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Job 26:5 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— They that are deceased tremble Beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Dead [things] are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “The departed spirits tremble Under the waters and their inhabitants.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Dead [things] are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— The shades tremble beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— The shades, tremble, beneath the waters and their inhabitants;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— The Rephaim are formed, Beneath the waters, also their inhabitants.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Behold the giants groan under the waters, and they that dwell with them.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Dead things are formed from vnder the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Shall giants be born from under the water and the inhabitants thereof?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Dead [things] are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Dead 7496
{7496} Prime
From H7495 in the sense of H7503; properly lax, that is, (figuratively) a ghost (as dead; in plural only).
[things] are formed 2342
{2342} Prime
A primitive root; properly to twist or whirl (in a circular or spiral manner), that is, (specifically) to dance, to writhe in pain (especially of parturition) or fear; figuratively to wait, to pervert.
<8787> Grammar
Stem - Polel (See H8847)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 72
from under x4480
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
(8478) Complement
From the same as H8430; the bottom (as depressed); only adverbially below (often with prepositional prefix underneath), in lieu of, etc.
the waters, 4325
{4325} Prime
Dual of a primitive noun (but used in a singular sense); water; figuratively juice; by euphemism urine, semen.
and the inhabitants 7931
{7931} Prime
A primitive root (apparently akin (by transmutation) to H7901 through the idea of lodging; compare H5531 and H7925); to reside or permanently stay (literally or figuratively).
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Job 26:5-14

_ _ As before in the ninth and twelfth chapters, Job had shown himself not inferior to the friends’ inability to describe God’s greatness, so now he describes it as manifested in hell (the world of the dead), Job 26:5, Job 26:6; on earth, Job 26:7; in the sky, Job 26:8-11; the sea, Job 26:12; the heavens, Job 26:13.

_ _ Dead things are formed — Rather, “The souls of the dead (Rephaim) tremble.” Not only does God’s power exist, as Bildad says (Job 25:2), “in high places” (heaven), but reaches to the region of the dead. Rephaim here, and in Proverbs 21:16 and Isaiah 14:9, is from a Hebrew root, meaning “to be weak,” hence “deceased”; in Genesis 14:5 it is applied to the Canaanite giants; perhaps in derision, to express their weakness, in spite of their gigantic size, as compared with Jehovah [Umbreit]; or, as the imagination of the living magnifies apparitions, the term originally was applied to ghosts, and then to giants in general [Magee].

_ _ from under — Umbreit joins this with the previous word “tremble from beneath” (so Isaiah 14:9). But the Masoretic text joins it to “under the waters.” Thus the place of the dead will be represented as “under the waters” (Psalms 18:4, Psalms 18:5); and the waters as under the earth (Psalms 24:2). Magee well translates thus: “The souls of the dead tremble; (the places) under the waters, and their inhabitants.” Thus the Masoretic connection is retained; and at the same time the parallel clauses are evenly balanced. “The inhabitants of the places under the waters” are those in Gehenna, the lower of the two parts into which Sheol, according to the Jews, is divided; they answer to “destruction,” that is, the place of the wicked in Job 26:6, as “Rephaim” (Job 26:5) to “Hell” (Sheol) (Job 26:6). “Sheol” comes from a Hebrew root — “ask,” because it is insatiable (Proverbs 27:20); or “ask as a loan to be returned,” implying Sheol is but a temporary abode, previous to the resurrection; so for English Version “formed,” the Septuagint and Chaldee translate; shall be born, or born again, implying the dead are to be given back from Sheol and born again into a new state [Magee].

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Job 26:5-14

_ _ The truth received a great deal of light from the dispute between Job and his friends concerning those points about which they differed; but now they are upon a subject in which they were all agreed, the infinite glory and power of God. How does truth triumph, and how brightly does it shine, when there appears no other strife between the contenders than which shall speak most highly and honourably of God and be most copious in showing forth his praise! It were well if all disputes about matters of religion might end thus, in glorifying God as Lord of all, and our Lord, with one mind and one mouth (Romans 15:6); for to that we have all attained, in that we are all agreed.

_ _ I. Many illustrious instances are here given of the wisdom and power of God in the creation and preservation of the world.

_ _ 1. If we look about us, to the earth and waters here below, we shall see striking instances of omnipotence, which we may gather out of these verses. (1.) He hangs the earth upon nothing, Job 26:7. The vast terraqueous globe neither rests upon any pillars nor hangs upon any axle-tree, and yet, by the almighty power of God, is firmly fixed in its place, poised with its own weight. The art of man could not hang a feather upon nothing, yet the divine wisdom hangs the whole earth so. It is ponderibus librata suispoised by its own weight, so says the poet; it is upheld by the word of God's power, so says the apostle. What is hung upon nothing may serve us to set our feet on, and bear the weight of our bodies, but it will never serve us to set our hearts on, nor bear the weight of our souls. (2.) He sets bounds to the waters of the sea, and compasses them in (Job 26:10), that they may not return to cover the earth; and these bounds shall continue unmoved, unshaken, unworn, till the day and night come to an end, when time shall be no more. Herein appears the dominion which Providence has over the raging waters of the sea, and so it is an instance of his power, Jeremiah 5:22. We see too the care which Providence takes of the poor sinful inhabitants of the earth, who, though obnoxious to his justice and lying at his mercy, are thus preserved from being overwhelmed, as they were once by the waters of a flood, and will continue to be so, because they are reserved unto fire. (3.) He forms dead things under the waters. Rephaim-giants, are formed under the waters, that is, vast creatures, of prodigious bulk, as whales, giant-like creatures, among the innumerable inhabitants of the water. So bishop Patrick. (4.) By mighty storms and tempests he shakes the mountains, which are here called the pillars of heaven (Job 26:11), and even divides the sea, and smites through its proud waves, Job 26:12. At the presence of the Lord the sea flies and the mountains skip, Psalms 114:3, Psalms 114:4. See Habakkuk 3:6, etc. A storm furrows the waters, and does, as it were, divide them; and then a calm smites through the waves, and lays them flat again. See Psalms 89:9, Psalms 89:10. Those who think Job lived at, or after, the time of Moses, apply this to the dividing of the Red Sea before the children of Israel, and the drowning of the Egyptians in it. By his understanding he smiteth through Rahab; so the word is, and Rahab is often put for Egypt; as Psalms 87:4; Isaiah 51:9.

_ _ 2. If we consider hell beneath, though it is out of our sight, yet we may conceive the instances of God's power there. By hell and destruction (Job 26:6) we may understand the grave, and those who are buried in it, that they are under the eye of God, though laid out of our sight, which may strengthen our belief of the resurrection of the dead. God knows where to find, and whence to fetch, all the scattered atoms of the consumed body. We may also consider them as referring to the place of the damned, where the separate souls of the wicked are in misery and torment. That is hell and destruction, which are said to be before the Lord (Proverbs 15:11), and here to be naked before him, to which it is probable there is an allusion, Revelation 14:10, where sinners are to be tormented in the presence of the holy angels (who attended the Shechinah) and in the presence of the Lamb. And this may give light to Job 26:5, which some ancient versions read thus (and I think more agreeably to the signification of the word Rephaim): Behold, the giants groan under the waters, and those that dwell with them; and then follows, Hell is naked before him, typified by the drowning of the giants of the old world; so the learned Mr. Joseph Mede understands it, and with it illustrates Proverbs 21:16, where hell is called the congregation of the dead; and it is the same word which is here used, and which he would there have rendered the congregation of the giants, in allusion to the drowning of the sinners of the old world. And is there any thing in which the majesty of God appears more dreadful than in the eternal ruin of the ungodly and the groans of the inhabitants of the land of darkness? Those that will not with angels fear and worship shall for ever with devils fear and tremble; and God therein will be glorified.

_ _ 3. If we look up to heaven above, we shall see instances of God's sovereignty and power. (1.) He stretches out the north over the empty place, Job 26:7. So he did at first, when he stretched out the heavens like a curtain (Psalms 104:2); and he still continues to keep them stretched out, and will do so till the general conflagration, when they shall be rolled together as a scroll, Revelation 6:14. He mentions the north because his country (as ours) lay in the northern hemisphere; and the air is the empty place over which it is stretched out. See Psalms 89:12. What an empty place is this world in comparison with the other! (2.) He keeps the waters that are said to be above the firmament from pouring down upon the earth, as once they did (Job 26:8): He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, as if they were tied closely in a bag, till there is occasion to use them; and, notwithstanding the vast weight of water so raised and laid up, yet the cloud is not rent under them, for then they would burst and pour out as a spout; but they do, as it were, distil through the cloud, and so come drop by drop, in mercy to the earth, in small rain, or great rain, as he pleases. (3.) He conceals the glory of the upper world, the dazzling lustre of which we poor mortals could not bear (Job 26:9): He holds back the face of his throne, that light in which he dwells, and spreads a cloud upon it, through which he judges, Job 22:13. God will have us to live by faith, not by sense; for this is agreeable to a state of probation. It were not a fair trial if the face of God's throne were visible now as it will be in the great day.

Lest his high throne, above expression bright,
With deadly glory should oppress our sight,
To break the dazzling force he draws a screen
Of sable shades, and spreads his clouds between.
— Sir R. Blackmore

_ _ (4.) The bright ornaments of heaven are the work of his hands (Job 26:13): By his Spirit, the eternal Spirit that moved upon the face of the waters, the breath of his mouth (Psalms 33:6), he has garnished the heavens, not only made them, but beautified them, has curiously bespangled them with stars by night and painted them with the light of the sun by day. God, having made man to look upward (Os homini sublime deditTo man he gave an erect countenance), has therefore garnished the heavens, to invite him to look upward, that, by pleasing his eye with the dazzling light of the sun and the sparkling light of the stars, their number, order, and various magnitudes, which, as so many golden studs, beautify the canopy drawn over our heads, he may be led to admire the great Creator, the Father and fountain of lights, and to say, “If the pavement be so richly inlaid, what must the palace be! If the visible heavens be so glorious, what are those that are out of sight!” From the beauteous garniture of the ante-chamber we may infer the precious furniture of the presence-chamber. If stars be so bright, what are angels! What is meant here by the crooked serpent which his hands have formed is not certain. Some make it part of the garnishing of the heavens, the milky-way, say some; some particular constellation, so called, say others. It is the same word that is used for leviathan (Isaiah 27:1), and probably may be meant of the whale or crocodile, in which appears much of the power of the Creator; and why may not Job conclude with that inference, when God himself does so? ch. 41.

_ _ II. He concludes, at last, with an awful et caetera (Job 26:14): Lo, these are parts of his ways, the out-goings of his wisdom and power, the ways in which he walks and by which he makes himself known to the children of men. Here, 1. He acknowledges, with adoration, the discoveries that were made of God. These things which he himself had said, and which Bildad had said, are his ways, and this is heard of him; this is something of God. But, 2. He admires the depth of that which is undiscovered. This that we have said is but part of his ways, a small part. What we know of God is nothing in comparison with what is in God and what God is. After all the discoveries which God has made to us, and all the enquiries we have made after God, still we are much in the dark concerning him, and must conclude, Lo, these are but parts of his ways. Something we hear of him by his works and by his word; but, alas! how little a portion is heard of him? heard by us, heard from us! We know but in part; we prophesy but in part. When we have said all we can, concerning God, we must even do as St. Paul does (Romans 11:33); despairing to find the bottom, we must sit down at the brink, and adore the depth: O the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God! It is but a little portion that we hear and know of God in our present state. He is infinite and incomprehensible; our understandings and capacities are weak and shallow, and the full discoveries of the divine glory are reserved for the future state. Even the thunder of his power (that is, his powerful thunder), one of the lowest of his ways here in our own region, we cannot understand. See Job 37:4, Job 37:5. Much less can we understand the utmost force and extent of his power, the terrible efforts and operations of it, and particularly the power of his anger, Psalms 90:11. God is great, and we know him not.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Job 26:5

Dead things — Job having censured Bildad's discourse, proceeds to shew how little he needed his information in that point. Here he shews that the power and providences of God reaches not only to the things we see, but also to the invisible parts of the world, not only to the heavens above and their inhabitants, and to men upon earth, of which Bildad discoursed, Job 25:2-3, but also to such persons or things as are under the earth, or under the waters; which are out of our sight and reach; yet not out of the ken of Divine providence. These words may be understood; either, of dead, or lifeless things, such as amber, pearl, coral, metals, or other minerals, which are formed or brought forth; by the almighty power of God, from under the waters; either in the bottom of the sea, or within the earth, which is the lowest element, and in the scripture and other authors spoken of as under the waters; this being observed as a remarkable work of God's providence, that the waters of the sea, which are higher than the earth, do not overwhelm it. Or, of dead men, and of the worst of them, such as died in their sins, and after death were condemned to farther miseries; for of such this very word seems to be used, Proverbs 2:18, Proverbs 9:18, who are here said to mourn or groan from under the waters; from the lower parts of the earth, or from under those subterranean waters, which are supposed to be within and under the earth; Psalms 33:7, and from under the inhabitants thereof; either of the waters or of the earth, under which these waters are, or with the other inhabitants thereof; of that place under the waters, namely, the apostate spirits. So the sense is, that God's dominion is over all men, yea, even the dead, and the worst of them, who though they would not own God, nor his providence, while they lived, yet now are forced to acknowledge and feel that power which they despised, and bitterly mourn under the sad effects of it in their infernal habitations.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Job 26:5

(d) Dead [things] are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.

(d) Job begins to declare the force of God's power and providence in the mines and metals in the deep places of the earth.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Dead things:
Or, "The giants rephaim are in anguish under the waters and their inhabitants;" probably in allusion to the destruction of the earth by the deluge.
Job 41:1-34 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord [which] thou lettest down? ... He beholdeth all high [things]: he [is] a king over all the children of pride.
Genesis 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.
Psalms 104:25-26 [So is] this great and wide sea, wherein [are] things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. ... There go the ships: [there is] that leviathan, [whom] thou hast made to play therein.
Ezekiel 29:3-5 Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river [is] mine own, and I have made [it] for myself. ... And I will leave thee [thrown] into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven.

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