|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:5-10 Bildad describes the miserable condition of a wicked man; in which there is much certain truth, if we consider that a sinful condition is a sad condition, and that sin will be men's ruin, if they do not repent. Though Bildad thought the application of it to Job was easy, yet it was not safe nor just. It is common for angry disputants to rank their opponents among God's enemies, and to draw wrong conclusions from important truths. The destruction of the wicked is foretold. That destruction is represented under the similitude of a beast or bird caught in a snare, or a malefactor taken into custody. Satan, as he was a murderer, so he was a robber, from the beginning. He, the tempter, lays snares for sinners wherever they go. If he makes them sinful like himself, he will make them miserable like himself. Satan hunts for the precious life. In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare for himself, and God is preparing for his destruction. See here how the sinner runs himself into the snare.
Verse 7. - The steps of his strength shall he straitened. In the time of his prosperity the wicked man had a wide sphere within which to exercise his activity, and strode hither and thither at his pleasure. When punishment falls on him, his "steps will be straitened," i.e. his sphere narrowed, his activity cramped, his powers "cabined, cribbed, confined." And his own counsel shall cast him down (see Job 5:13; and comp. Psalm 7:14,-16; 9:16; 10:2; Hosea 10:6).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The steps of his strength shall be straitened,.... As a man in health can take large and strong steps, and travel in the greatness of his strength; so in prosperity he can and does take large steps in obtaining fame and reputation among men, in amassing substance to himself, and towards settling his family in the world; he is like one in a large place, and walks at liberty, goes in and out at pleasure, and none can control him; he walks in pride, and with an high and lifted up head, and with contempt of others, and his will is his law, and he does as he pleases; but in adversity, as his strength is weakened in the way, he cannot take the strides he did, his way is hedged up with thorns, he is pressed on every side, and surrounded with troubles, so that, let him turn himself which way he will, he can find no way to escape:
and his own counsel shall cast him down; as Ahithophel's and Haman's did, which issued in their ruin, 2 Samuel 17:23; what wicked men sometimes plot and devise, with a view to their own good, and the injury of others, proves the destruction of themselves; when they have contrived to raise themselves upon the ruins of others, it has been the means of casting them down from the state and condition they were in, instead of raising to an higher, even down to desolation, and into the most miserable circumstances.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. steps of his strength—Hebrew, for "His strong steps." A firm step marks health. To be straitened in steps is to be no longer able to move about at will (Pr 4:12).
his own counsel—Plans shall be the means of his fall (Job 5:13).
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