Job 20:1-29. Reply of
2. Therefore—Rather, the more excited I
feel by Job's speech, the more for that very reason shall my
reply be supplied by my calm consideration. Literally,
"Notwithstanding; my calm thoughts (as in Job 4:13) shall furnish my answer, because of the
excitement (haste) within me" [Umbreit].
3. check of my reproach—that is, the
castigation intended as a reproach (literally, "shame") to me.
spirit of … understanding—my
rational spirit; answering to "calm thoughts" (Job 20:2). In spite of thy reproach urging me to
"hastiness." I will answer in calm reason.
5. the hypocrite—literally, "the
ungodly" (Ps 37:35, 36).
6. (Isa 14:13; Ob 3, 4).
7. dung—in contrast to the haughtiness
of the sinner (Job 20:6);
this strong term expresses disgust and the lowest degradation (Ps
83:10; 1Ki 14:10).
8. (Ps 73:20).
9. Rather "the eye followeth him, but can
discern him no more." A sharp-looking is meant (Job
28:7; Job 7:10).
10. seek to please—"Atone to the poor"
(by restoring the property of which they had been robbed by the father)
[De Wette]. Better than English
Version, "The children" are reduced to the humiliating condition of
"seeking the favor of those very poor," whom the father had oppressed.
But Umbreit translates as
his hands—rather, "their (the
their goods—the goods of the poor.
Righteous retribution! (Ex 20:5).
11. (Ps 25:7), so Vulgate. Gesenius has "full of youth"; namely, in the
fulness of his youthful strength he shall be laid in the dust. But
"bones" plainly alludes to Job's disease, probably to Job's own words
19:20). Umbreit translates, "full of his secret
sins," as in Ps 90:8; his
secret guilt in his time of seeming righteousness, like secret poison,
at last lays him in the dust. The English Version is best.
Zophar alludes to Job's own words (Job 17:16).
with him—His sin had so pervaded his
nature that it accompanies him to the grave: for eternity the sinner
cannot get rid of it (Re 22:11).
12. be—"taste sweet." Sin's
fascination is like poison sweet to the taste, but at last deadly to
the vital organs (Pr 20:17; Job 9:17, 18).
hide … tongue—seek to prolong
the enjoyment by keeping the sweet morsel long in the mouth (so Job 20:13).
14. turned—Hebrew denotes a total
change into a disagreeable contrary (Jer 2:21; compare Re 10:9, 10).
gall—in which the poison of the asp
was thought to lie. It rather is contained in a sack in the mouth.
Scripture uses popular language, where no moral truth is thereby
15. He is forced to disgorge his ill-gotten
16. shall suck—It shall turn out that he
has sucked the poison, &c.
17. floods—literally, "stream of
floods," plentiful streams flowing with milk, &c. (Job 29:6; Ex
3:17). Honey and butter are
more fluid in the East than with us and are poured out from jars. These
"rivers" or water brooks are in the sultry East emblems of
18. Image from food which is taken away from
one before he can swallow it.
restitution—(So Pr 6:31). The parallelism favors the English
Version rather than the translation of Gesenius, "As a possession to be restored in which
he rejoices not."
he shall not rejoice—His enjoyment of
his ill-gotten gains shall then be at an end (Job 20:5).
19. oppressed—whereas he ought to have
espoused their cause (2Ch 16:10).
house—thus leaving the poor without
shelter (Isa 5:8; Mic 2:2).
translates, "His inward parts know no rest" from desires.
his belly—that is, peace
not save—literally, "not escape
with that which," &c., alluding to Job's having been stripped of
21. look for—rather, "because his
goods," that is, prosperity shall have no endurance.
22. shall be—rather, "he is (feeleth)
straitened." The next clause explains in what respect.
wicked—Rather, "the whole hand of the
miserable (whom he had oppressed) cometh upon him"; namely, the
sense of his having oppressed the poor, now in turn comes with all its
power (hand) on him. This caused his "straitened" feeling even in
23. Rather, "God shall cast (may God send)
[Umbreit] upon him the fury of His wrath
to fill his belly!"
while … eating—rather, "shall
rain it upon him for his food!" Fiery rain, that is, lightning
11:6; alluding to Job's
misfortune, Job 1:16).
The force of the image is felt by picturing to one's self the opposite
nature of a refreshing rain in the desert (Ex 16:4; Ps
24. steel—rather, "brass." While the
wicked flees from one danger, he falls into a greater one from an
opposite quarter [Umbreit].
25. It is drawn—Rather, "He (God)
draweth (the sword, Jos 5:13) and
(no sooner has He done so, than) it cometh out of (that is, passes
right through) the (sinner's) body" (De 32:41, 42; Eze 21:9,
10). The glittering
sword is a happy image for lightning.
gall—that is, his life (Job 16:13). "Inflicts a deadly wound."
terrors—Zophar repeats Bildad's words
(Job 17:11; Ps 88:16; 55:4).
26. All darkness—that is, every calamity
that befalls the wicked shall be hid (in store for him) in
His (God's) secret places, or treasures (Jude 13; De
not blown—not kindled by man's hands,
but by God's (Isa 30:33;
the Septuagint in the Alexandrian Manuscript reads "unquenchable
3:12). Tact is shown by the
friends in not expressly mentioning, but alluding under color of
general cases, to Job's calamities; here (Job 1:16) Umbreit
explains it, wickedness, is a "self-igniting fire"; in it lie
the principles of destruction.
ill … tabernacle—Every trace of
the sinner must be obliterated (Job 18:15).
27. All creation is at enmity with him, and
proclaims his guilt, which he would fain conceal.
28. increase—prosperity. Ill
flow away—like waters that run dry in
summer; using Job's own metaphor against himself (Job 6:15-17; 2Sa 14:14; Mic 1:4).
29. appointed—not as a matter of chance,
but by the divine "decree" (Margin) and settled principle.