|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:16-22 Job's faith and hope spake, and grace appeared to revive; but depravity again prevailed. He represents God as carrying matters to extremity against him. The Lord must prevail against all who contend with him. God may send disease and pain, we may lose all comfort in those near and dear to us, every hope of earthly happiness may be destroyed, but God will receive the believer into realms of eternal happiness. But what a change awaits the prosperous unbeliever! How will he answer when God shall call him to his tribunal? The Lord is yet upon a mercy-seat, ready to be gracious. Oh that sinners would be wise, that they would consider their latter end! While man's flesh is upon him, that is, the body he is so loth to lay down, it shall have pain; and while his soul is within him, that is, the spirit he is so loth to resign, it shall mourn. Dying work is hard work; dying pangs often are sore pangs. It is folly for men to defer repentance to a death-bed, and to have that to do which is the one thing needful, when unfit to do anything.
Verse 18. - And surely the mountain falling cometh to nought. Job here resumes the lament 'over human infirmity, with which the chapter opens (vers. 1-12); but he has, perhaps, in this passage, his own case mote distinctly presented to his consciousness. With the wealth of metaphor which characterizes his utterances, he compares the ruin of a prosperous man
(1) to the sudden collapse of a mountain;
(2) to the removal of a rock out of its place;
(3) to the wearing away of stones by the constant flow of streams; and
(4) to the destruction of alluvial tracts by floods.
Mountains collapse, either by volcanic agency, which is quite as much shown in the subsidence as in the elevation of the soil, or by landslips, which are most usually the results of heavy rains. And the rock is removed out of his place. Rocks are sometimes split by frost, and topple over when a thaw comes; at other times, heavy floods remove them from their accustomed place; occasionally earthquakes overturn them, and cause them to fall with a crash. There is also a removal of rocks to much greeter distances, by means of glaciers and icebergs; but of these Job is not likely to have known.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And surely the mountain falling cometh to nought,.... Job here returns to his former subject of the irreparable state of man at death, which he illustrates by various other similes, as before; and first by a "mountain falling", which may be supposed, and has been fact, and when it does, it "comes to nought"; it crumbles into dust, and where it falls there it lies, and never rises up to a mountain, or to the height it had, any more; or it "withers" (n), as some render it, the plants, herbs, and trees that grow upon it, wither away, see Nahum 1:4; or "it is dissolved", or "flows" (o), and spreads itself over the face of the green earth it covers, and destroys with its dust and sand, which is never more gathered up to form a mountain again; so man, like unto a mountain, as kingdoms and states, and kings and princes, and great men are; the Targum instances in Lot; as a man may be said to be, that is in good health of body, and in prosperous circumstances in his family; when he falls, as he does by death, which is expressed by falling, 2 Samuel 3:38; he comes to nought, he is not any more in the land of the living, nor in the place and circumstances in which he was before:
and the rock is removed out of his place; from the mountain, of which it was a part; or elsewhere, by earthquakes, by force of winds, or strength of waters; and which, when once removed, is never returned to its place any more; so man, who in his full strength seems like a rock immovable, when death comes, it shakes and moves him out of his place, and that never knows him any more.
(n) "marceseit", Tigurine version, Mercerus; "emarcescit", Schultens. (o) "Diffluit", Cocceius, Schmidt, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. cometh to naught—literally, "fadeth"; a poetical image from a leaf (Isa 34:4). Here Job falls back into his gloomy bodings as to the grave. Instead of "and surely," translate "yet"; marking the transition from his brighter hopes. Even the solid mountain falls and crumbles away; man therefore cannot "hope" to escape decay or to live again in the present world (Job 14:19).
out of his place—so man (Ps 103:16).
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