|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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul,.... Either another wicked man; for there is a difference among wicked men; some are outwardly happy in life, and in the circumstances of their death, as before described; and others are very unhappy in both; their life is a scene of afflictions which embitter life, and make death eligible; and in the midst of which they die, as well as oftentimes in bitter pains, and terrible agonies of body, as well as in great distress and horror of mind, and black despair, as Judas and others:
and never eateth with pleasure, or "of any good", or "any good thing" (y); either he has it not to eat, or what he has is not good, but like husks which swine eat, of which the prodigal would fain have filled his belly, when in extreme poverty, such as those words may describe; or else having what is good, has not an heart to eat of it; and so they describe a miser, living and dying such; see Ecclesiastes 6:2; or rather the case of a man, who, through distempers and diseases of body, has lost his appetite, and cannot with any pleasure taste of the richest dainties; see Job 33:20. Some (z) interpret this verse and Job 21:23 as what should be the case according to the sentiments of Job's friends, who objected, that God punished the iniquities of wicked men, not in their own persons, but in their children; according to which, a wicked man then should die in the perfection of happiness, without weakness or want, in all quietness, ease, peace, and prosperity; and not in poverty and distress: but as Job 21:23 respect a wicked man, and his case and circumstances at death, agreeably to the whole context; so this relates to those of a good man, whom the Lord often deals bitterly with in life, as he did with Naomi, and was now the case of Job; see Ruth 1:20; and who die in very poor and distressed circumstances; so that nothing is to be concluded from such appearances, with respect to the characters of men, as good or bad, and especially since both are brought into a like condition by death, as follows.
(y) "bonum", Pagninus, Mercerus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator & Bar Tzemach; "de bono", Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens. (z) Bar Tzemach.
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