Job 20:11
His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) His bones are full of the sin of his youth.—Rather, of his youth, or youthful vigour, as in Job 33:25 : “He shall return to the days of his youth,” and Psalm 89:46 : “The days of his youth hast thou shortened.” “Though he is in the full vigour of life, yet it shall lie down with him in the dust.”

Job 20:11. His bones — That is, his whole body, even the strongest parts of it; are full of the sin of his youth — Of the punishment of it. He shall feel the sad effects of his youthful sins in his riper years, as riotous sinners commonly do. Which shall lie down with him in the dust — He shall carry his diseases and pains, brought upon him by his sins, to the grave: or, rather, they will carry him thither, and prove the causes of his immature death; and the very putrefying of his body in the grave is to him the effect of sin, so that his iniquity is upon his bones even there.20:10-22 The miserable condition of the wicked man in this world is fully set forth. The lusts of the flesh are here called the sins of his youth. His hiding it and keeping it under his tongue, denotes concealment of his beloved lust, and delight therein. But He who knows what is in the heart, knows what is under the tongue, and will discover it. The love of the world, and of the wealth of it, also is wickedness, and man sets his heart upon these. Also violence and injustice, these sins bring God's judgments upon nations and families. Observe the punishment of the wicked man for these things. Sin is turned into gall, than which nothing is more bitter; it will prove to him poison; so will all unlawful gains be. In his fulness he shall be in straits, through the anxieties of his own mind. To be led by the sanctifying grace of God to restore what was unjustly gotten, as Zaccheus was, is a great mercy. But to be forced to restore by the horrors of a despairing conscience, as Judas was, has no benefit and comfort attending it.His bones are full of the sin of his youth - The words "of the sin" in our common translation are supplied by the translators. Gesenius and Noyes suppose that the Hebrew means, "His bones are full of youth;" that is, full of vigor and strength, and the idea according to this would be, that he would be cut off in the fulness of his strength. Dr. Good renders it forcibly,

"His secret lusts shall follow his bones,

Yea, they shall press upon him in the dust."

The Vulgate renders it, "His bones are full of the sins of his youth." The Septuagint, "His bones are full of his youth." The Chaldee Paraphrase, "His bones are full of his strength." The Hebrew literally is, "His bones are full of his secret things" (עלוּמו ‛âlûmāŷ) - referring, as I suppose, to the "secret, long-cherished" faults of his life; the corrupt propensities and desires of his soul which had been seated in his very nature, and which would adhere to him, leaving a withering influence on his whole system in advancing years. The effect is that which is so often seen, when vices corrupt the very physical frame, and where the results are seen long in future life. The effect would be seen in the diseases which they engendered in his system, and in the certainty with which they would bring him down to the grave. The Syriac renders it, "marrow," as if the idea were that he would die full of vigor and strength. But the sense is rather that his secret lusts would work his certain ruin.

Which shall lie down with him - That is, the results of his secret sins shall lie down with him in the grave. He will never get rid of them. He has so long indulged in his sins; they have so thoroughly pervaded his nature, and he so delights to cherish them, that they will attend him to the tomb. There is truth in this representation. Wicked people often indulge in secret sin so long that it seems to pervade the whole system. Nothing will remove it; and it lives and acts until the body is committed to the dust, and the soul sinks ruined into hell.

11. (Ps 25:7), so Vulgate. Gesenius has "full of youth"; namely, in the fulness of his youthful strength he shall be laid in the dust. But "bones" plainly alludes to Job's disease, probably to Job's own words (Job 19:20). Umbreit translates, "full of his secret sins," as in Ps 90:8; his secret guilt in his time of seeming righteousness, like secret poison, at last lays him in the dust. The English Version is best. Zophar alludes to Job's own words (Job 17:16).

with him—His sin had so pervaded his nature that it accompanies him to the grave: for eternity the sinner cannot get rid of it (Re 22:11).

His bones, i.e. his whole body, even the strongest parts of it, which may seem most remote from danger.

Of the sin of his youth, Heb. of his youth, i.e. of his youthful pleasures and lusts, by a metonymy of the subject. And this may be understood either,

1. Of the sins themselves, that he shall persevere in his youthful lusts even in old age, and shall die without repentance. Or rather,

2. Of the punishment of his sins, of which he is speaking both in the foregoing and following verses. He shall feel the sad effects of those sins in his riper years, as riotous sinners commonly do; and, as it follows, attended him to his grave. Or, with his secret ways or sins, as others render it; whereby he possibly intimates that Job, though he appeared righteous before others, yet was guilty of some secret wickedness, for which God was now reckoning with him. His bones are full of the sins of his youth,.... Man is born in sin, and is a transgressor from the womb; and the youthful age is addicted to many sins, as pride, passion, lust, luxury, intemperance, and uncleanness; and these are sometimes brought to mind, and men are convinced of them, and corrected for them, when more advanced in years; and if not stopped in them, and reformed from them, they are continued in an old age; and the effects of them are seen in bodily diseases, which a debauched life brings upon them, not only to the rottenness and consumption of their flesh, but to the putrefaction of their bones; though this may be understood of the whole body, the bones, the principal and stronger parts, being put for the whole, and denote that general decay and waste which gluttony, drunkenness, and uncleanness, bring into, see Proverbs 5:11; Some interpret this of "secret" sins (p), as the word is thought to signify, which, if not cleansed from and pardoned, will be found and charged on them, and be brought into judgment, and they punished for them, Psalm 90:8;

which shall lie down with him in the dust: to be in the dust is to be in the state of the dead, to lie in the grave, where men lie down and sleep as on a bed; and this is common to good and bad men, all sleep in the dust of the earth, but with this difference, the sins of wicked men lie down with them; as they live in sin, they die in their sins; not that their sins die with them, and are no more, but they continue on them, and with them, and will rise with them, and will follow them to judgment, and remain with them after, and the guilt and remorse of which will be always on their consciences, and is that worm that never dies: of such it is said, that they "are gone down to hell with their weapons of war"; with the same enmity against God, against Christ, and his people, and all that is good, they had in their lifetime: and "they have laid their swords under their heads"; in the grave, and shall rise with the same revengeful spirit they ever had against the saints, see Revelation 20:8; "but their iniquities shall be upon their bones"; both them, and the punishment of them, Ezekiel 32:27. The Jewish commentator last mentioned interprets the whole verse of Balaam, who died at the age of thirty three, and whose prosperity died with him, he leaving nothing to his children; and so he interprets the following verses of the curse he was forced to hide, which he would gladly have pronounced, and of the riches he received from Balak falling into the hands of the Israelites.

(p) "ejus occultis", Montanus, Vatablus, Schmidt.

His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which {e} shall lie down with him in the dust.

(e) Meaning that he will carry nothing away with him but his sin.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. full of the sin of his youth] Rather, his bones axe full of his youth, but it shall lie down, &c.; in the midst of his years, when his bones are full of his youthful strength, like a vigorous marrow, he shall be cut off, and his youth go down to the grave with him.Verse 11. - His bones are full of the sin of his youth; literally, his bones are full of his youth; i.e. lusty and strong, full of youthful vigour. There is no sign of weakness or decay about them. Yet they shall lie down with him in the dust. A little while, and these vigorous bones, this entire body, so full of life and youth, shall be lying with the man himself, with all that constitutes his personality, in the dust of death (comp. vers. 24, 25). 1 Then began Zophar the Naamathite, and said:

2 Therefore do my thoughts furnish me with a reply,

And indeed by reason of my feeling within me.

3 The correction of my reproach I must hear,

Nevertheless the spirit of my understanding informeth me.

4 Knowest thou this which is from everlasting,

Since man was placed upon the earth:

5 That the triumphing of the evil-doer is not long,

And the joy of the godless is but for a moment?

All modern expositors take Job 20:2 as an apology for the opposition which follows, and the majority of them consider בּעבוּר as elliptical for בעבור זאת, as Tremell., Piscator, and others have done, partly (but wrongly) by referring to the Rebia mugrasch. Ewald observes: "בעבור stands without addition, because this is easily understood from the כן in לכן." But although this ellipsis is not inadmissible (comp. לכן equals לכן אשׁר, Job 34:25; כעל, Isaiah 59:18), in spite of it Job 20:2 furnishes no meaning that can be accepted. Most expositors translate: "and hence the storm within me" (thus e.g., Ewald); but the signification perturbatio animi, proposed by Schultens for חוּשׁי, after the Arab. ḥâš, is too remote from the usage of Hebrew. Moreover, this Arab. ḥâš signifies prop. to scare, hunt, of game; not, however: to be agitated, to storm, - a signification which even the corresponding Hebr. חוּשׁ, properare, does not support. Only a few expositors (as Umbreit, who translates: because of my storm within me) take בעבור (which occurs only this once in the book of Job) as praepos., as it must be taken in consideration of the infin. which follows (comp. Exodus 9:16; Exodus 20:20; 1 Samuel 1:6; 2 Samuel 10:3). Further, לכן (only by Umbreit translated by "yet," after the Arab. lâkin, lâkinna, which it never signifies in Hebr., where ל is not equals לא, but equals ל with Kametz before the tone) with that which follows is referred by several expositors to the preceding speech of Job, e.g., Hahn: "under such circumstances, if thou behavest thus;" by most, however, it is referred to Job 20:3, e.g., Ew.: "On this account he feels called upon by his thoughts to answer, and hence his inward impulse leaves him no rest: because he hears from Job a contemptuous wounding reproof of himself." In other words: in consequence of the reproach which Job casts upon him, especially with his threat of judgment, Zophar's mind and feelings fall into a state of excitement, and give him an answer to which he now gives utterance. This prospective sense of לכן may at any rate be retained, though בעבור is taken as a preposition (wherefore ... and indeed on account of my inward commotion); but it is far more natural that the beginning of Zophar's speech should be connected with the last word of Job's. Job 20:2 may really be so understood if we connect חושׁי, not with Arab. ḥâš, חושׁ, to excite, to make haste (after which also Saad. and Aben-Ezra: on account of my inward hastening or urging), but with Arab. ḥs, to feel; in this meaning chsh is usual in all the Semitic dialects, and is even biblical also; for Ecclesiastes 2:25 is to be translated: who hath feeling (pleasure) except from Him (read ממנו)? i.e., even in pleasure man is not free, but has conditions fixed by God.

With לכן (used as in Job 42:3) Zophar draws an inference from Job's conduct, esp. from the turn which his last speech has taken, which, as ישׁיבוּני שׂעיפּי

(Note: Thus it is to be read according to the Masoretic note, ומלא לית (i.e., plene, as nowhere else), which occurs in Codd., as is also attested by Kimchi in his Gramm., Moznajim, p. 8; Aben-Ezra in his Gramm., Zachoth 1, b; and the punctuator Jekuthil, in his Darche ha-Nikkud (chapter on the letters יהוא).)

affirms, urges him involuntarily and irresistibly forward, and indeed, as he adds with Waw explic.: on account of the power of feeling dwelling in him, by which he means both his sense of truth and his moral feeling, in general the capacity of direct perception, not perception that is only attained after long reflection. On שׂעיפי, of thoughts which, as it were, branch out, vid., on Job 4:13, and Psychol. S. 181. השׁיב signifies, as everywhere, to answer, not causative, to compel to answer. חוּשׁי is n. actionis in the sense of רגישׁתּי (Targ.), or הרגישׁי (Ralbag), which also signifies "my feeling (αἴσθησις)," and the combination חושׁי בי is like Job 4:21; Job 6:13. Wherein the inference consists in self-evident, and proceeds from Job 20:4. In Job 20:3 expression is given to the ground of the conclusion intended in לכן: the chastisement of my dishonour, i.e., which tends to my dishonour (comp. Isaiah 53:5, chastisement which conduces to our peace), I must hear (comp. on this modal signification of the future, e.g., Job 17:2); and in Job 20:3 Zophar repeats what he has said in Job 20:2, only somewhat differently applied: the spirit, this inner light (vid., Job 32:8; Psychol. S. 154, f), answers him from the perception which is peculiar to himself, i.e., out of the fulness of this perception it furnishes him with information as to what is to be thought of Job with his insulting attacks, viz., (this is the substance of the השׁיב of the thoughts, and of the ענות of the spirit), that in this conduct of Job only his godlessness is manifest. This is what he warningly brings against him, Job 20:4 : knowest thou indeed (which, according to Job 41:1; 1 Kings 21:19, sarcastically is equivalent to: thou surely knowest, or in astonishment: what dost thou not know?!) this from the beginning, i.e., this law, which has been in operation from time immemorial (or as Ew.: hoccine scis aeternum esse, so that מני־עד is not a virtual adj., but virtual predicate-acc.), since man was placed (שׂים infin., therefore prop., since one has placed man) upon the earth (comp. the model passage, Deuteronomy 4:32), that the exulting of the wicked is מקּרוב, from near, i.e., not extending far, enduring only a short time (Arab. qrı̂b often directly signifies brevis); and the joy of the godless עדי־רגע, only for a moment, and continuing no longer?

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