Job 20:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
He will not enjoy the streams, the rivers flowing with honey and cream.

New Living Translation
They will never again enjoy streams of olive oil or rivers of milk and honey.

English Standard Version
He will not look upon the rivers, the streams flowing with honey and curds.

New American Standard Bible
"He does not look at the streams, The rivers flowing with honey and curds.

King James Bible
He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter.

Christian Standard Bible
He will not enjoy the streams, the rivers flowing with honey and curds.

Contemporary English Version
and never enjoy rivers flowing with milk and honey.

Good News Translation
They will not live to see rivers of olive oil or streams that flow with milk and honey.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He will not enjoy the streams, the rivers flowing with honey and cream.

International Standard Version
He won't look at the rivers— the torrents of honey and curd.

NET Bible
He will not look on the streams, the rivers, which are the torrents of honey and butter.

New Heart English Bible
He shall not look at the rivers, the flowing streams of honey and butter.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He won't be able to drink from the streams or from the rivers of honey and buttermilk.

JPS Tanakh 1917
He shall not look upon the rivers, The flowing streams of honey and curd.

New American Standard 1977
“He does not look at the streams, The rivers flowing with honey and curds.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter.

King James 2000 Bible
He shall not see the rivers, the brooks flowing with honey and butter.

American King James Version
He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter.

American Standard Version
He shall not look upon the rivers, The flowing streams of honey and butter.

Douay-Rheims Bible
(Let him not see the streams of the river, the brooks of honey and of butter.)

Darby Bible Translation
He shall not see streams, rivers, brooks of honey and butter.

English Revised Version
He shall not look upon the rivers, the flowing streams of honey and butter.

Webster's Bible Translation
He shall not see the river, the floods, the brooks of honey and buttermilk.

World English Bible
He shall not look at the rivers, the flowing streams of honey and butter.

Young's Literal Translation
He looketh not on rivulets, Flowing of brooks of honey and butter.
Study Bible
Zophar: Triumph of the Wicked Short-lived
16"He sucks the poison of cobras; The viper's tongue slays him. 17"He does not look at the streams, The rivers flowing with honey and curds. 18"He returns what he has attained And cannot swallow it; As to the riches of his trading, He cannot even enjoy them.…
Cross References
Genesis 18:8
He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate.

Deuteronomy 32:13
"He made him ride on the high places of the earth, And he ate the produce of the field; And He made him suck honey from the rock, And oil from the flinty rock,

Deuteronomy 32:14
Curds of cows, and milk of the flock, With fat of lambs, And rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats, With the finest of the wheat-- And of the blood of grapes you drank wine.

Job 29:6
When my steps were bathed in butter, And the rock poured out for me streams of oil!

Psalm 36:8
They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.
Treasury of Scripture

He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter.

shall not see

Numbers 14:23 Surely they shall not see the land which I swore to their fathers, …

2 Kings 7:2 Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, …

Jeremiah 17:6-8 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when …

Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send …

the rivers

Psalm 36:8,9 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of your house; …

Isaiah 41:17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their …

Jeremiah 17:6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when …

Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, …

floods. or, streaming brooks. of honey

Deuteronomy 32:13,14 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat …

2 Samuel 17:29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of cows, for David, …

Psalm 81:16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with …

Isaiah 7:15,22 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, …

(17) The brooks of honey and butter.--He uses language which might lead one to suppose he was familiar with the promise of Canaan, except that, as the phrase is not precisely identical it may perhaps rather show a community of proverbial language, and that the land flowing with milk and honey may have been an expression in use, and not one original with the Pentateuch.

Verse 17. - He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks. The wicked man shall suffer, not only positive pains, but what casuists call the peens damni, or "penalty of loss" - deprivation, in other words, of blessings which he would naturally have enjoyed but for his wickedness. Zophar here threatens him with the Joss of those paradisiacal delights which the Orientals associated with water in all its forms, whether as פּלגות, or "rills derived from larger streams," or as כהרי, "rivers," or as כחלי, "brooks" or "torrents," now strong and impetuous, now reduced to a mere thread These are said poetically to flow with honey and butter, not, of course, in any literal sense, such as Ovid may have meant, when, in describing the golden age, he said -

"Flumina jam lactis, jam fiumina nectaris ibant;"

(Metaph.,' 1:111.) but as fertilizing the land through which they ran, and so causing it to abound with bees and cattle, whence would be derived butter and honey. Compare the terms in which Canaan was described to the Israelites (Exodus 3:8, 17; Exodus 13:5; Deuteronomy 26:9, 15, etc.). He shall not see the rivers,.... Of water, or meet with any to assuage his thirst, which poison excites, and so makes a man wish for water, and desire large quantities; but this shall not be granted the wicked man; this might be illustrated in the case of the rich man in hell, who desired a drop of cold water to cool his tongue, but could not have it, Luke 16:24; though rather plenty of good things is here intended, see Isaiah 48:18; as also the following expressions:

the floods, the brooks of honey and butter; or "cream"; which are hyperbolical expressions, denoting the great profusion and abundance of temporal blessings, which either the covetous rich man was ambitious of obtaining, and hoped to enjoy, seeking and promising great things to himself, which yet he should never attain unto; or else the sense is, though he had enjoyed such plenty, and been in such great prosperity as to have honey and butter, or all temporal good things, flowing about him like rivers, and floods, and brooks; yet he should "see them no more", so Broughton reads the words; and perhaps Zophar may have respect to the abundance Job once possessed, but should no more, and which is by himself expressed by such like metaphors, Job 29:6; yea, even spiritual and eternal good things may be designed, and the plenty of them, as they often are in Scripture, by wine, and milk, and honey; such as the means of grace, the word and ordinances, the blessings of grace dispensed and communicated through them; spiritual peace and joy, called the rivers of pleasure; the love of God, and the streams of it, which make glad his people; yea, eternal glory and happiness, signified by new wine in the kingdom of God, and by a river of water of life, and a tree of life by it, see Isaiah 55:1; which are what carnal men and hypocrites shall never see or enjoy; and whereas Zophar took Job to be such a man, he may have a principal view to him, and object this to the beatific vision of God, and the enjoyment of eternal happiness he promised himself, Job 19:26. Bar Tzemach observes, that these words are to be read by a transposition thus, "he shall not see rivers of water, floods of honey, and brooks of butter". 17. floods—literally, "stream of floods," plentiful streams flowing with milk, etc. (Job 29:6; Ex 3:17). Honey and butter are more fluid in the East than with us and are poured out from jars. These "rivers" or water brooks are in the sultry East emblems of prosperity.20:10-22 The miserable condition of the wicked man in this world is fully set forth. The lusts of the flesh are here called the sins of his youth. His hiding it and keeping it under his tongue, denotes concealment of his beloved lust, and delight therein. But He who knows what is in the heart, knows what is under the tongue, and will discover it. The love of the world, and of the wealth of it, also is wickedness, and man sets his heart upon these. Also violence and injustice, these sins bring God's judgments upon nations and families. Observe the punishment of the wicked man for these things. Sin is turned into gall, than which nothing is more bitter; it will prove to him poison; so will all unlawful gains be. In his fulness he shall be in straits, through the anxieties of his own mind. To be led by the sanctifying grace of God to restore what was unjustly gotten, as Zaccheus was, is a great mercy. But to be forced to restore by the horrors of a despairing conscience, as Judas was, has no benefit and comfort attending it.
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