|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:1-9 Zophar's discourse is upon the certain misery of the wicked. The triumph of the wicked and the joy of the hypocrite are fleeting. The pleasures and gains of sin bring disease and pain; they end in remorse, anguish, and ruin. Dissembled piety is double iniquity, and the ruin that attends it will be accordingly.
Verse 4. - Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth? These words scarcely "imply cognizance of the record (of the creation of man) in Genesis," as Canon Cook suggests; but they do imply belief in a creation of man, not an evolution; and in the existence of a continuous tradition, extending from that time to Job's. The passage is among those which make for the high antiquity of the book.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Knowest thou not this of old,.... Or "from eternity" (g), from the beginning of time, ever since the world was; as if he should say, if you are the knowing man you pretend to be, you must know this I am about to observe; and if you do not know it, you must be an ignorant man, since it is an ancient truth, confirmed by all experience from the creation; not that Job could know it so early, he was not the first man that was born, nor was he made before the hills, but was of yesterday, and comparatively knew nothing; but the sense is, that this about to be delivered was an old established maxim, of which there had been numerous instances,
since man, or "Adam",
was placed upon earth; referring to the putting of Adam in Eden to dress the garden, and keep it; and every man, ever since, is placed on earth by the ordination, and according to the will of God, where and for purposes he pleases: the instances Zophar might have in view are perhaps the expulsion of our first parents out of paradise, the vagabond state of Cain, the destruction of the old world by a flood, and of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire from heaven; which show that God, sooner or later, gives manifest tokens of his displeasure at sin and sinners, by his punishment of them for it. What he means is as follows.
(g) "ab aeterno", Junius & Tremellius, Drusius, Codurcus, Schmidt, Michaelis.
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