Job 20:23
When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating.
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Job 20:23. When he is about to fill his belly — That is, when he has enough to satisfy all his appetites, and shall design to indulge them in the pleasurable enjoyment of all his gains, and to spend his days in sensuality; God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him — Some dreadful and destructive judgment. And shall rain it upon him — This phrase denotes both the author of his plagues, God, and the nature and quality of them, that they shall come upon him like rain, with great vehemence, so that he cannot prevent or avoid them; while he is eating — As it fell upon thy sons, Job 1:18-19.

20:23-29 Zophar, having described the vexations which attend wicked practices, shows their ruin from God's wrath. There is no fence against this, but in Christ, who is the only Covert from the storm and tempest, Isa 32:2. Zophar concludes, This is the portion of a wicked man from God; it is allotted him. Never was any doctrine better explained, or worse applied, than this by Zophar, who intended to prove Job a hypocrite. Let us receive the good explanation, and make a better application, for warning to ourselves, to stand in awe and sin not. One view of Jesus, directed by the Holy Spirit, and by him suitably impressed upon our souls, will quell a thousand carnal reasonings about the suffering of the faithful.When he is about to fill his belly - Or rather, "there shall be enough to fill his belly." But what "kind" of food it should be, is indicated in the following part of the verse. "God" would fill him with the food of his displeasure. It is spoken sarcastically, as of a gormandizer, or a man who lived to enjoy eating, and the meaning is, that he should for once have enough. So Rosenmuller interprets it.

God shall cast the fury - This is the kind of food that he shall have. God shall fill him with the tokens of his wrath - and he shall have enough.

And shall rain it upon him while he is eating - Noyes renders this, "And rain it down upon him for his food." The meaning is, that God would pour down his wrath like a plentiful shower while he was in the act of eating. In the very midst of his enjoyments God would fill him with the tokens of his displeasure. There can be no doubt that Zophar designed that this should be understood to be applicable to Job. Indeed no one can fail to see that his remarks are made with consummate skill, and that they are such as would be fitted "to cut deep," as they were doubtless intended to do. The speaker does not, indeed, make a direct application of them, but he so makes his selection of proverbs that there could be no difficulty in perceiving that they were designed to apply to him, who, from such a height of prosperity, had been so suddenly plunged into so deep calamity.

23. Rather, "God shall cast (may God send) [Umbreit] upon him the fury of His wrath to fill his belly!"

while … eating—rather, "shall rain it upon him for his food!" Fiery rain, that is, lightning (Ps 11:6; alluding to Job's misfortune, Job 1:16). The force of the image is felt by picturing to one's self the opposite nature of a refreshing rain in the desert (Ex 16:4; Ps 68:9).

When he is about to fill his belly, i.e. when he hath enough and abundance to satisfy all his appetites, and shall design to take the pleasure of all his gains, and to spend his days in epicurism and sensuality. God; who is oft understood in this book where he is not expressed; and so he is here, as appears from the following words, because there is no other person here expressed who was to inflict these evils upon him, and because they, are said to be rained down upon him; which implies their coming from Heaven, or from God. The fury of his wrath; some dreadful and destructive judgment.

Shall rain it upon him. This phrase notes both the author of his plagues, God, and the nature and quality of them, that they shall come upon him like rain, i.e. with great vehemency, and so as he cannot prevent or avoid it.

While he is eating; as it fell upon thy sons, Job 1:18,19. Compare Psalm 78:30,31.

When he is about to fill his belly,.... Either in a literal sense, when he is about to take an ordinary meal to satisfy nature; or in a figurative sense, when he is seeking to increase his worldly riches, and his barns and coffers, and endeavouring to get satisfaction therein:

God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him; or "send it out on him" (c); out of the treasures of it, which are laid up with him, Deuteronomy 32:34; into his conscience, and fill him with a dreadful sense and apprehension of it, and that with great force and violence, and cast it, and pour it on him like fire, or any scalding liquor, which is very terrible and intolerable. This intends the indignation of God against sin, and his just punishment of it, according to the rigour of his justice; sometimes it is only a little wrath and displeasure he shows, he does not stir up all his wrath; but here it is threatened he will cast it, and pour it in great plenty, even "the fury" of it, in the most awful and terrible manner:

and shall rain it upon him while he is eating; signifying, that the wrath of God shall be revealed from heaven against him, from whence rain comes; that it shall fall on him from above, unseen, suddenly, and at an unawares, and come with a force and violence not to be resisted, and in great abundance and profusion. The allusion seems to be to the raining of fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah, the inhabitants of which were indulging themselves in gratifying the flesh, when that judgment came upon them, Luke 17:28; and so it was with the Israelites, when they sinned against God in the wilderness, Psalm 78:30; perhaps Zophar may glance at Job's children being slain while they were eating and drinking in their elder brother's house, Job 1:18. Some render it, "upon his food" (d); his meat, a curse going along with it, while he is eating it, his table becoming a snare unto him; or upon his wealth and riches, he is endeavouring to fill his belly or satisfy himself with; and others, "upon his flesh", as the Targum; or "into his flesh"; as Broughton, and so many of the Jewish commentators (e) meaning his body, filling it with diseases, so that there is no soundness in it, but is in pain, and wasting, and consuming; and Job's case may be referred to, his body being full of boils and ulcers.

(c) "mittet in eum", Pagninus, Montanus, Schmidt; so Mercerus, Piscator. (d) "in cibum illius", Tigurine version. (e) Aben Ezra, Ben Gersom, Bar Tzemach; "in carne ejus", Pagninus, Montanus; "super carnem ejus", Beza; "in carnem ejus", Drusius, Mercer, Schmidt.

When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, {m} and shall rain it upon him while he is eating.

(m) Some read, upon his flesh, alluding to Job, whose flesh was smitten with a scab.

23.  His belly shall be filled!

God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him,

And shall rain upon him his food.

The food which the sinner shall be sated with is the terrible rain of judgments which God shall shower upon him; cf. Psalm 11:6, Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone and a burning tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

23–29. His insatiable greed shall be satisfied at last. God shall fill him full of his judgments.

Verse 23. - When he is about to fill his belly (comp. vers. 12-18); i.e. "when he is on the point of making some fresh attack upon the weak and defenceless." God shall east the fury of his wrath upon him (comp. Psalm 78:30, 31, where a far less harmful lust is noted as having brought down the Divine vengeance). And shall rain it upon him while he is eating; or, as his food (comp. Psalm 11:6, "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, storm and tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup"). Job 20:23The יהי which opens this verse (and which also occurs elsewhere, e.g., Job 18:12, in a purely future signification), here, like ויהי, 2 Samuel 5:24 (Ew. 333, b), serves to introduce the following ישׁלּח (it shall happen: He shall send forth); ויהי (e.g., Genesis 40:1) frequent in the historical style, and והיה in the prophetical, are similarly used. In order to fill his belly, which is insatiable, God will send forth against him His glowing wrath (comp. Lamentations 1:13, from on high hath He sent fire into my bones), and will rain upon him into his flesh, or his plumpness (Arab. fi lachmihi). Thus we believe בּלחוּמו must be understood by referring to Zephaniah 1:17; where, perhaps not without reference to this speech of Zophar, the כּגּללים, which serves to explain Job 20:7, coincides with וּלחמּם, which serves to explain this בלחומו; and the right meaning is not even missed by the lxx, which translates καὶ τὰς σάρκας αὐτῶν ὡς βόλβιτα.

(Note: This passage is translated: and their blood is poured forth as dust, i.e., useless rubbish (Arab. el-ghabra אלעברה), and their flesh as filth. The form of inflection לחמּם is referable to לחם after the form לאם.)

A suitable thought is obtained if לחוּם is taken in the signification, food: He will rain upon him his food, i.e., what is fit for him (with Beth of the instrument instead of the accusative of the object), or: He will rain down (His wrath) upon him as his food (with Beth essent., according to which Ew.: what can satisfy him; Bridel: pour son aliment; Renan: en guise de pain); but we give the preference to the other interpretation, because it is at once natural in this book, abounding in Arabisms, to suppose for לחום the signification of the Arab. laḥm, which is also supported in Hebrew by Zephaniah 1:17; further, because the Targ. favours it, which transl. בּשׁלדיהּ, and expositors, as Aben-Ezra and Ralbag, who interpret by בבשׂרו; finally, because it gives an appropriate idea, to which Lamentations 1:13 presents a commendable parallel, comp. also James 5:3, and Koran, Sur. 2, 169: "those who hide what God has sent down by the Scripture, and thereby obtain a small profit, eat only fire into their belly." That עלימו can be used pathetically for עליו is unmistakeably clear from Job 22:2, comp. Job 27:23, and on Psalm 11:7; the morally indignant speech which threatens punishment, intentionally seeks after rare solemn words and darksome tones. Therefore: Upon his flesh, which has been nourished in unsympathizing greediness, God rains down, i.e., rain of fire, which scorches it. This is the hidden background of the lot of punishment, the active principle of which, though it be effected by human agency, is the punitive power of the fire of divine wrath. Job 20:24 describe, by illustration, how it is worked out. The evil-doer flees from a hostile superior power, is hit in the back by the enemy's arrows; and since he, one who is overthrown, seeks to get free from them, he is made to feel the terrors of inevitably approaching death.

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