Job 26:6
Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.
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Job 26:6. Hell is naked before him — Is in his presence, and under his providence. Hell itself, that place of utter darkness, is not hid from his sight. Destruction — The place of destruction, hath no covering — Such as can conceal it from his view.

26:5-14 Many striking instances are here given of the wisdom and power of God, in the creation and preservation of the world. If we look about us, to the earth and waters here below, we see his almighty power. If we consider hell beneath, though out of our sight, yet we may conceive the discoveries of God's power there. If we look up to heaven above, we see displays of God's almighty power. By his Spirit, the eternal Spirit that moved upon the face of the waters, the breath of his mouth, Ps 33:6, he has not only made the heavens, but beautified them. By redemption, all the other wonderful works of the Lord are eclipsed; and we may draw near, and taste his grace, learn to love him, and walk with delight in his ways. The ground of the controversy between Job and the other disputants was, that they unjustly thought from his afflictions that he must have been guilty of heinous crimes. They appear not to have duly considered the evil and just desert of original sin; nor did they take into account the gracious designs of God in purifying his people. Job also darkened counsel by words without knowledge. But his views were more distinct. He does not appear to have alleged his personal righteousness as the ground of his hope towards God. Yet what he admitted in a general view of his case, he in effect denied, while he complained of his sufferings as unmerited and severe; that very complaint proving the necessity for their being sent, in order to his being further humbled in the sight of God.Hell - Hebrew שׁאול she'ôl, Sheol; Greek ᾅδης Hadēs Hades. The reference is to the abode of departed spirits - the nether world where the dead were congregated; see the notes at Job 10:21-22. It does not mean here, as the word hell does with us, a place of punishment, but the place where all the dead were supposed to be gathered together.

Is naked before him - That is, be looks directly upon that world. It is hidden from us, but not from him. He sees all its inhabitants, knows all their employments, and sways a scepter over them all.

And destruction - Hebrew אבדון 'ăbaddôn, Abaddon; compare Revelation 9:11, "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon." The Hebrew word means destruction, and then abyss, or place of destruction, and is evidently given here to the place where departed spirits are supposed to reside. The word in this form occurs only here and in Proverbs 15:11; Psalm 88:11; Job 26:6, in all which places it is rendered destruction. The idea here is, not that this is a place where souls are destroyed, but that it is a place similar to destruction - as if all life, comfort, light, and joy, were extinguished.

Hath no covering - There is nothing to conceal it from God. He looks down even on that dark nether world, and sees and knows all that is there. There is a passage somewhat similar to this in Homer, quoted by Longinus as one of unrivaled sublimity, but which by no means surpasses this. It occurs in the Iliad, xx. 61-66:

Εδδεισεν δ ̓ ὑτένερθεϚ ἄναξ ἐνέρων Αιδωνεὺς, κ. τ. λ.

Eddeisen d' hupenerthen anac enerōn Aidōneus, etc.

Deep in the dismal regions of the dead

Th' infernal monarch reared his horrid head,

Leaped from his throne, lest Neptune's arm should lay

His dark dominions open to the day,

And pour in light on Pluto's drear abodes,

Abhorred by men, and dreadful e'en to gods.


6. (Job 38:17; Ps 139:8; Pr 5:11).

destruction—the abode of destruction, that is, of lost souls. Hebrew, Abaddon (Re 9:11).

no covering—from God's eyes.

Hell, as this word is frequently used, as Job 11:8 Isaiah 57:9, &c. And so it seems to be explained by the following word,

destruction, i.e. the place of destruction, which interpreters generally understand of hell, or the place of the damned. Others, the grave, the most secret and obscure places and things. Is naked before him, i.e. it is in his presence, and under his providence. So far am I from imagining that God cannot see through a dark cloud, as you traduced me, Job 22:13, that I very well know that even hell itself, that place of utter darkness, is not hid from his sight.

Destruction, i.e. the place of destruction, as it is also used, Proverbs 15:11, by a metonymy of the adjunct.

Hath no covering, to wit, such as to keep it out of his sight.

Hell is naked before him,.... Which may be taken either for the place of the damned, as it sometimes is; and then the sense is, that though it is hidden from men, and they know not where it is, or who are in it, and what is done and suffered there; yet it is all known to God: he knows the place thereof, for it is made, ordained, and prepared by him; he knows who are there, even all the wicked dead, and all the nations that forget God, being cast there by him; he knows the torments they endure, for the smoke of them continually ascends before him; and he knows all their malice and envy, their enmity to him, and blasphemy of him; for thither are they gone down with their weapons of war, and have laid their swords under their heads, Ezekiel 32:27; or for Hades, the invisible world of spirits, or state of the dead, as the Septuagint version renders the word; though that is unseen to men, it is naked and open to the eye of God; or for the grave, in which the bodies of men are laid; which is the frequent sense of the word used, Psalm 88:11; and though this is a land of darkness, and where the light is as darkness, yet God can look into it; and the dust of men therein is carefully observed and preserved by him, and will be raised again at the last day; who has the keys of death and hell, or the grave, and can open it at his pleasure, and cause it to give up the dead that are therein:

and destruction hath no covering; and may design the same as before, either hell, the place of the damned, where men are destroyed soul and body with an everlasting destruction; or the grave, which the Targum calls the house of destruction, as it sometimes is, the pit of destruction and corruption; because bodies cast into it corrupt and putrefy, and are destroyed in it; and there is nothing to cover either the one or the other from the all seeing eye of God; see Psalm 139:7; as hell is supposed to be under the earth, and the grave is in it, Job is as yet on things below, and from hence rises to those above, in the following words.

Hell is {e} naked before him, and {f} destruction hath no covering.

(e) There is nothing hidden in the bottom of the earth but he sees it.

(f) Meaning, the grave in which things putrify.

6. Hell] is in Heb. Sheol, the place where deceased persons congregate, the world beneath. It is not a place of pain, though a dark and dreary abode, ch. Job 10:21-22. Those there are the dead, who still subsist, though they do not live. “Destruction,” Heb. abaddon, is a synonym for Sheol, ch. Job 28:22. This as well as all things is naked to the eyes of Jehovah. Comp. Amos 9:2; Psalm 139:8.

Verse 6. - Hell is naked before him; i.e. "can hide nothing from his eyes" - shows all its inmost recesses. And destruction hath no covering; rather, Abaddon hath no covering (see the Revised Version). Abaddon is sometimes "destruction," sometimes "the angel of the bottomless pit" (Revelation 9:11), sometimes "the bottomless pit itself" (Proverbs 15:11). Here the last of these three senses seems to suit best - the deepest depth of the bottomless pit is no secret to God," but "naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13) Job 26:6שׁאול is seemingly used as fem., as in Isaiah 14:9; but in reality the adj. precedes in the primitive form, without being changed by the gender of שׁאול. אבדּון alternates with שׁאול, like קבר in Psalm 88:12. As Psalm 139:8 testifies to the presence of God in Shel, so here Job (comp. Job 38:17, and especially Proverbs 15:11) that Shel is present to God, that He possesses a knowledge which extends into the depths of the realm of the dead, before whom all things are γυμνὰ καὶ τετραχηλισμένα (Hebrews 4:13). The following partt., Job 26:7, depending logically upon the chief subject which precedes, are to be determined according to Job 25:2; they are conceived as present, and indeed of God's primeval act of creation, but intended of the acts which continue by virtue of His creative power.
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