|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 18. - He buildeth his house as a moth. The moth is the symbol of fragility, decay, and weakness. The wicked man's attempt to build himself up a house, and establish a powerful family, is no better than a moth's attempt to make itself a permanent habitation. As moths do not construct dwellings for themselves, it has been proposed (Merx) to read כעכבישׁ, "as a spider," for מעשׁ, "as a moth;" but the change is too great to be at all probable. May not the cocoon, from which the moth issues as. from a house, have been in Job's mind? The hawk-moth buries itself in a neat cave for the pupa stage; and there may have been even better examples in Uz. But we ourselves have not known these facts long, and therefore we need not be surprised to find Job making a mistake in natural history. And as a booth that the keeper maketh. Huts or lodges of boughs were set up in vineyards and orchards by those who had to watch them (see Isaiah 1:8; Lamentations 2:6). They were habitations of the weakest and frailest kind.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He buildeth his house as a moth,.... Which builds its house in a garment by eating into it, and so destroying it, and in time eats itself out of house and home, and however does not continue long in it, but is soon and easily shook out, or brushed off; so a wicked man builds himself an house, a stately palace, like Arcturus (l); so some render the words from Job 9:9, a palace among the stars, an heavenly palace and paradise, and expects it will continue for ever; but as he builds it with the mammon of unrighteousness, and to the prejudice and injury of others, and with their money, or what was due to them, so by his sins and iniquities he brings ruin and destruction upon himself and his family, so that his house soon falls to decay, and at least he and his posterity have but a short lived enjoyment of it. This may be applied in a figurative sense to the hypocrite's hope and confidence, which is like a spider's web, a moth eaten garment, and a house built upon the sand; the Septuagint version here adds, "as a spider", Job 8:13;
and as a booth that the keeper maketh; either a keeper of sheep, who sets up his tent in a certain place for a while, for the sake of pasturage, and then removes it, to which the allusion is, Isaiah 38:12; or a keeper of fruit, as the Targum, of gardens and orchards, that the fruit is not stolen; or of fig trees and vineyards, as Jarchi and Bar Tzemach, which is only a lodge or hut pitched for a season, until the fruit is gathered in, and then is taken down, see Isaiah 1:8; and it signifies here the short continuance of the house of the wicked man, which he imagined would continue for ever, Psalm 49:11.
(l) "quasi Arcturi", Junius & Tremellius; so Aben Ezra.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. (Job 8:14; 4:19). The transition is natural from "raiment" (Job 27:16) to the "house" of the "moth" in it, and of it, when in its larva state. The moth worm's house is broken whenever the "raiment" is shaken out, so frail is it.
booth—a bough-formed hut which the guard of a vineyard raises for temporary shelter (Isa 1:8).
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