A verse describing the majesty and omnipotence of the Judge, and suggesting consequently a motive why His will should be obeyed, and His anger averted. He is the Maker both of the solid mountains, and of the invisible yet sometimes formidable and destructive wind: He knows the secrets of man’s heart, and can, if He pleases, declare them to him; He can darken with the storm the brightness of heaven, and march in the thunder-cloud over the high places of the earth: Yahweh of Hosts is His name!

The prophet enforces his threats by declaring God’s power and omniscience. He that formeth the mountain; ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ στερεῶν βροντήν, “I am he that strengtheneth thunder” (Septuagint, reading differently). The mountains are mentioned as the most solid and everlasting of his works; the wind, as the subtlest and most immaterial of created things. Declareth unto man what is his thought; i.e. man’s thought; reveals man to himself shows that he knows man’s thought before man puts it into words. This he does sometimes by the stings of conscience, sometimes by inspiring his prophets to declare men’s secret motives and the real state of their heart (see Jeremiah 17:9, l0; and comp. 1 John 3:20). Vulgate, Annuntians homini eloquium suum, where eloquium is equivalent to cognitatio. The LXX., with some change of letters, has, ἀπαγγέλλων εἰς ἀνθρώπους τὸν Ξριστὸν αὐτοῦ, “proclaiming unto men his Christ” – a reading which supports the misinterpretation of “his thought” as meaning God’s thought, Christ being regarded as the Λόγος of God. Many of the Fathers have seen here a prophesy of the Messiah. See Tirinus and Corn. a Lapide on this verse. That maketh the morning darkness. Keil, after Calvin, takes these words as asyndeton for “the morning dawn and darkness.” So the Septuagint, ποιῶν ὅρθρον καὶ ὁμίχλην, “making morning and gloom.” This would be simply a further instance of God’s creative power. The Vulgate gives, faciens matutinam nebulam; and it seems probable (comp. Amos 5:8Amos 8:9) that the clause means that the Lord turns the dawn into darkness. This may refer to the action of clouds or an eclipse; or it may be said metaphorically of prosperity and adversity. Treadeth upon the high places of the earth. An anthropomorphic representation of the might and majesty of God, who governs all things, and has the loftiest in perfect subjection (comp. Deuteronomy 32:13Deuteronomy 33:29Job 9:8Micah 1:3). The Lord, Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, covenant God, is he who in these things manifests himself, and therefore his threats are not to be despised (Amos 5:8). In the prophet’s view the laws and powers of nature have their scope in executing God’s commands.