Job 27:21
The east wind carries him away, and he departs: and as a storm hurles him out of his place.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 27:21-22. The east wind — Some terrible judgment, fitly compared to the east wind, which, in those parts, was most vehement, furious, pestilential, and destructive; carrieth him away — Out of his place, as it follows; out of his stately mansion, where he expected to dwell for ever; whence he shall be carried, either by an enemy or by death. For God shall cast upon him — His darts or plagues, one after another and not spare — That is, shall show no pity or mercy to him when he crieth to him for it. As there is no Hebrew for God, we may attribute this power to the storm occasioned by the east wind. For, if the tempest, Job 27:20, steals him away, according to the same kind of phraseology, the storm may be said to cast itself upon him, and not spare. He would fain flee out of his hand — That is, God’s hand, or from the power and violence of the storm. He earnestly desires and endeavours, by all possible ways, to escape the judgments of God, but in vain. Those that will not be persuaded to flee to the arms of divine grace, which are now 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.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 east wind carrieth him away - He is swept off as by the violence of a tempest. Severe storms are represented in this book as coming from the East; compare the notes at Job 15:2. The ancients believed that people might be carried away by a tempest or whirlwind; compare Isaiah 41:16; see also Homer, Odyssey xx. 63ff:

"Snatch me, ye whirlwinds far from human race,

Test through the void illimitable space;

Or if dismounted from the rapid cloud,

Me with his whelming wave let Ocean shroud!"

Pope

Compare the notes at Job 30:22. The parallelism here would seem to imply that the wind referred to was violent, but it is possible that the allusion may be to the burning winds of the desert, so well known in the East, and so frequently described by travelers. The Vulgate here renders the Hebrew word קדים qâdı̂ym, ventus urens, "burning wind;" the Septuagint in like manner, καύσων kausōn; the Syriac simply wind. This east wind, or burning wind, is what the Arabians call Samum. It is a hot wind which passes over the desert, and which was formerly supposed to be destructive of life. More recent travelers however, tell us that it is not fatal to life, though exceedingly oppressive.

And as a storm - See Psalm 58:9.

Hurleth him out of his place - Takes him entirely away, or removes him from the earth.

21. (Job 21:18; 15:2; Ps 58:9). The east wind, i.e. some violent and terrible judgment, fitly compared to the east wind, which in those parts was most vehement and furious, and withal pestilent and pernicious; of which see Exodus 10:13 14:21 Psalm 48:7 78:26 Hosea 13:15 Jonah 4:8.

Carrieth him away, out of his place, as it follows, out of his stately palace, wherein he expected to dwell for ever; whence he shall be carried either by an enemy, that shall take him and carry him into captivity, or by death. The east wind carrieth him away,.... Which is very strong and powerful, and carries all before it; afflictions are sometimes compared to it, Isaiah 27:8; and here either death, accompanied with the wrath of God, which carries the wicked man, sore against his will, out of the world, from his house, his family, his friends, his possessions, and estates, and carries him to hell to be a companion with devils, and share with them in all the miseries of that dreadful state and place. The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it, "a burning wind", such as are frequent in the eastern countries, which carry a man off at once, so that he has only time at most to say, I burn, and immediately drops down dead, as Thevenot, and other travellers, relate; which is thus described;

"it is a wind called "Samiel", or poison wind, a very hot one, that reigns in summer from Mosul to Surrat, but only by land, not upon the water; they who have breathed that wind fall instantly dead upon the place, though sometimes they have time to say that they burn within. No sooner does a man die by this wind but he becomes as black as a coal; and if one take him by his leg, arm, or any other place, his flesh comes from the same, and is plucked off by the hand that would lift him up (n):''

and again, it is observed, that in Persia, if a man, in June or July, breathes in certain hot south winds that come from the sea, he falls down dead, and at most has no more time than to say he burns (o). Wicked men are like chaff and stubble, and they can no more resist death than either of these can resist the east wind; and they are as easily burnt up and consumed with the burning wind of God's wrath as they are by devouring flames; and though wicked men and hypocrites may think all will be well with them if they have but time to say, Lord have mercy on us; they may be carried off with such a burning wind, or scorching disease, as to be able only to say, that they burn, and not in their bodies only, but in their souls also, feeling the wrath of God in their consciences: or this may have respect to the devouring flames of hell they are surrounded with upon dying, or immediately after death, see Isaiah 33:14;

and he departeth; out of the world, not willingly, but, whether he will or not, he must depart; or rather he will be bid to depart, and he will depart from the bar of God, from his presence, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

an as a storm hurleth him out of his place: this is done either at death, when as a storm hurls a tree, or any other thing, out of its place, so is the sinner forced out of his place in a tempestuous manner, through the power and wrath of God, so that his place knows him no more; and he is hurried into hell and everlasting destruction, just as the sinning angels were hurled out of heaven, and cast down into hell, and there will be no place found in heaven for them any more; or rather this will be his case at judgment, which immediately follows, where the wicked shall not stand, or be able to justify themselves, and make their case good; but with the storm of divine wrath and vengeance shall be hurled from thence, and go, being driven, into everlasting punishment.

(n) Thevenot's Travels into the Levant, par. 2. B. 1. ch. 12. p. 54. (o) Thevenot's Travels into the Levant, par. 2. B. 3. ch. 5. p. 135.

The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. The east wind is gusty and tempestuous, ch. Job 38:24, Psalm 48:7. See Wetzstein’s note in Del.

and as a storm hurleth] Or, and in storm hurleth. With this which Job says of the sinner compare what he says of himself, ch. Job 9:17, Job 30:22, “Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest me in the tempest”; and see his former query regarding the wicked, ch. Job 21:18.Verse 21. - The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth. The khamsin wind, coming with all its violence and burning heat, drives him before it, and is irresistible (see 'Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2. p. 482). And as a storm hurleth him out of his place. This is little more than a repetition of the previous hemistich. The man is swept from the earth by a storm of calamity 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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