He hath compassed the waters with bounds
Not the waters above the firmament, compassed by that, as if Job was contemplating on and discoursing about what is done in the heavens above; though the Targum seems to incline to this sense, paraphrasing the words,
``he hath decreed that the firmament should be placed upon the face of the waters unto the end of light, with darkness;''but the waters of the sea, Job descending now to consider the waters of the great deep, and the wonderful restraint that is laid upon them; which is as astonishing as the binding up of the waters in the clouds without being rent by them; for this vast and unwieldy body of waters in the ocean Jehovah manages with as much ease as a mother or nurse does a newborn infant, makes the cloud its garment, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it, ( Job 38:8 Job 38:9 ) ; he has as it were with a compass drawn a line upon the face of it; he has broke up for it its decreed place, and set bars, and doors, and bounds to its waves, that they, nay come no further than is his pleasure, as is observed in the same place; the bounds he hath compassed it with are the shores, rocks, and cliffs, so that the waters cannot return and cover earth, as they once did; yea, which is very surprising, he has placed the sand, as weak and fluid as it is, the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree; so that though its waves toss and roar, they cannot prevail, nor pass over it; which must be owing to the almighty power and sovereign will of God, who has given the sea a decree that its waters should not pass his commandment; and it must be ascribed to his promise and oath that the waters no more go over the earth to destroy it; see ( Psalms 104:9 ) ( Jeremiah 5:22 ) ( Proverbs 8:27 Proverbs 8:29 ) ( Isaiah 54:9 ) ; until the dark and night come to an end; that is, as long as there will be the vicissitudes of day and night, till time shall be no more, as long as the world stands; for the those shall constitute so long are the ordinances of God, which shall never depart, and the covenant he has made, which shall never become void; wherefore, as long as they remain, the sea and its waters will be bounded as not to overflow the earth, ( Genesis 8:22 ) ( Jeremiah 31:35 Jeremiah 31:36 ) ( Jeremiah 33:20 Jeremiah 33:25 ) ; or "until the end of light with darkness" F1; until both these have an end in the same form and manner they now have; otherwise, after the end of all things, there will be light in heaven, and darkness in hell. Aben Ezra interprets it thus,
``unto the place which is the end of light, for all that is above it is light, and below it the reverse;''he seems to have respect to the place that divides the hemispheres, where when one is light the other is dark; and so others seem to understand it of such places or parts of the world as are half day and half night, and where one half of the year is light, and the other dark; but the first sense is best.
F1 (Kvx Me rwa tylkt de) "usque ad finem lucis cum tenebris", Cocceius, Michaelis; so Targum & Sept.