|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-6 Job comes closer to the question in dispute. This was, Whether outward prosperity is a mark of the true church, and the true members of it, so that ruin of a man's prosperity proves him a hypocrite? This they asserted, but Job denied. If they looked upon him, they might see misery enough to demand compassion, and their bold interpretations of this mysterious providence should be turned into silent wonder.
Verses 1-34. - Job answers Zophar, as he had answered Bildad, in a single not very lengthy chapter. After a few caustic introductory remarks (vers. 2-4), he takes up the challenge which Zophar had thrown out, respecting the certain punishment, in this life, of the wicked (Job 20:4-29), and maintains, "in language of unparalleled boldness" (Cook), the converse of the proposition. The wicked, he says, live, grow old, attain to great power, have a numerous and flourishing offspring, prosper, grow rich, spend their time in feasting and jollity - nay, openly renounce God and decline to pray to him - yet suffer no harm, and when they die, go down to the grave without suffering, "in a moment" (vers. 5-15). To the suggestion that from time to time they are cut off suddenly in a signal way, he answers, "How often is this?" or rather, "How seldom!" (vers. 17, 18). To the further suggestion that they are punished in their children he replies, "How much better if they were punished in their own persons!" (vers. 19-21). As it is, he argues, one event happens to all (vers. 23-26). In conclusion, he observes that common opinion supports his view (vers. 29-33), and denounces as futile the attempts of his comforters to convince him, since his views and theirs respecting the facts of God's government are diametrically opposed to each other (ver. 34). Verses 1, 2. - But Job answered and said, Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations. As ye have no other consolation to offer me, at least attend diligently to what I say. That will be some comfort to me, and I will accept it in lieu of the consolations which I might have looked for at your hands.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But Job answered and said. In reply to what Zophar had asserted, concerning the prosperity of the wicked being only for a short time, Job 20:5; the contrary to which he most clearly proves, and that in many instances their prosperity continues as long as they live; that they die in it, and it is enjoyed by their posterity after them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Job 21:1-34. Job's Answer.
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