Job 26:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?"

King James Bible
Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

Darby Bible Translation
Lo, these are the borders of his ways; but what a whisper of a word do we hear of him! And the thunder of his power, who can understand?

World English Bible
Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways. How small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?"

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, these are the borders of His way, And how little a matter is heard of Him, And the thunder of His might Who doth understand?

Job 26:14 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Lo, these are parts of his ways - קצות ketsoth, the ends or extremities, the outlines, an indistinct sketch, of his eternal power and Godhead.

How little a portion is heard - שמץ shemets, a mere whisper; admirably opposed, as Mr. Good has well observed, to רעם raam, the thunder, mentioned in the next clause. As the thunder is to a whisper, so are the tremendous and infinitely varied works of God to the faint outlines exhibited in the above discourse. Every reader will relish the dignity, propriety, and sense of these expressions. They force themselves on the observation of even the most heedless. By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens - Numerous are the opinions relative to the true meaning of this verse. Some think it refers to the clearing of the sky after a storm, such as appears to be described Job 26:11, Job 26:12; and suppose his Spirit means the wind, which he directs to sweep and cleanse the face of the sky, by which the splendor of the day or the lustre of the night is restored: and by the crooked, flying, or aerial serpent, as it is variously rendered, the ecliptic is supposed to be meant, as the sun's apparent course in it appears to be serpentine, in his approach to and recession from each of the tropics. This tortuous line may be seen on any terrestrial globe. Many will object to this notion as too refined for the time of Job; but this I could easily admit, as astronomy had a very early existence among the Arabians, if not its origin. But with me the chief objection lies against the obscurity of the allusion, if it be one; for it must require no small ingenuity, and almost the spirit of divination, to find out the sun's oblique path in the zodiac in the words His hand hath formed the crooked serpent. Others have imagined that the allusion is to the lightning in that zigzag form which it assumes when discharged from one cloud into another during a thunder storm. This is at once a natural and very apparent sense. To conduct and manage the lightning is most certainly a work which requires the skill and omnipotence of God, as much as garnishing the heavens by his Spirit, dividing the sea by his power, or causing the pillars of heaven to tremble by his reproof. Others think that the act of the creation of the solar system is intended to be expressed, which is in several parts of the sacred writings attributed to the Spirit of God; (Genesis 1:2; Psalm 33:6); and that the crooked serpent means either Satan, who deceived our first parents, or huge aquatic animals; for in Isaiah 27:1, we find the leviathan and dragon of the sea called נחש ברח nachash bariach, the very terms that are used by Job in this place: "In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan, the piercing serpent, (נחש ברח nachash bariach), even leviathan, that crooked serpent, (נחש עקלתון nachash akallathon), and he shall slay the dragon (התנין hattannin) that is in the sea." And we know that in Genesis 1:21 התנינם הגדלים hattanninim haggedolim, which we translate great whales, includes all sea-monsters or vast aquatic animals. Calmet, who without hesitation adopts this sentiment, says: "I see no necessity to have recourse to allegory here. After having exhibited the effects of the sovereign power of God in the heavens, in the clouds, in the vast collection of waters in the sea, it was natural enough for Job to speak of the production of fishes." The intelligent Dr. Sherlock gives another interpretation. After strongly expressing his disapprobation of the opinion that Job should descend, after speaking of the creation of the heavens and their host, to the formation of snakes and adders, he supposes "that Job here intended to oppose that grand religious system of sabaeism which prevailed in his time, and to which, in other parts of this book, he alludes; a system which acknowledged two opposite independent principles by which the universe was governed, and paid Divine adoration to the celestial luminaries. Suppose, therefore, Job to be acquainted with the fall of man, and the part ascribed to the serpent of the introduction of evil, see how aptly the parts cohere. In opposition to the idolatrous practice of the time, he asserts God to be the maker of all the host of heaven: By his Spirit he garnished the heavens. In opposition to the false notion of two independent principles, he asserts God to be the maker of him who was the author of evil: His hand hath formed the crooked serpent. You see how properly the garnishing of the heavens and the forming of the serpent are joined together. That this is the ancient traditionary explication of this place, we have undeniable evidence from the translation of the Septuagint, who render the latter part of this verse, which relates to the serpent, in this manner: Προσταγματι δε εθανατωσε δρακοντα αποστατην, By a decree he destroyed the apostate dragon. The Syriac and Arabic versions are to the same effect: And his hand slew the flying serpent.

"These translators apply the place to the punishment inflicted on the serpent; and it comes to the same thing, for the punishing the serpent is as clear an evidence of God's power over the author of evil as the creating him. We need not wonder to see so much concern in this book to maintain the supremacy of God, and to guard it against every false notion; for this was the theme, the business of the author." - Bp. Sherlock on Prophecy, Diss. ii.

From the contradictory opinions on this passage, the reader will no doubt feel cautious what mode of interpretation he adopts, and the absolute necessity of admitting no texts of doubtful interpretation as vouchers for the essential doctrines of Christianity. Neither metaphors, allegories, similes, nor figurative expressions of any kind, should ever be adduced or appealed to as proofs of any article in the Christian faith. We have reason to be thankful that this is at present the general opinion of the most rational divines of all sects and parties, and that the allegory and metaphor men are everywhere vanishing from the meridian and sinking under the horizon of the Church. Scriptural Christianity is prevailing with a strong hand, and going forward with a firm and steady step.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

how little

Job 11:7-9 Can you by searching find out God? can you find out the Almighty to perfection...

Psalm 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain to it.

Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

Isaiah 40:26-29 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these things, that brings out their host by number...

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

1 Corinthians 13:9-12 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part...

the thunder

Job 40:9 Have you an arm like God? or can you thunder with a voice like him?

1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder on them...

Psalm 29:3 The voice of the LORD is on the waters: the God of glory thunders: the LORD is on many waters.

Mosaic Cosmogony.
ON the revival of science in the 16th century, some of the earliest conclusions at which philosophers arrived were found to be at variance with popular and long-established belief. The Ptolemaic system of astronomy, which had then full possession of the minds of men, contemplated the whole visible universe from the earth as the immovable centre of things. Copernicus changed the point of view, and placing the beholder in the sun, at once reduced the earth to an inconspicuous globule, a merely subordinate
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World

Whether the virtues of Heaven Will be Moved when Our Lord Shall Come?
Objection 1: It would seem that the virtues of heaven will not be moved when our Lord shall come. For the virtues of heaven can de. note only the blessed angels. Now immobility is essential to blessedness. Therefore it will be impossible for them to be moved. Objection 2: Further, ignorance is the cause of wonder (Metaph. i, 2). Now ignorance, like fear, is far from the angels, for as Gregory says (Dial. iv, 33; Moral. ii, 3), "what do they not see, who see Him Who sees all." Therefore it will be
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Christian Perfection
"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect." Phil. 3:12. 1. There is scarce any expression in Holy Writ which has given more offence than this. The word perfect is what many cannot bear. The very sound of it is an abomination to them. And whosoever preaches perfection (as the phrase is,) that is, asserts that it is attainable in this life, runs great hazard of being accounted by them worse than a heathen man or a publican. 2. And hence some have advised, wholly to lay aside
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Of Creation
Heb. xi. 3.--"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."--Gen. i. 1. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." We are come down from the Lord's purposes and decrees to the execution of them, which is partly in the works of creation and partly in the works of providence. The Lord having resolved upon it to manifest his own glory did in that due and predeterminate time apply his
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Job 4:12
"A word was secretly brought to me, my ears caught a whisper of it.

Job 36:29
Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?

Job 37:4
After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back.

Job 37:5
God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.

Job 42:5
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.

Habakkuk 3:4
His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden.

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