Job 27:19
The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he opens 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. 13 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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