Job 36:26 Commentary

Part of the ongoing Verse Quick Reference project.

Job 36:26 Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable.

This verse is used for God’s timelessness. Herman Bavinck writes:

When applied to time, God’s immutability is called eternity; when applied to space, it is called omnipresence.

Infinity in the sense of not being determined by time is the eternity of God. Scripture nowhere speaks of a beginning of or an end to God’s existence. Though he is often most vividly pictured as entering into time, he still transcends it… The number of his years is unsearchable (Job 36: 26).

Bavinck, Herman. Reformed Dogmatics : Volume 2: God and Creation (p. 134). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

But this verse is not all about “God entering time”. This just states that the number of God’s years are “unsearchable”. The Jewish notion is that God is “from everlasting to everlasting”, always existing. This is not the same concept as entering time or “being determined by time”.

Although this language mirrors similar language about God throughout the Bible, this verse is in the context of one of Job’s discredited friends. Elihu claims he is imparting wisdom to Job from God, but contextually Elihu falsely attributes Job’s suffering to Job’s sin. Elihu is not a reliable character for the formation of true theology.

One comment

  1. Good analysis Christopher

    Dr. Gordon Fee in a lecture asks “what informs us when we are interpreting scripture”.

    I believe what he is getting at is how the human brain interprets any data.

    Take for example the Rorschach (inkblot) procedure. Similar to those inkblots of the face of Jesus that were popular back in the 70s. Or people seeing Mary in the clouds. What process is going on in the human brain? Simply the fact that the brain when looking at data, obviously tries to find internal associations from which it can draw upon in order to interpret what it sees.

    This is exactly the process that religious gurus like Sun young moon use. You subject a person to consistent repeated doctrinal teachings until the person embraces what is taught as unquestionable truth. Then hand that person a bible – and the brain is guaranteed to read within the data of scripture affirmations of what it believes to be unquestionably true.

    This explains why Catholic theologians believed scripture affirmed a flat earth and geocentric orbit. Why Capurnicous would not allow his research to be published until after his death for fear Catholic theologians would condemn him.

    Calvinists are taught universal divine causal determinism – and they embrace it – making it co-equal to the cannon of scripture in their minds. It only makes sense that they see it everywhere affirmed – even in texts of scripture which contradict it.

    Everywhere except in sound logic!
    Sound logic is a stone in the Calvinist’s shoe. :-]


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