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Job 37:16

    Job 37:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Do you know the balancing of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, The wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Have you knowledge of the balancings of the clouds, the wonders of him who has all wisdom?

    Webster's Revision

    Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, The wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge?

    World English Bible

    Do you know the workings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?

    Clarke's Commentary on Job 37:16

    Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds - How are the clouds suspended in the atmosphere? Art thou so well acquainted with the nature of evaporation, and the gravity of the air at different heights, to support different weights of aqueous vapor, so as to keep them floating for a certain portion of time, and then let them down to water the earth; dost thou know these things so as to determine the laws by which they are regulated?

    Wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge - This is a paraphrase. Mr. Good's translation is much better: -

    "Wonders, perfections of wisdom!"

    Barnes' Notes on Job 37:16

    Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds? - That is, Dost thou know how the clouds are poised and suspended in the air? The difficulty to be explained was, that the clouds, so full of water, did not fail to the earth, but remained suspended in the atmosphere. They were poised and moved about by some unseen hand. Elihu asks what kept them there; what prevented their falling to the earth; what preserved the equilibrium so that they did not all roll together. The phenomena of the clouds would be among the first that would attract the attention of man, and in the early times of Job it is not to be supposed that the subject could be explained. Elihu assumes that they were held in the sky by the power of God, but what was the nature of his agency, he says, man could not understand, and hence, he infers that God should be regarded with profound veneration. We know more of the facts and laws respecting the clouds than was understood then, but our knowledge in this, as in all other things, is fitted only to exalt our conceptions of the Deity, and to change blind wonder into intelligent adoration.

    The causes of the suspension of the clouds are thus stated in the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, Art. Meteorology: "When different portions of the atmosphere are intermixed so as to produce a deposition of moisture;" (compare the notes at Job 38:28), "the consequence will be the formation of a cloud. This cloud, from its increased specific gravity, will have a tendency to sink downward; and were the lower strata of the air of the same temperature with the cloud, and saturated with moisture, it would continue to descend until it reached the surface of the earth - in the form of rain, or what is commonly called mist. In general, however, the cloud in its descent passes through a warmer region, when the condensed moisture again passes into a vapor, and consequently ascends until it reaches a temperature sufficiently low to recondense it, when it will begin again to sink. This oscillation will continue until the cloud settles at the point where the temperature and humidity are such as that the condensed moisture begins to be dissipated, and which is found on an average to be between two and three miles above the surface of the earth." By such laws the "balancing" of the clouds is secured, and thus is shown the wisdom of Him that is "perfect in knowledge."

    The wondrous works of him that is perfect in knowledge - Particularly in the matter under consideration. He who can command the lightning, and hold the clouds suspended in the air, Elihu infers must be perfect in knowledge. To a Being who can do this, everything must be known. The reasoning of Elihu here is well-founded, and is not less forcible now than it was in the time of Job.

    Wesley's Notes on Job 37:16

    37:16 Balancings - How God doth as it were weigh the clouds in balances, so that although they are full of water, yet they are kept up by the thin air.
    Book: Job