Job 21:20
His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
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(20) His eyes shall see his destruction.—This may be understood as the continuation of Job’s suggested amendment of the Divine government. “His own eyes should see his destruction, and he should drink of the wrath, &c. For what concern or interest hath he in his house after him when the number of his months is cut off, &c. “

21:17-26 Job had described the prosperity of wicked people; in these verses he opposes this to what his friends had maintained about their certain ruin in this life. He reconciles this to the holiness and justice of God. Even while they prosper thus, they are light and worthless, of no account with God, or with wise men. In the height of their pomp and power, there is but a step between them and ruin. Job refers the difference Providence makes between one wicked man and another, into the wisdom of God. He is Judge of all the earth, and he will do right. So vast is the disproportion between time and eternity, that if hell be the lot of every sinner at last, it makes little difference if one goes singing thither, and another sighing. If one wicked man die in a palace, and another in a dungeon, the worm that dies not, and the fire that is not quenched, will be the same to them. Thus differences in this world are not worth perplexing ourselves about.His eyes shall see his destruction - That is, his own eyes shall see his destruction, or the calamities that shall come upon him. That is, "You maintain that, or this is the position which you defend." Job designs to meet this, and to show that it is not always so.

And he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty - Wrath is often represented as a cup which the wicked are compelled to drink. See the notes, Isaiah 51:17.

20. Another questionable assertion of the friends, that the sinner sees his own and his children's destruction in his lifetime.

drink—(Ps 11:6; Isa 51:17; La 4:21).

His eyes shall see his destruction, i.e. he shall be destroyed;

as to see death, is to die, Psalm 89:48 Hebrews 11:5; and to see affliction, or any kind of evil, is to feel it Psalm 90:15 Lamentations 3:1; and to see good, is to enjoy it, Job 7:7 9:25 Psalm 34:12. Or this phrase may be emphatical, he shall foresee his ruin hastening towards him, and not be able to prevent or avoid it; he shall sensibly feel himself sinking and perishing; which aggravates his misery.

He shall drink; not sip or taste, but drink; which word commonly notes the abundance of the thing spoken of. His eyes shall see his destruction,.... Or "should see his destruction" (b); calamities coming upon himself and upon his children; or otherwise it will not affect him: but when a man has a personal experience of affliction as punishments of his sin, or with his own eyes sees his children in distressed circumstances on his account, this must sensibly affect him, and be a sore punishment to him; as it was to Zedekiah to have his children slain before his eyes, Jeremiah 52:10;

and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty; or "he should drink" (c) of it now, according to the principles of Job's friends, even he in person, and not his posterity only; the wrath of God is on account of sin, and dreadful to bear: if the wrath of a temporal king is as the roaring of a lion, what must be the wrath of the Almighty God, the King of kings, and Lord of lords? this is frequently in Scripture compared to a cup, and is called a cup of trembling, of wrath and fury: and of which all the wicked of the earth shall drink sooner or later, Psalm 75:8; but this they should do now, according to the notions of Job's friends, whereas they do not; waters of a full cup, though not in wrath indeed, are wrung out to the people of God, and, as they apprehend, in wrath, when the wicked drink wine in bowls, and the cup of their prosperity overflows.

(b) "videret ejus oculi exitium suum", Beza, Cocceius. (c) "biberet", Beza, Cocceius.

{k} His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.

(k) When God recompenses his wickedness, he will know that his prosperity was vanity.

Verse 20. - His eyes shall see his destruction (or, let his own eyes see his destruction), and he shall drink (or, let him drink) of the wrath of the Almighty. It will impress him far more with a sense of his wickedness, and of his guilt in God's sight, if he receives punishment in his own person, than if he merely suffers vicariously through his children. 12 They raise their voice with the playing of timbrel aud harp,

And rejoice at the sound of the pipe

13 They enjoy their days in prosperity,

And in a moment they go down to Sehol.

14 And yet they said to God: "Depart from us!

We desire not the knowledge of Thy ways.

15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? -

And what doth it profit us that we should importune Him?" -

16 Lo! they have not their prosperity by their own hand,

The thought of the wicked be far from me!

קולם is to be supplied to ישׂאוּ in Isaiah 42:11, and instead of בּתף with בּ of the musical accompaniment (as Psalm 4:1, Psalm 49:5), it is to be read כּתף after the Masora with Kimchi, Ramban, Ralbag, and Farisol,

(Note: The Masora observes לית כותיה (not occuring thus elsewhere), and accordingly this כתף is distinguished in the Masoretic אב מן חד חד נסבין כף ברישׁיה (alphabetic list of words which take at one time the prefix כ and at another the prefix )ב, from בתף, which occurs elsewhere. The Targ. has read בטף; the reading of Raschi and Aben-Ezra is questionable.)

but not with Rosenm. to be explained: personaut velut tympano et cythera, but: they raise their voice as the timbrel and harp sound forth simultaneously; כּ, as Isaiah 18:4 (which is to be transl.: during the clear warmth of the sunshine, during the dew-clouds in the heat of harvest). תּף (Arabic duff, Spanish adufe) is τύμπανον (τύπανον), כּנּור, (Arab. canare) κινύρα or κιθάρα) Daniel 3:5), עוּגב or עגב, Job 30:31 (from עגב, flare; vid., on Genesis 4:21), the Pan-pipe (Targ. from a similar root אבּוּבא, whence the name of the ambubajae). In Job 21:13 and Keri gives the more usual יכלּוּ (Job 36:11) in place of the Chethib יבלּוּ, though יבלּוּ occurs in Isaiah 65:22 without this Keri; יכלו signifies consument, and יבלו usu deterent: they use up their life, enjoy it to the last drop. In connection with this one thinks of a coat which is not laid aside until it is entirely worn out. It is therefore not, as the friends say, that the ungodly is swept away before his time (Job 15:32), also a lingering sickness does not hand him over to death (Job 18:13), but בּרגע, in a moment (comp Job 34:20, not: in rest, i.e., freedom from pain, which רגע never signifies), they sink down to Hades (acc. loci). The matter does not admit of one's deriving the fut. יהתּוּ here, as Job 39:22, Job 31:34, from the Niph. of the verb חתת, terrore percelli; it is to be referred to נחת or נחת (Aram. for ירד), which is the only certain example of a Hebrew verb Pe Nun ending with ת, whose fut. ינחת, Psalm 38:3, also יחת (Proverbs 17:10, Jeremiah 21:13), instead of יחת, and in the inflexion its ת sti (after the analogy of יצּתּוּ, Isaiah 33:12) is doubled; as an exception (vid., Psalter, ii. 468), the lengthening of the short vowel (יחתוּ, Olsh. 83 b) by Silluk does not take place, as e.g., by Athnach, Job 34:5.

The fut. consec. ויּאמרוּ, in which Job 21:14 is continued, does not here denote temporally that which follows upon and from something else, but generally that which is inwardly connected with something else, and even with that which is contradictory, and still occurring at the same time, exactly as Genesis 19:9, 2 Samuel 3:8, comp Ew. 231, b: they sink down after a life that is completely consumed away, without a death-struggle, into Hades, and yet they denied God, would not concern themselves about His sways (comp. the similar passage, Isaiah 58:2), and accounted the service of God and prayer (פּגע בּ, precibus adire) as useless. The words of the ungodly extend to Job 21:15; according to Hirz., Hlgst., Welte, and Hahn, Job 21:16 resumes the description: behold, is not their prosperity in their hand? i.e., is it not at their free disposal? or do they not everywhere carry it away with them? But Job 21:16 is not favourable to this interrogative rendering of לא ( equals הלא). Schlottm. explains more correctly: behold, their prosperity is not in their power; but by taking not only Job 21:16 (like Schnurrer), but the whole of Job 21:16, as an utterance of an opponent, which is indeed impossible, because the declining of all fellowship with the godless would be entirely without aim in the mouth of the opponent. For it is not the fnends who draw the picture of the lot of the punishment of the godless with the most terrible lines possible, who suggest the appearance of looking wishfully towards the godless, but Job, who paints the prosperity of the godless in such brilliant colours. On the other hand, both sides are agreed in referring prosperity and misfortune to God as final cause. And for this very reason Job thinks that בּרך את־האלהים, which he makes the godless, in Job 21:14, Job 21:15, express in their own words, so horrible.


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