|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:17-26 Job had described the prosperity of wicked people; in these verses he opposes this to what his friends had maintained about their certain ruin in this life. He reconciles this to the holiness and justice of God. Even while they prosper thus, they are light and worthless, of no account with God, or with wise men. In the height of their pomp and power, there is but a step between them and ruin. Job refers the difference Providence makes between one wicked man and another, into the wisdom of God. He is Judge of all the earth, and he will do right. So vast is the disproportion between time and eternity, that if hell be the lot of every sinner at last, it makes little difference if one goes singing thither, and another sighing. If one wicked man die in a palace, and another in a dungeon, the worm that dies not, and the fire that is not quenched, will be the same to them. Thus differences in this world are not worth perplexing ourselves about.
Verse 24. - His breasts are full of milk; rather, his milk-pails, as in the margin. The main wealth of the time being cattle, the man whose milk-pails are always full is the prosperous man. And his bones are moistened with marrow. Being thus wealthy and prosperous, his body is fat and well nourished. Verse 24. - And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul. Others have to suffer terribly before death comes to them. Their whole life is wretched, and their spirit is embittered by their misfortunes. And never eateth with pleasure; rather, and never tasteth of good (see the Revised Version).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
His breasts are full of milk,.... As this is not literally true of men, some versions read the words otherwise; his bowels or intestines are full of fat, as the Vulgate Latin and Septuagint; and others, his sides or ribs are full of fat, as the Syriac and Arabic; the words for "side" and "fat" being near in sound to those here used; and so it describes a man fit and plump, and fleshy, when death lays hold upon him, and not wasted with consumptions and pining sickness, as in the case of some, Job 33:21; the word for breasts is observed by some (h) to signify, in the Arabic language, "vessels", in which liquors are contained, and in the Misnic language such as they put oil in, out of which oil is squeezed; and so are thought here to intend such vessels as are milked into; and therefore render it by milk pails; so Mr. Broughton, "his pails are full of milk" (i); which may denote the abundance of good things enjoyed by such persons, as rivers of honey and butter; contrary to Zophar's notion, Job 20:17; and a large increase of oil and wine, and all temporal worldly good; amidst the plenty of which such die:
and his bones are moistened with marrow; not dried up through a broken spirit, or with grief and trouble, and through the decays of old age; but, being full of marrow, are moist, and firm and strong; and so it intimates, that such, at the time when death seizes them, are of an hale, healthful, robust, and strong constitution; see Psalm 73:4.
(h) See Kimchi, Sepher Shorash. rad. and Jarchi and Ben Melech in loc. (i) "muletralia ejus", Montanus, Beza, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus, Bolducius, Drusius, Cocceius, Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. breasts—rather, "skins," or "vessels" for fluids [Lee]. But [Umbreit] "stations or resting-places of his herds near water"; in opposition to Zophar (Job 20:17); the first clause refers to his abundant substance, the second to his vigorous health.
moistened—comparing man's body to a well-watered field (Pr 3:8; Isa 58:11).
Job 21:24 Parallel Commentaries
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