Job 18:18
He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world.
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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.He shall be driven from light into darkness - Margin, "They shall drive him." The meaning is, that he should be driven from a state of prosperity to one of calamity.

And chased out of the world - Perhaps meaning that he should not be conducted to the grave with the slow and solemn pomp of a respectful funeral, but in a hurry - as a malefactor is driven from human life, and hastily commited to the earth. The living would be glad to be rid of him, and would "chase" him out of life.

18. light … darkness—existence—nonexistence. He shall be driven, Heb. they shall drive him, i.e. his enemies, or those whom he hath oppressed; or they whom God shall appoint to do it, whether angels or men. Or it is an impersonal speech, and to be rendered passively, as it is also Job 7:3 Luke 12:20 16:9.

From light into darkness; from a splendid and prosperous life to disgrace and misery, and to the grave, the land of darkness and forgetfulness, as the following words explain it.

He shall be driven from light into darkness,.... Either from the light of outward prosperity, formerly enjoyed by him, into the darkness of adversity; or rather from the light of the living, the light of the present life, to the darkness of death, and the grave, the land of darkness, and of the shadow of death, Job 10:21; and even into utter darkness, blackness of darkness, the darkness of hell, eternal darkness; opposed to the light of the divine Presence, and the inheritance of the saints in light, possessed by them to all eternity; which the wicked man is deprived of, and will have no share in, but shall be driven from the presence of God, and by him; for so the words may be rendered, "they shall drive him" (n), God, Father, Son, and Spirit; God by the east wind and storm of his wrath shall carry him away, and hurl him out of his place, and shall cast the fury of his wrath on him, and not spare, nor shall he flee out of his hands, though he fain would, Job 27:21; or the angels, good or bad, shall drive him into endless torments, or shall, by the divine order, take him and cast him into outward darkness, where are weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth; thus are the wicked driven against their will, and must go whether they will or not, and, like beasts to the slaughter, are driven in their wickedness, in order to suffer the punishment due unto it, when the righteous hath hope in his death, Proverbs 14:32;

and chased out of the world; or cast out of it, as an unclean or excommunicated person, of which the word here is sometimes used (o); and not only chased out of his own place, out of his own house, and out of his own country, but even out of the world, so as to have no place any more in it, see Job 20:8.

(n) "expellent eum", Pagninus, Montanus; so Tigurine version, Vatablus, Mercerus, Drusius, Schultens, Cocceius, Schmidt. (o) "excommunicabunt cum", Schmidt, Michaelis; so Codurcus.

He shall be driven from {m} light into darkness, and chased out of the world.

(m) He will fall from prosperity to adversity.

18. He shall be driven] lit. they shall drive (or, they drive) him. The subject is mankind, men; and the sinner himself is referred to, hardly, his name (Job 18:17).

18–20. Men’s horror of his fate and memory.

Bildad now introduces the moral instinct of mankind and the part it takes in the sinner’s downfall. The words go back somewhat on the ideas of the previous verses.

Verse 18. - He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world (comp. Job 10:21, 22; Job 17:16). What Job represents as a welcome retreat, whither he would gladly withdraw himself, Bildad depicts as a banishment, into which he will be driven on account of his sins. Job 18:1816 His roots wither beneath,

And above his branch is lopped off.

17 His remembrance is vanished from the land,

And he hath no name far and wide on the plain;

18 They drive him from light into darkness,

And chase him out of the world.

19 He hath neither offspring nor descendant among his people,

Nor is there an escaped one in his dwellings.

The evil-doer is represented under the figure of a plant, Job 18:16, as we have had similar figures already, Job 8:16., Job 15:30, Job 15:32.;

(Note: To such biblical figures taken from plants, according to which root and branch are become familiar in the sense of ancestors and descendants (comp. Sir. 23:25, 40:15; Wisd. 4:3-5; Romans 11:16), the arbor consanguineitatis, which is not Roman, but is become common in the Christian refinement of the Roman right, may be traced back; the first trace of this is found in Isidorus Hispalensis (as also the Cabbalistic tree אילן, which represents the Sephir-genealogy, has its origin in Spain).)

his complete extirpation is like the dying off of the root and of the branch, as Amos 2:9; Isaiah 5:24, and "let him not have a root below and a branch above" in the inscription on the sarcophagus of Eschmunazar. Here we again meet with ימּל, the proper meaning of which is so disputed; it is translated by the Targ. (as by us) as Niph. יתמולל, but the meaning "to wither" is near at hand, which, as we said on Job 14:2, may be gained as well from the primary notion "to fall to pieces" (whence lxx ἐπιπεσεῖται), as from the primary notion "to parch, dry." אמל (whence אמלל, formed after the manner of the Arabic IX. form, usually of failing; vid., Caspari, 59) offers a third possible explanation; it signifies originally to be long and lax, to let anything hang down, and thence in Arab. (amala) to hope, i.e., to look out into the distance. Not the evil-doer's family alone is rooted out, but also his memory. With חוּץ, a very relative notion, both the street outside in front of the house (Job 31:32), and the pasture beyond the dwelling (Job 5:10), are described; here it is to be explained according to Proverbs 8:26 (ארץ וחוצות), where Hitz. remarks: "The lxx translates correctly ἀοικήτους. The districts beyond each persons' land, which also belong to no one else, the desert, whither one goes forth, is meant." So ארץ seems also here (comp. Job 30:8) to denote the land that is regularly inhabited - Job himself is a large proprietor within the range of a city (Job 29:7) - and חוץ the steppe traversed by the wandering tribes which lies out beyond. Thus also the Syr. version transl. 'al apai barito, over the plain of the desert, after which the Arabic version is el-barrı̂je (the synon. of bedw, bâdije, whence the name of the Beduin

(Note: The village with its meadow-land is el-beled wa 'l-berr. The arable land, in distinction from the steppe, is el-ardd el-âmira, and the steppe is el-berrı̂je. If both are intended, ardd can be used alone. Used specially, el-berrı̂je is the proper name for the great Syrian desert; hence the proverb: el-hhurrı̂je fi 'l-berrı̇je, there is freedom in the steppe (not in towns and villages). - Wetzst.)).

What is directly said in Job 18:17 is repeated figuratively in Job 18:18; as also what has been figuratively expressed in Job 18:16 is repeated in Job 18:19 without figure. The subj. of the verbs in Job 18:18 remains in the background, as Job 4:19; Psalm 63:11; Luke 12:20 : they thrust him out of the light (of life, prosperity, and fame) into the darkness (of misfortune, death, and oblivion); so that the illustris becomes not merely ignobilis, but totally ignotus, and they hunt him forth (ינדּהוּ from the Hiph. הנד of the verb נדד, instead of which it might also be ינדהו from נדּה, they banish him) out of the habitable world (for this is the signification of תּבל, the earth as built upon and inhabited). There remains to him in his race neither sprout nor shoot; thus the rhyming alliteration נין and נכד (according to Luzzatto on Isaiah 14:22, used only of the descendants of persons in high rank, and certainly a nobler expression than our rhyming pairs: Germ. Stumpf und Stiel, Mann und Maus, Kind und Kegel). And there is no escaped one (as Deuteronomy 2:34 and freq., Arab. shârid, one fleeing; sharûd, a fugitive) in his abodes (מגוּר, as only besides Psalm 55:16). Thus to die away without descendant and remembrance is still at the present day among the Arab races that profess Dı̂n Ibrâhı̂m (the religion of Abraham) the most unhappy thought, for the point of gravitation of continuance beyond the grave is transferred by them to the immortality of the righteous in the continuance of his posterity and works in this world (vid., supra, p. 386); and where else should it be at the time of Job, since no revelation had as yet drawn the curtain aside from the future world? Now follows the declamatory conclusion of the speech.

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