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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(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.

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. 17 He shall not delight himself in streams,

Like to rivers and brooks of honey and cream.

18 Giving back that for which he laboured, he shall not swallow it;

He shall not rejoice according to the riches he hath gotten.

19 Because he cast down, let the destitute lie helpless;

He shall not, in case he hath seized a house, finish building it.

20 Because he knew no rest in his craving,

He shall not be able to rescue himself with what he most loveth.

As poets sing of the aurea aetas of the paradise-like primeval age: Flumina jam lactis, jam flumina nectaris ibant,

(Note: Ovid, Metam. i. 112, comp. Virgil, Ecl. iv. 30:

Et durae quercus sudabant roscida mella;

and Horace, Epod. xvi. 47

Mella cava manant ex ilice, montibus altis

Levis crepante lympha desilit pede.)


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