Job 27:15
Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep.
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(15) Those that remain of him shall be buried in death.—That is, as the context shows, it shall be obscure, and excite no sympathy; their very death shall be as it were a burial, and shall consign them to oblivion.

His widows.—That is, those commonly hired for the purpose of making lamentation for the dead, or the widows of those that remain of him.

27:11-23 Job's friends, on the same subject, spoke of the misery of wicked men before death as proportioned to their crimes; Job considered that if it were not so, still the consequences of their death would be dreadful. Job undertook to set this matter in a true light. Death to a godly man, is like a fair gale of wind to convey him to the heavenly country; but, to a wicked man, it is like a storm, that hurries him away to destruction. While he lived, he had the benefit of sparing mercy; but now the day of God's patience is over, and he will pour out upon him his wrath. When God casts down a man, there is no flying from, nor bearing up under his anger. Those who will not now flee to the arms of Divine grace, which are stretched out to receive them, will not be able to flee from the arms of Divine wrath, which will shortly be stretched out to destroy them. And what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and thus lose his own soul?Those that remain of him - Those that survive him.

Shall be buried in death - Hebrew "shall be buried BY death" (במות bamâveth), that is. "Death shall be the grave-digger" - or, they shall have no friends to bury them; they shall be unburied. The idea is highly poetical, and the expression is very tender. They would have no one to weep over them, and no one to prepare for them a grave; there would be no procession, no funeral dirge, no train of weeping attendants; even the members of their own family would not weep over them. To be unburied has always been regarded as a dishonor and calamity (compare the notes at Isaiah 14:19), and is often referred to as such in the Scriptures; see Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 14:16; Jeremiah 16:4, Jeremiah 16:6. The passage here has a striking resemblance to Jeremiah 22:18-19 -

"They shall not lament for him, saying,

Ah! my brother! or, Ah! sister!

They shall not lament for him, saying,

Ah! lord! or, Ah! his glory!

With the burial of an ass shall he be buried,

Drawn out and east beyond the gates of Jerusalem."

And his widows shall not weep - The plural here - "widows" - is a proof that polygamy was then practiced. It is probable that Job here alludes to the shrieks of domestic grief which in the East are heard in every part of the house among the females on the death of the master of the family, or to the train of women that usually followed the corpse to the grave. The standing of a man in society was indicated by the length of the train of mourners, and particularly by the number of wives and concubines that followed him as weepers. Job refers to this as the sentiment of his friends, that when a wicked man died, he would die with such evident marks of the divine displeasure, that even his own family would not mourn for him, or that they would be cut off before his death, and none would be left to grieve.

15. Those that escape war and famine (Job 27:14) shall be buried by the deadly plague—"death" (Job 18:13; Jer 15:2; Re 6:8). The plague of the Middle Ages was called "the black death." Buried by it implies that they would have none else but the death plague itself (poetically personified) to perform their funeral rites, that is, would have no one.

his—rather, "their widows." Transitions from singular to plural are frequent. Polygamy is not implied.

Those that remain of him; who survive and escape that sword and famine.

Shall be buried in death; either,

1. Shall die, and so be buried. Or,

2. Shall be buried as soon as ever they are dead, either because their relations or dependents feared lest they shored come to themselves again, and trouble them and others longer; or because they were not able to bestow any funeral pomp upon them, or thought them unworthy of it. Or,

3. Shall be in a manner utterly extinct in or by death; all their hope, and glory, and name, and memory (which they designed to perpetuate to all ages) shall be buried with them, and they shall never rise again to a blessed life: whereas a good man hath hope in his death, and leaves his good name alive and flourishing in the world, and rests in his grave in assurance of redemption from it, and of a glorious resurrection to a happy and eternal life.

His widows; for they had many wives, either to gratify their lust, or to increase and strengthen their family and interest.

Shall not weep; either because they durst not lament their death, which was entertained with public joy; or because they were overwhelmed and astonished with the greatness and strangeness of the calamity, and therefore could not weep; or because they also, as well as other persons, groaned under their tyranny and cruelty, and rejoiced in their deliverance from it.

Those that remain of him,.... Of the wicked man after his death; or such that remain, and have escaped the sword and famine:

shall be buried in death: the pestilence, emphatically called death by the Hebrews, as by us the mortality, see Revelation 6:8. This is another of God's sore public judgments wicked men, and is such a kind of death, by reason of the contagion of it, that a person is buried as soon as dead almost, being infectious to keep him; and so Mr. Broughton translates the words,

"his remnant shall be buried as soon as they are dead;''

or the disease of which such die being so very infectious sometimes, no one dares to bury them for fear of catching it, and so they lie unburied; which some take to be the sense of the phrase, either that they shall be hurried away to the grave, and so not be embalmed and lie in state, and have an honourable and pompous funeral, or that they shall have none at all, their death will be all the burial they shall have: or else the sense is, they shall die such a death as that death shall be their grave; and they shall have no other, as the men of the old world that were drowned in the flood, Genesis 7:23; and Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea, Exodus 15:4; and Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, who were swallowed up in the earth, Numbers 16:27; and such as are devoured by wild beasts; and if this last could be thought to be meant, we have all the four sore judgments of God in this verse and Job 27:14, sword, famine, pestilence, and evil beasts, see Ezekiel 14:21,

and his widows shall not weep; leaving more than one behind him, polygamy being frequent in those times; or else these are his sons' wives, left widows by them, as Bar Tzemach thinks, they being the persons immediately spoken of, dying by various deaths before mentioned; but whether they be his widows, or theirs, they shall weep for neither of them; either because they themselves will be cut off with them; or their husbands dying shameful deaths, lamentation would be forbidden; or they would not be able to weep through the astonishment and stupor they should be seized with at their death; or having lived such miserable and uncomfortable lives with them, they should be so far from lamenting their death, that they should, as Jarchi interprets it, rejoice at it; the Septuagint version is,

"no one shall have mercy on their widows.''

Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows {l} shall not weep.

(l) No one will lament him.

15. buried in death] “Death” is here, as often (Jeremiah 15:2; Jeremiah 18:21; Jeremiah 43:11) pestilence. Those that sword and famine spare (Job 27:14) become the prey of the pestilence, and their burial shall be such as those so dying receive, without funeral rites and with no accompaniment of lamenting women. This idea is more distinctly expressed in the next clause, “his widows shall not weep”; comp. Psalm 78:64. Comp. Job’s previous words as to the “burial” of the wicked, ch. Job 21:32.

Verse 15. - Those that remain of him shall be buried in death. Not simply "shall die," but shall "be buried," i.e. lost sight of, and forgotten, "in death." And his widows shall not weep (scrap. Psalm 78:64). The deaths of his offspring shall not be lamented by their widows - a very grievous omission in the eyes of Orientals. Job 27:1513 This is the lot of the wicked man with God,

And the heritage of the violent which they receive from the Almighty:

14 If his children multiply, it is for the sword,

And his offspring have not bread enough.

15 His survivors shall be buried by the pestilence,

And his widows shall not weep.

16 If he heapeth silver together as dust,

And prepareth garments for himself as mire:

17 He prepareth it, and the righteous clothe themselves,

And the innocent divide the silver among themselves.

18 He hath built as a moth his house,

And as a hut that a watchman setteth up.

We have already had the combination אדם רשׁע for אישׁ רשׁע in Job 20:29; it is a favourite expression in Proverbs, and reminds one of ἄνθρωπος ὁδίτης in Homer, and ἄνθρωπος σπείρωϚ, ἐχθρός, ἔμπορος, in the parables Matthew 13. Psik (Pasek) stands under רשׁע, to separate the wicked man and God, as in Proverbs 15:29 (Norzi). למו, exclusively peculiar to the book of Job in the Old Testament (here and Job 29:21; Job 38:40; Job 40:4), is ל rendered capable of an independent position by means of מו equals מה, Arab. mâ. The sword, famine, and pestilence are the three punishing powers by which the evil-doer's posterity, however numerous it may be, is blotted out; these three, חרב, רעב, and מות, appear also side by side in Jeremiah 15:2; מות, instead of ממותי, diris mortibus, is (as also Jeremiah 18:21) equivalent to דּבר in the same trio, Jeremiah 14:12; the plague is personified (as when it is called by an Arabian poet umm el-farit, the mother of death), and Vavassor correctly observes: Mors illos sua sepeliet, nihil praeterea honoris supremi consecuturos. Bttcher (de inferis, 72) asserts that במות can only signify pestilentiae tempore, or better, ipso mortis momento; but since בּ occurs by the passive elsewhere in the sense of ab or per, e.g., Numbers 36:2; Hosea 14:4, it can also by נקבר denote the efficient cause. Olshausen's correction במות לא יקברו, they will not be buried when dead (Jeremiah 16:4), is still less required; "to be buried by the pestilence" is equivalent to, not to be interred with the usual solemnities, but to be buried as hastily as possible.

Job 27:15 (common to our poet and the psalm of Asaph, 78:64, which likewise belongs to the Salomonic age) is also to be correspondingly interpreted: the women that he leaves behind do not celebrate the usual mourning rites (comp. Genesis 23:2), because the decreed punishment which, stroke after stroke, deprives them of husbands and children, prevents all observance of the customs of mourning, and because the shock stifles the feeling of pity. The treasure in gold which his avarice has heaped up, and in garments which his love of display has gathered together, come into the possession of the righteous and the innocent, who are spared when these three powers of judgment sweep away the evil-doer and his family. Dust and dirt (i.e., of the streets, חוצות) are, as in Zechariah 9:3, the emblem of a great abundance that depreciates even that which is valuable. The house of the ungodly man, though a palace, is, as the fate of the fabric shows, as brittle and perishable a thing, and can be as easily destroyed, as the fine spinning of a moth, עשׁ (according to the Jewish proverb, the brother of the סס), or even the small case which it makes from remnants of gnawed articles, and drags about with it; it is like a light hut, perhaps for the watchman of a vineyard (Isaiah 1:8), which is put together only for the season during which the grapes are ripening.


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