Job 20:15
He has swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.
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Job 20:15-16. He hath swallowed down riches — He hath got possession of them, and thought them to be as much his own as the meat he had eaten. But he is deceived. He shall vomit them up again — Shall be compelled to restore them: his own conscience perhaps may make him so uneasy in the keeping of what he has gotten, that, for the quiet of his own mind, he shall make restitution, and that not with the pleasure of a virtue, but with the utmost reluctancy, like the pain produced by an emetic. God shall cast them out of his belly — If he do not himself voluntarily refund what he has violently taken away, God, by his providence, shall force him to do it, and bring it about, one way or other, that his ill-gotten goods shall return to their right owners. If man’s hand cannot reach him, God shall find him out. He shall suck the poison of asps — What he sucked so sweetly, and with so much pleasure, shall, in the issue, prove most ungrateful and destructive, as the poison, or head (for the Hebrew ראשׁ, rosh, signifies both, and the poison lies in the head) of asps would be to one that sucked it. Such is sin; such especially will all unlawful gains be. The fawning tongue will prove the viper’s tongue. All the charming graces that are thought to be in sin will turn, when the conscience is awakened, into so many raging furies.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.He hath swallowed down riches - He has "glutted" down riches - or gormandized them - or devoured them greedily. The Hebrew word בלע bela‛, means "to absorb, to devour with the idea of greediness." It is descriptive of the voracity of a wild beast, and means here that he had devoured them eagerly, or voraciously.

And he shall vomit - As an epicure does that which he has drunk or swallowed with delight. "Noyes." The idea is, that he shall lose that which he has acquired, and that it will be attended with loathing. All this is to a great extent true still, and may be applied to those who aim to accumulate wealth, and to lay up ill gotten gold. It will be ruinous to their peace; and the time will come when it will be looked on with inexpressible loathing. Zophar meant, undoubtedly, to apply this to Job, and to infer, that since it was a settled maxim that such would be the result of the ill-gotten gain of a wicked man, where a result like this "had" happened, that there must have been wickedness. How cutting and severe this must have been to Job can be easily conceived. The Septuagint renders this, "Out of his house let an angel drag him."

15. He is forced to disgorge his ill-gotten wealth. He shall vomit them up again, i.e. be forced to restore them with great shame and torment, as gluttons sometimes do loathe, and with grief and pain cast up, that meat which they have eaten and swallowed down with much greediness and delight. If no man’s hand can reach him, God shall find him out, and punish him severely. He hath swallowed down riches,.... Not his own, but another's, which he has spoiled him of and devoured, with as much eagerness, pleasure, and delight, as a hungry man swallows down his food; having an excessive and immoderate love of riches, and an insatiable desire after them, which make him stop at nothing, though ever so illicit, to obtain them; and when he has got them into his possession, thinks them as safe as the food in his belly, and never once dreams of refunding them, which yet he must do, as follows:

and he shall vomit them up again; that is, make restoration of them, not freely, but forcedly, with great reluctance, much pain of mind, and gripes of conscience:

God shall cast them out of his belly; he shall oblige him to cast them up again, by working upon his heart, making his mind uneasy, loading his conscience with guilt, so that he shall have no rest nor peace until he has done it; though they are as meat in his belly within him, they shall not remain with him; though they are in his house, in his coffers, or in his barns, they shall be fetched out from thence.

He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.
15. The same general figure of a delightful food particularized. The ill-gotten riches which he amassed do not abide with him; the wealth that he swallowed up he must disgorge. The figure is perhaps that of a food which the stomach cannot retain.Verse 15. - He hath swallowed down riches and he shall vomit them up again. The wicked man shall be made to disgorge his ill-gotten gains. Either fear, or remorse, or a judicial sentence will force him to make restitution (see ver. 10). God shall cast them out of his belly. Whatever is the immediate motive of the restitution: it will really be God's doing. He will cause the fear, or the remorse, or bring about the judicial sentence. 6 If his aspiration riseth to the heavens,

And he causeth his head to touch the clouds:

7 Like his dung he perisheth for ever;

Those who see him say: Where is he?

8 As a dream he flieth away, and they cannot find him;

And he is scared away as a vision of the night.

9 The eye hath seen him, and never again,

And his place beholdeth him no more.

10 His children must appease the poor,

And his hands give up his wealth.

11 His bones were full of youthful vigour;

Now it is laid down with him in the dust.

If the exaltation of the evil-doer rises to heaven, and he causes his head to reach to the clouds, i.e., to touch the clouds, he notwithstanding perishes like his own dung. We are here reminded of what Obadiah, Job 20:4, says of Edom, and Isaiah, Isaiah 14:13-15, says of the king of Babylon. שׂיא is equivalent to נשׂיא, like שׂוא, Psalm 89:10 equals נשׂוא; the first weak radical is cast away, as in כּילי equals נכילי, fraudulentus, machinator, Isaiah 32:5, and according to Olsh. in שׁיבה equals ישׁיבה, 2 Samuel 19:33. הגּיע is to be understood as causative (at least this is the most natural) in the same manner as in Isaiah 25:12, and freq. It is unnecessary, with Ew., Hirz., and Hlgst., after Schultens, to transl. כגללו, Job 20:7, according to the Arab. jlâl (whence the name Gell-ed-dn): secundum majestatem suam, or with Reiske to read בגללו, in magnificentia sua, and it is very hazardous, since the Hebrew גלל has not the meaning of Arab. jll, illustrem esse. Even Schultens, in his Commentary, has retracted the explanation commended in his Animadv., and maintained the correctness of the translation, sicut stercus suum (Jer. sicut sterquilinium), which is also favoured by the similar figurative words in 1 Kings 14:10 : as one burneth up (not: brushes away) dung (הגּלל), probably cow-dung as fuel, until it is completely gone. גּללו (or גּללו with an audible Shev) may be derived from גּלל, but the analogy of צללו favours the primary form גּל (Ew. 255, b); on no account is it גּלל. The word is not low, as Ezekiel 4:12, comp. Zephaniah 1:17, shows, and the figure, though revolting, is still very expressive; and how the fulfilment is to be thought of may be seen from an example from 2 Kings 9:37, according to which, "as dung upon the face of the field shall it be, so that they cannot say: this is Jezebel."

(Note: In Arabic, gille (גּלּה) and gelle (גּלּה) is the usual and preferred fuel (hence used as synon. of hhattab) formed of the dung of cows, and not indeed yoke-oxen (baqar 'ammle), because they have more solid fodder, which produces no material for the gelle, but from cattle that pasture in the open fields (baqar bat.tle), which are almost entirely milking cows. This dung is collected by women and children in the spring from the pastures as perfectly dry cakes, which have the green colour of the grass. Every husbandman knows that this kind of dung - the product of a rapid, one might say merely half, digestion, even when fresh, but especially when dry - is perfectly free from smell. What is collected is brought in baskets to the forming or pressing place (mattba'a, מטבּעה), where it is crumbled, then with water made into a thick mass, and, having been mixed with chopped straw, is formed by the women with the hand into round cakes, about a span across, and three fingers thick. They resemble the tanners' tan-cakes, only they are not square. Since this compound has the form of a loaf it is called qurss (which also signifies a loaf of bread); and since a definite form is given to it by the hand, it is called ttabu' (טבּוּע), collective ttbbi', which צפוּעי (צפיעי), Ezekiel 4:15, resembles in meaning; for ssaf', צפע (cogn. ssafhh, צפח), signifies to beat anything with the palm of the hand. First spread out, then later on piled up, the gelle lies the whole summer in the mattba'a. The domes (qubeb) are not formed until a month before the rainy season, i.e., a circular structure is built up of the cakes skilfully placed one upon another like bricks; it is made from six to eight yards high, gradually narrowed and finished with a vaulted dome, whence this structure has its name, qubbe (קבּה). Below it measures about eight or ten paces, it is always hollow, and is filled from beneath by means of an opening which serves as a door. The outside of the qubbe is plastered over with a thick solution of dung; and this coating, when once dried in the sun, entirely protects the building, which is both storehouse and store, against the winter rains. When they begin to use the fuel, they take from the inside first by means of the doorway, and afterwards (by which time the heavy rains are over) they use up the building itself, removing the upper part first by means of a ladder. By the summer the qubbe has disappeared. Many large households have three or four of these stores. Where walled-in courts are spacious, as is generally the case, they stand within; where not, outside. The communities bordering on the desert, and exposed to attacks from the Arabs, place them close round their villages, which gives them a peculiar appearance. When attacked, the herds are driven behind these buildings, and the peasants make their appearance between them with their javelins. Seetzen reckons the gelle among the seven characteristics of the district of Haurn (Basan).


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