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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Job 20

Verses 1-29

Job 20. Second Speech of Zophar.— Zophar helps the return to the wider problem by appearing once more with a strong doctrine as to the shortness of the prosperity of the wicked. His theme is, Sin brings its own reward.

Job 20:1-3 . Zophar replies to Job’ s exasperating words ( Job 19:1-6). In Job 20:2 b mg. is probably to be followed. In Job 20:3 b Duhm, on the basis of LXX, reads, “ and with wind void of understanding thou answerest me.”

Job 20:4-29 . The portion of the wicked. How short is his joy, how utter his destruction! In Job 20:4 the literal translation of the Heb. is “ knowest thou this of old.” “ In that case the question is a mocking one” (Peake). In Job 20:10 Budde reads for his “ hands” his “ children” with slight alteration and better sense.

Job 20:11 says that while his bones are still full of youth “ it” (his youth) is prematurely buried in the grave.

Job 20:12 f. describes sin as a dainty morsel kept in the mouth; but ( Job 20:14) it is poison when swallowed. In Job 20:15 the morsel swallowed becomes ill-gotten gam. In Job 20:20 “ within him” is lit, “ in his belly,” which is regarded as the seat of insatiable greed. With Job 20:23 we come to the Divine judgment upon the wicked man; here mg. is to be preferred: “ Let it be for the filling of his belly that God shall cast the fierceness of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him as his food.”

Job 20:24 represents the wicked man as attacked by warriors.

Job 20:25 means that, hoping to save his life, he draws out the arrow which has struck him; but the terrors of death seize upon him.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Job 20". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.