|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 10. - And brake up for it my decreed place; rather, as in the margin, and established my decree upon it; or, as in the Revised Version, and prescribed for it my decree. The decree itself is given in ver. 11. And set bars and doors (see above, ver. 8, where the imagery of "doors" has been already introduced). As Professor Lee observes, "The term דְּלָתַיִם contains a metaphor taken from the large folding-doors of a city, which are usually set up for the purpose of stepping the progress of an invading enemy, and are hence supplied with bolts and bars" ('Book of Job,' p. 490). Representations of such folding-doors are common in the Assyrian sculptures; and in one instance the doors themselves, or, to speak more exactly, their outer bronze easing, has been recovered (see a paper in the 'Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology,' on the Bronze Gates discovered by Mr. Rassam at Balawat, vol. 7. pp. 85-115). These gates were twenty-two feet high and six feet broad each.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And brake up for it my decreed place,.... Or, as Mr. Broughton translates it, "and brake the earth for it by my decree": made a vast chasm in the earth to hold the waters of the sea, which was provided as a sort of cradle to put this swaddled infant in; God cleaved the earth, raised the hills and sank the valleys, which became as channels to convey the waters that ran off the earth to their appointed place, which beautifully expressed in Psalm 104:7; and refers there, as here, to the work of creation on the second day, Genesis 1:9 (h);
and set bars and doors; to keep it in its decreed appointed place, that the waters might not go over the earth; these are the shores, as the Targum, the cliffs and rocks upon them, the boundaries of the sea; to which may be added, and what is amazing, the sand upon the seashore is such a boundary to it that it cannot pass, Jeremiah 5:22; but these would be insufficient was it not for the power and will of God, next expressed.
(h) Or determined, that is, appointed for it its convenient, proper, and fixed place; so David de Pomis, Lexic. fol. 203. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. brake up for—that is, appointed it. Shores are generally broken and abrupt cliffs. The Greek for "shore" means "a broken place." I broke off or measured off for it my limit, that is, the limit which I thought fit (Job 26:10).
Job 38:10 Parallel Commentaries
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