John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary

Verse 23 (Psalms 107:23)

They that go down to the sea in ships ,.... This is the fourth instance of persons in distress crying to the Lord for help, and, having it, are laid under obligation to praise him; the case of seafaring men: so the Targum introduces it,

"mariners that go down to the sea in ships;'

the same form of expression as here is used in Isaiah 42:10 . Some affirm the sea to be higher than the earth, but by this it should be lower; besides the earth is said to be founded on the seas, which suggests superiority; and all the rivers run into the sea, which supposes a declivity; but, be it so that it is higher than the earth, yet this phrase is to be justified by the shores being higher than the sea, from whence men go down to take shipping, as Kimchi observes; though Kimchi's father is of opinion that it respects persons going down into the ship, which is deep, as Jonah is said to do, Jonah 1:3 .

That do business in great waters : which refers either to the steering and working of the ship, and everything relating to the management of the ropes and sails, and other affairs; and in a storm much business is done, all hands are employed: or else to the business they go to sea about, as catching fish, curing them, and carrying them to market; or else to traffic and merchandise of goods, they convey from place to place. The phrase is much like that, "as many as trade by sea", Revelation 18:17 .

- John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary