Proverbs 8:27
When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) When he set a compass upon the face of the depthi.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.

8:22-31 The Son of God declares himself to have been engaged in the creation of the world. How able, how fit is the Son of God to be the Saviour of the world, who was the Creator of it! The Son of God was ordained, before the world, to that great work. Does he delight in saving wretched sinners, and shall not we delight in his salvation?A compass - Better as in the margin and Job 22:14 (see the note), i. e., the great vault of heaven stretched over the deep seas. 27. when he set … depth—marked out the circle, according to the popular idea of the earth, as circular, surrounded by depths on which the visible concave heavens rested. 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.

When he prepared the heavens, I was there,.... Made, beautified, and adorned them; when he gave them their form, figure, magnitude, and motion; when he garnished them with the sun, moon, and stars; then was Christ present, not as a mere spectator, but as a co-worker; see 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.

(p) "describendo circulum", Montanus, Mercerus, Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens.

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. Proverbs 8:27But not only did her existence precede the laying of the foundation of the world; she was also actively taking part in the creative work:

"When He prepared the heavens, I was there,

When He measured out a circle for the mirror of the multitude of waters."

Again a sentence clothed with two designations of time. The adv. of place שׁם is used, chiefly poetically, for אז, eo tempore (Arab. thumm, in contradistinction to thamm, eo loco); but here it has the signification of place, which includes that of time: Wisdom was there when God created the world, and had then already long before that come into existence, like as the servant of Jahve, Isaiah 48:16, with just such a שׁם אני, says that He is there from the time that the history of nations received a new direction, beginning with Cyrus. הכין signifies to give a firm position or a definite direction. Thus Job 28:27 of Wisdom, whom the Creator places before Himself as a pattern (ideal); here, as Jeremiah 10:12; Psalm 65:7, of the setting up, restoring throughout the whole world. In the parallel member, חוּג, corresponding to שׁמים, appears necessarily to designate the circle or the vault of the heavens (Job 22:14), which, according to the idea of the Hebrews, as in Homer, rests as a half-globe on the outermost ends of the disc of the earth surrounded with water, and thus lies on the waters. Vid., Hupfeld under Psalm 24:2. This idea of the ocean girdling the earth is introduced into the O.T. without its being sanctioned by it. The lxx (καὶ ὅτε ἀφώριζε τὸν ἑαυτοῦ θρόνον ἐπ ̓ ἀνέμων) appears to understand תהום of the waters above; but תהום never has this meaning, ים (Job 9:8; Job 36:30) might rather be interpreted of the ocean of the heavens. The passage in accordance with which this before us is to be expounded is Job 26:10 : He has set a limit for the surface of the waters, i.e., describing over them a circle setting bounds to their region. So here, with the exchange of the functions of the two words; when He marked out a circle over the surface of the multitude of waters, viz., to appoint a fixed region (מקוה, Genesis 1:10) for them, i.e., the seas, fountains, rivers, in which the waters under the heavens spread over the earth. חקק signifies incidere, figere, to prescribe, to measure off, to consign, and directly to mark out, which is done by means of firm impressions of the graver's tools. But here this verb is without the Dagesh, to distinguish between the infinitive and the substantive חקּו (his statute or limit); for correct texts have בּחקו (Michlol 147a); and although a monosyllable follows, yet there is no throwing back of the tone, after the rule that words terminating in o in this case maintain their ultima accentuation (e.g., משׂמו אל, Numbers 24:23). Fleischer also finally decides for the explanation: quum delinearet circulum super abysso, when He marked out the region of the sea as with the circle.

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