By the breath of God frost is given
By the word of God, as the Targum; at his command it is, at his word it comes, and at his word it goes, ( Psalms 147:15-18 ) ; or by his will, as Ben Gersom interprets it, when it is his pleasure it should be, it appears; it may be understood of a freezing wind from the Lord, for a wind is sometimes expressed by the breath of his nostrils, ( Psalms 18:15 ) ; and as the word "God" added to things increases the signification of them, as mountains of God are strong mountains; so the breath of God may signify a strong wind, as Sephorno notes, the north wind F17;
and the breadth of the waters is straitened;
by the frost they are reduced and brought into a narrower compass; or made hard, as Mr. Broughton renders it; so hard as to walk upon, to draw carriages on, and lay weights and burdens very great upon; or become compact or bound together, like metal melted, poured out, and consolidated; though some think it refers to the thawing of ice by the south winds F18, when the waters return to their former breadth; which is done by the breath or commandment of God, as appears from the place before quoted from the psalmist, ( Psalms 18:15 ) ; for it may be rendered, "and the breadth of the waters is pouring out", so the Targum, when thawed; or through the pouring down of rain, so the Syriac and Arabic versions, "he sends forth plenty of water".
F17 "Induroque nives" Ovid.
F18 "----cum vere reverso Bistoniae tepuere nives" Statii Theb. l. 2.