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5. He hath founded the earth upon its foundations, so that it shall not be moved for ever. 6. He hath covered it with the deep as with a garment: the waters shall stand above the mountains. 7. At thy rebuke they shall flee; at the voice of thy thunder they shall haste away. 180180 “The waters, by a beautiful prosopopoeia, are supposed to be put into a panic at the voice of Jehovah. See Psalm 77:16” — Dimock. 8. The mountains shall ascend, and the valleys shall descend 181181 Calvin here renders mountains and valleys in the nominative case. In our English version they are rendered in the accusative: “They go up by the mountains, they go down by the valleys.” “It is not here certain,” says Hammond, “whether הרים, mountains, and בקעות, valleys or plains, be to be read in the nominative or in the accusative case. If they be in the nominative, then we must read as in a parenthesis, (‘the mountains ascend, the plains or valleys slink down,’) joining the end of the verse, ‘unto the place,’ etc. to ‘haste away,’ verse 7, thus: The waters once stood above the mountains, — those places which now are such; — but at the uttering God’s voice, they fled and hasted away (the mountains ascending and the valleys descending) unto the place which thou hast prepared for them.’ Thus the LXX. and Latin understand it, ἀναβαίνουσιν ὄρη καταβαίνουσι πεδία, ‘ascendunt montes, et descendunt campi,’ ‘the mountains ascend, and the plains descend,’ referring to the change that was made in the earth from being perfectly round and encompassed with waters, into that inequality wherein now it is, great mountains in some parts, and great cavities in other parts, wherein the waters were disposed, which before covered the face of the earth. But they may be more probably in the accusative case, and then מים, the ‘waters,’ verse 6, which were understood, verse 7, though not mentioned, (for it was the waters that there fled and hasted away,) must be here continued also, viz., that ‘the waters יעלו, ascend,’ or ‘climb the mountains,’ and ירדו, ‘descend,’ or ‘fall down upon the valleys,’ or ‘fissures,’ or ‘hollow places,’ ditches, and the like receptacles of waters, (for so בקוע now signifies among the Rabbins.) And this sense the Chaldee follows, ‘They ascend from the abyss to the mountains, and they descend into the valleys, to the place,’ etc. And this is the clearest exposition of it, rendering an account of the course of waters, since the gathering of them together in the ocean, that from thence they are, by the power of God, directed to pass through subterranean meatus to the uppermost parts of the earth, the hills and mountains, where they break forth in springs, and then, by their natural weight, descend, and either find or make channels, by which they run into the ocean again, that מקום, place, which God hath hewed out as a receptacle for them; and by their thus passing, they are profitable for the use of men, in watering the cattle, and the fruits that grow in the earth, verse 10, etc.” to the place which thou hast founded for them. 9. Thou hast fixed a bound over which they shall not pass; they shall not return to cover the earth.
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