|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:5-14 Elihu here shows that God acts as righteous Governor. He is always ready to defend those that are injured. If our eye is ever toward God in duty, his eye will be ever upon us in mercy, and, when we are at the lowest, will not overlook us. God intends, when he afflicts us, to discover past sins to us, and to bring them to our remembrance. Also, to dispose our hearts to be taught: affliction makes people willing to learn, through the grace of God working with and by it. And further, to deter us from sinning for the future. It is a command, to have no more to do with sin. If we faithfully serve God, we have the promise of the life that now is, and the comforts of it, as far as is for God's glory and our good: and who would desire them any further? We have the possession of inward pleasures, the great peace which those have that love God's law. If the affliction fail in its work, let men expect the furnace to be heated till they are consumed. Those that die without knowledge, die without grace, and are undone for ever. See the nature of hypocrisy; it lies in the heart: that is for the world and the flesh, while perhaps the outside seems to be for God and religion. Whether sinners die in youth, or live long to heap up wrath, their case is dreadful. The souls of the wicked live after death, but it is in everlasting misery.
Verse 14. - They die in youth; literally, their soul dieth in youth. The result is that, while they are still young, the vital strength of their soul is sapped; they "come to a premature end, like youths who have destroyed the spring of life by licentiousness" (Cook). And their life is among the unclean. (On the particular "uncleanness" intended, see Deuteronomy 23:17.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They die in youth,.... They, or "their soul" (u); which, though that dies not, being immaterial and immortal; yet being the principal part of man, is put for the whole person, and which being taken away, the body dies. All men must die, but all do not die at an age; there is a common term of human life, Psalm 90:10; some few exceed it, multitudes arrive not to it; such who die before it may be said to die in youth; it seems to signify premature and untimely death: the word signifies an "excussion", or violent shaking out; and the Vulgate Latin version is, "in a tempest"; in a tempest of divine wrath, and in a storm in their consciences, Job 27:20. Jarchi interprets it by suffocation or strangling;
and their life is among the unclean: all men are by nature unclean, and all that is in them; some are more notoriously and openly so than others, who give themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness; such as whoremongers and fornicators, of whom Mr. Broughton understands those unclean persons; or Sodomites, of whom the word is sometimes used, Deuteronomy 23:17. And this may be understood either of the present life of hypocrites before they die; who are unclean persons themselves, whatever show of purity they make, and love to live and converse, at least privately, if not openly, with unclean persons, and die while they live with such and in their sins: or of their life after death; for wicked men live after death; their souls live in hell, and their bodies at the resurrection will be raised to life, and be reunited to their souls, and both together will live in endless punishment; and the life of hypocrites will be among such; as is a man in life, so he is at and after death; if filthy, filthy still; and such will have no admittance into the heavenly state, and with such impure ones, hypocrites will live for ever, Revelation 21:8.
(u) "anima eorum", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. Rather (De 23:17), Their life is (ended) as that of (literally, "among") the unclean, prematurely and dishonorably. So the second clause answers to the first. A warning that Job make not common cause with the wicked (Job 34:36).
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