Job 15:30
He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) He shall not depart out of darkness.—See Job 15:22. “By the breath of his mouth shall he go away.” What this means is not very clear: probably as in Job 11:20; or, “When he expires it shall be the end of him; he shall leave nothing permanent that is destined to last;” or, “He shall pass away suddenly and completely, like his own breath.”

Job 15:30. He shall not depart out of darkness — His misery shall have no end. The flame — God’s anger and judgment upon him. Shall dry up his branches — His wealth, and power, and glory, wherewith he was encompassed, as trees are with their branches. By the breath of his mouth, &c. — This expression intimates, with how much ease God subdueth his enemies: his word, his blast, one act of his will, is sufficient. Shall he go away — Hebrew, go back: that is, run away from God faster than he ran upon him, Job 15:26. So it is a continuation of the former metaphor of a conflict between two persons.

15:17-35 Eliphaz maintains that the wicked are certainly miserable: whence he would infer, that the miserable are certainly wicked, and therefore Job was so. But because many of God's people have prospered in this world, it does not therefore follow that those who are crossed and made poor, as Job, are not God's people. Eliphaz shows also that wicked people, particularly oppressors, are subject to continual terror, live very uncomfortably, and perish very miserably. Will the prosperity of presumptuous sinners end miserably as here described? Then let the mischiefs which befal others, be our warnings. Though no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. No calamity, no trouble, however heavy, however severe, can rob a follower of the Lord of his favour. What shall separate him from the love of Christ?He shall not depart out of darkness - He shall not escape from calamity; see Job 15:22. He shall not be able to rise again, but shall be continually poor.

The flame shall dry up his branches - As the fire consumes the green branches of a tree, so shall punishment do to him. This comparison is very forcible, and the idea is, that the man who has been prospered as a tree shall be consumed - as the fire consumes a tree when it passes through the branches. The comparison of a prosperous man with a tree is very common, and very beautiful. Thus, the Psalmist says,

I have seen the wicked in great power,

And spreading himself like a green bay tree. Psalm 37:35.

Compare Psalm 92:12-13. The aged Skenandoah - a chief of the Oneida tribe of Indians, said," I am an aged hemlock. The winds of an hundred winters have whistled through my branches. I am dead at the top. My branches are falling," etc.

And by the breath of his mouth shall he go away - That is, by the breath of the mouth of God. God is not indeed specified, but it is not unusual to speak of him in this manner. The image here seems to be that of the destruction of a man by a burning wind or by lightning. As a tree is dried up, or is rent by lightning, or is torn up from the roots by a tempest sent by the Deity, so the wicked will be destroyed.

30. depart—that is, escape (Job 15:22, 23).

branches—namely, his offspring (Job 1:18, 19; Ps 37:35).

dry up—The "flame" is the sultry wind in the East by which plants most full of sap are suddenly shrivelled.

his mouth—that is, God's wrath (Isa 11:4).

He shall not depart out of darkness; his misery shall have no end.

The flame; God’s anger and judgment upon him.

His branches; either,

1. His children; or,

2. Wealth, and power, and glory, wherewith he was encompassed, and adorned, and secured, as trees are with their branches.

Of his mouth, i.e. of God’s mouth, as appears both by comparing this with Job 15:25, where God is expressed as the adversary with whom this wicked wretch contendeth; and by the nature of the thing, and the whole context, all this man’s calamities being manifestly the effects of God’s anger; and by other places of Scripture, where the breath of God’s mouth or lips are mentioned as that whereby he destroyeth wicked men; as Job 4:9 Isaiah 11:4 2 Thessalonians 2:8. And this expression intimates to us with how much facility God subdueth his enemies; he needs no arms or instruments; his word, his blast, one act of his will, is more than sufficient to do it.

Shall he go away, Heb. go back, i.e. retreat and run away from God faster than he did run towards and upon him, Job 15:26. So it is a continuation of the former metaphor of a battle or conflict between two persons.

He shall not depart out of darkness,.... Out of the darkness of poverty, calamity, and distress he comes into, and, indeed, he despairs of it himself, as in Job 15:22; and in a spiritual sense he departs not out of the darkness of sin, out of the dark state of unregeneracy; nor will he depart out of the blackness and darkness reserved for him hereafter, when he is once come into it:

the flame shall dry up his branches; alluding either to a violent drought and heat, which dries up pastures, herbs, and trees, and the branches of them; or to a wind, as the Septuagint, a burning wind, in the eastern countries, which consumed all green things; or to a flash of lightning, which shatters, strips, and destroys branches of trees: here it may signify the wrath of God, like a flame of fire consuming the wealth and substance, and families, of wicked men; whose children particularly may be compared to branches, and so respect may be had to Job's children, who were suddenly destroyed by a violent wind, which threw down the house in which they were:

and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away; out of the world, a phrase expressive of death; either because of the breath of his own mouth, as some in Jarchi, because of his blasphemies against God and his people, because of his cursing and swearing his mouth is full of, and the many vain, foolish, and idle words which come out of it, and for which he will be condemned; or rather

"by the breath of the mouth of God,''

as the Targum; either according to his purpose and decree, and by his order, and the word that goes out of his mouth; the wicked man shall be obliged to depart out of the world at once, being struck dead by him, as Ananias and Sapphira were; or by his powerful wrath and vengeance, whose breath is as a stream of brimstone, and with which he will slay the wicked of the earth, and particularly will consume the wicked one, antichrist, even with the spirit of his mouth, and with the brightness of his coming, Isaiah 11:4.

He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
30. Advance on Job 15:29, describing the sinner’s actual destruction. The figures are common; on darkness, cf. Job 15:22-23; the flame is the scorching sun or glowing wind; breath of his mouth, i. e., God’s mouth, cf. ch. Job 4:9.

Verse 30. - He shall not depart out of darkness (comp. ver. 23, where the wicked man is threatened with "a day of darkness"). When the darkness once falls, it shall continue; there shall be no escaping out of it The flame shall dry up his branches; rather, a flame. The "flame" intended seems to be the wrath of God. ' And by the breath of his mouth; i.e. "of God's mouth" (comp. Job 4:9). Shall he go away; or, pass away; i.e. disappear, be consumed, perish. Job 15:3025 Because he stretched out his hand against God,

And was insolent towards the Almighty;

26 He assailed Him with a stiff neck,

With the thick bosses of his shield;

27 Because he covered his face with his fatness,

And addeth fat to his loins,

28 And inhabited desolated cities,

Houses which should not be inhabited,

Which were appointed to be ruins.

29 He shall not be rich, and his substance shall not continue

And their substance boweth not to the ground.

30 He escapeth not darkness;

The flame withereth his shoots;

And he perisheth in the breath of His mouth.

continued...

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