|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 32. - Yet shall he be brought to the grave; rather, he moreover is borne (in pomp) to the grave. Even in death the advantage is still with the wicked man. He is borne in procession to the grave - a mausoleum or a family vault - by a long train of mourners, who weep and lament for him, and pay him funeral honours. The poor virtuous man, on the other hand, is hastily thrust under the soil. And shall remain in in the tomb; or shall keep watch over his tomb. The allusion is probably to the custom, common certainly in Egypt and Phoenicia, of carving a figure of the deceased on the lid of his sarcophagus, to keep as it were watch over the remains deposited within. The figure was sometimes accompanied by an inscription, denouncing curses on those who should dare to violate the tomb or disturb the remains (see 'Records of the Past,' vol. 9. pp. 112-114; and compare the author's 'History of Phoenicia,' pp. 393-395).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Yet shall he be brought to the grave,.... Or "and", "or yea he shall be brought", &c. (a); for the meaning is not, that though he is great in life he shall be brought low enough at death; for Job is still describing the grand figure wicked men make, even at death, as well as in life; for he is not only brought to the grave, as all men are, it being the house appointed for all living, and every man's long home; but the wicked rich man is brought thither in great funeral pomp, in great state, as the rich sinner was buried, Ecclesiastes 8:10; or "to the graves" (b), the place where many graves are, the place of the sepulchres of his ancestors; and in the chiefest and choicest of them he is interred, and has an honourable burial; not cast into a ditch, or buried with the burial of an ass, as Jehoiakim was, being cast forth beyond the gates of the city, Jeremiah 22:19; and shall remain in the tomb; quiet and undisturbed, when it has been the lot of others to have their bones taken out of their grave, and spread before the sun, see Jeremiah 8:1; and even some good men, who have had their graves dug up, their bones taken out and burnt, and their ashes scattered about, as was the case of that eminent man, John Wickliff, here in England. The word for "tomb" signifies an "heap" (c), and is sometimes used for an heap of the fruits of the earth; which has led some to think of the place of this man's interment being in the midst of a corn field; but the reason why a grave or tomb is so called is, because a grave, through a body or bodies being laid in it, rises up higher than the common ground; and if it has a tomb erected over it, that is no other than an heap of stones artificially put together; or it may be so called from the heaps of bodies one upon another in a grave, or vault, over which the tomb is, or where every part of the body is gathered and heaped (d); from this sense of the word some have given this interpretation of the passage, that the wicked man shall be brought to his grave, and abide there, after he has heaped up a great deal of wealth and riches in this world; which, though a truth, seems not to be intended here, any more than others taken from the different signification of the word translated "remain". It is observed by some to signify to "hasten" (e), from whence the almond tree, which hastens to put forth its bloom, has its name, Jeremiah 1:10; and so give this as the sense, that such a man, being of full age, is ripe for death, and, comes to his grave, or heap, like a shock of corn in its season. Others observe, that it signifies to "watch"; and so in the margin of our Bibles the clause is put, "he shall watch in the heap" (f), which is differently interpreted; by some, that he early and carefully provides himself a tomb, as Absalom in his lifetime set up a sepulchral pillar for himself, 2 Samuel 18:18; and Shebna the scribe, and Joseph of Arimathea, hewed themselves sepulchres out of the rock, Isaiah 22:15; and others think the allusion is either to statues upon tombs, as are still in use in our days, where they are placed as if they were watching over the tombs; or to bodies embalmed, according to the custom of the eastern countries, especially the Egyptians, which were set up erect in their vaults, and seemed as if they were alive, and there set to watch the places they were in, rather than as if buried there; or, according to others, "he shall be watched", or "the keeper shall watch at", or "over the tomb" (g), that the body is not disturbed or taken away; but the sense our version gives is best, and most agrees with the context, and the scope of it, and with what follows.
(a) "et ipse", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (b) "ad sepulchra", V. L. Montamus, Vatablus, Drusius, Beza, Mercerus, Michaelis, Schultens; "in sepulchra", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (c) "super acervo", Montanus, Codurcus; so Bolducius, Mercerus. (d) Vid. David de Pomis Lexic. fol. 14. 3.((e) "festinabit", Pagninus; so some in Vatablus, and Ben Melech. (f) "Vigilabit", V. L. Tigurine version, Montanus; "vigilat", Michaelis, Schultens; "erit tanquam vigil", Bolducius. (g) "Vigilabitur", Beza; "vigilatur", Cocceius; so Calovius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32. Yet—rather, "and."
brought—with solemn pomp (Ps 45:15).
grave—literally, "graves"; that is, the place where the graves are.
remain in—rather, watch on the tomb, or sepulchral mound. Even after death he seems still to live and watch (that is, have his "remembrance" preserved) by means of the monument over the grave. In opposition to Bildad (Job 18:17).
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