When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass on the face of the depth:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)When he set a compass upon the face of the depth—i.e., when He stretched the vault of heaven over it: the same expression is used in Job 22:14. It is also interpreted of the circle of the horizon.Proverbs 8:27-29. When he prepared the heavens I was there — Not as an idle spectator, but as a co-worker with my Father. When he set a compass upon the face of the depth — Of that great abyss of water and earth, mixed together, which is called both earth, and water, and the deep, (Genesis 1:2,) when he made this lower world in the form of a globe. When he established the clouds above — Hebrew, strengthened them, by his word and decree, which alone upholds the clouds in the air, which otherwise would quickly be dissolved or dispersed. When he strengthened the fountains — When he shut up the several fountains in the cavities of the earth, and kept them there, as it were, by a strong hand, for the use of man and beast; of the deep — Which fountains have their originals from the deep, either from the sea, or from the abyss of waters, in the bowels of the earth. When he gave to the sea his decree — Its bounds or limits, namely, by those parts of the earth which border upon it; that the waters should not pass his commandment — Should not overflow the earth; when he appointed — Or fixed; the foundations of the earth — Hung the earth, self- balanced, upon its centre, or gave the earth its firm standing upon its foundations, notwithstanding all the assaults which the waters of the sea, or those in the bowels of the earth make against it.Job 22:14 (see the note), i. e., the great vault of heaven stretched over the deep seas. I was there, not as an idle spectator, but as a co-worker with my Father.
Of the depth, i.e. of that great and deep abyss of water and earth mixed together, which is called both earth and water, and the deep, Genesis 1:2. When he made this lower world round, or in the form of a globe, agreeable to the form of the upper world. Hebrews 1:10; and even the third heaven, the place and state of glorified saints, prepared for them from the foundation of the world, Matthew 25:34;
when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: or "compassed the waters with bounds", as Job says, Proverbs 26:10; or made the earth with the sea globular, which make one terraqueous globe: or "made a circle" (p); all around it, called the circle of the earth, on which he sits, Isaiah 40:22; this compass may design the vast expanse or firmament of heaven, which is stretched and drawn around the terraqueous globe as a canopy or curtain. Christ was with his Father on the first day's creation of the heavens; and on the second day, when the firmament was made, and was before them both.When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. compass] Rather, circle, R.V. text, A.V. marg. The reference is to the heavens, just mentioned, which seem to stand like a vault or dome upon the sea, marked out by the circle of the horizon on its surface. Comp. Job 22:14.Verse 27. - After asserting the pre-existence of Wisdom, the writer tells her part in the work of creation. When he prepared the heavens, I was there. When God made the firmament, and divided the waters above it and below (Genesis 1:7), Wisdom cooperated. When he set a compass upon the face of the depth. חוּג (chug), "circle," or "circuit" (as Job 22:14), means the vault of heaven, conceived of as resting on the ocean which surrounds the earth, in partial accordance with the notion in Homer, who speaks of the streams of ocean flowing back into itself (ἀψόῥῤοος), 'Iliad,' 18:399; 'Odyssey,' 10:508, etc. That the reference is not to the marking out a limit for the waters is plain from the consideration that this interpretation would make the verse identical with ver. 29. Thus in Isaiah 40:22 we have, "It is he that sitteth above the circle (chug) of the earth;" i.e. the vault of heaven that encircles the earth. Septuagint, "When he marked out (ἀφώριζε) his throne upon the winds." The translators have referred tchom, "depth," to the waters above.
(Note: Biesenthal combines the etymologically obscure הנחיל with נחל: to make to flow into, so that נחל denotes inheritance in contradistinction to acquisition; while נחלה, in contradistinction to ירשּׁה, denotes the inheritance rather of many than of the individual.)
Regarding the origin of ישׁ, vid., at Proverbs 2:7; it denotes the being founded, thus substantia, and appears here, like the word in mediaeval Latin and Romanic (Ital. sustanza, Span. substancia), and like οὐσία and ὕπαρξις (τὰ ὑπάρχοντα) in classic Greek, to denote possessions and goods. But since this use of the word does not elsewhere occur (therefore Hitzig explains ישׁ equals ישׁ לי, I have it equals presto est), and here, where Wisdom speaks, ישׁ connects itself in thought with תּוּשׁיּה, it will at least denote real possession (as we also are wont to call not every kind of property, but only landed property, real possession), such possession as has real worth, and that not according to commercial exchange and price, but according to sound judgment, which applies a higher than the common worldly standard of worth. The Pasek between אהבי and ישׁ is designed to separate the two Jods from each other, and has, as a consequence, for להנחיל אהבי the accentuation with Tarcha and Mercha (vid., Accentssystem, vi. 4; cf. Torath Emeth, p. 17, 3). The carrying forward of the inf. with the finite, 21b, is as Proverbs 1:27; Proverbs 2:2, and quite usual.
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