Psalm 107:26
They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
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(26) They mount up.

“Tollimur in cœlum curvato gurgite, et idem

Subducta ad Manes imos desedimus unda.”

VIRGIL: Æn. iii. 564.

Their soul is melted.—The recollection of seasickness is the best comment on this and the next verse.

107:23-32 Let those who go to sea, consider and adore the Lord. Mariners have their business upon the tempestuous ocean, and there witness deliverances of which others cannot form an idea. How seasonable it is at such a time to pray! This may remind us of the terrors and distress of conscience many experience, and of those deep scenes of trouble which many pass through, in their Christian course. Yet, in answer to their cries, the Lord turns their storm into a calm, and causes their trials to end in gladness.They mount up to the heaven - The mariners. That it refers to the seamen, and not to the waves, is apparent from the close of the verse: "their soul is melted."

They go down again to the depths - The word here is different from that used in Psalm 107:24, and rendered "deep," but the idea is essentially the same. It is the sea or ocean considered as "deep;" as bottomless. The idea here is, that they seem to descend into the very depths of the ocean.

Their soul is melted because of trouble - It seems to dissolve; it loses all its vigor; it faints. The word used - מוג mûg - means to melt; to flow down; to soften; and is then applied to the heart or mind that loses its courage or vigor by fear or terror. Exodus 15:15; Joshua 2:9, Joshua 2:24; Nahum 1:5. The "trouble" here referred to is that which arises from fear and danger.

25. waves thereof—literally, "His waves" (God's, Ps 42:7). To the depths; towards the bottom of the sea.

Because of trouble; through the perplexity of their minds, and fear of sudden and violent death. They mount up to the heaven,.... The waves which are lifted up by the stormy wind, and the ships which are upon them, and the men in them.

They go down again to the depths: one while they seem to reach the skies, and presently they are down, as it were, in the bottom of the sea, and are threatened to be buried in the midst of it; distress at sea is described in much the same language by Virgil and Ovid (m).

Their soul is melted because of trouble; because of the danger of being cast away; so it was with Jonah's mariner's, and with the disciples in the storm; sea roaring, and men's hearts failing for fear, are joined together in Luke 21:25.

(m) "Tollimur in coelum", Virgil. Aeneid 3. prope finem. "Coelumque aequare videtur pontus". Ovid. Metamorph. l. 12. Fab. 10.

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is {m} melted because of trouble.

(m) Their fear and danger is so great.

26. They mount up] The sailors, not the waves, as is clear from the next line. Cp. Verg. Aen. III. 564,

Tollimur in caelum curvato gurgite, et idem

Subducta ad Manis imos desedimus unda.

their soul &c.] Their soul melteth in evil plight.Verse 26. - They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths. Tossed on the foaming billows, now carried up until they seem almost to touch the sky (see Genesis 11:4), anon sinking into the trough of the sea, and as it were swallowed up in its depths. Their soul is melted because of trouble; or, "their soul melteth away in the trouble" (Cheyne). Others were brought to the brink of the grave by severe sickness; but when they draw nigh in earnest prayer to Him who appointed that they should suffer thus on account of their sins, He became their Saviour. אויל (cf. e.g., Job 5:3), like נבל (vid., Psalm 14:1), is also an ethical notion, and not confined to the idea of defective intellect merely. It is one who insanely lives only for the passing hour, and ruins health, calling, family, and in short himself and everything belonging to him. Those who were thus minded, the poet begins by saying, were obliged to suffer by reason of (in consequence of) their wicked course of life. The cause of their days of pain and sorrow is placed first by way of emphasis; and because it has a meaning that is related to the past יתענּוּ thereby comes all the more easily to express that which took place simultaneously in the past. The Hithpa. in 1 Kings 2:26 signifies to suffer willingly or intentionally; here: to be obliged to submit to suffering against one's will. Hengstenberg, for example, construes it differently: "Fools because of their walk in transgression (more than 'because of their transgression'), and those who because of their iniquities were afflicted - all food," etc. But מן beside יתענּוּ has the assumption in its favour of being an affirmation of the cause of the affliction. In Psalm 107:18 the poet has the Book of Job (Job 33:20, Job 33:22) before his eye. And in connection with Psalm 107:20, ἀπέστειλεν τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἰάσατο αὐτοὺς (lxx), no passage of the Old Testament is more vividly recalled to one's mind than Psalm 105:19, even more than Psalm 147:18; because here, as in Psalm 105:19, it treats of the intervention of divine acts within the sphere of human history, and not of the intervention of divine operations within the sphere of the natural world. In the natural world and in history the word (דּבר) is God's messenger (Psalm 105:19, cf. Isaiah 55:10.), and appears here as a mediator of the divine healing. Here, as in Job 33:23., the fundamental fact of the New Testament is announced, which Theodoret on this passage expresses in words: Ὁ Θεὸς Λόγος ἐνανθρωπήσας καὶ ἀποσταλεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος τὰ παντοδαπὰ τῶν ψυχῶν ἰάσατο τραύματα καὶ τοὺς διαφθαρέντας ἀνέῤῥωσε λογισμούς. The lxx goes on to render it: καὶ ἐῤῥύσατο αὐτοὺς ἐκ τῶν διαφθορῶν αὐτῶν, inasmuch as the translators derive שׁחיתותם from שׁחיתה (Daniel 6:5), and this, as שׁחת elsewhere (vid., Psalm 16:10), from שׁחת, διαφθείρειν, which is approved by Hitzig. But Lamentations 4:20 is against this. From שׁחה is formed a noun שׁחוּת (שׁחוּת) in the signification a hollow place (Proverbs 28:10), the collateral form of which, שׁחית (שׁחית), is inflected like חנית, plur. חניתות with a retention of the substantival termination. The "pits" are the deep afflictions into which they were plunged, and out of which God caused them to escape. The suffix of וירפאם avails also for ימלּט, as in Genesis 27:5; Genesis 30:31; Psalm 139:1; Isaiah 46:5.
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