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BOUNDS (גָּבַל, H1487, to border, set bounds; חֹק, H2976, something prescribed, a statute or due), either land boundaries or an established divine decree limiting man or nature.

In reference to geographical bounds the word is identical to that for border (q.v.) as in Exodus 23:31; 1 Kings 21:23. An interesting reference (Deut 32:8) mentions that when God gave the nations their inheritance, “He fixed the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel” (KJV, Heb.; RSV unfortunately follows here some ancient VSS and reads “sons of God”). The probable reference is to the providential ordering of the settlement of the nations in history (not only at Babel) which allowed enough room for Israel to settle in Canaan without undue stress on the land resources for the size of nation.

Other references refer to the divinely decreed bounds of man’s life span (Job 14:5); the limits of the seas (38:10), and the fixed order and perpetual duration of the heavens and earth (Ps 148:6).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)