|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:11-21 Bildad describes the destruction wicked people are kept for, in the other world, and which in some degree, often seizes them in this world. The way of sin is the way of fear, and leads to everlasting confusion, of which the present terrors of an impure conscience are earnests, as in Cain and Judas. Miserable indeed is a wicked man's death, how secure soever his life was. See him dying; all that he trusts to for his support shall be taken from him. How happy are the saints, and how indebted to the lord Jesus, by whom death is so far done away and changed, that this king of terrors is become a friend and a servant! See the wicked man's family sunk and cut off. His children shall perish, either with him or after him. Those who consult the true honour of their family, and its welfare, will be afraid of withering all by sin. The judgments of God follow the wicked man after death in this world, as a proof of the misery his soul is in after death, and as an earnest of that everlasting shame and contempt to which he shall rise in the great day. The memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot, Pr 10:7. It would be well if this report of wicked men would cause any to flee from the wrath to come, from which their power, policy, and riches cannot deliver them. But Jesus ever liveth to deliver all who trust in him. Bear up then, suffering believers. Ye shall for a little time have sorrow, but your Beloved, your Saviour, will see you again; your hearts shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh away.
Verse 17. - His remembrance shall perish from the earth (comp. Psalm 34:16; Psalm 109:13). This is always spoken of in Scripture as a great calamity, one of the greatest that can befall a man. It was felt as such, not only by the Jews, but by the Semitic people generally, whose earnest desire to perpetuate their memory is shown by the elaborate monuments and lengthy inscriptions which they set up in so many places. Arabian poetry, no less than Jewish, is penetrated by the idea. In one point of view it may seem a vulgar ambition; but, in another, it is a pathetic craving alter that continuance which the spirit of man naturally desires, but of which it has, apart from revelation, no assurance. And he shall have no name in the street; or, in the world without (comp. Job 5:10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
His remembrance shall perish from the earth,.... Not only are the wicked forgotten of God in heaven, and are as the slain he remembers no more, unless it be to pour out his wrath upon them, and punish them for their sins, for which great Babylon will come up in remembrance before him; but of men on earth, and in the very places where they were born, and lived all their days, Ecclesiastes 8:10; yea, those places, houses and palaces, towns and cities, which they have built to perpetuate their memory among men, perish and come to nought, and their memorial with them, Psalm 9:5;
and he shall have no name in the street; much less in the house of God, still less in heaven, in the Lamb's book of life; so far from it, that he shall have none on earth, no good name among men; if ever his name is mentioned after his death, it is with some brand of infamy upon him; he is not spoken of in public, in a court of judicature, nor in any place of commerce and trade, nor in any concourse of people, or public assembly of any note, especially with any credit or commendation; such is the difference between a good man and a wicked man, see Proverbs 11:7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. street—Men shall not speak of him in meeting in the highways; rather, "in the field" or "meadow"; the shepherds shall no more mention his name—a picture from nomadic life [Umbreit].
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