Job 38:6
Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 38:6-7. Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? — This strong and durable building hath no foundations but God’s power, which hath marvellously established it upon itself. Who laid the corner-stone? — By which the several walls are joined and fastened together, and in which, next to the foundations, the stability of a building consists. The sense is, Who was it that built this goodly fabric, and established it so firmly that it cannot be moved. When the morning stars sang together — When, in the morning of time, the blessed angels, the firstborn of the Father of lights, fitly called morning stars, because of their excellent lustre and glory, joined in praising God together for his glorious works, strangely rising up to their view from non-existence, by the infinite wisdom and power of their omnipotent Maker. “It is observable from many passages in the prophets, that the angels are spoken of under the metaphor of stars. See particularly Isaiah 14:12; Isaiah 14:14. The beauty and propriety of these allusions of the prophets will appear with greater lustre, when it is considered that the hosts of heaven were the objects of heathen idolatry: both the visible and invisible host; as well the angels as the lights of heaven; for the superstition seems to have been originally the same, as the worship of the heavenly bodies terminated in the worship of those angels or intelligences who were believed to animate or conduct them; and hence we see a reason why the angels are called stars and morning stars in Scripture.” — Peters. And the sons of God — The angels, as before, called the sons of God, because they had their whole being from him, and because they bear his divine and glorious image; shouted for joy — On the appearance of the new-made world, in the creation of which they saw new displays of their heavenly Father’s wisdom, power, and goodness, and learned to know more of his infinite perfections than they had known before, and, of consequence, to love and praise him with greater fervency and delight.

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.Whereupon are the foundations - Margin, "sockets." The Hebrew word (אדן 'eden) means "a basis," as of a column, or a pedestal; and then also the foundation of a building. The language here is evidently figurative, comparing the earth with an edifice. In building a house, the securing of a proper foundation is essential to its stability; and here God represents himself as rearing the earth on the most permanent and solid basis. The word is not used in the sense of sockets, as it is in the margin.

Fastened - Margin, "made to sink." The margin rather expresses the sense of the Hebrew word הטבעוּ hāṭâba‛û. It is rendered "sink" and "sunk" in Psalm 69:2, Psalm 69:14; Psalm 9:15; Lamentations 2:9; Jeremiah 38:6, Jeremiah 38:22; "drowned" in Exodus 15:4; and were settled in Proverbs 8:25. The word does not elsewhere occur in the Scriptures, and the prevailing sense is that of "sinking," or "settling down," and hence, to "impress" - as a seal "settles down" into wax. The reference here is to a foundation-stone that sinks or settles down into clay or mire until it becomes solid.

Or who laid the corner stone thereof - Still an allusion to a building. The cornerstone sustains the principal weight of an edifice, as the weight of two walls is concentrated on it, and hence, it is of such importance that it should be solid and firmly fixed. The question proposed for the solution of Job is, On what the earth is founded? On this question a great variety of opinions waft entertained by the ancients, and of course no correct solution could be given of the difficulty. It was not known that it was suspended and held in its place by the laws of gravitation. The meaning here is, that if Job could not solve this inquiry, he ought not to presume to sit in judgment on the government of God, and to suppose that he was qualified to judge of his secret counsels.

6. foundations—not "sockets," as Margin.

fastened—literally, "made to sink," as a foundation-stone let down till it settles firmly in the clay (Job 26:7). Gravitation makes and keeps the earth a sphere.

This strong and durable building hath no foundations but in God’s power and word, which hath marvellously established it upon itself.

Or who laid the cornerstone thereof; by which the several walls and parts of the building are joined and fastened together, and in which, next to the foundations, the stability of any building does consist? The sense is, Who was it that did build this goodly fabric, and established it so firmly that it cannot be moved without a miracle?

Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened?.... Or the pillars of it, as Ben Gersom interprets it; see Psalm 75:3; and which Aben Ezra understands of the mountains: but be they what they may, on what can they be fastened or sunk into, when the earth hangs on nothing, and there is nothing visible to support it, nothing but the mighty hand of God?

or who laid the corner stone thereof? which unites, cements, and keeps the fabric together, and is the ornament and beauty of it; but who can tell what that is? Aben Ezra interprets it of the point or centre of the earth.

Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. are the foundations fastened] Or, were the foundations sunk? All the tenses here should be put in the simple past.

The creation of the earth is likened to the rearing of a great edifice, whose extent was determined by line, whose pillars were sunk in their bases, and its corner-stone laid with shoutings and songs of rejoicing among the heavenly hosts (comp. Ezra 3:10 seq., Zechariah 4:7).

Such music, as ’tis said,

Before was never made,

But when of old the sons of morning sung,

While the Creator great

His constellations set,

And the well balanced world on hinges hung;

And cast the dark foundations deep,

And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel keep.

Hymn on the Nativity.

The stars and the angels are here as usual conjoined, and the morning stars are named as the brightest and most glorious, as also because the earth rose into existence at the morning dawn.

Verse 6. - Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? These details follow naturally upon the adoption of the particular metaphor of a house or building. They are not to be pressed. The object is to impress on Job his utter ignorance of God's ways in creation. Or who laid the corner-stone thereof? Who gave the last finishing touch to the work (see Psalm 118:22; Zechariah 4:7)? Canst thou tell? If not, why enter into controversy with the Creator? Job 38:6 4 Where wast thou when I established the earth?

Say, if thou art capable of judging!

5 Who hath determined its measure, if thou knowest it,

Or who hath stretched the measuring line over it?

6 Upon what are the bases of its pillars sunk in,

Or who hath laid its corner-stone,

7 When the morning stars sang together

And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

The examination begins similarly to Job 15:7. In opposition to the censurer of God as such the friends were right, although only negatively, since their conduct was based on self-delusion, as though they were in possession of the key to the mystery of the divine government of the world. ידע בּינה signifies to understand how to judge, to possess a competent understanding, 1 Chronicles 12:32; 2 Chronicles 2:12, or (ידע taken not in the sense of novisse, but cognoscere) to appropriate to one's self, Proverbs 4:1; Isaiah 29:24. כּי, Job 38:5, interchanges with אם (comp. Job 38:18), for כּי תדע signifies: suppose that thou knowest it, and this si forte scias is almost equivalent to an forte scis, Proverbs 30:4. The founding of the earth is likened altogether to that of a building constructed by man. The question: upon what are the bases of its pillars or foundations sunk (טבע, Arab. ṭb‛, according to its radical signification, to press with something flat upon something, comp. Arab. ṭbq, to lay two flat things on one another, then both to form or stamp by pressure, and to press into soft pliant stuff, or let down into, immergere, or to sink into, immergi), points to the fact of the earth hanging free in space, Job 26:7. Then no human being was present, for man was not yet created; the angels, however, beheld with rejoicing the founding of the place of the future human family, and the mighty acts of God in accordance with the decree of His love (as at the building of the temple, the laying of the foundation, Ezra 3:10, and the setting of the head-stone, Zechariah 4:7, were celebrated), for the angels were created before the visible world (Psychol. S. 63; Genesis, S. 105), as is indeed not taught here, but still (vid., on the other hand, Hofmann, Schriftbew. i. 400) is assumed. For בּני אלהים are, as in Job 1-2, the angels, who proceeded from God by a mode of creation which is likened to begetting, and who with Him form one πατριά (Genesis, S. 121). The "morning stars," however, are mentioned in connection with them, because between the stars and the angels, which are both comprehended in צבא השׁמים (Genesis, S. 128), a mysterious connection exists, which is manifoldly attested in Holy Scripture (vid., on the other hand, Hofm. ib. S. 318). כּוכב בּקר is the morning star which in Isaiah 14:12 is called הילל (as extra-bibl. נגהּ) from its dazzling light, which exceeds all other stars in brightness, and בּן־שׁחר, son of the dawn, because it swims in the dawn as though it were born from it. It was just the dawn of the world coming into being, which is the subject spoken of, that gave rise to the mention of the morning star; the plur., however, does not mean the stars which came into being on that morning of the world collectively (Hofm., Schlottm.), but Lucifer with the stars his peers, as כּסילים, Isaiah 13:10, Orion and the stars his peers. Arab. suhayl (Canopus) is used similarly as a generic name for stars of remarkable brilliancy, and in general suhêl is to the nomads and the Hauranites the symbol of what is brilliant, glorious, and beautiful;

(Note: A man or woman of great beauty is called suhêli, suhelı̂je. Thus I heard a Hauranitish woman say to her companion: nahâr el-jôm nedâ, shuft ledsch (Arab. lk) wâhid Suhêli, To-day is dew, I saw a Suhêli, i.e., a very handsome man, for thee. - Wetzst.)

so that even the beings of light of the first rank among the celestial spirits might be understood by כוכבי בקר. But if this ought to be the meaning, Job 38:7 and Job 38:7 would be in an inverted order. They are actual stars, whether it is intended of the sphere belonging to the earth or to the higher sphere comprehended in השׁמים, Genesis 1:1. Joy and light are reciprocal notions, and the scale of the tones of joy is likened to the scale of light and colours; therefore the fulness of light, in which the morning stars shone forth all together at the founding of the earth, may symbolize one grandly harmonious song of joy.

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