on Job 38 :8
Who shut up the sea with doors - Who gathered the waters together into one place, and fixed the sea its limits, so that it cannot overpass them to inundate the earth?
When it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? - This is a very fine metaphor. The sea is represented as a newly born infant issuing from the womb of the void and formless chaos; and the delicate circumstance of the liquor amnii, which bursts out previously to the birth of the foetus, alluded to. The allusion to the birth of a child is carried on in the next verse.
on Job 38 :8
Or who shut up the sea with doors - This refers also to the act of the creation, and to the fact that God fixed limits to the raging of the ocean. The word "doors" is used here rather to denote gates, such as are made to shut up water in a dam. The Hebrew word properly refers, in the dual form which is used here דלתים delethiym), to "double doors," or to folding doors, and is also applied to the gates of a city; Deuteronomy 3:5; 1 Samuel 23:7; Isaiah 45:1. The idea is, that the floods were bursting forth from the abyss or the center of the earth, and were checked by placing gates or doors which restrained them. Whether this is designed to be a poetic or a real description of what took place at the creation, it is not easy to determine. Nothing forbids the idea that something like this may have occurred when the waters in the earth were pouring forth tumultuously, and when they were restrained by obstructions placed there by the hand of God, as if he had made gates through which they could pass only when he should open them. This supposition also would accord well with the account of the flood in Genesis 7:11, where it is said that "the fountains of the great deep were broken up," as if those flood-gates had been opened, or the obstructions which God had placed there had been suffered to be broken through, and the waters of their own accord flowed over the world. We know as yet too little of the interior of the earth, to ascertain whether this is to be understood as a literal description of what actually occurred.
When it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb - All the images here are taken from child-birth. The ocean is represented as being born, and then as invested with clouds and darkness as its covering and its swaddling-bands. The image is a bold one, and I do not know that it is any where else applied to the formation of the ocean.
on Job 38 :8