Job 20:26
All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: a fire not blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) All darkness shall be hid in his secret places.—Rather, All darkness, every kind of disaster, is laid up for his secret treasures.

A fire not blown.—By human hands, &c.

Job 20:26. All darkness — All sorts of miseries, of soul, and body, and estate; shall be hid — Or laid up by God for him. They are reserved and treasured up for him, and kept as in a sure place, and shall infallibly overtake him: in his secret places — In those places where he confidently hoped to hide and secure himself from all evils and enemies; yet even there God shall find him out. A fire not blown — By man, but kindled by God himself; shall consume or destroy him — He thinks, by his might and violence, to secure himself from men; but God, by his own immediate hand, or in some unknown and unexpected manner, will find him out. It may be understood of the fire of hell; see Isaiah 30:33. It shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle — With his family, or posterity, who shall inherit his curse, as well as his estate. Heath translates this verse, All manner of calamity is laid up in store for him: an unquenchable fire shall consume him: it shall devour all that remaineth in his stead.

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.All darkness shall be hid in his secret places - The word "darkness" here, as is common, means evidently calamity. The phrase "is hid," means is treasured up for him. The phrase "in his secret places," may mean "for his treasures," or instead of the great treasures which he had laid up for himself. The Apostle Paul has a similar expression, in which, perhaps, he makes an allusion to this place. Romans 2:5, "but, after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath." Treasures formerly were laid up in secret places, or places of darkness, that were regarded as inaccessible; see the notes at Isaiah 45:3.

A fire not blown - A fire unkindled. Probably the meaning is, a fire that man has not kindled, or that is of heavenly origin. The language is such as would convey the idea of being consumed by lightning, and probably Zophar intended to refer to such calamities as had come upon the family of Job, Job 1:16. There is much "tact" in this speech of Zophar, and in the discourses of his friends on this point. They never, I believe, refer expressly to the calamities that had come upon Job and his family. They never in so many words say, that those calamities were proof of the wrath of heaven. But they go on to mention a great many similar "cases" in the abstract; to prove that the wicked would be destroyed in that manner; that when such calamities came upon people, it was proof that they were wicked, and they leave Job himself to make the application. The allusion, as in this case, was too broad to be misunderstood, and Job was not slow in regarding it as intended for himself. Prof Lee ("in loc.") supposes that there may be an allusion here to the "fire that shall not be quenched," or to the future punishment of the wicked. But this seems to me to be foreign to the design of the argument, and not to be suggested or demanded by the use of the word. The argument is not conducted on the supposition that people will be punished in the future world. That would at once have given a new phase to the whole controversy, and would have settled it at once. The question was about the dealings of God "in this life," and whether men are punished according to their deeds here. Had there been a knowledge of the future world of rewards and punishments, the whole difficulty would have vanished at once, and the controversy would have been ended.

It shall go ill with him in his tabernacle - Hebrew שׂריד ירע yâra‛ śârı̂yd - "It shall be ill with whatever survives or remains in his tent." That is, all that remains in his dwelling shall be destroyed. Prof Lee renders it, "In his tent shall his survivor be broken" - supposing that the word ירע yâra‛ is from רעע râ‛a‛ - "to break." But it is more probably from רוּע rûa‛ - "to be evil; to suffer evil; to come off ill:" and the sense is, that evil, or calamity, would come upon all that should remain in his dwelling.

26. All darkness—that is, every calamity that befalls the wicked shall be hid (in store for him) in His (God's) secret places, or treasures (Jude 13; De 32:34).

not blown—not kindled by man's hands, but by God's (Isa 30:33; the Septuagint in the Alexandrian Manuscript reads "unquenchable fire," Mt 3:12). Tact is shown by the friends in not expressly mentioning, but alluding under color of general cases, to Job's calamities; here (Job 1:16) Umbreit explains it, wickedness, is a "self-igniting fire"; in it lie the principles of destruction.

ill … tabernacle—Every trace of the sinner must be obliterated (Job 18:15).

All darkness, i.e. all sorts of miseries, both of soul, and body, and estate.

Shall be hid, or, is hid, or laid up, to wit, by God for him. This phrase may note, that though it be not actually upon him, yet it is reserved and treasured up for him, and is kept as in a sure place, and shall infallibly overtake him.

In his secret places; either,

1. In his hid treasures, as this very word signifies, Psalm 17:14. He treasures up wealth, and with God’s wrath and curse. Or,

2. In those places where he confidently hopes to hide and secure himself from all evils and enemies; yet even there God shall find him out. Or, for, or instead of, (or with, for both ways the prefix lamed is oft used,) his hid treasures.

A fire not blown, to wit, by man, but kindled by God himself, as that was, Job 1:16. He thinks by his might and violence to secure himself from men, but God by his own immediate hand, or in some unknown and unexpected manner, will find him out. Some understand it of hell-fire; of which see Isaiah 30:33.

With him that is left in his tabernacle, i.e. with his posterity or family, who shall inherit his curse as well as his estate.

All darkness shall be hid in his secret places,.... In such places of secrecy, where he may promise himself safety, he shall find more calamities of all sorts; or every kind of judgments shall find him out, and come upon him, sometimes signified by darkness, see Isaiah 8:22; or utter darkness, the blackness of darkness; everlasting wrath, ruin, and destruction, are laid up and reserved in God's secret places for him, and lie hid among his treasures of vengeance, which he in due time will bring forth from thence, and punish the guilty sinner with, Jde 1:13; or all this shall be because of secret sins, as Ben Gersom interprets it; and so Mr. Broughton renders the words, "for his store"; that is, for the store of his sins, as he explains it, which, however privately and secretly committed, shall be brought into judgment; and there the hidden things of darkness will be brought to light, and sentence pass upon men for them:

a fire not blown shall consume him; not blown by man, but by God himself; which some understand of thunder and lightning, such as fell on Job's sheep and servants, and consumed them, and which may be glanced at; and others of some fiery distemper, a burning fever, hot ulcers, carbuncles, &c. such as were at this time on Job's body; but the Targum, better, of the fire of hell; and so many of the Jewish commentators (g), as well as Christian; the Septuagint version renders it, "unquenchable fire"; and so Mr. Broughton; and such the fire of hell is said to be, Matthew 3:12, &c. and which is a fire kindled by the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, Isaiah 30:33;

it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle; not only it shall go ill with the wicked man himself, but with those he leaves behind him, that dwell in the house he formerly lived in, with his posterity; God sometimes punishing the iniquities of the fathers upon the children.

(g) Jarchi, Sephorno, and others.

{o} All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: a fire not {p} blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle.

(o) All fear and sorrow will light on him when he thinks to escape.

(p) That is, fire from heaven, or the fire of God's wrath.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26.  All darkness is laid up for his treasures;

A fire not blown shall consume him,

It shall devour him that is left in his tent.

“Darkness” is a figure for calamity; cf. ch. Job 15:22-23. “Laid up,” i. e. reserved, destined, for. “Him that is left” may also mean “that which is left,” Job 20:21. A fire “not blown” by mortal breath or man’s mouth, but the fire of God, consumes him; or, it may be a fire which kindles itself,—an allusion to the self-avenging nature of sin; cf. ch. Job 15:34.

Verse 26. - All darkness shall be hid in his secret places; literally, all darkness is reserved for his treasures' which some understand of his hidden earthly treasures, which no one shall ever find - some of the retribution laid up for him by God, which will be such darkness as Job describes in Job 10:21, 22. A fire not blown shall consume him; i.e. "a fire lighted by no human hands," probably lightning or brimstone from heaven (Job his tent, i.e. in his dwelling. His wife, his children, if he has any, and his domestics, shall be involved in the general ruin. Job 20:2626 All darkness is reserved for his treasured things,

A fire that is not blown upon devoureth him;

It feedeth upon what is left in his tent.

27 The heavens reveal his iniquity,

And the earth riseth up against him.

28 The produce of his house must vanish,

Flowing away in the day of God's wrath.

. . . . . .

29 This is the lot of the wicked man from Elohim,

And the heritage decreed for him from God.

As in Psalm 17:14 God's store of earthly goods for the children of men is called צפוּן (צפין), so here the stores laid up by man himself are called צפוּניו. Total darkness, which will finally destroy them, is decreed by God against these stores of the godless, which are brought together not as coming from the hand of God, but covetously, and regardless of Him. Instead of טמוּן it might also have been צפוּן (Job 15:20; Job 21:19; Job 24:1), and instead of לצפוּניו also לטמוּניו (Deuteronomy 33:19); but טמוּן is, as Job 40:13 shows, better suited to darkness (on account of the ט, this dull-toned muta, with which the word begins). כּל־חשׁך signifies sheer darkness, as in Psalm 39:6, כל־הבל, sheer nothingness; Psalm 45:14, כל־כבודה, sheer splendour; and perhaps Isaiah 4:5, כל־כבוד, sheer glory. And the thought, expressed with somewhat of a play upon words, is, that to the θησαυρίζειν of the godless corresponds a θησαυρίζειν of God, the Judge (Romans 2:5; James 5:3): the one gathers up treasures, and the other nothing but darkness, to whom at an appointed season they shall be surrendered. The תּאכלהוּ which follows is regarded by Ges. as Piel instead of תּאכּלהוּ, but such a resolving of the characteristic sharpened syllable of Piel is unsupportable; by Hirz., Olsh. 250, b, and Pual instead of תּאכּלהוּ, but אכּל signifies to be eaten, not (so that it might be connected with an accusative of the obj.) to get to eat; by Ew., Hupf., as Kal for תּאכלהוּ, which is possible both from the letters and the matter (vid., on Psalm 94:20); but more correctly it is regarded as Poel, for such Poel forms from strong roots do occur, as שׁפט (vid., on Job 9:15), and that the Cholem of these forms can be shortened into Kametz-chatuph is seen from ודרשׁוּ, Psalm 109:10 (vid., Psalter in loc.).

(Note: Such a contraction is also presented in the readings תּרצחוּ, Psalm 62:4; מלשׁני, Psalm 101:5; and ויּחלקם, 1 Chronicles 23:6; 1 Chronicles 24:3. All these forms are not resolved forms of Piel (Ges., Berth., Olsh. 248, a), but contracted forms of Poel with Kametz-chatuph instead of Cholem. תּהתלּוּ, Job 13:9, is not a resolved form of Piel, but a non-syncopated Hiphil. It should be observed that the Chateph-Kametz in "wedorschu" above and at p. 328 is used as an unmistakeable sign of the ŏ. - Tr.])

The Poel is in the passage before us the intensive of Kal: a fire which is not blown upon shall eat him up. By this translation נפּח is equivalent to נפּחה, since attention is given to the gender of אשׁ in the verb immediately connected with it, but it is left out of consideration in the verbs נפח and ירע which stand further form it, which Olshausen thinks doubtful; there are, however, not a few examples which may be adduced in favour of it, as 1 Kings 19:11; Isaiah 33:9; comp. Ges. 147, rem. 1. Certainly the relative clause לא נפח may also be explained by supplying בּהּ: into which one has not blown, or that one has not blown on (Symm., Theod., ἄνευ φυσήματος): both renderings are possible, according to Ezekiel 22:20, Ezekiel 22:22; but since the masc. ירע follows, having undoubtedly אשׁ as its subject, we can unhesitatingly take the Synallage gen. as beginning even with נפח. A fire which needs no human help for its kindling and its maintenance is intended (comp. on לא ביד, Job 34:20); therefore "fire of God," Job 1:16. This fire feasts upon what has escaped (שׂריד, as Job 20:21; Job 18:19), i.e., whatever has escaped other fates, in his tent. yeera` (Milel) is fut. apoc. Kal; the form of writing ירע (fut. apoc. Niph.) proposed by Olsh. on account of the change of gender, i.e., it is devoured, is to be rejected for the reason assigned in connection with נפח. The correct interpretation has been brought forward by Schultens.

It is not without reference to Job 16:18-19, where Job has called upon earth and heaven as witnesses, that in Job 20:27 Zophar continues: "the heavens reveal his guilt, and the earth rises against him;" heaven and earth bear witness to his being an abhorrence, not worthy of being borne by the earth and shone upon by the light of heaven; they testify this, since their powers from below and above vie with one another to get rid of him. מתקוממה is connected closely with לו (which has Lamed raphatum) by means of Mercha-Zinnorith, and under the influence of the law, according to which before a monosyllabic accented word the tone is drawn back from the last syllable of the preceding word to the penultima (Ew. 73, 3), is accented as Milel on account of the pause.

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