Psalm 33:7
He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
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(7) As an heap.—The image explains itself (so we speak of waves “mountains high “) without reference to the passage either of the Red Sea or the Jordan. Still less is there a comparison to heaps of corn, some think, since storehouses in the next clause are not necessarily barns, but reservoirs. But the LXX., Vulg., and all ancient interpreters read nôd (“a skin”), instead of nêd (“a heap”), and make the reference to the rain, the clouds being considered as bottles. With this comp. Job 38:37.

Psalm 33:7. He gathereth the waters — Or, gathered, for he seems to speak of the first creation when this was done, Genesis 1. Or, he alludes to the passage of the Israelites through the Red sea, when the waters were as a wall unto them on the right hand and on the left. As a heap — By which expression he leads our thoughts to that great work of God by which the sea, which is specifically lighter than the earth, and by the common laws of gravitation, should rise above and overflow it, is yet kept within proper bounds; which is often mentioned in Scripture as an immediate effect of God’s overruling power and providence. To this may be added that the adjusting the proportion of the tides, so that they rise no higher to the prejudice of the lower grounds, is another remarkable instance of God’s especial providence. He layeth up the depth in store-houses — That is, either in the clouds, or in the bowels of the earth, whence he can draw them forth when he sees fit. Dr. Waterland renders this clause, He layeth them up in the store-houses of the deep.

33:1-11 Holy joy is the heart and soul of praise, and that is here pressed upon the righteous. Thankful praise is the breath and language of holy joy. Religious songs are proper expressions of thankful praise. Every endowment we possess, should be employed with all our skill and earnestness in God's service. His promises are all wise and good. His word is right, and therefore we are only in the right when we agree with it. His works are all done in truth. He is the righteous Lord, therefore loveth righteousness. What a pity it is that this earth, which is so full of the proofs and instances of God's goodness, should be so empty of his praises; and that of the multitudes who live upon his bounty, there are so few who live to his glory! What the Lord does, he does to purpose; it stands fast. He overrules all the counsels of men, and makes them serve his counsels; even that is fulfilled, which to us is most surprising, the eternal counsel of God, nor can any thing prevent its coming to pass.He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap - The Hebrew word here rendered "gathereth" is a participle; "gathering." The design is to represent this as a continuous act; an act not merely of the original creation, but constantly occurring. The reference is to the power by which the waters are gathered and kept together; the continual power which prevents their overspreading the earth. The word rendered "heap" - נד nêd - means properly a heap or "mound," and is applied to the waves of the sea heaped up together like mounds. Compare Joshua 3:13, Joshua 3:16; Exodus 15:8 : Psalm 78:13. He collected those waters, and kept them in their places, as if they were solid matter. This denotes the absolute control which God has over the waters, and is thus a most striking illustration of his power.

He layeth up the depth in storehouses - The abysses; the deep waters; the masses of water. He places them where he pleases; he disposes of them as the farmer his grain, or the rich man his treasures. The caverns of the ocean - the ocean-beds - are thus vast reservoirs or treasure-houses for the reception of the waters which God has chosen to deposit there. All this is proof of his amazing power, and all this lays a proper foundation for praise. Occasions for gratitude to him may be found in every world that he has made; in every object that has come from his hand; and nothing more "obviously" suggests this than his wondrous power over the waters of the ocean - collecting them, restraining them, controlling them, as he pleases.

6. In "word" and "breath"—or, "spirit," there may be an allusion to the Son (Joh 1:1) and Holy Spirit. He gathereth; or, gathered; for he speaks of the first creation, when this was done, Ge 1.

As an heap; by which expression he brings to our minds this great work of God, that the sea, which is lighter and higher than earth, is yet confined within its bounds, that it might not overflow the earth.

In storehouses; either in the clouds, or in the bowels of the earth; whence he can draw them forth when he sees fit.

He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap,.... Which was done on the third day of the creation, by means of which the dry land appeared, Genesis 1:9; when the waters of the sea were piled up as an heap, and stood higher than the earth, as they now do; and which is a wonderful instance of the power and providence of God, to bound them, and preserve the earth from being overflowed by them, Job 38:9;

he layeth up the depth in storehouses; that is, large quantities of water, for which he has his treasure houses, as for the wind, hail and snow, Psalm 135:7; and these are the clouds of heaven above, and the fountains of the great deep below, which the Lord opens and stops at his pleasure; see Genesis 7:11.

He {f} gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.

(f) By the creation of the heavens and beautiful ornament with the gathering also of the waters, he sets forth the power of God, that all creatures might fear him.

7. The separation of land and water (Genesis 1:9-10). The present tense (gathereth … layeth up) expresses the continued action of maintenance as well as the original creation. The comparison as an heap probably refers to the appearance of the sea from the shore, and may have been derived from Exodus 15:8; cp. Joshua 3:13; Joshua 3:16; Psalm 78:13.

But all the Ancient Versions render as in a bottle, reading nôd for nçd. To the infinite power of the Creator the bed of the sea is but as the water-skin which a man carries with him for a journey. See Isaiah 40:12; Isaiah 40:15. Cp. “the pitchers of heaven” (Job 38:37).

the depth] Better as R.V., the deeps: the vast masses of water stored away in subterranean abysses (Genesis 7:11; Psalm 78:15). So we read of the storehouses of the wind (Psalm 135:7 = Jeremiah 10:13), of the snow and hail (Job 38:22).

Verse 7. - He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap. An allusion to Genesis 1:8, but with a glance also at Exodus 15:8 and Joshua 3:13-16; as if the original gathering, and continued retention, of the sea in one convex mass were as great a proof of omnipotence as the miracles related in those passages. Nes (נֵס), "a heap" occurs only in the places cited, here, and in Psalm 78:13. He layeth up the depth in storehouses; literally, the deeps. The waters of the great deep are regarded as stored up by the Almighty in the hugo cavities of the ocean bed for his own use, to be employed at some time or other in carrying out his purposes (comp. Genesis 7:11 and Job 38:22, 23). Psalm 33:7God's praiseworthiness (b) as the Creator of the world in the kingdom of Nature. Jahve's דּבר is His almighty "Let there be;" and רוח פּיו (inasmuch as the breath is here regarded as the material of which the word is formed and the bearer of the word) is the command, or in general, the operation of His commanding omnipotence (Job 15:30, cf. Job 4:9; Isaiah 34:16, cf. Psalm 11:4). The heavens above and the waters beneath stand side by side as miracles of creation. The display of His power in the waters of the sea consists in His having confined them within fixed bounds and keeping them within these. נד is a pile, i.e., a piled up heap (Arabic nadd), and more especially an inference to harvest: like such a heap do the convex waters of the sea, being firmly held together, rise above the level of the continents. The expression is like that in Joshua 3:13, Joshua 3:15, cf. Exodus 15:8; although there the reference is to a miracle occurring in the course of history, and in this passage to a miracle of creation. כּנס refers to the heap itself, not to the walls of the storehouses as holding together. This latter figure is not introduced until Psalm 33:7: the bed of the sea and those of the rivers are, as it were, אוצרות, treasuries or storehouses, in which God has deposited the deep, foaming waves or surging mass of waters. The inhabitants (ישׁבי, not יושׁבי) of the earth have cause to fear God who is thus omnipotent (מן, in the sense of falling back from in terror); for He need only speak the word and that which He wills comes into being out of nothing, as we see from the hexameron or history of Creation, but which is also confirmed in human history (Lamentations 3:37). He need only command and it stands forth like an obedient servant, that appears in all haste at the call of his lord, Psalm 119:91.
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