The Revelation of God (God speaks 2 times) Job 38-41
Job 38-40:5 God’s Omniscience…His Knowledge of all Things (He speaks out of the “whirlwind”)
Job 38:1-3-Finally, God breaks the silence and speaks directly to Job. He tells Job to prepare himself...because He is going to do the questioning, now...to determine just who really is more knowledgeable, and more powerful. He accepts the challenge that Job had made to have a chance to stand before God (9:34; 10:2ff; 13:3; 23:3ff; 31:35ff). He tells Job to prepare himself for a series of questions.
First (38:1-40:5), God will ask Job questions concerning knowledge, or omniscience (meaning “all knowledge”). The first group of questions will be about the earth and the celestial heavens…their attributes and His complete knowledge of them (38:4-38). In a second group of questions concerning knowledge, God will ask him about the animal kingdom and His complete knowledge of it (38:39-39:30).
Second (40:6-41), God will ask Job questions concerning power, or omnipotence (meaning “all power”).
God speaks to Job out of the “whirlwind” or “storm” (the same Hebrew word is used in 38:1 and 40:6). Perhaps this is a suggestion of the dizzying, overwhelming amount of knowledge and expansiveness of data that God so easily grasps. There is so much that God is going to ask Job that it literally makes him faint. It is overwhelming. As if his mortal mind is about to collapse by even the attempt to comprehend such vast quantities of information. God is asking Job to account for details and facts and figures and times and events at such a rapid pace that he feels like he is being spun around…in a whirlwind of questioning.
38:1 Almost as if the Elihu speeches did not intervene, God spoke to Job, and not to the friends. His name is Yahweh, not the generic ʾĕl or ʾĕlôah of the other speakers. He is the God who exists, who reveals himself, who deals with his people through covenant, and who now came to Job “out of the storm.”
Alden, R. L. (1993). Job (Vol. 11, p. 368). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, Logos Bible Software
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: Then translates the Hebrew connective waw, which is used here to mark a transition which shifts the scene forward to a new setting. It is usually translated as Then in English, but can be “after that, when that was finished, later on.” Lord translates the Hebrew name for God, Yahweh. For full discussion see “Translating the Book of Job,” and comments on 1:6. Answered is not to be taken in the sense of answering a question, but more generally as “spoke to, said to, addressed.” The first thing God says to Job is in the form of a question in verse 2. For comments on answered see 4:1. Whirlwind does not translate the same words for storm used by Elihu in chapters 36 and 37. This may be a way of avoiding any reference to Elihu’s talk. The Hebrew term refers to a fierce, raging storm. Whirlwind is a rather more specific type of wind than the context suggests, and a more general term for a severe storm is better. Storms were associated with appearances of God in Exodus 19:19–20; Judges 5:4–5; Habakkuk 3:5–6; Psalm 18:8–16. neb and others use “tempest,” and tev “storm.” In translation it may be necessary to restructure out of the whirlwind, which refers to the place from which the Lord speaks to Job. In some languages this is expressed “from inside the storm,” “from the heart of the storm,” or as a simile, “The Lord spoke to Job like a great wind storm.”
Reyburn, W. D. (1992). A handbook on the book of Job (pp. 693–694). New York: United Bible Societies, Logos Bible Software
Yahweh’s first speech consists of dozens of questions about the cosmos. They begin with creation and advance in a pattern that approximates the first chapter of Genesis. In the last pericope of chap 38, which should have been the first of chap. 39, the examination turns to wild animals, those creatures that Job did not have in his herds and flocks, those elusive, mysterious, powerful denizens of places where people are not. “Yet all are among God’s pets.” Naturally, Job could not and did not try to answer any of the questions. Their point was not to seek information but to impress Job with the fact that God operates in realms well beyond the range of human beings. His power, creativity, and omniscience are something that neither Job nor we can grasp, but maybe the reading of these chapters will help.
Alden, R. L. (1993). Job (Vol. 11, p. 369). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, Logos Bible Software
- Jehovah appears unexpectedly in a whirlwind (already gathering Job 37:1, 2), the symbol of “judgment” (Ps 50:3, 4, &c.), to which Job had challenged Him. He asks him now to get himself ready for the contest. Can he explain the phenomena of God’s natural government? How can he, then, hope to understand the principles of His moral government? God thus confirms Elihu’s sentiment, that submission to, not reasonings on, God’s ways is man’s part. This and the disciplinary design of trial to the godly is the great lesson of this book. He does not solve the difficulty by reference to future retribution: for this was not the immediate question; glimpses of that truth were already given in the fourteenth and nineteenth chapters, the full revelation of it being reserved for Gospel times. Yet even now we need to learn the lesson taught by Elihu and God in Job.
Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 340). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., Logos Bible Software
Job 38:4-11-God asks Job where he was when He created everything and if he knows how He holds it all together and maintains its operation.
Job 38:12-15-God asks Job if he knows how to make the sun to rise to begin another day.
Job 38:16-18-God asks Job if he has a working knowledge of the depths of the sea. Does he even know what lies at the bottom of the oceans (:16-17), much less know the total size of the earth (:18)?
Job 38:19-21-God asks Job if he knows the origins of light and darkness. After all, wasn’t he alive when it all began (:21)?
Job 38:22-30-God asks Job that since these things may be too complex for him to explain…can he at least tell Him where more common things like snow, hail, rain, thunder, dew, ice, or frost come from?
Job 38:31-33-God then asks Job if he is able to control the stars of the sky and their constellations.
Job 38:34-38-God asks Job if he has a knowledge of the number and presence of the clouds so that he can command them to bring rain to a particular place when he determines there is a need.
Job 38:39-41-God asks Job if he is able to provide food for young lions and raven.
Job 39:1-4-God asks Job is he is knows the exact time when the wild animals are giving birth.
Job 39:5-12-God asks Job if he has the knowledge to tame a wild donkey or ox.
Job 39:13-18-God asks Job if he understands why the ostrich behaves in such an uncaring manner towards her young.
Job 39:19-25-God asks Job if he knows why horses behave as they do and how to tame them so that they will be prepared to serve in all circumstances.
Job 39:26-30-God asks Job if he has the understanding to tell the hawk when to fly, when to build a nest, and where to find food.
Prayer: Lord, Your knowledge is infinite. Please help me…when I don’t understand something…to place my faith in You. You are aware of all things. You know how all things operate. You know what the future holds. Your knowledge about all things is infinite. Help me to trust in You.