Old Testament Commentary - Job 38

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
                  CHAPTER 38                 

God asks Job where he was when the foundations of the earth were laid, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy—The phenomena of nature show greatness of God and weakness of man.

 1 THEN the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
 2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
 3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
 4 Where wast thou when I alaid the bfoundations of the cearth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
 5 Who hath alaid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the acorner stone thereof;
 4a TG Jesus Christ, Creator
   b TG Creation
   c TG Nature, Earth

 7 When the morning starsa asang together, and all the bsons of God shouted for cjoy?
 8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
 7a the morning stars In chiasmic parallelism 'the morning stars' are 'the sons of God'. Christ himself is called 'the bright and morning star' (Revelation 22:16 (Rev. 2:28)). And Lucifer is called 'a son of the morning', as he was also so highly positioned as such as the 'morning stars', as the son of God (Isaiah 14:12, 2 Nephi 24:12, D&C 76:26 & 27). Thus 'the morning stars' are those children of God who did so sing and shout for joy at the founding of the creation of the earth to the purpose of the Plan of God—the Plan of Eternal Progression.  7a TG Singing
   b TG Council in Heaven
     TG Man, Antemortal Existence
     TG Sons & Daughters of God
   c TG Joy

 9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
 10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
 11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
 12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
 13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
 14 It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
 15 And from the wicked their light is awithholden, and the high barm shall be broken.
 15a 2 Ne. 26:10; D&C 34:2
     b Ps. 10:15; 2 Ne. 4:34; D&C 1:19

 16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
 17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
 18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
 19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
 20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
 21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?
 22 Hast thou entered into the atreasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
 23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
 24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
 22a OR storehouses

 25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
 26 To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
 27 To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
 28 Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
 29 Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?
 30 The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
 31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of aOrion?
 32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzarotha in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
 32a Mazzaroth As Orion and Arcturus, Mazzaroth is a charactor of Astronomy or the 'stars'. The Jews did hold much respect for the signs of the heavens and the stars. Even Christ's own birth was marked by the appearance of a 'new star' in the heavens. As to the particular constelation or star group which Mazzaroth recounts, it is not known. And some Jewish speculation further associated the term Mazzaroth as being the Jewish zodiac itself.  31a TG Astronomy

 33 Knowest thou the aordinances of bheavena? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
 34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?
 35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?
 33a the ordinaces of heaven The power of the priesthood was a part of the order of heaven. Jehovah was so 'annoited of God' or ordained and given the power and blessings of God in his called and appointed position as the God of Creation, one from among us the spirit children of the Father; for only those who so pertained unto this earth do minister unto it (D&C 130:5). Many were so called and foreordained to their various postions and callings in heaven and as to all the 'ordinances of heaven', who is to say just what all they are?  33a Jer. 31:35
     b TG Heaven

 36 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
 37 Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the abottles of heaven,
 38 When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?
 37a HEB waterskins

 39 Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,
 40 When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
 41 Who provideth for the araven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.
 41a Luke 12:24