Job 27:19
The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not.
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(19) But he shall not be gathered.—Some ancient versions read, “but he shall do so no more;” but the “gathering” may refer to his wealth. “He openeth his eyes, and it (i.e., his wealth) is not;” or it may mean that as soon as he opens his eyes, hoping to enjoy his riches, he shall be no more, but be suddenly cut off. This sense appears to accord with the following verses.

Job 27:19. The rich man shall lie down — In death; but he shall not be gathered — Namely, in burial, as this word יאסŠ, jeaseph, is often used. Instead of that honourable interment with his fathers, which he expected, his carcass shall lie like dung upon the earth. He openeth, or, one openeth his eyes, and he is not — That is, while a man can open his eyes, in a moment, or in the twinkling of an eye, he is as if he had never been; he is dead and gone, and his family and name are extinct with 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?The rich man - That is, the rich man who is wicked.

Shall lie down - Shalt die - for so the connection demands.

But he shall not be gathered - In an honorable burial. The slain in battle are gathered together for burial; but he shall be unburied. The expressions "to be gathered," "to be gathered to one's fathers," frequently occur in the Scriptures, and seem to be used to denote a peaceful and happy death and an honorable burial. There was the idea of a happy union with departed friends; of being honorably placed by their side in the grave, and admitted to companionship with them again in the unseen world; compare Genesis 25:8; Genesis 35:29; Genesis 49:29, Genesis 49:33; Numbers 27:13; Deuteronomy 32:50; Judges 2:10; 2 Kings 22:20. Among the ancients, the opinion prevailed that the souls of those who were not buried in the customary manner, were not permitted to enter Hades, or the abodes of the dead, but were doomed to wander for an hundred years upon the banks of the river Styx. Thus, Homer (Iliad, 23:71, following) represents the spirit of Patroclus as appearing to Achilles, and praying him that he would commit his body with proper honors to the earth. So Palinurus is represented by Virgil (Aeneid, vi. 365) as saying, "Cast earth upon me, that I may have a calm repose in death." The Hindoos, says Dr. Ward, believe that the souls of those who are unburied wander about and find no rest. It is possible that such views may have prevailed in the time of Job. The sentiment here is, that such an honored death would be denied the rich man of oppression and wickedness.

He openeth his eyes, and he is not - That is, in the twinkling of an eye he is no more. From the midst of his affluence he is suddenly cut off, and hurried away in a moment.

19. gathered—buried honorably (Ge 25:8; 2Ki 22:20). But Umbreit, agreeably to Job 27:18, which describes the short continuance of the sinner's prosperity, "He layeth himself rich in his bed, and nothing is robbed from him, he openeth his eyes, and nothing more is there." If English Version be retained, the first clause probably means, rich though he be in dying, he shall not be honored with a funeral; the second, When he opens his eyes in the unseen world, it is only to see his destruction: the Septuagint reads for "not gathered," He does not proceed, that is, goes to his bed no more. So Maurer. Shall lie down; either,

1. To sleep; as this word is used, Genesis 19:35 Deu 6:7, &c. Or,

2. In death, of which it is used, 2 Samuel 7:12.

He shall not be gathered, to wit, in burial, of which this word is used, 2 Kings 22:20 Jeremiah 8:2 25:33. Instead of that honourable interment and burial with his fathers which he expected, he shall be buried with the burial of an ass; his carcass shall lie like dung upon the earth.

He openeth his eyes so the sense is either,

1. He awaketh in the morning, promising to himself a happy day. Or,

2. He looks about him for help and relief in his extremity. But the words are and may be rendered thus, one openeth his eyes, i.e. whilst a man can open his eyes, in a moment, or in the twinkling of an eye.

He is not; he is as if he had never been, dead and gone, and his family and name extinct with him.

The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered,.... That is, the wicked rich man; and the sense is, either he shall lie down upon his bed, but shall not be gathered to rest, shall get no sleep, the abundance of his riches, and the fear of losing them, or his life for them, will not suffer him to compose himself to sleep; or else it expresses his sudden loss of them, he "lies down" at night to take his rest, "and it is not gathered", his riches are not gathered or taken away from him, but remain with him:

he openeth his eyes: in the morning, when he awakes from sleep:

and it is not; by one providence or another he is stripped of all substance; or rather this is to be understood of his death, and of what befalls him at that time: death is often in Scripture signified by lying down, sleeping, and taking rest, as on a bed, see Job 14:10; rich men die as well as others; their riches cannot profit them, or be of any avail to them to ward off the stroke of death, and their death is miserable; he is "not gathered", or "shall not gather" (m), he cannot gather up his riches, and carry it with him, Psalm 49:15, 1 Timothy 6:7; "he openeth his eyes" in another world, "and it is not", his riches are not with him; or, as the Vulgate Latin version, "he shall find nothing"; or rather the meaning is, he is "not gathered"; to his grave, as Jarchi and Ben Gersom; and so Mr. Broughton, "he is not taken up", that is, as he interprets it, to be honestly buried. He is not buried in the sepulchres of his ancestors, which is often in Scripture signified by a man being gathered to his people, or to his fathers; but here it is suggested, that, notwithstanding all his riches, he should have no burial, or, what is worse than that, when he dies he should not be gathered to the saints and people of God, or into God's garner, into heaven and happiness: "but he openeth his eyes"; in hell, as the rich man is said to do, and finds himself in inexpressible torment: "and he is not"; on earth, in his palace he built, nor among his numerous family, friends, and acquaintance, and in the possession of his earthly riches, but is in hell in the most miserable and distressed condition that can be conceived of. Some think this last clause respects the suddenness of his death, one "opens his eyes", and looks at him, "and he is not"; he is dead, in the twinkling of an eye, and is no more in the land of the living; but the former sense is best.

(m) "nihil secum auferet", V. L.

The rich man shall lie down, but {n} he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not.

(n) He means that the wicked tyrants will not have a quiet death, nor be buried honourably.

19. the rich man shall lie down] “Rich” is equivalent to “wicked,” Isaiah 53:9. The words might be rendered, he lieth down rich.

shall not be gathered] The parallel in the next clause, he is not, suggests the general sense, he shall rise no more. Perhaps the most probable sense is that he shall not “be gathered and buried,” according to the passages, Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 25:33, Ezekiel 29:5; he shall have no funeral solemnities but shall be carried away by a sudden destruction. Others assume (after the Sept.) a different vocalization, he shall do it (lie down) no more. This is rather flat.

he openeth his eyes, and he is not] The words describe the suddenness of his destruction. The phrase is no more remarkable than that in 2 Kings 19:35, “When they arose early in the morning behold they were all dead corpses.” It is hardly necessary to circumscribe the words, “Hardly shall the sinner open his eyes, to view his destruction, when he is swept away.”

Verse 19. - The rich man lieth down; rather, he lieth down rich (see the Revised Version). But he shall not be gathered. If we accept the present text, we may translate, But it (i.e. his wealth) shall not be gathered' and suppose his wealth to have consisted in agricultural produce. Or we may alter יאספ into יוסיפ, and translate, He lieth down rich, but he shall do so no more - a correction to which the οὐ προσθήσει of the Septuagint points. He openeth his eyes, and he is not. Some translate, "It is not;" i.e. the harvest, in which his wealth consisted, is not - it has been all destroyed by blight or robbers Those who render, "He is not," generally suppose that he opens his eyes only to find himself in the hands of murderers. Job 27:1919 He lieth down rich, and doeth it not again,

He openeth his eyes and-is no more.

20 Terrors take hold of him as a flood;

By night a tempest stealeth him away.

21 The east wind lifteth him up, that he departeth,

And hurleth him forth from his place.

22 God casteth upon him without sparing,

Before His hand he fleeth utterly away.

23 They clap their hands at him,

And hiss him away from his place.

The pointing of the text ולא יאסף is explained by Schnurr., Umbr., and Stick.: He goes rich to bed and nothing is taken as yet, he opens his eyes and nothing more is there; but if this were the thought intended, it ought at least to have been ואין נאסף, since לא signifies non, not nihil; and Stickel's translation, "while nothing is carried away," makes the fut. instead of the praet., which was to be expected, none the more tolerable; also אסף can indeed signify to gather hastily together, to take away (e.g., Isaiah 33:4), when the connection favours it, but not here, where the first impression is that רשׁע is the subj. both to ולא יאסף and to ואיננו. Bttcher's translation, "He lieth down rich and cannot be displaced," gives the words a meaning that is ridiculed by the usage of the language. On the other hand, ולא יאסף can signify: and he is not conveyed away (comp. e.g., Jeremiah 8:2; Ezekiel 29:5; but not Isaiah 57:1, where it signifies to be swept away, and also not Numbers 20:26, where it signifies to be gathered to the fathers), and is probably intended to be explained after the pointing that we have, as Rosenm. and even Ralbag explain it: "he is not conveyed away; one opens his eyes and he is not;" or even as Schlottm.: "he is not conveyed away; in one moment he still looks about him, in the next he is no more;" but the relation of the two parts of the verse in this interpretation is unsatisfactory, and the preceding strophe has already referred to his not being buried. Since, therefore, only an unsuitable, and what is more, a badly-expressed thought, is gained by this reading, it may be that the expression should be regarded with Hahn as interrogative: is he not swept away? This, however, is only a makeshift, and therefore we must see whether it may not perhaps be susceptible of another pointing. Jerome transl.: dives cum dormierit, nihil secum auferet; the thought is not bad, but מאוּמה is wanting, and לא alone does not signify nihil. Better lxx (Ital., Syr.): πλούσιος κοιμηθήσεται καὶ ου ̓ προσθήσει. This translation follows the form of reading יאסף equals יוסיף, gives a suitable sense, places both parts of the verse in the right relation, and accords with the style of the poet (vid., Job 20:9; Job 40:5); and accordingly, with Ew., Hirz., and Hlgst., we decide in favour of this reading: he lieth down to sleep rich, and he doeth it no more, since in the night he is removed from life and also from riches by sudden death; or also: in the morning he openeth his eyes without imagining it is the last time, for, overwhelmed by sudden death, he closes them for ever. Job 27:20 and Job 27:20 are attached crosswise (chiastisch) to this picture of sudden destruction, be it by night or by day: the terrors of death seize him (sing. fem. with a plur. subj. following it, according to Ges. 146, 3) like a flood (comp. the floods of Belial, Psalm 18:5), by night a whirlwind (גּנבתּוּ סוּפה, as Job 21:18) carrieth him away. The Syriac and Arabic versions add, as a sort of interpolation: as a fluttering (large white) night-moth, - an addition which no one can consider beautiful.

Job 27:21 extends the figure of the whirlwind. In Hebrew, even when the narrative has reference to Egyptian matters (Genesis 41:23), the קדים which comes from the Arabian desert is the destructive, devastating, and parching wind κατ ̓ εξοχὴν.

(Note: In Syria and Arabia the east wind is no longer called qadı̂m, but exclusively sharqı̂ja, i.e., the wind that blows from the rising of the sun (sharq). This wind rarely prevails in summer, occurring then only two or three days a month on an average; it is more frequent in the winter and early spring, when, if it continues long, the tender vegetation is parched up, and a year of famine follows, whence in the Lebanon it is called semûm (שׂמוּם), which in the present day denotes the "poisonous wind" ( equals nesme musimme), but originally, by alliance with the Hebr. שׁמם, denoted the "devastating wind." The east wind is dry; it excites the blood, contracts the chest, causes restlessness and anxiety, and sleepless nights or evil dreams. Both man and beast feel weak and sickly while it prevails. Hence that which is unpleasant and revolting in life is compared to the east wind. Thus a maid in Hauran, at the sight of one of my Damascus travelling companions, whose excessive ugliness struck her, cried: billâh, nahâr el-jôm aqshar (Arab. 'qšr), wagahetni (Arab. w-jhṫnı̂) sharqı̂ja, "by God, it is an unhealthy day to-day: an east wind blew upon me." And in a festive dance song of the Merg district, these words occur:

wa rudd lı̂ hômet hodênik


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