“By the Lord’s plan,
He stilled the great deep sea.
He planted islands in it.
Those who sail the sea
Tell of its dangers.
We marvel at
What we hear.
In the sea
Are strange creatures.
In the sea
Are marvelous works.
All kinds of living things.
Because of him,
Each of his messengers succeeds.
By his word
All things hold together.”
Next Sirach explains how the Lord controls and stills the seas. The Lord planted the islands in these seas. Many sailors tell of their dangerous adventures on the high seas, mostly on the Mediterranean Sea. Within these waters, there are many strange and marvelous creatures. Among the many living things in the sea are the sea monsters, in particular Leviathan that played a major role in biblical stories, particularly in the book of Job, chapter 41. All these things stay together because of the power of the Lord.
My King is from of old.
He is working salvation in the earth.
You divided the sea by your might.
You broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan.
You gave him as food
For the creatures of the wilderness.
You cut openings for springs and torrents.
You dried up ever-flowing streams.
Yours is the day.
Yours also is the night.
You have established the luminaries.
You have established the sun.
You have fixed all the bounds of the earth.
You have made summer and winter.”
This is a prayer to God about his creative power. God had been an old fashioned king for a long time. He brought salvation to the earth. He divided the seas to produce the earth. He had to defeat the sea monsters, particularly the mythical Leviathan, the great beast that was so important in Job, chapter 41. However, God was able to defeat Leviathan and feed his body to the wild animals. God definitely controlled the water ways, big and small. He was in charge of day and night as well as all the heavenly lights, including the sun. He set up the boundaries of the earth. He had control of the seasons of the year with its various climate changes of summer and winter. God was the powerful creator of heaven and earth as well as the water and the land.