He divides the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smites through the proud.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He divideth the sea.—The word is taken in the two opposite senses of stirring up and calming; perhaps the latter is more appropriate to the context, which seems to speak of God’s mastery over nature.
By his understanding he smiteth through the proud.—Literally, Rahab, which certainly is at times a name for Egypt (see Isaiah 51:9, e.g.), and which, if used in that sense here, can only refer to the signal judgments on Egypt at the Exodus. According to our view of this matter will be the indication derived therefrom of the date of Job.Job 26:12. He divideth the sea with his power — “By his power he raises tempests, which make great furrows in the sea, and divideth, as it were, one part of it from another;” and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud — “And, such is his wisdom, he knows how to appease it again, and repress its proud waves into the deadest calm.” — Bishop Patrick. Waterland and Schultens render רגע הים, ragang hajam, he shaketh the sea. Bishop Warburton tells us, that the destruction of Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea is here plainly referred to, and that רהב, rahab, rendered proud, signifies Egypt. But Mr. Peters justly observes, “Others may see nothing more in it than the description of a storm or tempest. The Hebrew word translated divide, is not the same that is used, Exodus 14., of the Red sea, but signifies a violent breaking and tossing of the waves as in a storm. And if the former part of the sentence means that God sometimes, by his power, raises a violent storm at sea, the latter may well enough be understood of the pride and swelling of the sea itself, allayed again by the same divine power and will which raised it.”
By his power he scourgeth the sea,
By his wisdom he bindeth its pride.
Jerome (Vulgate), "By his power the seas are suddenly congregated together The Septuagint, "By his power - κατέπαυσε την θάλασσαν katepause tēn thalassan - he makes the sea calm." Luther, Vor seiner Kraft wird das Meer plotzlich ungestum - "By his power the sea becomes suddenly tempestuous." Noyes renders it, "By his power he stilleth the sea." This is undoubtedly the true meaning. There is no allusion here to the dividing of the sea when the Israelites left Egypt; but the ideals, that God has power to calm the tempest, and hush the waves into peace. The word used here (רגע râga‛) means, to make afraid, to terrify; especially, to restrain by threats; see the notes at Isaiah 51:15; compare Jeremiah 31:35. The reference here is to the exertion of the power of God, by which he is able to calm the tumultuous ocean, and to restore it to repose after a storm - one of the most striking exhibitions of omnipotence that can be conceived of.
By his understanding - By his wisdom.
He smiteth through - He scourges, or strikes - as if to punish.
the proud—rather, "its pride," namely, of the sea (Job 9:13).
1. Of God’s dividing the Red Sea for the Israelites to pass over; and consequently the Hebrew word rahab, which here follows, and is translated pride, or the proud, is meant of Egypt, which is oft called Rahab, as Psalm 87:4 89:10 Isaiah 51:9. But it seems most probable that that work was not yet done, and that Job lived long before Israel’s coming out of Egypt. Or rather,
2. Of the common work of nature and providence in raising tempests, by which he breaketh or divideth the waves of the sea, by making deep furrows in it, and casting up part of the waters into the air, and splitting part of them upon the rocks and shores of the sea.
By his understanding, i.e. by his wise counsel and administration of things, so as may obtain his own glorious ends.
The proud; either,
1. The whale, which is called
king over all the children of pride, Job 41:34, and which is sometimes by force of tempests cast upon the shore. Or rather,
2. The sea, which is fitly called proud, as its waves are called, Job 38:11, because it is lofty, and fierce, and swelling, and unruly; which God is said to smite when he subdues and restrains its rage, and turns the storm into a calm. Genesis 1:9; or it may respect the division of those waters into divers seas and channels in the several parts of the world, for the better accommodation of the inhabitants of it, in respect of trade and commerce, and the more convenient supply of them with the various produce of different countries, and the transmitting of it to them: some have thought this has respect to the division of the Red sea for the children of Israel to walk in as on dry land, when pursued by the Egyptians, supposed to be meant by "Rahab" in the next clause; rather it may design the parting of the waves of the sea by a stormy wind, raised by the power of God, which lifts up the waves on high, and divides them in the sea, and dashes them one against another; wrinkles and furrows them, as Jarchi interprets the words, which is such an instance of the power and majesty or God, that he is sometimes described by it, Isaiah 51:15; though the word used is sometimes taken in a quite different sense, for the stilling of the waves of the sea, and so it is by some rendered here, "he stilleth the sea by his power" (b); the noise of its waves, and makes them quiet, and the sea a calm, which has been exceeding boisterous and tempestuous, and is taken notice of as an effect of his sovereign and uncontrollable power, Psalm 65:7; and may be observed as a proof of our Lord's divinity, whom the winds and sea obeyed, to the astonishment of the mariners, who were convinced thereby that he must be some wonderful and extraordinary person, Matthew 8:26;
and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud; the proud waves of the sea, and humbles them, and makes them still, as before; or the proud monstrous creatures in it, as whales and others, particularly the leviathan, the king over all the children of pride, Job 41:34; see Psalm 74:13. The word used is "Rahab", one of the names of Egypt, Psalm 87:4; and so Jarchi interprets it of the Egyptians, who were smitten of God with various plagues, and particularly in their firstborn; and at last at the Red sea, where multitudes perished, and Pharaoh their proud king, with his army; who was an emblem of the devil, whose sin, the cause of his fall and ruin, was pride; and the picture of proud and haughty sinners, whose destruction sooner or later is from the Lord; and which is an instance of his wisdom and understanding, who humbles the proud, and exalts the lowly.He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12, 13. These verses probably read,
12. He quelleth the sea with his power,
And by his understanding he smiteth through Rahab.
13. By his breath the heavens are bright,
His hand pierceth the fleeing serpent.
Others for “quelleth” or stilleth, prefer the meaning “stirreth up.” Comp. Isaiah 51:15; Jeremiah 31:35. The word means “to terrify,” and the parallelism of the second clause “smiteth through Rahab,” which refers to the subduing of a raging monster, suggests that the sea when “terrified” or rebuked is in a state of fury, and is quelled by the power of God. So already the Sept. κατέπαυσεν. This sense is also more suitable to the words “by his power.” On Rahab see notes, ch. Job 9:13.Verse 12. - He divideth the sea with his power. "Divideth" is certainly a wrong translation. The verb used (־ָגַע) means either "stirreth up" or "stilleth." In favour of the former rendering are Rosen-muller, Schultens, Delitzsch, Merx, and Canon Cook; in favour of the latter, the LXX., Dillmann, and Dr. Stanley Leathes. In either case the general sentiment is that God has full mastery over the sea, and can regulate its movements at his pleasure. And by his understanding he smiteth through the proud; literally, he smiteth through Rahab. (On Rahab, as the great power of evil, see the comment on Job 9:13.) God is said to have "smitten him through by his understanding" since in the contest between good and evil it is rather intelligence than mere force that carries the day. Power alone is sufficient to control the sea. Isaiah 14:9; but in reality the adj. precedes in the primitive form, without being changed by the gender of שׁאול. אבדּון alternates with שׁאול, like קבר in Psalm 88:12. As Psalm 139:8 testifies to the presence of God in Shel, so here Job (comp. Job 38:17, and especially Proverbs 15:11) that Shel is present to God, that He possesses a knowledge which extends into the depths of the realm of the dead, before whom all things are γυμνὰ καὶ τετραχηλισμένα (Hebrews 4:13). The following partt., Job 26:7, depending logically upon the chief subject which precedes, are to be determined according to Job 25:2; they are conceived as present, and indeed of God's primeval act of creation, but intended of the acts which continue by virtue of His creative power.
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