The depth said, It is not in me: and the sea said, It is not with me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Deuteronomy 8:7; Genesis 7:11; Psalm 36:6; and then a gulf, or abyss. It refers here to the sea, or ocean; and the idea is, that its vast depths might be sounded, and true wisdom would not be found there. The depth, to wit, of the earth, because the sea here follows as a differing place. This is a very common figure, whereby speech is ascribed to dumb and senseless creatures. The meaning is, This is not to be found in any part of the land or sea, yea, though a man should dig or dive never so deep to find it, nor to be learned from any creatures; for though these discover the being, and power, and in part the wisdom of God, yet they do not instruct us in the methods and grounds of God’s providential dispensations to good and evil men: these are secrets of wisdom reserved for God himself.
and the sea saith, it is not with me; had that a voice to speak, it would freely declare, that there is nothing in its vast compass, at the bottom of it, or to be got out of it, as corals that grow in it, and pearls fished from thence, after mentioned, that are a sufficient price for wisdom. Some understand these words, the former part of miners and colliers, and such sort of men, that dig and live in the depths of the earth; and the latter part of mariners, that are employed on the sea, who are generally ignorant and carnal men, and void of the knowledge of wisdom in every view of it; but the sense first given is best.The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. Three great regions are mentioned, none of which is the “place” of Wisdom, the land of the living, the deep, and the sea. These three exhaust the extent of the upper world. The “land of the living” is the earth as the abode of living beings, more especially of men, Psalm 52:5. The “deep” is the primeval abyss, out of which perhaps the sea is fed, lying under the earth, Genesis 1:2, Psalm 24:2—an almost mythological conception. Down under all these, however, lies the underworld of the dead, ch. Job 26:5.Verse 14. - The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. The deep abysses of the ocean declare that it is not with them; and the wide reaches of the far-extending sea proclaim that it is not with them either.
And beneath it is turned up like fire.
6 The place of the sapphire are its stones,
And it containeth gold ore.
7 The way, that no bird of prey knoweth,
And the eye of the hawk hath not gazed at,
8 Which the proud beast of prey hath not trodden,
Over which the lion hath not walked.
Job 28:5 is not to be construed as Rosenm.: ad terram quod attinet, ex qua egreditur panis, quod subtus est subvertitur quasi igne; nor with Schlottm.: (they swing) in the earth, out of which comes bread, which beneath one turns about with fire; for Job 28:5 is not formed so that the Waw of ותחתּיה could be Waw apod., and ארץ cannot signify "in the interior of the earth" as locativus; on the contrary, it stands in opposition to תחתיה, that which is beneath the earth, as denoting the surface of the earth (the proper name of which is אדמה, from the root דם, with the primary notion of a flat covering). They are two grammatically independent predicates, the first of which is only the foil of the other: the earth, out of it cometh forth bread (לחם as Psalm 104:14), and beneath it (the surface of the earth) equals that which lies beneath it (ותחתיה only virtually a subj. in the sense of ותחתּיּותיה, since תּחתּי occurs only as a preposition), is turned about (comp. the construction of the sing. of the verb with the plur. subj. Job 30:15) as (by) fire Instar ignis, scil. subvertentis); i.e., the earth above furnishes nourishment to man, but that not satisfying him, he also digs out its inward parts (comp. Pliny, h. n. xxxiii. proaem.: in sede Manium opes quaerimus, tanquam parum benigna fertilique quaqua calcatur), since this is turned or tossed about (comp. מהפּכה, the special word for the overthrow of Sodom by fire) by mining work, as when fire breaks out in a house, or even as when a volcanic fire rumbles within a mountain (Castalio: agunt per magna spatia cuniculos et terram subeunt non secus ac ignis facet ut in Aetna et Vesuvio). The reading במו (Schlottm.) instead of כמו is natural, since fire is really used to blast the rock, and to separate the ore from the stone; but, with the exception of Jerome, who has arbitrarily altered the text (terra, de qua oriebatur panis in loco suo, igni subversa est), all the old translations reproduce כמו, which even Nasse, in opposition to von Veltheim, thinks suitable: Man's restless search, which rummages everything through, is compared to the unrestrainable ravaging fire.
Job 28:6 also consists of two grammatically independent assertions: the place (bed) of the sapphire is its rock. Must we refer לו to ספּיר, and translate: "and it contains fine dust of gold" (Hirz., Umbr., Stick., Nasse)? It is possible, for Theophrastus (p. 692, ed. Schneider) says of the sapphire it is ὥσπερ χρυσόπαστος, as it were covered with gold dust or grains of gold; and Pliny, h. n. xxxvii. 9, 38f.: Inest ei (cyano) aliquando et aureus pulvis qualis in sapphiris, in iis enim aurum punctis conlucet, which nevertheless does not hold good of the proper sapphire, but of the azure stone (lapis lazuli) which is confounded with it, a variegated species of which, with gold, or rather with iron pyrites glittering like gold, is specially valued.
(Note: Comp. Quenstedt, Handbuch der Mineralogie (1863), S. 355 and 302.)
But Schultens rightly observes: vix cerdiderim, illum auratilem pulvisculum sapphiri peculiari mentione dignum; and Schlottm.: such a collateral definition to ספיר, expressed in a special clause (not a relative one), has something awkward about it. On the other hand, עפרת זהב is a perfectly suitable appellation of gold ore. "The earth, which is in itself black," says Diodorus in the passage quoted before, "is interspersed with veins of marble, which is of such pre-eminent whiteness, that its brilliance surpasses everything that glitters, and from it the overseers of the mine prepare gold with a large number of workmen." And further on, of the heating of this gold ore he says: "the hardest auriferous earth they burn thoroughly in a large fire; thus they make it soft, so that it can be worked by the hand." עפרת זהב is a still more suitable expression for such auriferous earth and ore than for the nuggets of ἄπυρος χρυσός (i.e., unsmelted) of the size of a chestnut, which, according to Diodorus, ii. 50, are obtained in mines in Arabia (μεταλλεύεται). But it is inadmissible to refer לו to man, for the clause would then require to be translated: and gold ore is to him equals he has, while it is the rather intended to be said that the interior of the earth has gold ore. לו is therefore, with Hahn and Schlottm., to be referred to מקום: and this place of the sapphire, it contains gold. The poet might have written להּ but לו implies that where the sapphire is found, gold is also found. The following נתיב (with Dech), together with the following relative clause, is connected with אבניה, or even with מקום, which through Job 28:6 is become the chief subj.: the place of the sapphire and of the gold is the rock of the bowels of the earth, - a way, which, etc., i.e., such a place is the interior of the earth, accessible to no living being of the earth's surface except to man alone. The sight of the bird of prey, the עיט, ἀετός, and of the איּה, i.e., the hawk or kite, reaches from above far and wide beneath;
(Note: The איה - says the Talmud b. Chullin, 63b - is in Babylon, and seeth a carcase in the land of Israel.)
the sons of pride, שׁחץ (also Talmud. arrogance, ferocia, from שׁחץ equals Arab. šachaṣa, to raise one's self, not: fatness, as Meier, after Arab. šachuṣa, to be fat, thick), i.e., the beasts of prey, especially the lion, שׁחל (vid., on Job 4:10, from שׁחל, Arab. sḥl, to roar, Arab. of the ass, comp. the Lat. rudere used both of the lion and of the ass), seek the most secret retreat, and shun no danger; but the way by which man presses forward to the treasures of the earth is imperceptible and inaccessible to them.
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