Job 20

1Zophar sheweth in his turn the certain downfall and portion of the wicked.

1THEN answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,

21Therefore do my 2thoughts cause me to 3answer, and 4for this I make haste.

1 That is, by reason of what Job had just spoken previously, Job 19:29, threatening his friends with the judgment of God, because of their perverse judgment and evil speaking.

2 See of this word Job 4 on verse 13.

3 Other, return, namely, to answer Job; for, he had done it once already, Job 11.

4 Other, for my sake, namely, to defend my honor.

3I have heard the checka of my 5reproach, and the 6spirit 7of my understanding causeth me to answer.

a rebuke

5 Hebr. a reproof or correction of my shame, that is, which is accompanied with my shame and discredit, in regard that Job charges us therein of ignorance and indiscretion; also my shame, or reproach, being used for that which makes me to be reproached or ashamed. 2 Sam. 13:13; Job 19:5.

6 Understand the Holy Spirit, from Whom true knowledge and utterance proceeds, Num. 11:29; 1 Cor. 12:11. Or understand the soul of man, which is not only endued with a reasonable understanding by creation, but likewise illuminated with supernatural knowledge by regeneration.

7 That is, in a well-ordered and composed manner, without any distemper of mind or foolish passion. Or, above my understanding.

4Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,

5Thatb the 8triumphing of the wicked is 9short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

b Psalm 37:35, 36.

8 Or, the joyous exclamation, that is, the joy and gladness, proceeding from the outward prosperity.

9 That is, began but very lately. New gods are also called gods that came newly up, Deut. 32:17, that is, newly come up. Compare Job 17:12.

6Though his excellency mount up 10to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;

10 That is, rose far above. See Gen. 11 on verse 4.

7Yet he shall perish for ever like 11his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?

11 Compare 1 Kings 14:10.

8He shall fly away 12as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a 13vision of the night.

12 That is, very hastily and suddenly; for, as the remembrance of a dream suddenly passes away, so also commonly one finds nothing, becoming awake, of what one has dreamed, Isa. 29:7, 8.

13 Namely, what appears to the fancy of man is his dream.

9The eye also which saw him 14shall see him no more; neither shall 15his place any more behold him.

14 Hebr. shall not add, that is, shall see him no more. Compare Gen. 8 on verse 10.

15 That is, he shall not be seen nor found anymore in his place. See Job 7 on verse 10.

10His children shall seek to 16please the poor, and his hands shall restore 17their goods.

16 Namely, because they would be still poorer than the common poor, or because in fear of the poor, who were oppressed by their parents, they would stand to be implicated before the judgment.

17 That is, his goods, which he extorted from the poor by violence.

11His bones are full of the sin of 18his youth, 19which shall lie down with him in the dust.

18 Compare Psalm 90:8, and the annotation. Some do understand it of the sins of the youth, that is, the sins committed in the time of his youth, together with the plagues and diseases which usually follow such sins of youth, as the righteous judgment of God.

19 Namely, of those bones full with the afflictions of his sins, which shall remain with him till his death. Other, every one, namely, of the secret sins of his youth. The sense is one and the same.

12Though 20wickedness be 21sweet in 22his mouth, though he 23hide it under his tongue;

20 Namely, of sin and wickedness. Also Gen. 6:5; 1 Sam. 17:28; Psalm 28:4, etc.

21 That is, pleasant and delightful, as some dainty morsel in the mouth; for, as such being held a little upon the palate, it sometimes pleases man for a while, but afterwards comes up again very bitterly or causes much pain and harm in the body, so may sin yield some delight indeed for a time, but the punishment which follows upon it, is accompanied with much sorrow. Compare Prov. 5:3, 4.

22 That is, in his judgment and affection. Also the word mouth is taken to a contrary purpose Psalm 119:103.

23 Namely, for the taste, that is, to retain the relish, the pleasure of sin so much longer. Compare the next verse.

13Though he spare 24it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth:

24 Understand that same evil of sin, which here, as before, is compared to dainty morsel.

14Yet his 25meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall 26of asps 27within him.

25 Hebr. his bread. He continues the previous comparison.

26 Which poison kills very suddenly.

27 That is, in his heart or soul. Also 1 Kings 3:28; Psalm 49:11; 51:10; 55:4; 62:4; 94:19; Jer. 9:8; 31:33.

15He hath 28swallowed down riches, and he 29shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.

28 That is, gathered the same with a great deal of eagerness, greediness and insatiableness. He judges Job here, as if his goods had been ill gotten.

29 That is, his sins, iniquities and robbed goods shall affect him as such, as one who painfully vomits his food, or, as the strongest poison which one did drink.

16He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him.

17He shall not see the 30rivers, the floods, the brooks 31of honey and butter.

30 Understand hereby a great and mighty abundance of all manner of wealth. Also Psalm 46:4; Isa. 41:18; John 7:38.

31 By these things, and such like, the Holy Scripture gives to understand the choicest blessings, touching this temporal life. See Exod. 3:8; 2 Kings 18:32; Job 29:6, and the annotations.

18That which he 32laboured for shall he 33restore, and shall not 34swallow it down: 35according to his substance shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice therein.

32 That is, other men’s goods, which they had gotten by their labor. Also Deut. 28:33; Job 39:11; Psalm 78:46; 109:11.

33 Namely, unto those whom he had wronged and of whom he had bereaved their (goods), being compelled to this surrender by the authorities.

34 That is, not spend it, nor enjoy it. This does not contradict the swallowing spoken of in verse 15, for that is to be understood of the unrighteous obtainment and possession of the goods for a time, but this of the constant use.

35 Namely, according his wealth; that is, after he has been rich and mighty, shall he grow poor and wretched, which is called the restitution or change. Or, according to the measure, greatness and multitude of the goods, which he has stolen or robbed, shall the restitution need to be proportioned; and this is called his restitution, because the same makes him grow poor when he was rich.

19Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away anc house 36which he builded not;

c Eccl. 5:12.

36 Other, and he hath not built it, that is, he has robbed houses indeed, but never has built any houses for the poor.

2037Surely he shall not feel quietness 38in his belly, he shall not save of that 39which he desired.

37 That is, because he has had a most insatiable belly. See verse 15.

38 That is, in his heart or innermost part. See Job 15 on verse 2. Or, in his person, a part being taken for the whole.

39 Hebr. wish or desire, that is, things, goods wished for.

21There shall none of his meat be left; therefore shall no 40man look for his goods.

40 Namely, because he shall be at once so plunged into distress, that he shall see no relief, nor ground for any hope of amendment for something better.

2241In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits: 42every hand of the wicked shall come upon him.

41 That is, when he shall have wealth and riches enough to live a happy and contented life.

42 That is, all the poor who were bereaved and undone by him, shall seek and endeavor to recover their own.

23When 43he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall 44rain it upon him 45while he is eating.

43 That is, assumed that there is some provision left him of meat and drink to satisfy him.

44 Namely, His plagues and righteous punishments. Compare Psalm 11:6.

45 Namely, that it shall do him no good. Other, when he eateth. Compare Num. 11:33.

2446He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall 47strike him through.

46 That is, assumed that by flight he escapes one danger, he shall be hit by the other. This is likewise expressed by another phrase Isa. 24:18; Jer. 48:44; Amos 5:19.

47 Hebr. properly: go through.

25It 48is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the 49glittering sword cometh out of 50his gall: terrors are upon him.

48 The word sword is implied in the verb shalaph, to draw out, which for the most part is used for the sword. See Num. 22:23, 31; Judges 8:20; 9:54; 20:2, 25; 1 Sam. 31:4. Other, And he (namely, God) shall draw out, etc. See verses 4, 23; Job 21:17; Deut. 32:41, 42.

49 Hebr. the glistering, hue or splendor, namely, of the sword, that is, the glittering point of the sword. Thus the Hebrew word is taken Deut. 32:41; Ezek. 21:10, 15; Nahum 3:3; Hab. 3:11.

50 Understand the innermost part of his body, whereby is implied a mortal plague, that is, the destruction of the wicked.

26All 51darkness shall be hid in 52his secret places: 53a fire 54not blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him 55that is left in his tabernacle.

51 That is, adversity and wretchedness, which God makes to come upon him for his wickedness. See Gen. 15 on verse 12. Some do understand that his hiding-places, where he thought to hide himself in the dark, shall be light.

52 Understand the hiding places and secret means, which the wicked endeavor to find out for the avoiding and escaping of the judgments of God. The meaning is, that they shall be so far from finding any help or shelter in them, that therein shall be laid up nothing for them but mischief and misery. Others understand hereby the closed up and hidden treasures of the wicked, whereof they would not be able to enjoy anything, but rather find them the means of all manner of trouble and vexation. See of the Hebrew word Psalm 17:14.

53 Understand the wrath and vengeance of God, which is compared to a fire. See Deut. 32:22, with the annotation. Likewise Isa. 26:11; Jer. 15:14; Lam. 2:3.

54 That is, not kindled by any man, but proceeds from the just judgment of God. It seems he has regard to what is said in Job 1:16. This may also be understood of the judgments of God in general and of the fire of hell. Compare Isa. 30:33.

55 Understand his family and posterity, treading in the steps of his wickedness.

2756The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him.

56 The sense is, that all creatures, celestial and terrestrial, spiritual and corporal, animate and inanimate shall be ready to minister and serve God in the execution of His righteous judgments against the wicked.

28The increase of his house shall 57depart, and his goods 58shall flow away in the 59day of his wrath.

57 That is, be lost, melt away and perish.

58 Hebr. be flowings away, or pourings out; in the plural number.

59 Understand the day of the wrath of God, that is, the appointed time in which God would show His indignation to send His just judgments abroad. Compare Job 24:1; Prov. 6:34; 11:4; Isa. 13:13; Lam. 2:21; Ezek. 22:24; Zeph. 1:15; Rom. 2:5.

29This is the 60portion of a wicked man from God, and the 61heritage 62appointed unto him by God.

60 That is, the reward, recompense or punishment appointed by God for the wicked, according to His righteous judgment. Also Job 27:13; 31:2; Psalm 50:18; Isa. 17:14; 57:6.

61 Understand of the same which before was called the portion. Also Job 27:13; 31:2.

62 That is, of the blasphemous discourses which the wicked pour out against God. Other, of his decree from God, that is, from the righteous sentence which God has determined to execute against the wicked.