Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 11:9

"Its measure is longer than the earth And broader than the sea.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - God Continued...;   The Topic Concordance - Knowledge;   Opposition;   Seeing;   Vanity;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Earth, the;   Sea, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Zophar;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Providence of God;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Measure;   Holman Bible Dictionary - God;   Job, the Book of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Job, Book of;   Know;   Measure;   Unchangeable;   Zophar;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for April 2;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The measure thereof is longer than the earth - The measure of the knowledge of God. The extent of the earth would be one of the longest measures known to the ancients. Yet it is now impossible to ascertain what ideas were attached, in the time of Job, to the extent of the earth - and it is not necessary to know this in order to understand this expression. It is morally certain that the prevailing ideas were very limited, and that a small part of the earth was then known. The general belief seems to have been, that it was a vast plain, surrounded by water - but how supported, and what were its limits, were evidently matters to them unknown. The earliest knowledge which we have of geography, as understood by the Arabs, represents the earth as wholly encompassed by an ocean, like a zone. This was usually characterized as a “Sea of Darkness;” an appellation usually given to the Atlantic; while to the Northern Sea was given the name of “The Sea of Pitchy Darkness.” Edrisi imagined the land to be floating in the sea, and only part appearing above, like an egg in a basin of water. If these views prevailed so late as the tenth and eleventh centuries of the Christian era, it is reasonable to conclude that the views of the figure and size of the earth must have been extremely limited in the time of Job. On the ancient views of geography, see the notes at Job 26:7-10, and the maps there, also Murray‘s Encyclopaedia of Geography, Book I, and Eschenberg‘s Manual of Classical Literature, by Prof. Fiske, Part I.

And broader than the sea - What was the idea of the breadth of the sea, which was supposed to surround the earth, it is now wholly impossible to determine. Probably there were no ideas on the subject that could be regarded as settled and definite. The ancients had no means of ascertaining this, and they perhaps supposed that the ocean extended to an unlimited extent - or, perhaps, to the far distant place where the sky and the water appeared to meet. At all events it was an illustration then, as it is now, of a vast distance, and is not inappropriately used here to denote the impossibility of fully understanding God. This illustration would be far more striking then than now. We have crossed the ocean; and we do not deem it an impracticable thing to explore the remotest seas. But not so the ancients. They kept close to the shore. They seldom ventured out of sight of land. The enterprise of exploring and crossing the vast ocean, which they supposed encompassed the globe, was regarded by them as wholly impracticable - and equally so they correctly supposed it was to find out God.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 11:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-11.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. Length is generally ascribed to the earth, and width to the sea; the ends of the earth are used for a great distance, and the sea is called the great and wide sea; seeF11"Quid oceano longius inveriri potest", Cicero. Orat. 36. Psalm 72:1; but God and his perfections, particularly his wisdom and understanding, are infinite, Psalm 147:5; and will admit of no dimensions; as his love, so his wisdom, has an height which cannot be reached, a depth that cannot be fathomed, and a length and breadth immeasurable; see Ephesians 3:18; from hence it appears that God is omniscient, omnipresent, and incomprehensible; and since he is to be found in Christ, and in him only, it is in vain for us to seek for him elsewhere: next the sovereignty of God is discoursed of.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 11:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-11.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 11:9 The measure thereof [is] longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.

Ver. 9. The measure thereof is longer than the earth] Wherein some kingdoms are of a very great length, as those of the Turks and of the Tartars at this day. How long, then, is the earth itself? Some have undertaken to tell in how many days a nimble footman might measure it, but that is but a conjecture. It must be remembered that these things are spoken after the manner of men; for the wisdom of God can neither be measured nor numbered: of his understanding there is no number, saith the prophet, Psalms 147:5. Archimedes, the mathematician, vaunted that he, by his skill in arithmetic, could number up all the sand or dust that is in the whole world, habitable and inhabitable. But who can cast up the extent of the Divine wisdom?

And broader than the sea] Which yet David calleth the "great and wide sea," Psalms 104:25. Breadth is ascribed to the sea, because of its huge extension: mariners for many days together, while they sail upon the main, see no land, but only sky and water. God’s wisdom goes beyond all these; neither must we think to lade this ocean with our cockle shell. We may sooner drain the sea with a spoon than the perfections of God with our largest understandings.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 11:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-11.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Longer than the earth, from one end to the other.

Broader than the sea; which is called the great and wide sea, Psalms 104:25.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 11:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-11.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9.Longer than the earth — Firdusi, Persia’s epic poet, exclaims: “The height and the depth of the whole world have their centre in thee, O my God! I do not know thee, what thou art; but I know that thou art what thou alone canst be.”

 

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 11:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-11.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 11:9. The measure thereof is longer than the earth — From one end to the other. And broader than the sea — Called the great and wide sea, Psalms 104:25. It infinitely exceeds the limits of the whole creation. Examine the earth in its utmost dimensions: consider all the beauties and excellences belonging to it. Having done this, compare it with the vast, unbounded wisdom of God, and thou wilt soon be sensible how small and inconsiderable the one will be in proportion to the other. The sea, how wide and broad soever it may seem to be; though, at first view, it may appear to be immeasurable; yet, should you examine it in the scale with the divine perfections, the whole ocean, in its utmost extent, would be only as the drop of a bucket, and the waters thereof such as he could measure in the hollow of his hand.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 11:9". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-11.html. 1857.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 11:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-11.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
longer
28:24,25; Psalms 65:5-8; 139:9,10
Reciprocal: Job 38:5 - laid

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 11:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-11.html.