|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:13-20 Zophar exhorts Job to repentance, and gives him encouragement, yet mixed with hard thoughts of him. He thought that worldly prosperity was always the lot of the righteous, and that Job was to be deemed a hypocrite unless his prosperity was restored. Then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; that is, thou mayst come boldly to the throne of grace, and not with the terror and amazement expressed in ch. 9:34. If we are looked upon in the face of the Anointed, our faces that were cast down may be lifted up; though polluted, being now washed with the blood of Christ, they may be lifted up without spot. We may draw near in full assurance of faith, when we are sprinkled from an evil conscience, Heb 10:22.
Verse 20. - Had Zophar ended with ver. 19 Job might possibly have taken some comfort from his speech, holding out, as it did, a hope of restoration to God's favour and a return to happiness. But, as if to accentuate the unfavourable view which he takes of Job's conduct and character, he will not end with words of good omen, but appends a passage which has a ring of malice, menace, and condemnation. But the eyes of the wicked shall fail; or, waste away grew weary, i.e. of looking for a help that does not come, and a deliverer who does not make his appearance. And they shall not escape; literally, their refuge is perished from them. And their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost; rather, shall be the giving up of the ghost. They shall have no other hope but death - a manifest allusion to Job's repeated declarations that he looks for death, longs for it, and has no expectation of any other deliverance (see Job 3:21, 22; Job 6:7, 8; Job 7:15; Job 10:1, 18. etc.). Such, says Zophar, is always the final condition of the wicked.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But the eyes of the wicked shall fail,.... Either through grief and envy at Job's prosperity, and with looking for his fall into troubles again; or rather through expectation of good things for themselves, and for deliverance out of trouble, but all in vain; see Lamentations 4:17;
and they shall not escape; afflictions and calamities in this life, nor the righteous judgment, nor wrath to come: or, "refuge shall perish from them" (a); there will be none to betake themselves unto for safety; in vain will they seek it from men; refuge will fail them, and no man care for them; and in vain will they fly to rocks and mountains to fall upon them:
and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost; it is with them as when a man is just expiring, and it is all over with him, and there is no hope of his reviving; so the hope of wicked men is a dying hope, a lost hope; it is not hope, but despair; their hope is gone, and they are lost and undone; and if they retain their hope in life, when they come to die they have none; though the righteous has hope in his death, their hope dies with them, if not before them: or, "their hope is the giving up of the ghost" (b); all they have to hope and wish for is death, to relieve them from their present troubles and agonies they are in; and sometimes are left amidst their guilt, despair, and horror, to destroy themselves: now Zophar by all this would suggest, that should not Job take his advice, he would appear to be such a wicked man, whose eyes would fail for his own help, and would not escape the judgments of God here and hereafter, and would die without hope, in black despair; or at least without any hope that would be of any avail.
(a) "et refugium peribit ab eis", Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius; "perfugium", Junius & Tremellius; "effugium", Mercerus, Cocceius, Schmidt, Schultens. (b) "Spes vel expectatio eorum est, vel erit efflatio animae", Mercerus, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. A warning to Job, if he would not turn to God.
The wicked—that is, obdurate sinners.
eyes … fail—that is, in vain look for relief (De 28:65). Zophar implies Job's only hope of relief is in a change of heart.
they shall not escape—literally, "every refuge shall vanish from them."
giving up of the ghost—Their hope shall leave them as the breath does the body (Pr 11:7).
Job 11:20 Parallel Commentaries
Job 11:20 NIV
Job 11:20 NLT
Job 11:20 ESV
Job 11:20 NASB
Job 11:20 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible