Job 34:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
They die in an instant, in the middle of the night; the people are shaken and they pass away; the mighty are removed without human hand.

New Living Translation
In a moment they die. In the middle of the night they pass away; the mighty are removed without human hand.

English Standard Version
In a moment they die; at midnight the people are shaken and pass away, and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.

Berean Study Bible
They die in a moment, and at midnight; the people convulse and pass away; the mighty are removed without human hand.

New American Standard Bible
"In a moment they die, and at midnight People are shaken and pass away, And the mighty are taken away without a hand.

King James Bible
In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.

Christian Standard Bible
They die suddenly in the middle of the night; people shudder, then pass away. Even the mighty are removed without effort.

Contemporary English Version
Even powerful rulers die in the darkness of night when they least expect it, just like the rest of us.

Good News Translation
We may suddenly die at night. God strikes us down and we perish; he kills the mighty with no effort at all.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They die suddenly in the middle of the night; people shudder, then pass away. Even the mighty are removed without effort.

International Standard Version
"They die suddenly, in the middle of the night; people suffer seizures and pass away; even valiant men can be taken away— and not by human hands.

NET Bible
In a moment they die, in the middle of the night, people are shaken and they pass away. The mighty are removed effortlessly.

New Heart English Bible
In a moment they die, even at midnight. The people are shaken and pass away. The mighty are taken away without a hand.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They die suddenly in the middle of the night. People have seizures and pass away. Mighty people are taken away but not by human hands.

JPS Tanakh 1917
In a moment they die, even at midnight; The people are shaken and pass away, And the mighty are taken away without hand.

New American Standard 1977
“In a moment they die, and at midnight People are shaken and pass away, And the mighty are taken away without a hand.

Jubilee Bible 2000
In a moment they shall die, and the peoples shall be troubled at midnight and shall pass away; and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.

King James 2000 Bible
In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without a hand.

American King James Version
In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.

American Standard Version
In a moment they die, even at midnight; The people are shaken and pass away, And the mighty are taken away without hand.

Douay-Rheims Bible
They shall suddenly die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and they shall pass, and take away the violent without hand.

Darby Bible Translation
In a moment they die, even at midnight the people are convulsed and pass away; and the strong are taken away without hand.

English Revised Version
In a moment they die, even at midnight; the people are shaken and pass away, and the mighty are taken away without hand.

Webster's Bible Translation
In a moment they shall die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.

World English Bible
In a moment they die, even at midnight. The people are shaken and pass away. The mighty are taken away without a hand.

Young's Literal Translation
In a moment they die, and at midnight Shake do people, and they pass away, And they remove the mighty without hand.
Study Bible
Elihu Confirms God's Justice
19who is not partial to princes and does not favor rich over poor? For they are all the work of His hands. 20They die in a moment, and at midnight; the people convulse and pass away; the mighty are removed without human hand. 21For His eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees his every step.…
Cross References
Exodus 12:29
Now at midnight the LORD struck down every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner in the dungeon, as well as all the firstborn among the livestock.

Job 12:19
He leads priests away barefoot and overthrows the established.

Job 27:20
Terrors overtake him like a flood; a tempest sweeps him away in the night.

Job 34:25
Therefore, He recognizes their deeds; He overthrows them in the night and they are crushed.

Job 36:20
Do not long for the night, when people vanish from their homes.

Daniel 8:25
Through his craft and by his hand, he will cause deceit to prosper, and in his own mind he will make himself great. In a time of peace he will destroy many, and he will even stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be broken off, but not by human hands.

Treasury of Scripture

In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.

a moment

Psalm 73:19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly …

Isaiah 30:13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, …

Isaiah 37:38 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god…

Daniel 5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.

Luke 12:20 But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required …

Acts 12:23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave …

1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as …

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise …

troubled

Exodus 12:29,30 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn …

Isaiah 37:36 Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the …

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; …

Luke 17:26-29 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days …

the mighty shall be taken away. Heb. they shall take away the mighty. without

1 Samuel 25:37-39 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of …

1 Samuel 26:10 David said furthermore, As the LORD lives, the LORD shall smite him; …

Isaiah 10:16-19 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness…

Isaiah 30:30-33 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall …

Daniel 2:34,44,45 You saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote …

Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, This is the word of the …

(20) In a moment shall they die--i.e., "they all alike die, rich and poor together; the hour of death is not hastened for the poor nor delayed for the rich. They all alike die."

Even at midnight the people are troubled. . . .--It is hard to think that the writer did not know of Exodus 12:29. It is better to read these statements as habitual presents and not as futures: "In a moment they die, even at midnight--the people are shaken and pass away," &c.

Verse 20. - In a moment shall they die. All lie under the same law of death -

"Pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas
Regumque turres."


(Horace,'Od.,' 1:4, 11. 13, 14.) In a moment, whenever God wills, they pass from life and disappear, the rich equally with the needy, the powerful prince as much as the outcast and the beggar. And the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away. (comp. Exodus 12:29; 2 Kings 19:35). Such sudden catastrophes are infrequent; but it is within the power of God to produce them at any time. When they occur, they strikingly exemplify the equality of his dealings with all classes of men, since none escape (Exodus 11:5; Exodus 12:29). And the mighty shall be taken away without hand; i.e. without human agency (comp. Daniel 2:34). In a moment shall they die,.... Princes as well as the common people, rich men as well as poor; all must and do die, great and small, high and low, kings and peasants, rich and poor men, and sometimes suddenly; are struck dead at once, and without any previous notice, that night, that hour, that moment their souls are required of them. The Targum interprets this of the men of Sodom. And Mr. Broughton, in his margin, refers to the history of them in Genesis 19:1;

and the people shall be troubled at midnight; either the common people, when their kings and governors die; or the relations and friends of persons deceased; and this circumstance "at midnight" is added, which makes the scene more melancholy, awful, and shocking, when it happens at such a time. The above Targum understands it of the Egyptians, when their firstborn were slain, which was in the middle of the night; and Mr. Broughton refers in his margin to the same instance: but it is a question whether this affair ever came to the knowledge of Job and his friends, at least not so early as this controversy;

and pass away; not into another country, being taken and carried away captive; but pass away by death into their graves, and into another world. Sephorno interprets it of the destroying angel's passing over the tents of the Israelites, and not entering into them to smite them when they smote the firstborn of Egypt. But the former sense is best, see Psalm 37:36;

and the mighty shall be taken away without hand: without the hand of men, but by the immediate hand of God; not falling in battle, or in a common natural way by diseases, but by some judgment of God upon them: and the whole verse seems to be understood not of a natural death, or in the common way, but of sudden death in a way of judgment, from the immediate hand of God, and that upon the mighty and great men of the earth; which shows that he is no respecter of princes, see Daniel 8:25. 20. they—"the rich" and "princes" who offend God.

the people—namely, of the guilty princes: guilty also themselves.

at midnight—image from a night attack of an enemy on a camp, which becomes an easy prey (Ex 12:29, 30).

without hand—without visible agency, by the mere word of God (so Job 20:26; Zec 4:6; Da 2:34).34:16-30 Elihu appeals directly to Job himself. Could he suppose that God was like those earthly princes, who hate right, who are unfit to rule, and prove the scourges of mankind? It is daring presumption to condemn God's proceedings, as Job had done by his discontents. Elihu suggests divers considerations to Job, to produce in him high thoughts of God, and so to persuade him to submit. Job had often wished to plead his cause before God. Elihu asks, To what purpose? All is well that God does, and will be found so. What can make those uneasy, whose souls dwell at ease in God? The smiles of all the world cannot quiet those on whom God frowns.
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