Job 21:30
That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.
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(30-33) That the wicked. . . .—These verses contain the result of their experience.

21:27-34 Job opposes the opinion of his friends, That the wicked are sure to fall into visible and remarkable ruin, and none but the wicked; upon which principle they condemned Job as wicked. Turn to whom you will, you will find that the punishment of sinners is designed more for the other world than for this, Jude 1:14,15. The sinner is here supposed to live in a great deal of power. The sinner shall have a splendid funeral: a poor thing for any man to be proud of the prospect of. He shall have a stately monument. And a valley with springs of water to keep the turf green, was accounted an honourable burial place among eastern people; but such things are vain distinctions. Death closes his prosperity. It is but a poor encouragement to die, that others have died before us. That which makes a man die with true courage, is, with faith to remember that Jesus Christ died and was laid in the grave, not only before us, but for us. That He hath gone before us, and died for us, who is alive and liveth for us, is true consolation in the hour of death.That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? - He is not punished, as you maintain, at once. He is "kept" with a view to future punishment; and though calamity will certainly overtake him at some time, yet it is not immediate. This was Job's doctrine in opposition to theirs, and in this he was undoubtedly correct. The only wonder is, that they had not at all seen it sooner, and that it should have been necessary to make this appeal to the testimony of travelers. Rosenmuller, Noyes, and Schultens, understand it as meaning that the wicked are "spared" in the day of destruction, that is, in the day when destruction comes upon other people. This accords well with the argument which Job is maintaining. Yet the word (חשׂך châśak) rather means, especially when followed by ל l, to hold back, reserve, or retain "for" something future; and this is the sentiment which Job was maintaining, that the wicked were not cut off at once, or suddenly overwhelmed with punishment. He did not deny that they would be punished at some period; and that exact justice would be done them. The point of the controversy turned upon the inquiry whether this would come "at once," or wheather the wicked might not live long in prosperity.

They shall be brought forth - יובלו yûbālû. They shall be led or conducted - as one is to execution. This appears as if Job held to the doctrine of "future" retribution. But when that time would be, or what were his exact views in reference to the future judgment, is not certainly intimated. It is clear, however, from this discussion, that he supposed it would be "beyond" death, for he says that the wicked are prospered in this life: that they go down to the grave and sleep in the tomb; that the clods of the valley are sweet unto them, Job 21:32-33, yet that the judgment, the just retribution, would certainly come. This passage, therefore, seems to be decisive to prove that he held to a state of retribution beyond the grave, where the inequalities of the present life would be corrected, and where people, though prospered here, would be treated as they deserved. This, he says, was the current opinion.

It was that which was brought by travelers, who had gone into other lands. What impropriety is there in supposing that he may refer to some travelers who had gone into the country where Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob had lived, or then lived, and that they had brought this back as the prevalent belief there? To this current faith in that foreign land, he may now appeal as deserving the attention of his friends, and as meeting all that they had said. It "would" meet all that they said. It was the exact truth. It accorded with the course of events. And sustained, as Job says it was, by the prevailing opinion in foreign lands, it was regarded by him as settling the controversy. It is as true now as it was then; and this solution, which could come only from revelation, settles all inquiries about; the rectitude of the divine administration in the dispensation of rewards and punishments. It answers the question," How is it consistent for God to bestow so many blessings on the wicked, while his own people are so much afflicted?" The answer is, they have "their" good things in this life, and in the future world all these inequalities will be rectified.

Day of wrath - Margin, as in Hebrew "wraths." The plural form here is probably employed to denote emphasis, and means the same as "fierce wrath."

30. Their testimony (referring perhaps to those who had visited the region where Abraham who enjoyed a revelation then lived) is that "the wicked is (now) spared (reserved) against the day of destruction (hereafter)." The Hebrew does not so well agree with [Umbreit] "in the day of destruction." Job does not deny sinners' future punishment, but their punishment in this life. They have their "good things" now. Hereafter, their lot, and that of the godly, shall be reversed (Lu 16:25). Job, by the Spirit, often utters truths which solve the difficulty under which he labored. His afflictions mostly clouded his faith, else he would have seen the solution furnished by his own words. This answers the objection, that if he knew of the resurrection in Job 19:25, and future retribution (Job 21:30), why did he not draw his reasonings elsewhere from them, which he did not? God's righteous government, however, needs to be vindicated as to this life also, and therefore the Holy Ghost has caused the argument mainly to turn on it at the same time giving glimpses of a future fuller vindication of God's ways.

brought forth—not "carried away safe" or "escape" (referring to this life), as Umbreit has it.

wrath—literally, "wraths," that is, multiplied and fierce wrath.

That the wicked, & c. this is the thing which they might learn of passengers.

Reserved; or, withheld, or kept back, to wit, from falling into common calamities, though in truth he be not so much kept from evil as kept for evil; he is reserved from a less, that he may be swallowed up in a greater misery; as Pharaoh was kept from the other plagues, that he might be drowned in the sea.

They shall be brought: he speaketh of the same person; only the singular number is changed into the plural, possibly to intimate, that although for the present only some wicked men were punished, yet then all of them should suffer. Shall be brought forth, to wit, by the conduct of God’s providence and justice, as malefactors are brought forth from prison to judgment and execution, though they be brought to it slowly, and by degrees, and with some kind of pomp and state, as this word signifies.

To the day of wrath; Heb. to the day of wraths, i.e. of special and extraordinary wrath; either to some terrible and desolating judgments, which God sometimes sends upon wicked princes or people; or to the day of the last and general judgment, which is called in Scripture the day of wrath; for the day of the general resurrection and judgment was not unknown to Job and his friends, as appears from Job 19:25, &c, and other passages of this book. That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction?.... That is, that they are spared, withheld, restrained, as the word (d) signifies, or kept and preserved from many calamities and distresses, which others are exposed unto; and so are reserved, either unto a time of greater destruction in this life or rather to eternal destruction in the world to come; which is the same with the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men, when they will be destroyed soul and body, in hell, with an everlasting destruction, as the just demerit of sin; or of that sinful course of life they live, being the broad way which leads to and issues in destruction, and for which there is a day appointed, when it will take place; and unto that day are the wicked reserved, in the purpose and decree of God, by which they are righteously destined to this day of evil, and by the power and providence of God, even the same chains of darkness, in which the angels are reserved unto the same time, being fitted and prepared for destruction by their own sins and transgressions, 2 Peter 2:4, and unto which they are kept, as condemned malefactors are in their cells, unto the day of execution, they being condemned already, though the sentence is not yet executed; in order to which

they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath; the wrath of God, which is very terrible and dreadful, and is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men, and is here expressed in the plural number, "wraths" (e), either as denoting both present and future wrath; or the vehemency of it, it being exceeding fierce and vehement; and the continuance and duration of it, there will be wrath upon wrath, even to the uttermost, and for ever; and for this a day is fixed, against which day wicked men are treasuring up wrath to themselves, and they shall be brought forth at the day of judgment, to have it poured forth upon them. This is the true state of the case with respect to them, that, though sometimes they are involved in general calamities, as the old world, and the men of Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 7:23; and sometimes good men are delivered from them, as Noah and Lot were, Genesis 7:23, or are taken away by death from the evil to come; yet for the most part, generally speaking, wicked men escape present calamities and distresses, and are not in trouble as other men, but live in ease and pleasure all their days; nevertheless, wrath and ruin, and everlasting destruction, will be their portion.

(d) "prohibebitur", Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius; so Beza, Vatablus, Mercerus; "subtrahitur", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "subdueitur", Schultens. (e) "irarum", Pagninus, Tigurine version, Cocceius, Schultens.

That the wicked is reserved to the day of {r} destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.

(r) Though the wicked flourish here, yet God will punish him in the last day.

30. they shall be brought forth to] Rather, they are led forth in, i. e. led away in safety from the destroying wrath, parallel to “spared” or withholden, in the first clause; cf. Isaiah 55:12 (led forth), or “conducted,” Psalm 45:14.Verse 30. - These conclusions are now set forth. They are, that the wicked is reserved for (or rather, spared in) the day of destruction, and that they shall be brought forth to (rather, removed out of the way in) the day of wrath. This, according to Job, was the popular sentiment of his time; and, no doubt, there is in all ages a large mass of fleeting opinion to the same effect. Striking examples of wickedness in high places draw attention, and provoke indignation, and are much talked about; whence arises an idea that such cases are common, and ultimately, by an unscientific generalization in the vulgar mind, that they form the rule, and not the exception to the rule. It requires some power of intellect to take a broad and comprehensive view over the whole of human life, and fairly to strike the balance. Such a view seems to have been taken by Bishop Butler (among others); and the conclusion, reached by calm investigation and philosophic thought, is that, on the whole, ever in this life, the balance of advantage rests with the virtuous, who really prosper more than the wicked, have greater and higher satisfactions, escape numerous forms of suffering, and approach more nearly to happiness. An exact apportionment of happiness and misery to desert is a thing that certainly in this life does not take place; but the tendency of virtue to accumulate to itself other goods is clear; and Job's pessimistic view is certainly an untrue one, which we may suspect that he maintained, rather from a love of paradox, and from a desire to puzzle and confuse his friends, than from any conviction of its absolute truth. 22 Shall one teach God knowledge,

Who judgeth those who are in heaven?

23 One dieth in his full strength,

Being still cheerful and free from care.

24 His troughs are full of milk,

And the marrow of his bones is well watered.

25 And another dieth with a sorrowing spirit,

And hath not enjoyed wealth.

26 They lie beside one another in the dust,

And worms cover them both.

The question, Job 21:22, concerns the friends. Since they maintain that necessarily and constantly virtue is rewarded by prosperity, and sin by misfortune, but without this law of the divine order of the world which is maintained by them being supported by experience: if they set themselves up as teachers of God, they will teach Him the right understanding of the conduct which is to be followed by Him as a ruler and judge of men, while nevertheless He is the Absolute One, beneath whose judicial rule not merely man, but also the heavenly spirits, are placed, and to which they must conform and bow. The verb למּד, instead of being construed with two acc., as in the dependent passage Isaiah 40:14, is here construed with the dat. of the person (which is not to be judged according to Job 5:2; Job 19:3, but according to διδάσκειν τινί τι, to teach one anything, beside the other prevailing construction). With והוא a circumstantial clause begins regularly: while He, however, etc. Arnh. and Lwenth. translate: while, however, He exaltedly judges, i.e., according to a law that infinitely transcends man; but that must have been מרום (and even thus it would still be liable to be misunderstood). Hahn (whom Olsh. is inclined to support): but He will judge the proud, to which first the circumstantial clause, and secondly the parallels, Job 35:2; Job 15:15; Job 4:18 (comp. Isaiah 24:21), from which it is evident that רמים signifies the heavenly beings (as Psalm 78:69, the heights of heaven), are opposed: it is a fundamental thought of this book, which abounds in allusions to the angels, that the angels, although exalted above men, are nevertheless in contrast with God imperfect, and therefore are removed neither from the possibility of sin nor the necessity of a government which holds them together in unity, and exercises a judicial authority over them. The rule of the all-exalted Judge is different from that which the three presumptuously prescribe to Him.

The one (viz., the evil-doer) dies בּעצם תּמּו, in ipsa sua integritate, like בעצם היום, ipso illo die; the Arabic would be fı̂ ‛yn, since there the eye, here the bone (comp. Uhlemann, Syr. Gramm. 58), denote corporeality, duration, existence, and therefore identity. תּם is intended of perfect external health, as elsewhere מתם; comp. תּמימים, Proverbs 1:12. In Job 21:23 the pointing שׁלאנן (adj.) and שׁלאנן (3 praet.) are interchanged in the Codd.; the following verbal adjective favours the form of writing with Kametz. As to the form, however (which Rd. and Olsh. consider to be an error in writing), it is either a mixed form from שׁאנן and שׁלו with the blended meaning of both (Ew. 106, c), to which the comparison with שׁליו ( equals שׁלו) is not altogether suitable, or it is formed from שׁאנן by means of an epenthesis (as זלעף from זעף, aestuare, and בלסם, βάλσαμον, from בשׂם), and of similar but intensified signification; we prefer the latter, without however denying the real existence of such mixed forms (vid., on Job 26:9; Job 33:25). This fulness of health and prosperity is depicted in Job 21:24. The ancient translators think, because the bones are mentioned in the parallel line, עטיניו must also be understood of a part of the body: lxx ἔγκατα, Jer. viscera; Targ. בּיזוי, his breasts, βυζία

(Note: Vid., Handschriftliche Funde, 2. S. V.)

(for Hebr. שׁדים, שׁד); Syr. version gabauh ( equals ganbauh), his sides in regard to עטמא, Syr. ‛attmo equals אטמא, side, hip; Saad. audâguhu, his jugular veins, in connection with which (not, however, by this last rendering) חלב is read instead of חלב: his bowels, etc., are full of fat.


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