|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 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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
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.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. stayed—Hebrew, "a limit shall be set to."
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