Lectionary Calendar
Monday, June 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Job 18

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-21

Job 18:6 . The light shall be dark in his tabernacle. Darkness is a most ancient figure of speech for all kinds of affliction. But to good men, “the Lord will make darkness light before them.” Isaiah 42:16. Yea, when they sit in darkness he will be their light. Micah 7:8.

Job 18:13 . The firstborn of death. Chaldaic, “the angel of death;” others read “ Satan,” who introduced sin and death into the world.

Job 18:14 . It shall bring him to the king of terrors. The king of destruction; others read, the king of darkness. Ancient writers often array this king in the densest cloud of darkness, terror, and despair.

Job 18:17 . He shall have no name in the street, “in publico.” Schultens. No reputation; or if men pronounce his name on any occasion, it shall be with a beclouded countenance. But not so with Job. When the ear heard him, it blessed him; when the eye saw him, it gave witness to the pleasure and delight it felt at his presence.


Why should Bildad be angry, unless he had had some other grounds of warmth beyond presumption. All his flowery figures, how just soever they might be when applied to the wicked, were altogether uncharitable here. God does not, like frail mortals, fly in rage and passion at the wickedness of men. He sits calm in the heavens; he visits for crimes in a thousand ways, often by gentle strokes at first, to bring men to repentance, often by severer strokes of sickness and death, and sometimes by pestilence and wars which sweep the earth.

But in the strokes of an adorable providence, the children are sometimes cut off before their parents, leaving them “neither son nor nephew.” Extinct peerages, mansions in ruins, or inhabited by other names, like desecrated places, reproach the memory of former times. He only then is truly wise who seeks a heritage in heaven, and a name in the city of God. These portraits of the horrors of darkness, openly intended for the contemplation of Job, were of the most appalling nature. They pierced his soul with empoisoned arrows, and wrung from his heart the appeals we have in the ensuing replies. Oh ye my friends, have pity upon me, have pity upon me, for the hand of God hath touched me. Why add those grievous things to my anguish?

But if the conclusions of Bildad, and the more eloquent rhetoric of Zophar in the twentieth chapter, be correct; if they are inferences fairly deduced from facts, let the reader cleanse his hands and his house from iniquity, lest the moth consume his body, and the worm for ever prey upon his mind. If Job had nothing to fear, assuredly the men that know not God have every thing to dread from his anger.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 18". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/job-18.html. 1835.
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