Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 15:23

"He wanders about for food, saying, ‘Where is it?' He knows that a day of darkness is at hand.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Wicked (People);   Thompson Chain Reference - Abundance-Want;   Want;   The Topic Concordance - Destruction;   Opposition;   Wickedness;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eliphaz;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He wandereth abroad for bread - He is reduced to a state of the utmost indigence, he who was once in affluence requires a morsel of bread, and can scarcely by begging procure enough to sustain life.

Is ready at his hand - Is בידו beyado, in his hand - in his possession. As he cannot get bread, he must soon meet death.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 15:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He wandereth abroad for bread - The Septuagint renders this, “he is destined to be food for vultures” - κατατέτακται δὲ εἰς σῖτα γυψίν katatetaktai de eis sitos gupsin The meaning of the Hebrew is, simply, that he will be reduced to poverty, and will not know where to obtain a supply for his returning needs.

He knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand - He is assured that the period of calamity is not far remote. It must come. He has no security that it will not come immediately. The whole design of this is to show that there is no calmness and security for a wicked man; that in the midst of apparent prosperity his soul is in constant dread.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 15:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-15.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Job 15:23

He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it?

The cry for bread

There are certain things which if men want they will have. I have heard say that in the old bread riots, when men were actually starving for bread, no word had such a terrible threatening and alarming power about it as the word “Bread,” when shouted by a starving crowd. I have read a description by one who once heard this cry. He said he had been startled at night by a cry of “Fire!” but when he heard the cry of “Bread! Bread!” from those who were hungry, it seemed to cut him like a sword. Whatever bread had been in his possession he must at once have handed it out. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
.

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Job 15:23". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/job-15.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He wandereth abroad for bread,.... Either as a plunderer and robber, he roves about to increase his worldly power and substance; or rather, being reduced to poverty, wanders about from place to place, from door to door, to beg his bread; which is a curse imprecated on the posterity of wicked men, Psalm 109:10;

saying, where is it? where is bread to be had? where shall I go for it? where lives a liberal man that will give it freely and generously? by this question it seems as if it was difficult for such a man to get his bread by begging; he having been cruel and oppressive to others, unkind and ungenerous in his time of prosperity, now finds but few that care to relieve him; and indeed a man that has not shown mercy to the indigent, when in his power to have relieved them, cannot expect mercy will be shown to him; this he does, wanders about, seeking food, "wheresoever he is"F23So Noldius in Ebr. Concord. Part. p. 87. :

he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand; either that a day of affliction and adversity is coming upon him, perceiving his affairs to grow worse and worse, or to be immediately and already on him, which obliges him to wander about for bread; or that the day of death is at hand, which he is made sensible of by one symptom or another; or rather it may be the day of everlasting darkness in hell, the wrath of God to the uttermost he has deserved; he finds the day of judgment is at hand, and the Judge at the door, and in a short time he must receive the reward of eternal vengeance for the wicked deeds he has done; for so the words may be rendered, "that the day of darkness is prepared by his hand"F24בידו "suis factis", Tigurine version; "per manum suam", Schmidt. ; by the evil works his hand has wrought, and so has treasured up to himself wrath against the day of wrath, and righteous judgment of God.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 15:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

He wandereth o abroad for bread, [saying], Where [is it]? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

(o) God not only impoverishes the wicked often, but even in their prosperity he punishes them with a greediness to gain even more: which is as a beggary.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 15:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-15.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Wandereth in anxious search for bread. Famine in Old Testament depicts sore need (Isaiah 5:13). Contrast the pious man‘s lot (Job 5:20-22).

knoweth — has the firm conviction. Contrast the same word applied to the pious (Job 5:24, Job 5:25).

ready at his hand — an Arabic phrase to denote a thing‘s complete readiness and full presence, as if in the hand.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 15:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-15.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

Knoweth — From his own guilty conscience.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 15:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-15.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 15:23 He wandereth abroad for bread, [saying], Where [is it]? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

Ver. 23. He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it?] He is hard put to it for necessaries, and would be glad of a piece of bread, as 1 Samuel 2:5; 1 Samuel 2:36. This was the case of Pythias, once so rich, that he entertained a million men (even Xerxes’ whole huge host) for three days’ time at his own proper charge; but afterwards so poor, that he died through hunger (Herodot.). And the like befell Gillimer, king of Vandals, of whom the story is told, that being overcome and beleaguered by Belisarius, he sent to him for a sponge to dry his tears, a cittern to ease his grief, and a piece of bread to save his life. Belisarius himself was afterwards glad to beg for his bread. And Henry IV, emperor of Germany, after ten years’ reign, was deposed and driven to the like exigent; whereupon he is said to have made use of those words of Job, Job 19:21, "Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends, for the hand of God hath touched me." And there is no doubt but Eliphaz glanceth at Job in all these expressions, as if he were the man whom he here describeth with much eloquence, but small charity.

He knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand] His conscience telleth him that he is not yet at worst; he knows in himself, say the Septuagint, that further evil shall be upon him, that his misery is inevitable, and next door; and this knowledge being full of fear, is also full of torment; it is even hell aforehand, and above ground.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 15:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-15.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 15:23. He wandereth abroad, &c.— His carcase to be cast forth as food for the vulture. Heath. He wandereth about, flying the oppressor. Houbigant.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 15:23". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-15.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

His poverty is so great, that he is forced to wander hither and thither to seek for bread, and cannot find it. A just punishment for him that took away the bread and substance of others by violence.

He knoweth; he is assured of it from his own guilty conscience.

The day of darkness, i.e. the time of his total, and irrecoverable, and everlasting destruction.

Is ready at his hand, i.e. ready to seize upon him, or take him by the hand or shoulder like a serjeant to arrest him. The words may well he rendered, was prepared by his hand, i.e. by his works or actions; which being most commonly done with the hand, are oft called by that name, as Exodus 14:31 Jude 9:16 Proverbs 10:4 12:24. So the sense is, He is conscious to himself that by his wicked life he hath prepared and stored up calamities and destruction for himself, and therefore he expected nothing less.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 15:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-15.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23.Where is it . This word, differently pointed, may signify vulture, (γρυψιν, Septuagint,) which leads Merx to render the passage, “He wanders about to be the food of vultures.” Better the text, with its outcry “where?” The one touch of the pencil paints the confusion and despair of famine. “He sees himself in the mirror of the future reduced to beggary.” — Delitzsch. The imagination — that faculty by which we form images, real or unreal — is a powerful agent which God uses for the punishment of men in this present life.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 15:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-15.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 15:23. He wandereth abroad for bread — His poverty is so great, that he is forced to wander hither and thither to seek for bread, and cannot find it, a just punishment for him that took away the bread and substance of others by violence. He knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand — He is assured, from his own guilty conscience, that the time of his total, and irrecoverable, and everlasting destruction is ready to seize upon him, and arrest him, as an officer of justice arrests a criminal; that it is appointed to him and cannot be put by, that it is hastening on and cannot be put off. The Hebrew נכון בידו, nachon bejado, may be properly rendered, Is prepared by his own hand, that is, by his works or actions. So the sense is, He is conscious to himself that, by his wicked life, he hath prepared and treasured up calamities and destruction for himself. This day of darkness is something beyond death; it is that day of the Lord which, to all the wicked, will be darkness and not light, and in which they will be doomed to utter, endless darkness.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 15:23". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-15.html. 1857.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Fearful that he may become impoverished, the unrighteous man seeks to hunt and hoard food, anticipating his need for hiding because of his wrong-doing. For such a person, darkness stalks in the daytime" (Zuck p. 73).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 15:23". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-15.html. 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

Wandereth in anxious search for bread. Famine in the Old Testament depicts sore need (Isaiah 5:13, "their honourable men are famished." Contrast the pious man's lot (Job 5:20-22). As in peace the wicked man fears the sudden attack of an enemy, so in the midst of abundance he is apprehensive of famine, and anxiously wanders to and fro in search of bread to lay up in store. The abruptness of the verse marks his restless anxiety.

Knoweth - has the firm conviction. Contrast the same word applied to the pious (Job 5:24-25).

Ready at his hand - an Arabic phrase, to denote a thing's complete readiness and full presence, as if in the hand.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 15:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-15.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) He wandereth abroad for bread.—This is one of the points in which the picture seems inconsistent, because overdrawn, except that forage as well as plunder may be the object of marauding raids.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 15:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.
wandereth
30:3,4; Genesis 4:12; Psalms 59:15; 109:10; Lamentations 5:6,9; Hebrews 11:37,38
the day
18:5,6,12,18; Ecclesiastes 11:8; Joel 2:2; Amos 5:20; Zephaniah 1:15; Hebrews 10:27
Reciprocal: Job 9:4 - who hath hardened;  Psalm 37:25 - nor his seed

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 15:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-15.html.