|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:5-14 Many striking instances are here given of the wisdom and power of God, in the creation and preservation of the world. If we look about us, to the earth and waters here below, we see his almighty power. If we consider hell beneath, though out of our sight, yet we may conceive the discoveries of God's power there. If we look up to heaven above, we see displays of God's almighty power. By his Spirit, the eternal Spirit that moved upon the face of the waters, the breath of his mouth, Ps 33:6, he has not only made the heavens, but beautified them. By redemption, all the other wonderful works of the Lord are eclipsed; and we may draw near, and taste his grace, learn to love him, and walk with delight in his ways. The ground of the controversy between Job and the other disputants was, that they unjustly thought from his afflictions that he must have been guilty of heinous crimes. They appear not to have duly considered the evil and just desert of original sin; nor did they take into account the gracious designs of God in purifying his people. Job also darkened counsel by words without knowledge. But his views were more distinct. He does not appear to have alleged his personal righteousness as the ground of his hope towards God. Yet what he admitted in a general view of his case, he in effect denied, while he complained of his sufferings as unmerited and severe; that very complaint proving the necessity for their being sent, in order to his being further humbled in the sight of God.
Verse 10. - He hath compassed the waters with bounds. God restrains within limits alike the "waters that are above the firmament" and those that are beneath it (Job 38:11). The boundary is placed, somewhat vaguely, "at the confines of light and darkness." Until the day and night come to an end is a mistranslation.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He hath compassed the waters with bounds,.... Not the waters above the firmament, compassed by that, as if Job was contemplating on and discoursing about what is done in the heavens above; though the Targum seems to incline to this sense, paraphrasing the words,
"he hath decreed that the firmament should be placed upon the face of the waters unto the end of light, with darkness;''
but the waters of the sea, Job descending now to consider the waters of the great deep, and the wonderful restraint that is laid upon them; which is as astonishing as the binding up of the waters in the clouds without being rent by them; for this vast and unwieldy body of waters in the ocean Jehovah manages with as much ease as a mother or nurse does a newborn infant, makes the cloud its garment, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it, Job 38:8; he has as it were with a compass drawn a line upon the face of it; he has broke up for it its decreed place, and set bars, and doors, and bounds to its waves, that they, nay come no further than is his pleasure, as is observed in the same place; the bounds he hath compassed it with are the shores, rocks, and cliffs, so that the waters cannot return and cover earth, as they once did; yea, which is very surprising, he has placed the sand, as weak and fluid as it is, the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree; so that though its waves toss and roar, they cannot prevail, nor pass over it; which must be owing to the almighty power and sovereign will of God, who has given the sea a decree that its waters should not pass his commandment; and it must be ascribed to his promise and oath that the waters no more go over the earth to destroy it; see Psalm 104:9, Proverbs 8:27; until the dark and night come to an end; that is, as long as there will be the vicissitudes of day and night, till time shall be no more, as long as the world stands; for the those shall constitute so long are the ordinances of God, which shall never depart, and the covenant he has made, which shall never become void; wherefore, as long as they remain, the sea and its waters will be bounded as not to overflow the earth, Genesis 8:22; or "until the end of light with darkness" (a); until both these have an end in the same form and manner they now have; otherwise, after the end of all things, there will be light in heaven, and darkness in hell. Aben Ezra interprets it thus,
"unto the place which is the end of light, for all that is above it is light, and below it the reverse;''
he seems to have respect to the place that divides the hemispheres, where when one is light the other is dark; and so others seem to understand it of such places or parts of the world as are half day and half night, and where one half of the year is light, and the other dark; but the first sense is best.
(a) "usque ad finem lucis cum tenebris", Cocceius, Michaelis; so Targum & Sept.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. Rather, "He hath drawn a circular bound round the waters" (Pr 8:27; Ps 104:9). The horizon seems a circle. Indication is given of the globular form of the earth.
until the day, &c.—to the confines of light and darkness. When the light falls on our horizon, the other hemisphere is dark. Umbreit and Maurer translate "He has most perfectly (literally, to perfection) drawn the bound (taken from the first clause) between light and darkness" (compare Ge 1:4, 6, 9): where the bounding of the light from darkness is similarly brought into proximity with the bounding of the waters.
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