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Job 26:7

    Job 26:7 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth on nothing.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    He stretcheth out the north over empty space, And hangeth the earth upon nothing.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    By his hand the north is stretched out in space, and the earth is hanging on nothing.

    Webster's Revision

    He stretcheth out the north over empty space, And hangeth the earth upon nothing.

    World English Bible

    He stretches out the north over empty space, and hangs the earth on nothing.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    He stretcheth out the north over empty space, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

    Clarke's Commentary on Job 26:7

    He stretcheth out the north over the empty place - על תהו al tohu, to the hollow waste. The same word as is used, Genesis 1:2, The earth was without form, תהו tohu. The north must here mean the north pole, or northern hemisphere; and perhaps what is here stated may refer to the opinion that the earth was a vast extended plain, and the heavens poised upon it, resting on this plain all round the horizon. Of the south the inhabitants of Idumea knew nothing; nor could they have any notion of inhabitants in that hemisphere.

    Hangeth the earth upon nothing - The Chaldee says: "He lays the earth upon the waters, nothing sustaining it."

    Barnes' Notes on Job 26:7

    He stretcheth out the north - This whole passage is particularly interesting as giving a view of the cosmology which prevailed in those early times. Indeed, as has been already remarked, this poem, apart from every other consideration, is of great value for disclosing to us the prevailing views on the subject of astronomy, geography, and many of the arts, at a much earlier period than we have an account of them elsewhere. The word north here denotes the heavens as they appear to revolve around the pole, and which seem to be stretched out as a curtain. The heavens are often represented as a veil, an expanse, a curtain, or a tent; see Isaiah 34:4, note; Isaiah 40:22, note.

    Over the empty place - על־תהוּ ‛al-tôhû, "Upon emptiness, or nothing." That is, without anything to support it. The word used here (תהוּ tôhû) is one of those employed Genesis 1:2, "And the earth was wlthout form and void." But it seems here to mean emptiness, nothing. The north is stretched out and sustained by the mere power of God.

    And hangeth the earth upon nothing. - It has nothing to support it. So Milton:

    "And earth self-balaneed from her center hung."

    There is no certain evidence here that Job was acquainted with the globular form of the earth, and with its diurnal and annual revolutions. But it is clear that he regarded it as not resting on any foundation or support; as lying on the vacant air, and kept there by the power of God. The Chaldee paraphrasist, in order to explain this, as that Paraphrase often does, adds the word waters. "He hangeth the earth מיא עלוי upon the waters, with no one to sustain it." The sentiment here expressed by Job was probably the common opinion of his time. It occurs also in Lucretius:

    Terraque ut in media mundi regionne quieseat

    Evallescere paullatim, et decrescere, pondus

    Convenit; atque aliam naturam subter habere,

    Et ineunte aevo conjunctam atque uniter aptam

    Partibus aeriis mundi, quibus insita vivit

    Propterea, non est oneri, neque deprimit auras;

    Ut sua quoique homini nullo sunt pondere membra,

    Nec caput est oneri collo, nec denique totum

    Corporus in pedibus pondus sentimus inesse.

    continued...

    Wesley's Notes on Job 26:7

    26:7 North - The northern part of the heavens, which is put for the whole visible heaven, because Job and his friends lived in a northern climate. Nothing - Upon no props or pillars, but his own power and providence.
    Book: Job