New Defender's Study Bible Notes
37:11 wearieth the thick cloud. Although the language is figurative, the meteorology is accurate. The mystery of the “balancing of the clouds,” keeping them aloft against the force of gravity, is mentioned in Job 26:8 and 37:16. This mystery has been solved by modern science, so that it is now understood that the droplets of liquid water in the clouds are kept aloft by the force exerted by updrafts of wind. When the droplets coalesce to form large drops of water, however, then their weight can overcome these forces and the drops will fall to the ground as rain or snow. That is, by increased “watering,” the clouds become thick and can no longer maintain their stability, being “wearied,” so to speak. Note also Job 36:27,28. The condensation of water vapor into droplets and then into raindrops or snowflakes is apparently facilitated by electrical discharges in the atmosphere—the lightning, then thunder, then rain or snow. Note Job 37:3-6.
37:12 his counsels. The Hebrew word here actually means “steering” or “guidance,” in that God “steers” the storm in such a way as to accomplish His purpose. This purpose could be threefold (Job 37:13) as follows: (1) correction, calling people back to acknowledge His sovereign power; (2) land, providing cleansing and nourishment for regions needing it; (3) mercy, sending water to those people meriting and praying for it.
37:15 Dost thou know. Elihu’s challenge to Job could still be posed today. The phenomena of the water cycle (winds, clouds, lightning, rainfall, run-off, evaporation, etc.) had been studied in detail and are understood in part. Nevertheless they are so vast and so complex that weather forecasting is still largely statistical, as much art as science.
37:22 out of the north. The word translated “fair weather” (Hebrew zahab) is used over 175 times in the Old Testament, but is translated “gold” in every instance except here. Thus it probably should read: “Gold cometh out of the north.” Almost certainly this refers to the “northern lights,” or Aurora Borealis, suggesting the “terrible majesty” of their Creator.