|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:27-34 Job opposes the opinion of his friends, That the wicked are sure to fall into visible and remarkable ruin, and none but the wicked; upon which principle they condemned Job as wicked. Turn to whom you will, you will find that the punishment of sinners is designed more for the other world than for this, Jude 1:14,15. The sinner is here supposed to live in a great deal of power. The sinner shall have a splendid funeral: a poor thing for any man to be proud of the prospect of. He shall have a stately monument. And a valley with springs of water to keep the turf green, was accounted an honourable burial place among eastern people; but such things are vain distinctions. Death closes his prosperity. It is but a poor encouragement to die, that others have died before us. That which makes a man die with true courage, is, with faith to remember that Jesus Christ died and was laid in the grave, not only before us, but for us. That He hath gone before us, and died for us, who is alive and liveth for us, is true consolation in the hour of death.
Verse 28. - For ye say, Where is the house of the prince? i.e. "What has become of the house of the powerful man (Job himself)? How is it fallen and gone to decay!" And whore are the dwelling-places (literally, the tent of the habitations) of the wicked! Again Job is intended, although the insult is veiled by the plural form being used. Job supposes that his opponents will meet his statement, that the righteous are afflicted and the wicked prosper, by pointing to his own case as one in which wickedness has been punished.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For ye say,.... Or "have said", or "I know that ye say"; or "that ye are about to say" (a); it is in your hearts and minds, and just ready to come out of your lips, and what you will say next:
where is the house of the prince? of the righteous man, as the Syriac and Arabic versions; or "of the good and liberal man", as others (b); of such as are of a princely and ingenuous spirit, who are made willing, free, or princes, in the day of the power of the grace of God upon them; and are endowed and upheld with a free and princely spirit; where is the house, or what is the state and condition, of the families of such? are they the same with that of wicked men in the next clause? is there no difference between the one and the other? according to your way of reasoning, Job, there should not be any: or else this is to be understood rather of a wicked and tyrannical prince, who has built himself a stately palace, which he fancied would continue for ever; but where is it now? it lies in ruins; having respect perhaps to some noted prince of those times: or rather either to Job himself, who had been a prince, and the greatest man in all the east, but in what condition were his house and family now? or else to his eldest son, whose house was blown down with a violent wind:
and where are the dwelling places of the wicked? of the mighty men before the flood, which are now overthrown by it; or of the king and princes, and nobles, and great men of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain destroyed by fire and brimstone from heaven; or of Job, his tent or tabernacle, and the several apartments in it; or of the rest of his children and servants, respecting rather, as before observed, the state and condition of his family, than his material house: these questions are answered by putting others.
(a) "vos dicere", Junius & Tremellius; "nempe vos dicturos", Piscator; so Schmidt, Schultens. (b) "liberalis", Montanus; "boni et liberalis hominis", Tigurine version; "ingenui", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. ye say—referring to Zophar (Job 20:7).
the house—referring to the fall of the house of Job's oldest son (Job 1:19) and the destruction of his family.
prince—The parallel "wicked" in the second clause requires this to be taken in a bad sense, tyrant, oppressor (Isa 13:2), the same Hebrew, "nobles"—oppressors.
dwelling-places—rather, "pavilions," a tent containing many dwellings, such as a great emir, like Job, with many dependents, would have.
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