|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
38:25-41 Hitherto God had put questions to Job to show him his ignorance; now God shows his weakness. As it is but little that he knows, he ought not to arraign the Divine counsels; it is but little he can do, therefore he ought not to oppose the ways of Providence. See the all-sufficiency of the Divine Providence; it has wherewithal to satisfy the desire of every living thing. And he that takes care of the young ravens, certainly will not be wanting to his people. This being but one instance of the Divine compassion out of many, gives us occasion to think how much good our God does, every day, beyond what we are aware of. Every view we take of his infinite perfections, should remind us of his right to our love, the evil of sinning against him, and our need of his mercy and salvation.
Verse 30. The waters are hid as with a stone; rather, the waters are hardened like unto stone. When the frost comes, the waters are congealed and rendered as hard as stone. (So Dillmann and Canon Cook.) And the face of the deep is frozen. By "the deep" (תּהום) is certainly not meant here either the open ocean, which, in the latitudes known to the dwellers in South Western Asia, never freezes, or the Mediterranean. Some of the lakes which abound in the regions inhabited by Job and his friends are probably meant. These may occasionally have been thinly coated with ice in the times when the Book of Job was written (see the comment on Job 6:16).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The waters are hid as with a stone,.... The surface of the waters by frost become as hard as a stone, and will bear great burdens, and admit of carriages to pass over them (c) where ships went before; so that the waters under them are hid and quite out of sight: an emblem of the hard heart of man, which can only be thawed by the power and grace of God, by the south wind of the Spirit blowing, and the "sun of righteousness" rising on it;
and the face of the deep is frozen; or bound together by the frost, as the Targum; it is taken, laid hold on, and kept together, as the word signifies, so that it cannot flow. Historians speak of seas being frozen up, as some parts of the Scythian sea, reported by Mela (d), and the Cimmerian Bosphorus, by Herodotus (e), and the northern seas by Olaus Magnus (f); as that men might travel over them on foot or on horseback, from one country to another; and Strabo relates (g), that where a sea fight has been in the summer time, armies and hosts have met and fought in the winter. In Muscovy the ice is to six and ten feet deep (h); in the year 401 the Euxine sea (i) was frozen over for the space of twenty days; and in the year 763 the seas at Constantinople were frozen one hundred miles from the shore, so thick as to bear the heaviest carriages (k).
(c) "Nunc hospita plaustris", &c. Virg. Georgic. l. 3. v. 362. (d) De Situ Orbis, l. 3. c. 5. (e) Melpomene, sive, l. 4. c. 20. Vid. Macrob. Saturnal. l. 7. c. 12. (f) De Ritu Gent. Septent. l. 1. c. 13. (g) Geograph. l. 7. p. 211. Vid. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 1. c. 22. (h) Scheuchzer. Phys. Sacr. vol 4. p. 810. (i) Universal History, vol. 16. p. 489. (k) Universal History, vol. 17. p. 45.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. The unfrozen waters are hid under the frozen, as with a covering of stone.
frozen—literally, "is taken"; the particles take hold of one another so as to cohere.
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