Elihu Declares His Opinion, Part 5 of 5 & The Gathering Storm

It appears that all four of Job’s friends aren’t really concerned about Job, they’re just trying to impress You with the wisdom they think they have.  They should run for political office, I can’t think of one politician that isn’t arrogant.

Elihu Declares His Opinion
Part 5 of 5

Weather God
A weather god is a deity in mythology associated with weather phenomena such as thunder, lightning, rain and wind. They feature commonly in polytheistic religions, frequently as the head of the pantheon.

Storm gods are conceived of as wielding thunder and lightning. They are typically male, powerful and irascible rulers. Notable examples include the Indo-European deities derived from the Proto-Indo-European Dyeus. The Indo-European storm god is sometimes imagined as distinct from the ruling sky god. In these cases, he has names separate from the Dyeus etymon, either Perkwunos or Taran.

“For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:

Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.

Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?

Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea “(Job 36:27-30).

noise of his tabernacle…spreadeth his light – Thunder and lightning.

Hurricane Season began in 2013 and scientists had predicted an above-average season with as many as 17 named storms, 5-10 of which would be hurricanes.

A number of climate factors were taken into consideration and studied closely in order to come up with these predictions, including the fact that we continue to be in a high-activity era since 1995.

Scientists track storm data from the past in order to predict the future weather and you may be surprised how far back they go for their data.

Some scientists believe that ancient storms provide important clues about our present and future weather.

Paleotempestology is the study of past tropical cyclone activity by means of geological proxies (any geological phenomena that provides information about the contemporary climate) as well as historical documentary records.

It saw a huge growth in popularity 1995 when the earth entered the current period of high hurricane activity and scientists began searching for a way to explain what was happening.

In 2004, one researcher in Australia found that looking into the ancient past could help predict storms that might otherwise be missed.

Dr. Jonathan Nott from the Centre for Disaster Studies at James Cook University reviewed the geological evidence of storms that occurred up to 5,500 years ago in Western Australia, Queensland and the United States and predicted that “major cyclones bigger than any ever recorded in Australia will hit in the future.

Just as we use weather patterns such as El Nino to make predictions, there are weather patterns from the ancient past that can tell us even more about how the weather behaves over hundreds and even thousands of years.

Perhaps most importantly, it allows us to see how human beings are potentially affecting our weather patterns and helping to produce a climate in which bigger storms are more common.

Studying ancient storms not only improves our ability to predict future storms, it also gives us a window into the kind of weather past generations had to endure.

For example, in 2009 Michael Mann, director of the Earth Systems Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, authored a study showing that conditions along the Atlantic coast during the Middle Ages were perfect for hurricanes, and there is evidence that several hit the coast.

This means Native Americans living in these areas at the time probably experienced several very strong storms.

His team studied medieval sediments taken from lagoons between Massachusetts and Puerto Rico and concluded “it was probably a lot like the 2005 season, which was the busiest hurricane season in the Atlantic in recorded history.”

It is possible they even witnessed a storm similar to Katrina.

While we do not have first-hand accounts of these Atlantic storms, it is clear from ancient texts that our ancestors around the world were no strangers to violent weather.

Myths are full of tempests, with each author eager to outdo the other with descriptions of more and better storms.

For example, the Greek ships returning from Troy were famously destroyed by a sudden storm that shipwrecked nearly the entire fleet.

And then there are the terrible floods written about in various texts.

“Many ancient cultures, the Babylonians, the Mesopotamians, the Sumerians, had stories that involve a great flood sent by a deity, indicating to historians that there was perhaps a (or several) great flood(s) and these myths rose around to explain it (them).”

The ancient Greeks tried to explain all weather by assigning each element to a specific god.

As long as that particular god was happy, the weather would remain fair.

If the skies opened up with lightening, thunder, rain or wind, it was due to an angry deity.

All of this is evidence that ancient civilizations had first-hand experience with extreme weather including storms, floods and wind.

Today, we know that this hurricane season won’t be caused by a displeased god, and that no amount of sacrificing to Zeus, Notos or Poseidon will keep the winds, waves and rain away.

However, we can rely on the lessons we’ve learned from the ancient past in order to predict and prepare for the storms of the future.

covereth the bottom of the sea – The lightening God sends is so powerful that it even lights up the depths of the sea.

“For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.

With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.

The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour” (Job 36:31-33).

With clouds he covereth the light – Lit. he lifts up the lightning with both hands.  God is a powerful warrior who works with equal effectiveness with either hand (cf 1 Chr 12:2).

commandeth it not to shine…betwixt – God hurls the lightning with such precision that it strikes the exact mark he has chosen.

“The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapor” (Job 36:33).

A continuation of Elihu’s hymnic description of God’s marvels exhibited in the earth’s atmosphere, beginning in 36:27. His heart pounds at the awesome display (see v 1)

The passage reveals a sophisticated observation of atmospheric conditions and their effects: the evaporation and distillation of water for rain (see 36:27), the clouds as holders of moisture (see 36:28; 37:11), and the cyclonic behavior of clouds (see v 12)

Ancient 10,000-year-old trees revealed by island storms
The remains of 10,000-year-old trees have been uncovered on a beach in the north of the Isle of Man after recent storms battered the Manx coastline.

Experts said a “chaotic” collection of trunks, branches and pine cones had been discovered in the cliffs at Cranstal, just north of Bride Village.

The pine woodland had been covered by about 16ft (5m) of sand and clay.

Andrew Johnson, Manx National Heritage archaeologist, says the find “opens a window on an ancient landscape”.

“The epic weather has meant the sea washed away a considerable part of the cliff and knocked it back about 5m,” he said. “This has exposed an extensive area of pine woodland, including pine cones, which is part of a landscape that existed about 10,000 years ago.

“Because the peat has preserved it so well, we are now able to get some samples together and get to work in the laboratory.” Experts believe the ancient pine forest would have been around at the same time people began to inhabit the Isle of Man after the Ice Age.

“At this time, we believe people were starting to move around the island, it wouldn’t have been a very warm place at that time but it would have been possible to exist,” Mr Johnson said. “A few thousand years earlier though, it would have been more like Siberia.”

Mr Johnson said work was now being done to secure permission to remove samples of the woodland to help identify other parts of organic material. Tests will then be taken on animal and plant life found in the clay.

Such forces originate from God’s command and always perform His will for mankind, whether for good or for ill (v 13).

“At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place.

Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth.

He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth.

After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard.

God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.

For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.

He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work”  (Job 37:1-7).

 

Heavy rain or snowfall forces men to cease from their normal activities, giving them a chance to reflect on God’s power revealed in the storm.

“Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places.

Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.

By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened” (Job 37:8-10).

breath of God – a metaphor for a chilling wind.

“Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud:

And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.

He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.

Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.

Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine?

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

How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?

Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?” (Job 37:11-18).

Job is challenged to ponder God’s power over the elements.  The question format is also used in the divine discourses (chs 38-41).

Weather God
A weather god is a deity in mythology associated with weather phenomena such as thunder, lightning, rain and wind. They feature commonly in polytheistic religions, frequently as the head of the pantheon.

Storm gods are conceived of as wielding thunder and lightning. They are typically male, powerful and irascible rulers. Notable examples include the Indo-European deities derived from the Proto-Indo-European Dyeus. The Indo-European storm god is sometimes imagined as distinct from the ruling sky god. In these cases, he has names separate from the Dyeus etymon, either Perkwunos or Taran.

“Teach us what we shall say unto him; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness” (Job 37:19).

we cannot order our speech – Job had dared to sign his defense and call for an audience with God (see 31:35).  For this, Elihu seeks to shame him.  But he softens his tone by including himself as one equally vulnerable to God’s majesty.

“Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up. 

And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them. 

Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.

Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in Judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict. 

Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart” (Job 37:20-24).

He respecteth not any…wise of heart – God decisions and actions aren’t influenced by people like Job, or anyone, who think they are wise enough to argue with Him.

The Gathering Storm 

While Elihu appears to be continuing his preceding discourse in this section, the fact that an actual storm occurred is confirmed in Job 38:1. 

God of the Sky
Jupiter (from Latin: Iūpiter [ˈjuːpɪtɛr] or Iuppiter [ˈjʊppɪtɛr], from Proto-Italic *djous “day, sky” + *patēr “father”, thus “sky father”), also known as Jove gen. Iovis [ˈjɔwɪs]), is the god of the sky and thunder and king of the gods in Ancient Roman religion and mythology.

Jupiter was the chief deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire. In Roman mythology, he negotiates with Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, to establish principles of Roman religion such as offering, or sacrifice.

Jupiter is usually thought to have originated as an aerial god. His identifying implement is the thunderbolt and his primary sacred animal is the eagle, which held precedence over other birds in the taking of auspices and became one of the most common symbols of the Roman army (see Aquila). The two emblems were often combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its claws a thunderbolt, frequently seen on Greek and Roman coins.

As the sky-god, he was a divine witness to oaths, the sacred trust on which justice and good government depend. Many of his functions were focused on the Capitoline Hill, where the citadel was located. In the Capitoline Triad, he was the central guardian of the state with Juno and Minerva. His sacred tree was the oak.

The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, and in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto, the Roman equivalents of Poseidon and Hades respectively.

Each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: sky, the waters, and the underworld. The Italic Diespiter was also a sky god who manifested himself in the daylight, usually identified with Jupiter. Tinia is usually regarded as his Etruscan counterpart.

Therefore it is logical to treat these verses as describing the on setting squall. While they accurately describe a thunderstorm coming in from the north, the words may also be typical of the time of trouble with which the present dispensation shall come to an end.

The soft early drops of rain and the distant sound of thunder are noticed first. The oncoming clouds obscure the sun and the cattle are discontent. Then the lightning flashes in the sky as the thunder become a crashing roar.

He notices the beasts take cover and the cold turn the rain into sleet and hail. His sharp eye catches the balance of the clouds – the one high and overhanging with the lower clouds filled with moisture. Contrasting the usual warm southerly winds, with this fast charging storm from the north, he is awestruck by the power and majesty of the scene.

Even so, in the times of harvest, it was the early rains of truth which foretold of God’s coming judgments. As the enlightenment from the Lord became more clear, the noise of the progressing trouble was distinctly heard. Men could not see this as the Lord’s dealings because this troublous time hid them from the Lord.

Adad in Akkad
In Akkadian, Adad is also known as Rammanu (“Thunderer”) cognate with Aramaic: רעמא‎ Raˁmā and Hebrew: רַעַם‎‎ Raˁam, which was a byname of Hadad. Rammanu was formerly incorrectly taken by many scholars to be an independent Akkadian god later identified with Hadad.

Though originating in northern Mesopotamia, Adad was identified by the same Sumerogram dIM that designated Iškur in the south. His worship became widespread in Mesopotamia after the First Babylonian dynasty. A text dating from the reign of Ur-Ninurta characterizes Adad/Iškur as both threatening in his stormy rage and generally life-giving and benevolent.

The form Iškur appears in the list of gods found at Shuruppak but was of far less importance, probably partly because storms and rain were scarce in Sumer and agriculture there depended on irrigation instead. The gods Enlil and Ninurta also had storm god features that decreased Iškur’s distinctiveness. He sometimes appears as the assistant or companion of one or the other of the two.

When Enki distributed the destinies, he made Iškur inspector of the cosmos. In one litany, Iškur is proclaimed again and again as “great radiant bull, your name is heaven” and also called son of Anu, lord of Karkara; twin-brother of Enki, lord of abundance, lord who rides the storm, lion of heaven.

In other texts Adad/Iškur is sometimes son of the moon god Nanna/Sin by Ningal and brother of Utu/Shamash and Inanna/Ishtar. Iškur is also sometimes described as the son of Enlil.

The bull was portrayed as Adad/Iškur’s sacred animal starting in the Old Babylonian period (the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE).

Adad/Iškur’s consort (both in early Sumerian and the much later Assyrian texts) was Shala, a goddess of grain, who is also sometimes associated with the god Dagānu. She was also called Gubarra in the earliest texts. The fire god Gibil (named Gerra in Akkadian) is sometimes the son of Iškur and Shala.

He is identified with the Anatolian storm-god Teshub, whom the Mitannians designated with the same Sumerogram dIM. Occasionally Adad/Iškur is identified with the god Amurru, the god of the Amorites.

The Babylonian center of Adad/Iškur’s cult was Karkara in the south, his chief temple being É.Kar.kar.a; his spouse Shala was worshipped in a temple named É.Dur.ku. In Assyria, Adad was developed along with his warrior aspect. During the Middle Assyrian Empire, from the reign of Tiglath-Pileser I (1115–1077 BCE), Adad had a double sanctuary in Assur which he shared with Anu. Anu is often associated with Adad in invocations. The name Adad and various alternate forms and bynames (Dadu, Bir, Dadda) are often found in the names of the Assyrian kings.

Adad/Iškur presents two aspects in the hymns, incantations, and votive inscriptions. On the one hand he is the god who, through bringing on the rain in due season, causes the land to become fertile, and, on the other hand, the storms that he sends out bring havoc and destruction. He is pictured on monuments and cylinder seals (sometimes with a horned helmet) with the lightning and the thunderbolt (sometimes in the form of a spear), and in the hymns the sombre aspects of the god on the whole predominate. His association with the sun-god, Shamash, due to the natural combination of the two deities who alternate in the control of nature, leads to imbuing him with some of the traits belonging to a solar deity.

According to Alberto Green, descriptions of Adad starting in the Kassite period and in the region of Mari emphasize his destructive, stormy character and his role as a fearsome warrior deity, in contrast to Iškur’s more peaceful and pastoral character.

Shamash and Adad became in combination the gods of oracles and of divination in general. Whether the will of the gods is determined through the inspection of the liver of the sacrificial animal, through observing the action of oil bubbles in a basin of water or through the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, it is Shamash and Adad who, in the ritual connected with divination, are invariably invoked.

Similarly in the annals and votive inscriptions of the kings, when oracles are referred to, Shamash and Adad are always named as the gods addressed, and their ordinary designation in such instances is bele biri (“lords of divination”).

God’s true message noted the contrast of the warm winds of God’s favor with the harsh north winds of his judgments. Both were necessary to accomplish their individual tasks. The Christian profits from both, as the wise man poetically said:

Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.  Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits (Song 4:16).