Various Comments on Job 26:5-14


Verses 5–6

“Job alludes to some obvious areas of knowledge that are open before God but concealed from human perspective, in order to warn his friends against their continued presumption that they know God's purposes in Job's disastrous circumstances.” – Kenneth Laing Harris and August Konkel


“Sheol’s openness to God means not just that he can see what is going on there but, more to the point of the present speech, that the lower world is not outside the divine jurisdiction, and his dominion is known and feared there – as it is in the heavens.” –David J. A. Clines


Verses 7–10

“…the hymn moves from God’s control of the realm of the dead… to his control of the upper cosmos.” –John Walton


“The overall picture, reminiscent of Genesis 1, is of creation as a place of order and boundaries, upheld by the power of God.” –Christopher Ash


Verse 8

“Under the heavenly canopy God does many wonders. Amazingly he binds some of the waters in thick clouds, as one stores wine in a wineskin. But the cloud mass does not burst or split open under the great weight of the water.” --John E. Hartley.


Verse 9

“The Hebrew word for ‘full moon’ is a homonym (same sound and spelling but different meaning) with the word for ‘throne.’ If either the latter sense is intended or the author is employing intentional ambiguity in using the word, then the image may refer to the heavens as concealing God in the place of his rule." – Kenneth Laing Harris and August Konkel


Verses 11-13

“These verses speak, in storybook language that would be recognized all over the ancient Near East, of the conquest and subjugation of supernatural evil.” –Christopher Ash


“‘Rahab’ and ‘the fleeing serpent’ refer to the same being and make the point that God is and will be sovereign over any powerful figure opposed to him.” –Kenneth Laing Harris and August Konkel


Verses 5–14 as a whole

“These snatches from mysterious old poems create an atmosphere of wonder. The mind is lost in the immensity of God's world and the even greater immensity of the Power behind it. But, Job says, this is but a glimpse, a whisper, a fraction: ‘these are only the boundaries of his realm’!” –Francis I. Andersen


“If the wonders of creation are far too marvelous for mankind to comprehend it is just as impossible for a human being to comprehend the thunder of his power. At best a human being catches only a glimpse of God's marvelous ways. Often in his speeches Job recites hymnic lines in praise of God; they encourage his faith in God. This time his meditation on God's majestic power as seen in creation and his defeat of the cosmic foes foreshadows Yahweh appearing out of the whirlwind (chaps. 38–41).” --John E. Hartley


"The phrase 'his ways' in the context of creation language means more than just God's actions; it refers to the structures or laws of the cosmic order…. The hymn has ranged from the realm of the dead below to the upholding of the firmament of Heaven above and to the subjection of cosmic evil. It is not narrow in its scope! And yet it describes only ‘the outskirts of his ways’; it is no more than ‘a whisper’ of God in the fullness of wisdom and power.” –Christopher Ash


Photo by Alfred Aloushy on Unsplash

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