|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 20. - They that come after him shall be astonied at his day; i.e. "at the time of his visitation" (comp. Psalm 37:13, "The Lord shall laugh at him, for he seeth that his day is coming;" and Psalm 137:7, "Remember the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem," i.e. the day of its overthrow). As they that went before were affrighted. His fate shall alarm equally his contemporaries and his successors, at possibly "the dwellers in the West and the dwellers in the East"
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They that come after him shall be astonished at his day,.... At the day of his calamity and distress, ruin and destruction, see Psalm 37:13; it would be extremely amazing to them how it should be, that a man who was in such flourishing and prosperous circumstances, should be brought at once, he and his family, into such extreme poverty, and into such a distressed and forlorn condition; they should be, as it were, thunderstruck at it, not being able to account for it: by these are meant such as are younger than the wicked man, and that continue longer than he, yet upon the spot when his calamity befell; or else posterity in later times, who would be made acquainted with the whole affair, and be surprised at the relation of it:
as they that went before were affrighted; not that lived before the times of the wicked man, for they could not see his day, or be spectators of his ruin, and so be frightened at it; but his contemporaries, who are said to be those that went before, not with respect to the wicked man, but with respect to younger persons or posterity that were after; so Bar Tzemach interprets it, which were in his time, or his contemporaries; and Mr. Broughton,
"the present took an horror;''
a late learned commentator (p) renders the words, western and eastern; as if all people in the world, east and west, would be amazed and astonished at the sudden and utter destruction of this wicked man.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. after … before—rather, "those in the West—those in the East"; that is, all people; literally, "those behind—those before"; for Orientals in geography turn with their faces to the east (not to the north as we), and back to the west; so that before—east; behind—north (so Zec 14:8).
day—of ruin (Ob 12).
affrighted—seized with terror (Job 21:6; Isa 13:8).
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