|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:8-19 Bildad discourses well of hypocrites and evil-doers, and the fatal end of all their hopes and joys. He proves this truth of the destruction of the hopes and joys of hypocrites, by an appeal to former times. Bildad refers to the testimony of the ancients. Those teach best that utter words out of their heart, that speak from an experience of spiritual and divine things. A rush growing in fenny ground, looking very green, but withering in dry weather, represents the hypocrite's profession, which is maintained only in times of prosperity. The spider's web, spun with great skill, but easily swept away, represents a man's pretensions to religion when without the grace of God in his heart. A formal professor flatters himself in his own eyes, doubts not of his salvation, is secure, and cheats the world with his vain confidences. The flourishing of the tree, planted in the garden, striking root to the rock, yet after a time cut down and thrown aside, represents wicked men, when most firmly established, suddenly thrown down and forgotten. This doctrine of the vanity of a hypocrite's confidence, or the prosperity of a wicked man, is sound; but it was not applicable to the case of Job, if confined to the present world.
Verse 19. - Behold, this is the joy of his way. Bitterly ironical - This is what his rapid and rampant greenery comes to; this is how his triumphant career ends! Utter destruction, disappearance, obliteration! And out of the earth shall others grow. The destruction leaves room for something better to follow - a sounder, healthier, and less short-lived growth.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, this is the joy of his way,.... Of the state and condition of the hypocrite, who, while he is in outward prosperity, exults and rejoices, but his joy is but short, it is but for a moment, Job 20:5; and this is what it comes to at last, and issues in, even entire destruction from his place; which, because it may seem strange and wonderful, and is worthy of notice and consideration, as well as to express a certainty of it, the word "behold" is prefixed; though this also is understood, by some, of good men who have much spiritual joy in their present state and condition, be it what it will; they have joy and peace in believing, even joy unspeakable, and full of glory; they have joy in the Lord, and in his ways in which they walk, when they have trouble in the world; they rejoice and even glory in tribulation, and are cheerful be they where they will, though removed from their native place and country; and especially this will be their case when they are transplanted from earth to heaven, the better and heavenly country:
and out of the earth shall others grow; in their room and stead; where the tall flourishing tree once stood, but now utterly destroyed, other trees should grow; signifying, either the children of the hypocrites and wicked men, that should spring up in their place and imitate them, and come to the same end; or rather such as were strangers to them, that should inherit their substance and estates; and it may be good men that should succeed them, and come into the possession of all their wealth, even such as were before in mean circumstances, and so may be said to come "out of the earth": it may be rendered, "out of another dust" or "earth shall they grow" (q); signifying, that the wicked should be utterly destroyed, they and theirs; and that such as were of another family, and as it were of another earth and country, should stand in their place; see Job 27:16; this may be interpreted of good men, who, though they die, others are raised up in their stead; God will have a seed to serve him as long as the sun and moon endure; though they are forced to fly from their native place, being persecuted, to strange cities, or removed into the heavenly regions, yet God raises up others to till up their places, and oftentimes out of other families, even of the ungodly, to support his cause and interest; and understanding the whole of truly righteous persons seems best to connect the sense with the following words.
(q) "de pulvere alio", Montanus, Bolducius, Cocceius; so the Targum; "de terra alia", Pagninus, Mercerus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. Bitter irony. The hypocrite boasts of joy. This then is his "joy" at the last.
and out of the earth—others immediately, who take the place of the man thus punished; not godly men (Mt 3:9). For the place of the weeds is among stones, where the gardener wishes no plants. But, ungodly; a fresh crop of weeds always springs up in the place of those torn up: there is no end of hypocrites on earth [Umbreit].
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