New Defender's Study Bible Notes
26:5 Dead things. The word for “dead things” refers to the spirits of the deceased. Some of these are constrained in sheol, or hades, far below the ocean waters. Some seem to inhabit the waters themselves, possibly the nephilim drowned in the great Flood (Genesis 6:4). These two groups may correspond to those seen in his vision by the Apostle John—that is, when he saw that “the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [that is, hades] delivered up the dead which were in them” (Revelation 20:13). In any case, all were under God’s control.
26:6 Hell. Hell (Hebrew sheol), the place of departed spirits deep within the earth, is invisible to man, but easily seen by God (Psalm 139:8).
26:6 destruction. Destruction (Hebrew abaddon) seems to be a special compartment of sheol, possibly imprisoning the demonic spirits who will be unleashed on the world during the coming period of great tribulation (Revelation 9:3-6).
26:7 empty place. The “empty place” (Hebrew tohu) probably refers to the just-created earth, which was initially “without form” (Genesis 1:2: same word, tohu). As the earth received its spherical form in response to the gravitational force systems activated when the Spirit “moved” in the presence of the primeval waters, then the north direction was defined when the earth began rotating about its axis. The north was surely “stretched out,” without limit, far into the infinite heavens.
26:7 earth upon nothing. Not only was the earth rotating, but it also began orbiting in space, suspended from the sun by “nothing” except the mysterious force of gravity acting at a distance. This verse was written at least 3500 years before Isaac Newton identified and described this force.
26:8 cloud is not rent. Only in recent centuries has this “balancings of the clouds” (Job 37:16) been explained. It refers to strong updrafts of air providing the force necessary to keep the water droplets in the clouds from falling to earth.
26:10 compassed. The word “compassed” is the Hebrew khug, translated “circle” in Isaiah 40:22 (see also Proverbs 8:27). It refers here to the global sea level, which defines the “circle of the earth” and the “compass upon the face of the depth,” and which defines the bounds which the waters cannot transgress as long as the earth endures, in accordance with the Noahic covenant (Genesis 8:22; 9:11).
26:10 come to an end. This is a reference to the boundary between day and night—that is, along a great circle through the center of the earth, with light on one side and darkness on the other. This follows from the spherical shape of the earth, as implied in the first part of this verse.
26:13 garnished the heavens. See also Job 9:8-9; 38:31-33. The “crooked serpent” is one of the constellations, all of which God’s hand formed, presumably as signs of His redemptive promises. The serpent is depicted in the ancient star charts as being slain by the great Lion, probably reflecting the Protevangelic promise of Genesis 3:15.