on Job 37 :22
Fair weather cometh out of the north - Is this any version of the original מצפון זהב יאתה mitstsaphon zahab yeetheh? which is rendered by almost every version, ancient and modern, thus, or to this effect: "From the north cometh gold." Calmet justly remarks, that in the time of Moses, Job, and Solomon, and for a long time after, gold was obtained from Colchis, Armenia, Phasis, and the land of Ophir, which were all north of Judea and Idumea; and are in the Scriptures ordinarily termed the north country. "But what relation can there be between, Gold cometh out of the north, and, With God is terrible majesty?" Answer: Each thing has its properties, and proper characteristics, which distinguish it; and each country has its advantages. Gold, for instance, comes from the northern countries; so praises offered to the Supreme God should be accompanied with fear and trembling: and as this metal is from the north, and northern countries are the places whence it must be procured; so terrible majesty belongs to God, and in him alone such majesty is eternally resident. As זהב zahob, which we translate gold, (see Job 28:16), comes from a root that signifies to be clear, bright, resplendent, etc.; Mr. Good avails himself of the radical idea, and translates it splendor: -
"Splendor itself is with God;
But he alters the text a little to get this meaning, particularly in the word יאתה yeetheh, which we translate cometh, and which he contends is the pronoun אתה itself; the י yod, as a performative, here being, as he thinks, an interpolation. This makes a very good sense; but none of the ancient versions understood the place thus, and none of the MSS. countenance this very learned critic's emendation.
on Job 37 :22
Fair weather - Margin, "gold," The Hebrew word (זהב zâhâb) properly means "gold," and is so rendered by the Vulgate, the Syriac, and by most versions. The Septuagint renders it, νέψη χρυσαυγουντα nepsē chrusaugounta, "clouds shining like gold." The Chaldee, אסתניא, the north wind, Boreas. Many expositors have endeavored to show that gold was found in the northern regions (see Schultens, in loc.); and it is not difficult so to establish that fact as to be a confirmation of what is here said, on the supposition that it refers literally to gold. But it is difficult to see why Elihu should here make a reference to the source where gold was found, or how such a reference should be connected with the description of the approaching tempest, and the light which was already seen on the opening clouds. It seems probable to me that the idea is wholly different and that Elihu means to say that a bright, dazzling light was seen in the northern sky like burnished gold, which was a fit symbol of the approaching Deity. This idea is hinted at in the Septuagint, but it has not seemed to occur to expositors. The image is that of the heavens darkened with the tempest, the lightnings playing, the thunder rolling, and then the wind seeming to brush away the clouds in the north, and disclosing in the opening a bright, dazzling appearance like burnished gold, that bespoke the approach of God. The word is never used in the sense of "fair weather." An ancient Greek tragedian, mentioned by Grotius, speaks of golden air - χρυσωπός αἰθήρ chrusōpos aithēr. Varro also uses a similar expression - aurescit aer, "the air becomes like gold." So Thomson, in his Seasons:
But yonder comes the powerful king of day
Rejoicing in the east. The lessening cloud.
The kindling azure, and the mountain's brow,
Illumed with fluid gold, his near approach
Out of the north - That is, the symbol of the approaching Deity appears in that quarter, or God was seen to approach from the north. It may serve to explain this, to remark that among the ancients the northern regions were regarded as the residence of the gods, and that on the mountains in the north it was supposed they were accustomed to assemble. In proof of this, and for the reasons of it, see the notes at Isaiah 14:13. From that region Elihu sees God now approaching, and directs the attention of his companions to the symbols of his advent. It is this which fills his mind with so much consternation, and which renders his discourse so broken and disconnected. Having, in a manner evincing great alarm, directed their attention to these symbols, he concludes what he has to say in a hurried manner, and God appears, to close the controversy.
With God is terrible majesty - This is not a declaration asserting this of God in general, but as he then appeared. It is the language of one who was overwhelmed with his awful majesty, as the brightness of his presence was seen on the tempest.
on Job 37 :22
37:22 North - From the northern winds which scatter the clouds, and clear the sky. Elihu concludes with some short, but great sayings, concerning the glory of God. He speaks abruptly and in haste, because it should seem, he perceived God was approaching, and presumed he was about to take the work into his own hands.