Job 18:7
The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) The steps of his strength.i.e., his giant strides. He shall be the victim of his own devices, and when they seem to hold out the hope of prosperity shall lead him to destruction. (Comp. Ps. 141:11.)

18:5-10 Bildad describes the miserable condition of a wicked man; in which there is much certain truth, if we consider that a sinful condition is a sad condition, and that sin will be men's ruin, if they do not repent. Though Bildad thought the application of it to Job was easy, yet it was not safe nor just. It is common for angry disputants to rank their opponents among God's enemies, and to draw wrong conclusions from important truths. The destruction of the wicked is foretold. That destruction is represented under the similitude of a beast or bird caught in a snare, or a malefactor taken into custody. Satan, as he was a murderer, so he was a robber, from the beginning. He, the tempter, lays snares for sinners wherever they go. If he makes them sinful like himself, he will make them miserable like himself. Satan hunts for the precious life. In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare for himself, and God is preparing for his destruction. See here how the sinner runs himself into the snare.The steps of his strength - Strong steps. "Steps of strength" is a Hebraism, to denote firm or vigorous steps.

Shall be straitened - Shall be compressed, embarrassed, hindered. Instead of walking freely and at large, he shall be compressed and limited in his goings. "Large steps," "free movement," etc. are proverbial expressions among the Arabs, to denote freedom, prosperity, etc. RosenmulIer. Schultens quotes the following illustrations from the Arabic poets. From Ibn Doreid, "He who does not confine himself within human limits, his vast strides shall be straitened." And from Taurizius," After the battle of Bedrense, the steps were straitened." The meaning here is, that he would be greatly impeded in his movements, instead of going forth at large and in full vigor as he had formerly done.

And his own counsel - His own plans shall be the means of his fall.

7. steps of his strength—Hebrew, for "His strong steps." A firm step marks health. To be straitened in steps is to be no longer able to move about at will (Pr 4:12).

his own counsel—Plans shall be the means of his fall (Job 5:13).

The steps of his strength, i.e. his strong steps, by a vulgar Hebraism. By steps he means his counsels, as the next branch explains it, his attempts and actions; and by steps of strength, such of them as seem to be most firm and settled, contrived with greatest strength of understanding, and carried on with great resolution and might.

Shall be straitened, i. e shall be hindered and entangled. He shall be cast into great difficulties, and troubles, and perplexities, so that he shall not be able to proceed and to accomplish his enterprises, but shall find himself insnared by his own devices, as the next words declare it. This phrase is used also Proverbs 4:11,12, and it is opposed to the enlarging of a man’s way or steps, which signifies success and prosperity, as Psalm 4:1 31:8.

His own counsel shall cast him down; he shall be undone by his own contrivances; either because God will give him up to dangerous and destructive mistakes of his way, or because God will oppose him, and turn his own devices against him, which he can easily do by throwing in unexpected accidents.

The steps of his strength shall be straitened,.... As a man in health can take large and strong steps, and travel in the greatness of his strength; so in prosperity he can and does take large steps in obtaining fame and reputation among men, in amassing substance to himself, and towards settling his family in the world; he is like one in a large place, and walks at liberty, goes in and out at pleasure, and none can control him; he walks in pride, and with an high and lifted up head, and with contempt of others, and his will is his law, and he does as he pleases; but in adversity, as his strength is weakened in the way, he cannot take the strides he did, his way is hedged up with thorns, he is pressed on every side, and surrounded with troubles, so that, let him turn himself which way he will, he can find no way to escape:

and his own counsel shall cast him down; as Ahithophel's and Haman's did, which issued in their ruin, 2 Samuel 17:23; what wicked men sometimes plot and devise, with a view to their own good, and the injury of others, proves the destruction of themselves; when they have contrived to raise themselves upon the ruins of others, it has been the means of casting them down from the state and condition they were in, instead of raising to an higher, even down to desolation, and into the most miserable circumstances.

The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. Another figure for the same thought. His firm, wide steps of prosperity and security, when he walked in a wide place (Psalm 4:1), become narrowed and hampered. Widening of the steps is a usual Oriental figure for the bold and free movements of one in prosperity, as straitening of them is for the constrained and timid action of one in adversity, cf. Proverbs 4:12 and Psalm 18:36. The figure hardly describes the consequences of the sinner’s light going out, it is rather independent and parallel to that figure. Cf. ch. Job 13:27.

his own counsel] The evil principles that guide his conduct, ch. Job 10:3, Psalm 1:1. These inevitably lead him into calamity, cf. ch. Job 4:8.

Verse 7. - The steps of his strength shall he straitened. In the time of his prosperity the wicked man had a wide sphere within which to exercise his activity, and strode hither and thither at his pleasure. When punishment falls on him, his "steps will be straitened," i.e. his sphere narrowed, his activity cramped, his powers "cabined, cribbed, confined." And his own counsel shall cast him down (see Job 5:13; and comp. Psalm 7:14,-16; 9:16; 10:2; Hosea 10:6). Job 18:7גּם is here equivalent to nevertheless, or prop. even, ὅμως, as e.g., Psalm 129:2 (Ew. 354, a). The light of the evil-doer goes out, and the comfortable brightness and warmth which the blaze (שׁביב, only here as a Hebr. word; according to Raschi and others, tincelle, a spark; but according to lxx, Theod., Syr., Jer., a flame; Targ. the brightness of light) of his fire in his dwelling throws out, comes to an end. In one word, as the praet. חשׁך implies, the light in his tent is changed into darkness; and his lamp above him, i.e., the lamp hanging from the covering of his tent (Job 29:3, comp. Job 21:17), goes out. When misfortune breaks in upon him, the Arab says: ed-dahru attfaa es-sirâgi, fate has put out my lamp; this figure of the decline of prosperity receives here a fourfold application. The figure of straitening one's steps is just as Arabic as it is biblical; צעדי אונו, the steps of his strength (און synon. of כּח, Job 40:16) become narrow (comp. Proverbs 4:12, Arab. takâssarat), by the wide space which he could pass over with a self-confident feeling of power becoming more and more contracted; and the purpose formed selfishly and without any recognition of God, the success of which he considered infallible, becomes his overthrow.
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