; Joshua 10:11; Psalm 18:12, 13; Psalm 78:47, 48; Psalm 105:32; Isaiah 30:30; Isaiah 32:19; Ezekiel 13:11, 13; Ezekiel 36:22; Haggai 2:17; Revelation 8:7; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 16:21). Its destructive effect upon crops, even in temperate latitudes, is indicated by the insurances against damage from hail, which, even in our own country, so many farmers think it worth their while to pay. In tropical and semi-tropical regions the injury caused by hailstorms is far greater. Against the day of battle and war. Compare especially Joshua 10:11, which, however, we need not suppose to have been in the mind of the writer. In ancient times, when the bow held the place in war which is now occupied by the rifle or the musket, a heavy hailstorm, striking full in the face of the combatants on one side, while it only fell on the backs of their adversaries, must of tea have decided a battle.

38:12-24 The Lord questions Job, to convince him of his ignorance, and shame him for his folly in prescribing to God. If we thus try ourselves, we shall soon be brought to own that what we know is nothing in comparison with what we know not. By the tender mercy of our God, the Day-spring from on high has visited us, to give light to those that sit in darkness, whose hearts are turned to it as clay to the seal, 2Co 4:6. God's way in the government of the world is said to be in the sea; this means, that it is hid from us. Let us make sure that the gates of heaven shall be opened to us on the other side of death, and then we need not fear the opening of the gates of death. It is presumptuous for us, who perceive not the breadth of the earth, to dive into the depth of God's counsels. We should neither in the brightest noon count upon perpetual day, nor in the darkest midnight despair of the return of the morning; and this applies to our inward as well as to our outward condition. What folly it is to strive against God! How much is it our interest to seek peace with him, and to keep in his love!Which I have reserved against the time of trouble,.... For the punishment or affliction of men; and is explained as follows,

against the day of battle and war? as his artillery and ammunition to light his enemies with. Of hail we have instances in Scripture, as employed against the Egyptians and Canaanites, Exodus 9:25; and of a reserve of it in the purposes of God, and in prophecy against the day of battle with antichrist, Revelation 16:21; and so Jarchi interprets it here of the war of Gog and Magog. And though there are no instances of snow being used in this way in Scripture, yet there is in history. Strabo (s) reports, that at Corzena and Cambysena, which join to Mount Caucasus, such snows have fallen, that whole companies of men have been swallowed up in them; and even armies have been overwhelmed with them, as the army of the Gauls (t); and such quantities have been thrown down from mountains, on which they have been lodged, that towns, towers, and villages, have been laid prostrate by them (u); and in the year 443, a vast snow destroyed many (w). Frequently do we hear in our parts of the disasters occasioned by them. The Targum particularly makes mention of snow; and renders it, "which snow I have reserved", &c. though absurdly applies it to punishment in hell.

(s) Geograph. l. 11. p. 363. (t) Cicero de Divinatione, l. 1.((u) Olaus Magu. de Ritu Gent. Septent. l. 2. c. 13. (w) Whiston's Chronolog. Tables, cent. 20.

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