|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
49:15-20 Believers should not fear death. The distinction of men's outward conditions, how great soever in life, makes none at death; but the difference of men's spiritual states, though in this life it may seem of small account, yet at and after death is very great. The soul is often put for the life. The God of life, who was its Creator at first, can and will be its Redeemer at last. It includes the salvation of the soul from eternal ruin. Believers will be under strong temptation to envy the prosperity of sinners. Men will praise thee, and cry thee up, as having done well for thyself in raising an estate and family. But what will it avail to be approved of men, if God condemn us? Those that are rich in the graces and comforts of the Spirit, have something of which death cannot strip them, nay, which death will improve; but as for worldly possessions, as we brought nothing into the world, so it is certain that we shall carry nothing out; we must leave all to others. The sum of the whole matter is, that it can profit a man nothing to gain the whole world, to become possessed of all its wealth and all its power, if he lose his own soul, and is cast away for want of that holy and heavenly wisdom which distinguishes man from the brutes, in his life and at his death. And are there men who can prefer the lot of the rich sinner to that of poor Lazarus, in life and death, and to eternity? Assuredly there are. What need then we have of the teaching of the Holy Ghost; when, with all our boasted powers, we are prone to such folly in the most important of all concerns!
Verse 19. - He shall go to the generation of his fathers. In the Hebrew it is "thou shalt go," or "it (the soul) shall go;" but the meaning is well expressed by the Authorized Version. However much the wicked man delights in his life, and clings to it, nevertheless he has to die (ver. 10), to join the "generations of his fathers," to go where they have gone before him. And, once in Sheol (ver. 14), they shall never see light. God will redeem the soul of the righteous from the power of Sheol (ver. 15); but the rich ungodly man, and those to whom he goes - men of his sort - shall for evermore not see light.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He shall go to the generation of his fathers,.... Be gathered to them at death; or "to the dwelling place of his fathers" (m); either the grave, or hell, or both; the habitation of his wicked ancestors: unless the words be rendered, as they are by some, though "he shall come to the age of his fathers" (n); live as long as they have done; yet he must die at last, and leave all behind, as they have done;
they shall never see light; neither he nor his fathers; they shall never see light of the sun any more, nor return to the light of the living, but shall lie in the dark and silent grave until the resurrection; or rather, they shall never enjoy eternal light, glory, and happiness. The ultimate state of glory is sometimes expressed by "light"; John 8:12; this the people of God, such who are made light in the Lord, and are the children of the day, shall see; but wicked men shall not; they will be cast into outer darkness, where are weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
(m) "ad habitationem", Gejerus. (n) "Usque ad aetatem", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
Psalm 49:19 Parallel Commentaries
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