|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:11-23 Job's friends, on the same subject, spoke of the misery of wicked men before death as proportioned to their crimes; Job considered that if it were not so, still the consequences of their death would be dreadful. Job undertook to set this matter in a true light. Death to a godly man, is like a fair gale of wind to convey him to the heavenly country; but, to a wicked man, it is like a storm, that hurries him away to destruction. While he lived, he had the benefit of sparing mercy; but now the day of God's patience is over, and he will pour out upon him his wrath. When God casts down a man, there is no flying from, nor bearing up under his anger. Those who will not now flee to the arms of Divine grace, which are stretched out to receive them, will not be able to flee from the arms of Divine wrath, which will shortly be stretched out to destroy them. And what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and thus lose his own soul?
Verse 14. - If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword. Among the items of prosperity which Job had assigned to the wicked man in one of his previous discourses (Job 21:8, 11) was a numerous and flourishing offspring. Now he feels forced to admit that, frequently at any rate, this flourishing offspring is overtaken by calamity (Job 21:19) - it falls by the sword, either in predatory warfare, to which it was bred up, or as the consequence of a blood-feud inherited from its progenitor. They who "take the sword," either in their own persons or in their posterity, "perish with the sword." And his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. If they escape this fate, then, mostly, they fall into poverty, and suffer want, no one caring to relieve them, since they have an ill reputation, the memory of their parent's wickedness clinging to them long after his decease.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If his children be multiplied,.... As it is possible they may; this is one external blessing common to good men and bad men. Haman, that proud oppressor, left ten sons behind him, and wicked Ahab had seventy, Esther 9:12,
it is for the sword; for them that kill with the sword, as the Targum; to be killed with it, as in the two instances above; Haman's ten sons were slain by the sword of the Jews, Esther 9:13, and Ahab's seventy sons by the sword of Jehu, or those he ordered to slay them, 2 Kings 10:7. The children of such wicked persons are oftentimes put to death, either by the sword of the enemy, fall in battle in an hostile way, which is one of God's four sore judgments, Ezekiel 14:21; or, leading a most wicked life, commit such capital crimes as bring them into the hand of the civil magistrate, who bears not the sword in vain, but is the minister of God, a revengeful executioner of wrath on wicked men; or else they die by the sword of the murderer, being brought into the world for such, and through their riches become their prey, Hosea 9:13; or if neither of these is the case, yet they at last, let them prosper as they will, fall a sacrifice to the glittering sword of divine justice, whetted and drawn in wrath against them; the sword of the enemy seems chiefly intended:
and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread; such of them as die not by the sword shall perish by famine, which is another of God's sore judgments; though this may respect the grandchildren of wicked men, whom God visits to the third and fourth generation; the Targum paraphrases it, his children's children, and so Sephorno; to which agrees the Vulgate Latin version: the sense is, that the posterity of such wicked men, when they are dead and gone, shall be so reduced as to beg their bread, and shall not have a sufficiency of that for the support of nature, but shall die for want of food.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. His family only increases to perish by sword or famine (Jer 18:21; Job 5:20, the converse).
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