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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Job 20



Verses 1-29

Zophar's Second Speech

Zophar ignores Job's conviction that God will one day establish his innocence, and proceeds to describe the short triumph of the wicked and his certain downfall and punishment at God's hand. Perhaps he wishes Job to apply the description to himself and take warning therefrom; though quite apart from that the speech is relevant to his argument that the moral order of the world is not, as Job maintains, unrighteous.

3. The check of my reproach] RV 'the reproof which putteth me to shame.' He refers to Job's reproaches in Job 19.

10. Seek to please the poor] i.e. seek in distress the favour of the humblest. For his hands Budde reads 'his offspring.' Restore their goods] which he had extorted from them in his prosperity.

11. RV 'His bones are full of' (the vigour of) 'his youth, but it shall lie down with him in the dust.'

12, 13. Like a sweetmeat which is retained in the mouth as long as possible, so the sinner revels in his sin.

14-16. The consequences of sin figuratively described: cp. Proverbs 23:29-32. His meat] better, 'this food of his,' i.e. sin. Asps] a species of serpent.

17. The floods, etc.] RV 'the flowing streams of honey,' etc.: a figure of prosperity. Surely he shall not feel quietness] RM 'Because he knew no quietness in his greed.' His greed was never satisfied.

21. RV 'There was nothing left that he devoured not; therefore his prosperity shall not endure.'

22b. RV 'The hand of every one that is in misery shall come upon him'; i.e. all who have suffered at his hands.

23-29. The terrible death of the wicked.

24. Steel] better, 'bronze.'

25a. RV 'He draweth it forth, and it cometh,' etc.

26. RV 'All darkness is laid up for his treasures: a fire not blown by man shall devour him; it shall consume that which is left in his tent.'

27. The v. seems to be Zophar's harsh retort (a) to Job's conviction of a vindicator from heaven of his innocence (Job 16:19; Job 19:25), and (b) to his appeal to the earth (see Job 16:18).


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Job 20:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

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Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
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