|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 20. - Terrors take hold on him as waters (comp. Job 18:11). Terrors sweep over the wicked man like a flood of waters - vague terrors with respect to the past, the present, and the future. He fears the vengeance of these whom he has oppressed and injured, the loss of his prosperity at any moment by a reverse of fortune, and a final retribution at the hand of God commensurate with his ill desert. He is at all times uneasy; sometimes he experiences a sudden rush upon him of such gloomy thoughts, which overwhelms him, and sweeps him away like a mighty stream. A tempest stealeth him away in the night. While he is off his guard, as it were, in the night, a sudden storm bursts on him, and removes him from his place.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Terrors take hold on him as waters,.... The terrors of death, and of an awful judgment that is to come after it; finding himself dying, death is the king of terrors to him, dreading not only the awful stroke of death itself, but of what is to follow upon it; or rather these terrors are those that seize the wicked man after death; perceiving what a horrible condition he is in, the terrors of a guilty conscience lay hold on him, remembering his former sins with all the aggravating circumstances of them; the terrors of the law's curses lighting upon him, and of the wrath and fury of the Almighty pouring out on him and surrounding him, and devils and damned spirits all about him. These will seize him "as waters", like a flood of waters, denoting the abundance of them, "terror on every side", a "Magormissabib", Jeremiah 20:3, will he be, and coming with great rapidity, with an irresistible force, and without ceasing, rolling one after another in a sudden and surprising manner:
a tempest stealeth him away in the night; the tempest of divine wrath, from which there is no shelter but the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ; this comes like a thief, suddenly and unexpectedly, and steals the wicked man out of this world; or rather from the judgment seat, and carries him into the regions of darkness, of horror and black despair, where he is surrounded with the aforesaid terrors; this is said to be in the night, to make it the more shocking and terrible, see Luke 12:19; and may have respect to that blackness that attends a tempest, and to that blackness of darkness reserved for wicked men, Jde 1:13.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. (Job 18:11; 22:11, 21). Like a sudden violent flood (Isa 8:7, 8; Jer 47:2): conversely (Ps 32:6).
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