|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:7-11 Eliphaz argues, 1. That good men were never thus ruined. But there is one event both to the righteous and to the wicked, Ec 9:2, both in life and death; the great and certain difference is after death. Our worst mistakes are occasioned by drawing wrong views from undeniable truths. 2. That wicked men were often thus ruined: for the proof of this, Eliphaz vouches his own observation. We may see the same every day.
Verse 9. - By the blast of God they perish; rather, by the breath of God, as in Job 37:10. The word used (גִשְׁמָה) means always, as Professor Lee observes," a slight or gentle breathing." The slightest breath of God's displeasure is enough to destroy those against whom it is directed. And by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed. Here "blast" would be better than "breath," for רוח is a stronger word than נשׁמה. Similarly, רוח is a stronger word than יאבדו. The breath kills, the blast utterly consumes, transgressors.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
By the blast of God they perish,.... They and their works, the ploughers, sowers, and reapers of iniquity; the allusion is to the blasting of corn by the east wind, or by mildew, &c. having used the figures of ploughing and sowing before; and which is as soon and as easily done as corn, or anything else, is blasted in the above manner; and denotes the sudden and easy destruction of wicked men by the power of God, stirred up by his wrath and indignation, because of their sins; who when he blows a blast on their persons, substance, and families, they perish at once:
and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed; meaning his wrath and anger, which is like a stream of brimstone, and kindles a fire on the wicked, which are as fuel to it, and are soon consumed by it; the allusion is to breath in a man's nostrils, and the heat of his wrath and fury discovered thereby: some think this refers to Job's children being destroyed by the wind, see Isaiah 11:4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. breath of his nostrils—God's anger; a figure from the fiery winds of the East (Job 1:16; Isa 5:25; Ps 18:8, 15).
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