Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Job 36:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I will fetch my knowledge from afar - למרחוק lemerachok, "from the distant place," meaning probably both remote antiquity and heaven; see below. I will show thee that all antiquity and experience are on my side. I can bring proofs from the remotest ages and from the most distant countries to demonstrate that God is infinitely Wise, and can do nothing foolish or erroneous; that he is infinitely Powerful, and can bring all the purposes of his wisdom to effect; that he is infinitely Good, and can will nothing, and can do nothing that is not good in itself, and well calculated to do good to his creatures. And I shall show that his operations in the heavens and on the earth prove and demonstrate the whole.

And will ascribe righteousness to my Maker - By proving the above points, the righteous conduct of God, and his gracious government of the world, will be fully established. That Elihu brings his knowledge from afar - from every part of the creation, as well as from the Divine nature - is evident from the end of the chapter.

  1. The omnipotence of God; - God is great.
  • The eternity of God - We know him not, the number of his years cannot be found out, Job 36:26.
  • From the economy of God in the atmosphere, in dews, rain, vapor, and the irrigation of the earth; - He maketh small the drops, etc., Job 36:27, Job 36:28.
  • 4. In the thunder and lightning, by which he performs such wonders in the atmosphere, and executes such judgments in the world; - Also who can understand the noise of his tabernacle? He spreadeth his light upon it. He judgeth the people, etc., Job 36:29-33.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    I will fetch my knowledge from afar - What I say shall not be mere commonplace. It shall be the result of reflection on subjects that lie out of the ordinary range of thought. The idea is, that he did not mean to go over the ground that had been already trodden, or to suggest such reflections as would occur to anyone, but that he meant to bring his illustrations from abstruser matters, and from things that had escaped their attention. He in fact appeals to the various operations of nature - the rain, the dew, the light, the instincts of the animal creation, the vicissitudes of the seasons, the laws of heat and cold, and shows that all these prove that God is inscrutably wise and gloriously great.

    And will ascribe righteousness to my Maker - That is, I will show that these things to which I now appeal, “prove” that he is righteous, and is worthy of universal confidence. Perhaps, also, he means to contrast the result of his reflections with those of Job. He regarded him as having charged his Maker with injustice and wrong. Elihu says that it was a fixed principle with him to ascribe righteousness to God, and that he believed it could be fully sustained by an appeal to his works. Man should “presume” that his Maker is good, and wise, and just; he should be “willing” to find that he is so; he should “expect” that the result of the profoundest investigation of his ways and works will prove that he is so - and in such an investigation he will never be disappointed. A man is in no good frame of mind, and is not likely to be led to any good result in his investigations, when he “begins” his inquiries by believing that his Maker is unjust, and who “prosecutes” them with the hope and expectation that he will find him to be so. Yet do people never do this?

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    Elihu only maintained that the affliction was sent for his trial; and lengthened because Job was not yet thoroughly humbled under it. He sought to ascribe righteousness to his Maker; to clear this truth, that God is righteous in all his ways. Such knowledge must be learned from the word and Spirit of God, for naturally we are estranged from it. The fitness of Elihu's discourse to the dispute between Job and his friends is plain. It pointed out to Job the true reason of those trials with which he had been pointed out to Job the true reason of those trials with which he had been visited. It taught that God had acted in mercy towards him, and the spiritual benefit he was to derive from them. It corrected the mistake of his friends, and showed that Job's calamities were for good.