Job 18:11
Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet.
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(11) Shall drive him to his feet.—Comp. Job 15:21. One feels very much tempted to understand this, as the English undoubtedly suggests, shall startle him to his feet, but the true meaning is, more probably, shall chase him at his heels.

Job 18:11-12. Terrors shall make him afraid — Both from men and from God, and also from his own unquiet mind and guilty conscience. And drive him to his feet — Shall force him to flee different ways, being safe nowhere, but pursued by terrors from place to place, which, as Houbigant renders it, shall be spread around his feet. His strength — Either his children, who are, and are called a man’s strength, Genesis 49:3; Psalm 127:4, or rather, his wealth, power, and prosperity; shall be hunger-bitten — Or famished, that is, utterly consumed. The Vulgate renders it, His strength shall be eaten by famine. And destruction shall be ready at his side — Shall attend him as a constant companion, or follow him at the heels as a diligent servant. Or, he may allude to an arrow fitted to a string, and ready to be discharged at him.

18:11-21 Bildad describes the destruction wicked people are kept for, in the other world, and which in some degree, often seizes them in this world. The way of sin is the way of fear, and leads to everlasting confusion, of which the present terrors of an impure conscience are earnests, as in Cain and Judas. Miserable indeed is a wicked man's death, how secure soever his life was. See him dying; all that he trusts to for his support shall be taken from him. How happy are the saints, and how indebted to the lord Jesus, by whom death is so far done away and changed, that this king of terrors is become a friend and a servant! See the wicked man's family sunk and cut off. His children shall perish, either with him or after him. Those who consult the true honour of their family, and its welfare, will be afraid of withering all by sin. The judgments of God follow the wicked man after death in this world, as a proof of the misery his soul is in after death, and as an earnest of that everlasting shame and contempt to which he shall rise in the great day. The memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot, Pr 10:7. It would be well if this report of wicked men would cause any to flee from the wrath to come, from which their power, policy, and riches cannot deliver them. But Jesus ever liveth to deliver all who trust in him. Bear up then, suffering believers. Ye shall for a little time have sorrow, but your Beloved, your Saviour, will see you again; your hearts shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh away.Terrors shall make him afraid - He shall be constantly subject to alarms, and shall never feel secure. "Terrors here are represented as allegorical persons, like the Furies in the Greek poets." Noyes. The idea here is substantially the same as that given by Eliphaz, Job 15:21-22.

And shall drive him to his feet - Margin, scatter. This is a literal translation of the Hebrew. The idea is, that he will be alarmed by such terrors; his self-composure will be dissipated, and he will "take to his heels."

11. Terrors—often mentioned in this book (Job 18:14; 24:17; &c.). The terrors excited through an evil conscience are here personified. "Magor-missabib" (Jer 20:3).

drive … to his feet—rather, "shall pursue" (literally, "scatter," Hab 3:14) him close "at his heels" (literally, "immediately after his feet," Hab 3:5; 1Sa 25:42; Hebrew). The image is that of a pursuing conqueror who scatters the enemy [Umbreit].

Terrors; both from men, and from God, and from his own unquiet mind and guilty conscience.

Shall drive him to his feet; shall force him to flee hither and thither, and he knows not whither, being secure and safe no where, but pursued by terrors from place to place.

Terrors shall make him afraid on every side,.... Make him a "Magormissabib", or "terror on every side", as Pashur was a terror to himself, Jeremiah 20:3, and all his friends about him; these terrors may be either the terrors of the judges of the earth upon wicked men, who are, or should be, a terror to evildoers, and of whom wicked men are afraid, lest they should be taken and punished by them; to this sense is the note of Sephorno: or else the terrors of a guilty conscience, which drive a man to his wits' end, that he knows not what to do, nor whither to go; these terrify him night and day, and make an hell upon earth unto him; or the terrors of the righteous law of God broken by him, its menaces and curses threatening him with death and everlasting damnation; or the terrors of the judgments of God on earth, which by their forerunners appear to be coming on it, by reason of which men's hearts fail for fear of them; or terrible apprehensions of the wrath of God for sin, here and hereafter, together with the terrors of death, which fall upon them, and of an awful judgment yet to come. Now Bildad had observed, that Job had said some things concerning the terrors he was sometimes possessed of, Job 6:4; and therefore would suggest from hence that he must be a wicked man, since this is the case of such; but it is easy to observe that good men are sometimes surrounded with terrors as well as others, so that this is no proof of a man's character and state, see Psalm 88:15;

and shall drive him to his feet; to take to his feet and run, in order to get rid of his terrors if possible, but in vain; these cause him not to run to God, to his feet, to the throne and footstool of his grace, but from him, to the rocks and mountains to hide him from his wrath, though there is no going from his spirit, nor fleeing from his presence; and terrors will also have such an effect upon wielded men as to cause them to flee from men, as in Cain, who not only went, from the presence of the Lord, but from the society of men, and became a fugitive and vagabond, and afraid of everyone he met with, lest he should kill him; and sometimes wicked men flee when none pursue, and even at the sound of shaking leaf, Proverbs 28:1; or "shall scatter him at his feet" (t), either at the feet of the robber, or cause him to fall to the ground, in the place where his feet stood. Mr. Broughton renders it, "shall press him at his feet", shall follow at his heels, and keep close to him wherever he goes, and overtake and seize him.

(t) "dispergent eum", Pagninus, Montanus, Beza, Mercerus, Piscator, Schmidt.

Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet.
11. This verse does not seem to give a picture of the sinner’s conscience, but rather of his consciousness at last. The preceding verses described how he walked on snares unwitting that they were there; now he awakens to the perception of his condition, he feels the complications that surround him, and would flee from the terrors that he has come to realize.

and shall drive him to his feet] Rather, and drive him away at his heels. A spectral host of terrors pursue close behind him.

Verse 11. - Terrors shall make him afraid on every side. Vague fears, panic terrors, no longer subjective, but to his bewildered brain objective, shall seem to menace the wicked man on every side, and shall affright him continually. There is an allusion, doubtless, to what Job has said of the gloomy and terrifying thoughts which come over him from time to time (Job 3:25; Job 7:14; Job 9:28; Job 13:21) and fill him with consternation. And shall drive him to his feet; rather, shall chase him at his heels (see the Revised Version). Like a pack of hounds, or wolves, or jackals. Jackals are common in Palestine and the adjacent countries. They hunt in lacks, and generally run down their prey; but do not, unless hard pressed by hunger, attack men. Job 18:11 8 For he is driven into the net by his own feet,

And he walketh over a snare.

9 The trap holdeth his heel fast,

The noose bindeth him.

10 His snare lieth hidden in the earth,

His nets upon the path;

11 Terrors affright him on every side,

And scare him at every step.

The Pual שׁלּח signifies not merely to be betrayed into, but driven into, like the Piel, Job 30:12, to drive away, and as it is to be translated in the similar passage in the song of Deborah, Judges 5:15 : "And as Issachar, Barak was driven (i.e., with desire for fighting) behind him down into the valley (the place of meeting under Mount Tabor);" בּרגליו, which there signifies, according to Judges 4:10; Judges 8:5, "upon his feet equals close behind him," is here intended of the intermediate cause: by his own feet he is hurried into the net, i.e., against his will, and yet with his own feet he runs into destruction. The same thing is said in Job 18:8; the way on which he complacently wanders up and down (which the Hithp. signifies here) is שׂבכה, lattice-work, here a snare (Arab. schabacah, a net, from שׂבך, schabaca, to intertwine, weave), and consequently will suddenly break in and bring him to ruin. This fact of delivering himself over to destruction is established in apocopated futt. (Job 18:9) used as praes., and without the voluntative signification in accordance with the poetic licence: a trap catches a heel (poetic brevity for: the trap catches his heel), a noose seizes upon him, עליו (but with the accompanying notion of overpowering him, which the translation "bind" is intended to express). Such is the meaning of צמּים here, which is not plur., but sing., from צמם (Arab. ḍmm), to tie, and it unites in itself the meanings of snare-layer (Job 5:5) and of snare; the form (as אבּיר, אדּיר) corresponds more to the former, but does not, however, exclude the latter, as תּנּין and לפּיד (λαμπάς) show.

The continuation in Job 18:10 of the figure of the fowler affirms that that issue of his life (Job 18:9) has been preparing long beforehand; the prosperity of the evil-doer from the beginning tends towards ruin. Instead of חבלו we have the pointing חבלו, as it would be in Arab. in a similar sense hhabluhu (from hhabl, a cord, a net). The nearer destruction is now to him, the stronger is the hold which his foreboding has over him, since, as Job 18:11 adds, terrible thoughts (בּלּהות) and terrible apparitions fill him with dismay, and haunt him, following upon his feet. לרגליו, close behind him, as Genesis 30:30; 1 Samuel 25:42; Isaiah 41:2; Habakkuk 3:5. The best authorized pointing of the verb is והפיצהוּ, with Segol (Ges. 104, 2, c), Chateph-Segol, and Kibbutz. Except in Habakkuk 3:14, where the prophet includes himself with his people, הפיץ, diffundere, dissipare (vid., Job 37:11; Job 40:11), never has a person as its obj. elsewhere. It would also probably not be used, but for the idea that the spectres of terror pursue him at every step, and are now here, now there, and his person is as it were multiplied.

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