Job 38:11
And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
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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.And said, Hitherto shalt thou come - This is a most sublime expression, and its full force can be felt only by one who has stood on the shores of the ocean, and seen its mighty waves roll toward the beach as if in their pride they would sweep everything away, and how they are checked by the barrier which God has made. A voice seems to say to them that they may roll in their pride and grandeur so far, but no further. No increase of their force or numbers can sweep the barrier away, or make any impression on the limits which God has fixed.

And here shall they proud waves be stayed - Margin, as in Hebrew, "the pride of thy waves." A beautiful image. The waves seem to advance in pride and self-confidence, as if nothing could stay them. They come as if exulting in the assurance that they will sweep everything away. In a moment they are arrested and broken, and they spread out humbly and harmlessly on the beach. God fixes the limit or boundary which they are not to pass, and they lie prostrate at his feet.

11. stayed—Hebrew, "a limit shall be set to." To wit, at the sand and shore of the sea, Jeremiah 5:22.

Thy proud waves; which rage and swell as if they would overwhelm all the earth.

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.

And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be {h} stayed?

(h) That is, God's decree and commandment as in Job 38:10.

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. Job 38:11 8 And who shut up the sea with doors,

When it broke through, issued from the womb,

9 When I put clouds round it as a garment,

And thick mist as its swaddling clothes,

10 And I broke for it my bound,

And set bars and doors,

11 And said: Hitherto come, and no further,

And here be thy proud waves stayed!?

The state of תהו ובהו was the first half, and the state of תהום the second half of the primeval condition of the forming earth. The question does not, however, refer to the תהום, in which the waters of the sky and the waters of the earth were as yet not separated, but, passing over this intermediate condition of the forming earth, to the sea, the waters of which God shut up as by means of a door and bolt, when, first enshrouded in thick mist (which has remained from that time one of its natural peculiarities), and again and again manifesting its individuality, it broke forth (גּיח of the foetus, as Psalm 22:10) from the bowels of the, as yet, chaotic earth. That the sea, in spite of the flatness of its banks, does not flow over the land, is a work of omnipotence which broke over it, i.e., restraining it, a fixed bound (חק as Job 26:10; Proverbs 8:29; Jeremiah 5:22, equals גּבוּל, Psalm 104:9), viz., the steep and rugged walls of the basin of the sea, and which thereby established a firm barrier behind which it should be kept. Instead of וּפה, Joshua 18:8, Job 38:11 has the Chethib וּפא. חק is to be understood with ישׁית, and "one set" is equivalent to the passive (Ges. 137*): let a bound be set (comp. שׁת, Hosea 6:11, which is used directly so) against the proud rising of thy waves.

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