New American Standard Bible
"The departed spirits tremble Under the waters and their inhabitants.
King James Bible
Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.
Darby Bible Translation
The shades tremble beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof;
World English Bible
"Those who are deceased tremble, those beneath the waters and all that live in them.
Young's Literal Translation
The Rephaim are formed, Beneath the waters, also their inhabitants.
Job 26:5 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Dead things - Job here commences his description of God, to show that his views of his majesty and glory were in no way inferior to those which had been expressed by Bildad, and that what Bildad had said conveyed to him no real information. In this description he far surpasses Bildad in loftiness of conception, and sublimity of description. Indeed, it may be doubted whether for grandeur this passage is surpassed by any description of the majesty of God in the Bible. The passage here has given rise to much discussion, and to a great variety of opinion. Our common translation is most feeble, and by no means conveys its true force. The object of the whole passage is to assert the universal dominion of God. Bildad had said Job 25:1-6 that the dominion of God extended to the heavens, and to the armies of the skies; that God surpassed in majesty the splendor of the heavenly bodies; and that compared with him man was a worm. Job commences his description by saying that the dominion of God extended even to the nether world; and that such were his majesty and power that even the shades of the mighty dead trembled at his presence, and that hell was all naked before him. The word רפאים râphâ'ı̂ym - Rephaim - so feebly rendered "dead things," means the shades of the dead; the departed spirits that dwell in Sheol; see the word explained at length in the notes at Isaiah 14:9. They are those who have left this world and who have gone down to dwell in the world beneath - the great and mighty conquerors and kings; the illustrious dead of past times, who have left the world and are congregated in the land of Shades. Jerome renders it, "gigantes," and the Septuagint, γίγαντες gigantes - giants; from a common belief that those shades were larger than life. Thus, Lucretius says:
Quippe et enim jam tum divum mortalia secla
Egregias animo facies vigilante videbant;
Et magis in somnis, mirando corporis aucter
Rer. Nat. ver. 1168.
The word "shades" here will express the sense, meaning the departed spirits that are assembled in Sheol. The Chaldee renders it, גבריא - mighty ones, or giants; the Syriac, in like manner, giants.
Are formed - The Syriac renders this, are killed. Jerome, gemunt - groan; Septuagint, "Are giants born from beneath the water, and the neighboring places?" What idea the authors of that version attached to the passage it is difficult to say. The Hebrew word used here (יחוּללו yechôlālû, from חוּל chûl), means to twist, to turn, to be in anguish - as in child birth; and then it may mean to tremble, quake, be in terror; and the idea here seems to be, that the shades of the dead were in anguish, or trembled at the awful presence, and under the dominion of God. So Luther renders it - understanding it of giants - Die Riesen angsten sich unter den Wassern. The sense would be well expressed, "The shades of the dead tremble, or are in anguish before him. They fear his power. They acknowledge his empire."
Under the waters - The abode of departed spirits is always in this book placed beneath the ground. But why this abode is placed beneath the waters, is not apparent. It is usually under the ground, and the entrance to it is by the grave, or by some dark cavern; compare Virgil's Aeniad, Lib. vi. A different interpretation has been proposed of this verse, which seems better to suit the connection. It is to understand the phrase (תחת tachath) "under," as meaning simply beneath - "the shades beneath;" and to regard the word (מים mayı̂m) waters as connected with the following member:
"The shades beneath tremble;
The waters and the inhabitants thereof."
Thus explained, the passage means that the whole universe is under the control of God, and trembles before him. Sheol and its Shades; the oceans and their inhabitants stand in awe before him.
And the inhabitants thereof - Of the waters - the oceans. The idea is, that the vast inhabitants of the deep all recognize the power of God and tremble before him. This description accords with that given by the ancient poets of the power and majesty of the gods, and is not less sublime than any given by them.
LibraryWhether Fear Remains in Heaven
Whether Fear Remains in Heaven We proceed to the eleventh article thus: 1. It seems that fear does not remain in heaven. For it is said in Prov. 1:33: " . . . shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil," and this is to be understood as referring to those who already enjoy wisdom in eternal blessedness. Now all fear is fear of evil, since evil is the object of fear, as was said in Arts. 2 and 5, and in 12ae, Q. 42, Art. 1. There will therefore be no fear in heaven. 2. Again, in heaven …
Aquinas—Nature and Grace
The Power of the Holy Ghost
"For now I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept then, I would have been at rest,
"To whom have you uttered words? And whose spirit was expressed through you?
Will You perform wonders for the dead? Will the departed spirits rise and praise You? Selah.
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