Job 38:11
And said, Till now shall you come, but no further: and here shall your proud waves be stayed?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
38:4-11 For the humbling of Job, God here shows him his ignorance, even concerning the earth and the sea. As we cannot find fault with God's work, so we need not fear concerning it. The works of his providence, as well as the work of creation, never can be broken; and the work of redemption is no less firm, of which Christ himself is both the Foundation and the Corner-stone. The church stands as firm as the earth.And said, Hitherto shalt thou come - This is a most sublime expression, and its full force can be felt only by one who has stood on the shores of the ocean, and seen its mighty waves roll toward the beach as if in their pride they would sweep everything away, and how they are checked by the barrier which God has made. A voice seems to say to them that they may roll in their pride and grandeur so far, but no further. No increase of their force or numbers can sweep the barrier away, or make any impression on the limits which God has fixed.

And here shall they proud waves be stayed - Margin, as in Hebrew, "the pride of thy waves." A beautiful image. The waves seem to advance in pride and self-confidence, as if nothing could stay them. They come as if exulting in the assurance that they will sweep everything away. In a moment they are arrested and broken, and they spread out humbly and harmlessly on the beach. God fixes the limit or boundary which they are not to pass, and they lie prostrate at his feet.

11. stayed—Hebrew, "a limit shall be set to." To wit, at the sand and shore of the sea, Jeremiah 5:22.

Thy proud waves; which rage and swell as if they would overwhelm all the earth. And said, hitherto shalt thou come, but no further,.... The waters of the sea shall spread themselves to such and such shores, and wash them, but go no further; its rolling tides shall go up so far in rivers that go out of it, and then return, keeping exactly to time and place; this is said by Jehovah, the Word of God, and through his almighty power is tended to;

and here shall thy proud waves be stayed; so high and no higher shall they lift up themselves; so far and no farther shall they roll on, than to the boundaries fixed for them; and though they may toss up themselves as proud men toss up their heads, for which, reason pride is ascribed to them, yet they shall not prevail, Jeremiah 5:22; all this may be accommodated to the afflictions of God's people, which are sometimes compared to the waves and billows of the sea, Psalm 42:7; and these issue out of the womb of God's purposes and decrees, and are not the effects of chance; they are many, and threaten to overwhelm, but God is with his people in them, and preserves them from being overflowed by them; he has set the bounds and measures of them, beyond which they cannot go; see Isaiah 27:8; and also to the world, and to the men of it, who are like a troubled sea, Daniel 7:2; and who rise, and swell, and dash against the people of God, being separated from them who were originally mixed with them; but the Lord restrains their wrath and fury, and suffers them not to do his people any harm; whom he has placed in the munition of rocks out of their reach, that those proud waters cannot go over them as they threaten to do; see Psalm 76:10.

And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be {h} stayed?

(h) That is, God's decree and commandment as in Job 38:10.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 11. - And said, Hitherto shalt thou corns, but no further. The law is not quite absolute. Wherever the sea washes a coast-line, there is a continual erosive action, whereby the land is, little by little, eaten away, and the line of the coast thrust back. But the action is so slow that millennia pass without any considerable effect being produced, and encroachments in some places are generally counterbalanced by retrenchment in others, so that the general contour of laud and water, with the proportion of the one to the other, remain probably very much the same at the present day as when the earth first became the habitation of man. And here shall thy proud waves be stayed. The waves of the sea "rage horribly," and every now and then topple down a rock or undermine a cliff, and seem proud of their achievements; but how little do they effect, even in thousands of years! The little islet of Psyttaleia still blocks the eastern end of the straits of Salamis. The Pharos island lies off the westernmost mouth of the Nile. Even the low, fiat Aradus, on the Syrian coast, has not been swept away. Everywhere the waves are practically "stayed," and all the menaces of the sea against the land come to nought. 4 Where wast thou when I established the earth?

Say, if thou art capable of judging!

5 Who hath determined its measure, if thou knowest it,

Or who hath stretched the measuring line over it?

6 Upon what are the bases of its pillars sunk in,

Or who hath laid its corner-stone,

7 When the morning stars sang together

And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

The examination begins similarly to Job 15:7. In opposition to the censurer of God as such the friends were right, although only negatively, since their conduct was based on self-delusion, as though they were in possession of the key to the mystery of the divine government of the world. ידע בּינה signifies to understand how to judge, to possess a competent understanding, 1 Chronicles 12:32; 2 Chronicles 2:12, or (ידע taken not in the sense of novisse, but cognoscere) to appropriate to one's self, Proverbs 4:1; Isaiah 29:24. כּי, Job 38:5, interchanges with אם (comp. Job 38:18), for כּי תדע signifies: suppose that thou knowest it, and this si forte scias is almost equivalent to an forte scis, Proverbs 30:4. The founding of the earth is likened altogether to that of a building constructed by man. The question: upon what are the bases of its pillars or foundations sunk (טבע, Arab. ṭb‛, according to its radical signification, to press with something flat upon something, comp. Arab. ṭbq, to lay two flat things on one another, then both to form or stamp by pressure, and to press into soft pliant stuff, or let down into, immergere, or to sink into, immergi), points to the fact of the earth hanging free in space, Job 26:7. Then no human being was present, for man was not yet created; the angels, however, beheld with rejoicing the founding of the place of the future human family, and the mighty acts of God in accordance with the decree of His love (as at the building of the temple, the laying of the foundation, Ezra 3:10, and the setting of the head-stone, Zechariah 4:7, were celebrated), for the angels were created before the visible world (Psychol. S. 63; Genesis, S. 105), as is indeed not taught here, but still (vid., on the other hand, Hofmann, Schriftbew. i. 400) is assumed. For בּני אלהים are, as in Job 1-2, the angels, who proceeded from God by a mode of creation which is likened to begetting, and who with Him form one πατριά (Genesis, S. 121). The "morning stars," however, are mentioned in connection with them, because between the stars and the angels, which are both comprehended in צבא השׁמים (Genesis, S. 128), a mysterious connection exists, which is manifoldly attested in Holy Scripture (vid., on the other hand, Hofm. ib. S. 318). כּוכב בּקר is the morning star which in Isaiah 14:12 is called הילל (as extra-bibl. נגהּ) from its dazzling light, which exceeds all other stars in brightness, and בּן־שׁחר, son of the dawn, because it swims in the dawn as though it were born from it. It was just the dawn of the world coming into being, which is the subject spoken of, that gave rise to the mention of the morning star; the plur., however, does not mean the stars which came into being on that morning of the world collectively (Hofm., Schlottm.), but Lucifer with the stars his peers, as כּסילים, Isaiah 13:10, Orion and the stars his peers. Arab. suhayl (Canopus) is used similarly as a generic name for stars of remarkable brilliancy, and in general suhêl is to the nomads and the Hauranites the symbol of what is brilliant, glorious, and beautiful;

(Note: A man or woman of great beauty is called suhêli, suhelı̂je. Thus I heard a Hauranitish woman say to her companion: nahâr el-jôm nedâ, shuft ledsch (Arab. lk) wâhid Suhêli, To-day is dew, I saw a Suhêli, i.e., a very handsome man, for thee. - Wetzst.)

so that even the beings of light of the first rank among the celestial spirits might be understood by כוכבי בקר. But if this ought to be the meaning, Job 38:7 and Job 38:7 would be in an inverted order. They are actual stars, whether it is intended of the sphere belonging to the earth or to the higher sphere comprehended in השׁמים, Genesis 1:1. Joy and light are reciprocal notions, and the scale of the tones of joy is likened to the scale of light and colours; therefore the fulness of light, in which the morning stars shone forth all together at the founding of the earth, may symbolize one grandly harmonious song of joy.

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