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Saturday, April 13th, 2024
the Second Week after Easter
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Bible Commentaries
Job 20

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole BibleCommentary Critical





Verse 2

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 :-) shall furnish my answer, because of the excitement (haste) within me" [UMBREIT].

Verse 3

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.

Verse 5

5. the hypocrite—literally, "the ungodly" (Psalms 37:35; Psalms 37:36).

Verse 6

6. (Isaiah 14:13; Obadiah 1:3; Obadiah 1:4).

Verse 7

7. dung—in contrast to the haughtiness of the sinner ( :-); this strong term expresses disgust and the lowest degradation (Psalms 83:10; 1 Kings 14:10).

Verse 8

8. ( :-).

Verse 9

9. Rather "the eye followeth him, but can discern him no more." A sharp-looking is meant (Job 28:7; Job 7:10).

Verse 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 Margin.

his hands—rather, "their (the children's) hands."

their goods—the goods of the poor. Righteous retribution! ( :-).

Verse 11

11. ( :-), 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 ( :-). UMBREIT translates, "full of his secret sins," as in :-; 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 ( :-).

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 ( :-).

Verse 12

12. be—"taste sweet." Sin's fascination is like poison sweet to the taste, but at last deadly to the vital organs (Proverbs 20:17; Job 9:17; Job 9:18).

hide . . . tongue—seek to prolong the enjoyment by keeping the sweet morsel long in the mouth (so Job 20:13).

Verse 14

14. turnedHebrew denotes a total change into a disagreeable contrary ( :-; compare Revelation 10:9; Revelation 10:10).

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 endangered.

Verse 15

15. He is forced to disgorge his ill-gotten wealth.

Verse 16

16. shall suck—It shall turn out that he has sucked the poison, &c.

Verse 17

17. floods—literally, "stream of floods," plentiful streams flowing with milk, c. (Job 29:6 Exodus 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 prosperity.

Verse 18

18. Image from food which is taken away from one before he can swallow it.

restitution—(So :-). 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 ( :-).

Verse 19

19. oppressed—whereas he ought to have espoused their cause ( :-).

forsaken—left helpless.

house—thus leaving the poor without shelter (Isaiah 5:8; Micah 2:2).

Verse 20

20. UMBREIT translates, "His inward parts know no rest" from desires.

his belly—that is, peace inwardly.

not save—literally, "not escape with that which," &c., alluding to Job's having been stripped of his all.

Verse 21

21. look for—rather, "because his goods," that is, prosperity shall have no endurance.

Verse 22

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 prosperity.

Verse 23

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 (Psalms 11:6; alluding to Job's misfortune, Psalms 11:6- :). The force of the image is felt by picturing to one's self the opposite nature of a refreshing rain in the desert (Exodus 16:4; Psalms 68:9).

Verse 24

24. steel—rather, "brass." While the wicked flees from one danger, he falls into a greater one from an opposite quarter [UMBREIT].

Verse 25

25. It is drawn—Rather, "He (God) draweth (the sword, Joshua 5:13) and (no sooner has He done so, than) it cometh out of (that is, passes right through) the (sinner's) body" (Deuteronomy 32:41; Deuteronomy 32:42; Ezekiel 21:9; Ezekiel 21:10). 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; Psalms 88:16; Psalms 55:4).

Verse 26

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 (Judges 1:13; Deuteronomy 32:34).

not blown—not kindled by man's hands, but by God's (Deuteronomy 32:34- :; the Septuagint in the Alexandrian Manuscript reads "unquenchable fire," Deuteronomy 32:34- :). 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 1:16- :).

Verse 27

27. All creation is at enmity with him, and proclaims his guilt, which he would fain conceal.

Verse 28

28. increase—prosperity. Ill got—ill gone.

flow away—like waters that run dry in summer; using Job's own metaphor against himself (Job 6:15-17; 2 Samuel 14:14; Micah 1:4).

his wrath—God's.

Verse 29

29. appointed—not as a matter of chance, but by the divine "decree" (Margin) and settled principle.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/job-20.html. 1871-8.
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