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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 15:28

"He has lived in desolate cities, In houses no one would inhabit, Which are destined to become ruins.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Wicked (People);   The Topic Concordance - Destruction;   Wickedness;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eliphaz;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - House;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - House;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Egypt;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Heap;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse Job 15:28. He dwelleth in desolate cities — It is sometimes the fate of a tyrant to be obliged to take up his habitation in some of those cities which have been ruined by his wars, and in a house so ruinous as to be ready to fall into heaps. Ancient and modern history afford abundance of examples to illustrate this.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 15:28". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary


Eliphaz speaks (15:1-35)

The three friends are offended that their collective wisdom has not humbled Job as they had hoped. They are angered that Job continues to argue with God. Therefore, in this the second round of argument they emphasize the terrors of God’s judgment, hoping that this might bring Job to repentance.
Eliphaz, the least aggressive of the three, leads off again, though clearly even he is angered and offended at Job’s speech. Job claims to be a wise and godly person, but his rash answers have been unprofitable and irreverent. Such speech is itself proof of his guilt (15:1-6). Does Job think that he alone has knowledge of the ways of God (7-9)? Does he think that he can ignore teaching that is the fruit of generations of experience (10)? Why does he despise the comfort of his friends and turn against them with such hostility (11-13)? If even angels are not perfect, how sinful must the rebellious, self-righteous, argumentative Job appear in God’s sight (14-16. Note how Eliphaz again refers to his dream; cf. 4:18).
Job cannot ignore the lessons of experience, nor can he ignore the teaching of traditional wisdom (which, Eliphaz notes approvingly, has not been affected by foreign ideas) (17-19). Experience and traditional wisdom show clearly that pain, loss of prosperity and the feeling of hopelessness are all the results of wickedness (20-24). And the supreme wickedness, says Eliphaz, is to fight against God. When God destroys, a person should not try to rebuild (25-28).
The rebel, in punishment for his sin, suffers personal loss and an early death. He is like a healthy vine or tree that is suddenly destroyed (29-33). Such disaster is the unavoidable result of a deceitful heart (34-35).

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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Job 15:28". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And he dwelleth - Or rather, “therefore he shall dwell.” As a consequence of his opposing God, and devoting himself to a life of sensuality and ease, he shall dwell in a desolate place. Instead of living in affluence and in a splendid city, he shall be compelled to take up his abode in places that have been deserted and abandoned. Such places - like Petra or Babylon now - became the temporary lodgings of caravans and travelers, or the abodes of outcasts and robbers. The meaning here is, that the proud and wicked man shall be ejected from his palace, and compelled to seek a refuge far away from the usual haunts of men.

Which are ready to become heaps - Which are just ready to tumble into ruin.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 15:28". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter 15

Now at this point, Eliphaz, who was the first friend of Job's to speak, speaks for the second time. And he claims that he is older than Job, more experienced than Job, and thus Job ought to listen to him.

Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said, Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind? ( Job 15:1-2 )

Job, you're just a big bag of wind, man.

Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches whereof he can do no good? Yea, you cast off fear, and restrain prayer before God. For your mouth utters your iniquity, and you choose the tongue of the crafty. Your own mouth condemns you, not I: yea, your own lips are testifying against you. Are you the first man that was ever born? or were you made before the hills? Have you heard the secret of God? do you restrain wisdom to yourself? What do you know, that we don't know? what do you understand, which is not in us? With us is the grayheaded and the very aged men, much older than your father. Are the consolations of God small with thee? Is there any secret thing with thee? ( Job 15:3-11 )

In other words, "We've been giving you God's advice, man. Is it just nothing to you?" You know, oh, help.

Why does your heart carry thee away? what are your eyes winking at ( Job 15:12 ),

Job, what sin are you just sort of closing your eyes to?

That you turn your spirit against God, and let such words go out of your mouth? What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, God puts no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, who drinks iniquity like water? I will show you, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare; Which wise men have told from their fathers, and not hid it ( Job 15:13-18 ):

Okay, now here are the traditions. Now these are the truths that are passed down from the fathers to their sons and all.

Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them. The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor. A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him ( Job 15:19-21 ).

So a man who experiences pain is surely wicked. A man who has been wiped out is a man who is guilty of sin.

He believes not that he shall return out of darkness, he is waited for of the sword. He wanders abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? And he knows that the day of darkness is ready at his hand. Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; and they shall prevail against him, as a king that is ready to battle. For he stretched out his hand against God, and he strengthened himself against the Almighty. He runs upon him, even on his neck, and the thick bosses of his bucklers: Because he covers his face with fatness, and makes the collops of fat on his flanks. And he dwells in desolate cities, in houses which no man inhabits, which are ready to become heaps. He shall not be rich, neither will his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth. He shall not depart out of darkness; and the flame shall dry up his branches, by the breath of his mouth shall he go away. Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompense ( Job 15:22-31 ).

Job, you're deceiving yourself. You're trusting in emptiness, and emptiness will be the result, your reward.

It shall be accomplished before his time, his branch shall not be green. He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and cast off his flower as the olive. For the congregation of the hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery. They conceive mischief, and bring forth emptiness, and their belly prepares deceit ( Job 15:32-35 ).

So all of these things, in a sense, are accusations against Job. "Job, you've been deceitful. Job, you've been lying. Job, you're a hypocrite. Job, you know, you're wicked. And these things are all happening to you because of your own iniquity." "

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 15:28". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

1. Eliphaz’s second speech ch. 15

Job’s responses so far had evidently convinced Eliphaz that Job was a hardened sinner in defiant rebellion against God. [Note: Pope, p. 114.]

"There is a great change in tone between this address of Eliphaz and the first. There is no tenderness here. The philosophy of life is stated wholly on the negative side, and it was impossible for Job to misunderstand the meaning." [Note: Morgan, p. 208.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Job 15:28". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The fate of the wicked 15:17-35

Perhaps Eliphaz wanted to scare Job into repenting with these words. As before, Eliphaz’s authority was his own observations (Job 15:17; cf. Job 4:8). To this he added the wisdom of their ancestors (Job 15:18-19; cf. Job 8:8). Probably Job 15:18 means wise men have not hidden their fathers’ traditions. In the ancient world, people considered it foolish to reject the traditions of the past.

Several troubles come on the wicked person because of his sin (Job 15:20-35). He writhes in pain-the same Hebrew word describes labor pains-all his life (Job 15:20 a; cf. Job 14:22). He dies earlier than the godly do (Job 15:20 b; cf. Job 14:5). He has irrational fears (Job 15:21 a). He suffers destruction while at peace (Job 15:21 b; cf. Job 1:13-19; Job 12:6). He experiences torment by a guilty conscience (Job 15:22 a). He feels he is a hunted person (Job 15:22 b). He is anxious about his basic needs (Job 15:23), and he feels distressed and in anguish (Job 15:24; cf. Job 7:14; Job 9:34; Job 13:21; Job 14:20). Job had confessed every one of these troubles. Eliphaz implied that Job had all the marks of a wicked man. He stressed the inner turmoil of the wicked in this list. He also reminded Job that God will destroy the wicked (Job 15:20).

The writer set forth Job 15:20-35 in a chiastic structure to emphasize the reasons for these judgments, which form the heart of the section.

A    Judgments of the wicked Job 15:20-24

    B    Reasons for the judgments Job 15:25-26

    B’    Reasons for the judgments Job 15:27-28

A’    Judgments of the wicked Job 15:29-35

The reasons for the judgments were essentially two: rebellion against God (Job 15:25-26) and self-indulgence (Job 15:27-28). Job 15:28 may mean, "He proudly lived in ruined cities and rebuilt houses previously unoccupied, thus defying the curse on ruined sites (Job 15:28; cf. Joshua 6:26; 1 Kings 16:34)." [Note: Zuck, Job, p. 74.]

Seven more judgments follow in Job 15:29-35. The wicked person will not prosper (Job 15:29) but will die (Job 15:30 a). His works will fail (Job 15:30 b-c) and he will suffer prematurely (Job 15:31-32 a; cf. Job 4:8). His wealth will fail (Job 15:32-33), he will experience barrenness (Job 15:34; cf. Job 3:7; Job 4:21; Job 8:22), and he deceives himself (Job 15:31). Note that Eliphaz began this section with a reference to childbirth (Job 15:20) and ended it with another reference to the same thing (Job 15:35). Not all these judgments are completely distinct from one another. Poetic parallelism often uses a slight restatement to make a more forceful impression rather than to express a different idea.

"It is a subtlety of our author that Eliphaz, who began by calling Job a wind-bag (Job 15:2), ends his own speech with a pile of verbiage. With tedious repetition, assertion not argument, he presents the doctrine ’you reap what you sow’ in several forms." [Note: Andersen, p. 179.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Job 15:28". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he dwelleth in desolate cities,.... This is either a continuation of the account of the wicked man's prosperity, which makes him haughty; such is his might and power, that he destroys cities and palaces, built and enjoyed by others, and then out of the ruins of them builds greater cities and more noble palaces, to perpetuate his name to posterity; which sense agrees with Job 3:14; and with the Targum,

"and he makes tabernacles in desert cities, that he may dwelt in houses which were not inhabited;''

and so Ben Gersom: and hence because of his success among men, and the grandeur he lives in, his heart is lifted up, and his hand is stretched out against God; or else this may express the sinful course of life such a man lives, who chooses to dwell in desolate places, and deserts, to do harm to others, to seize upon travellers as they pass by, and rob and plunder them of their substance, sitting and waiting for them in such places, as the Arabians in the wilderness, Jeremiah 3:2; which is the sense of some, as Aben Ezra observes; or rather this points at the punishment of the wicked man, who though for the present may be in great prosperity, possessed of large cities and stately palaces, "yet" or "but" a, for so the particle may be rendered, "he dwelleth in desolate cities"; in such as shall become desolate, being destroyed by a superior enemy, that shall come upon him; or through his subjects forsaking him, not being able to bear his tyranny and cruelty; or he shall be driven from his dominions by them, and be obliged to fly, and dwell in desert places; or he shall choose to dwell there, through the horrors of a guilty conscience; or, best of all, he shall be reduced to such distress and poverty, that he shall not have a house fit to dwell in; but "shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land, and not inhabited", Jeremiah 17:6; as follows:

[and] in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps; such as have been deserted by their former inhabitants, because come to decay, and ready to fall down upon them, and become heaps of stones and rubbish.

a So the Annotator of the Assembly of Divines.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 15:28". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

      17 I will show thee, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare;   18 Which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid it:   19 Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them.   20 The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor.   21 A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.   22 He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword.   23 He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.   24 Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle.   25 For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty.   26 He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:   27 Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks.   28 And he dwelleth in desolate cities, and in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps.   29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth.   30 He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away.   31 Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.   32 It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green.   33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive.   34 For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.   35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.

      Eliphaz, having reproved Job for his answers, here comes to maintain his own thesis, upon which he built his censure of Job. His opinion is that those who are wicked are certainly miserable, whence he would infer that those who are miserable are certainly wicked, and that therefore Job was so. Observe,

      I. His solemn preface to this discourse, in which he bespeaks Job's attention, which he had little reason to expect, he having given so little heed to and put so little value upon what Job had said (Job 15:17; Job 15:17): "I will show thee that which is worth hearing, and not reason, as thou dost, with unprofitable talk." Thus apt are men, when they condemn the reasonings of others, to commend their own. He promises to teach him, 1. From his own experience and observation: "That which I have myself seen, in divers instances, I will declare." It is of good use to take notice of the providences of God concerning the children of men, from which many a good lesson may be learned. What good observations we have made, and have found benefit by ourselves, we should be ready to communicate for the benefit of others; and we may speak boldly when we declare what we have seen. 2. From the wisdom of the ancients (Job 15:18; Job 15:18): Which wise men have told from their fathers. Note, The wisdom and learning of the moderns are very much derived from those of the ancients. Good children will learn a good deal from their good parents; and what we have learned from our ancestors we must transmit to our posterity and not hide from the generations to come. See Psalms 78:3-6. If the thread of the knowledge of many ages be cut off by the carelessness of one, and nothing be done to preserve it pure and entire, all that succeed fare the worse. The authorities Eliphaz vouched were authorities indeed, men of rank and figure (Job 15:19; Job 15:19), unto whom alone the earth was given, and therefore you may suppose them favourites of Heaven and best capable of making observations concerning the affairs of this earth. The dictates of wisdom come with advantage from those who are in places of dignity and power, as Solomon; yet there is a wisdom which none of the princes of this world knew,1 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 2:8.

      II. The discourse itself. He here aims to show,

      1. That those who are wise and good do ordinarily prosper in this world. This he only hints at (Job 15:19; Job 15:19), that those of whose mind he was were such as had the earth given to them, and to them only; they enjoyed it entirely and peaceably, and no stranger passed among them, either to share with them or give disturbance to them. Job had said, The earth is given into the hand of the wicked,Job 9:24; Job 9:24. "No," says Eliphaz, "it is given into the hands of the saints, and runs along with the faith committed unto them; and they are not robbed and plundered by strangers and enemies making inroads upon them, as thou art by the Sabeans and Chaldeans." But because many of God's people have remarkably prospered in this world, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it does not therefore follow that those who are crossed and impoverished, as Job, are not God's people.

      2. That wicked people, and particularly oppressors and tyrannizing rulers, are subject to continual terrors, live very uncomfortably, and perish very miserably. On this head he enlarges, showing that even those who impiously dare God's judgments yet cannot but dread them and will feel them at last. He speaks in the singular number--the wicked man, meaning (as some think) Nimrod; or perhaps Chedorlaomer, or some such mighty hunter before the Lord. I fear he meant Job himself, whom he expressly charges both with the tyranny and with the timorousness here described, Job 22:9; Job 22:10. Here he thinks the application easy, and that Job might, in this description, as in a glass, see his own face. Now,

      (1.) Let us see how he describes the sinner who lives thus miserably. He does not begin with that, but brings it in as a reason of his doom, Job 15:25-28; Job 15:25-28. It is no ordinary sinner, but one of the first rate, an oppressor (Job 15:20; Job 15:20), a blasphemer, and a persecutor, one that neither fears God nor regards man. [1.] He bids defiance to God, and to his authority and power, Job 15:25; Job 15:25. Tell him of the divine law, and its obligations; he breaks those bonds asunder, and will not have, no, not him that made him, to restrain him or rule over him. Tell him of the divine wrath, and its terrors; he bids the Almighty do his worst, he will have his will, he will have his way, in spite of him, and will not be controlled by law, or conscience, or the notices of a judgment to come. He stretches out his hand against God, in defiance of him and of the power of his wrath. God is indeed out of his reach, but he stretches out his hand against him, to show that, if it were in his power, he would ungod him. This applies to the audacious impiety of some sinners who are really haters of God (Romans 1:30), and whose carnal mind is not only an enemy to him, but enmity itself, Romans 8:7. But, alas! the sinner's malice is as impotent as it is impudent; what can he do? He strengthens himself (he would be valiant, so some read it) against the Almighty. He thinks with his exorbitant despotic power to change times and laws (Daniel 7:25), and, in spite of Providence, to carry the day for rapine and wrong, clear of the check of conscience. Note, It is the prodigious madness of presumptuous sinners that they enter the lists with Omnipotence. Woe unto him that strives with his Maker. That is generally taken for a further description of the sinner's daring presumption (Job 15:26; Job 15:26): He runs upon him, upon God himself, in a direct opposition to him, to his precepts and providences, even upon his neck, as a desperate combatant, when he finds himself an unequal match for his adversary, flies in his face, though, at the same time, he falls on his sword's point, or the sharp spike of his buckler. Sinners, in general, run from God; but the presumptuous sinner, who sins with a high hand, runs upon him, fights against him, and bids defiance to him; and it is easy to foretel what will be the issue. [2.] He wraps himself up in security and sensuality (Job 15:27; Job 15:27): He covers his face with his fatness. This signifies both the pampering of his flesh with daily delicious fare and the hardening of his heart thereby against the judgments of God. Note, The gratifying of the appetites of the body, feeding and feasting that to the full, often turns to the damage of the soul and its interests. Why is God forgotten and slighted, but because the belly is made a god of and happiness placed in the delights of sense? Those that fill themselves with wine and strong drink abandon all that is serious and flatter themselves with hopes that tomorrow shall be as this day,Isaiah 56:12. Woe to those that are thus at ease in Zion,Amos 6:1; Amos 6:3; Amos 6:4; Luke 12:19. The fat that covers his face makes him look bold and haughty, and that which covers his flanks makes him lie easy and soft, and feel little; but this will prove poor shelter against the darts of God's wrath. [3.] He enriches himself with the spoils of all about him, Job 15:28; Job 15:28. He dwells in cities which he himself has made desolate by expelling the inhabitants out of them, that he might be placed alone in them, Isaiah 5:8. Proud and cruel men take a strange pleasure in ruins, when they are of their own making, in destroying cities (Psalms 9:6) and triumphing in the destruction, since they cannot make them their own but by making them ready to become heaps, and frightening the inhabitants out of them. Note, Those that aim to engross the world to themselves, and grasp at all, lose the comfort of all, and make themselves miserable in the midst of all. How does this tyrant gain his point, and make himself master of cities that have all the marks of antiquity upon them? We are told (Job 15:35; Job 15:35) that he does it by malice and falsehood, the two chief ingredients of his wickedness who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning, They conceive mischief, and then they effect it by preparing deceit, pretending to protect those whom they design to subdue, and making leagues of peace the more effectually to carry on the operations of war. From such wicked men God deliver all good men.

      (2.) Let us see now what is the miserable condition of this wicked man, both in spiritual and temporal judgments.

      [1.] His inward peace is continually disturbed. He seems to those about him to be easy, and they therefore envy him and wish themselves in his condition; but he who knows what is in men tells us that a wicked man has so little comfort and satisfaction in his own breast that he is rather to be pitied than envied. First, His own conscience accuses him, and with the pangs and throes of that he travaileth in pain all his days,Job 15:20; Job 15:20. He is continually uneasy at the thought of the cruelties he as been guilty of and the blood in which he has imbrued his hands. His sins stare him in the face at every turn. Diri conscia facti mens habet attonitos--Conscious guilt astonishes and confounds. Secondly, He is vexed at the uncertainty of the continuance of his wealth and power: The number of years is hidden to the oppressor. He knows, whatever he pretends, that they will not last always, and has reason to fear that they will not last long and this he frets at. Thirdly, He is under a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation (Hebrews 10:27), which puts him into, and keeps him in, a continual terror and consternation, so that he dwells with Cain in the land of Nod, or commotion (Genesis 4:16), and is made like, Pashur, Magor-missabib--a terror round about,Jeremiah 20:3; Jeremiah 20:4. A dreadful sound is in his ears,Job 15:21; Job 15:21. He knows that both heaven and earth are incensed against him, that God is angry with him and that all the world hates him; he has done nothing to make his peace with either, and therefore he thinks that every one who meets him will slay him,Genesis 4:14. Or he is like a man absconding for debt, who thinks every man a bailiff. Fear came in, at first, with sin (Genesis 3:10) and still attends it. Even in prosperity he is apprehensive that the destroyer will come upon him, either some destroying angel sent of God to avenge his quarrel or some of his injured subjects who will be their own avengers. Those who are the terror of the mighty in the land of the living usually go down slain to the pit (Ezekiel 32:25), the expectation of which makes them a terror to themselves. This is further set forth (Job 15:22; Job 15:22): He is, in his own apprehension, waited for of the sword; for he knows that he who killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword,Revelation 13:10. A guilty conscience represents to the sinner a flaming sword turning every way (Genesis 3:24) and himself inevitably running on it. Again (Job 15:23; Job 15:23): He knows that the day of darkness (or the night of darkness rather) is ready at his hand, that it is appointed to him and cannot be put by, that it is hastening on apace and cannot be put off. This day of darkness is something beyond death; it is that day of the Lord which to all wicked people will be darkness and not light and in which they will be doomed to utter, endless, darkness. Note, Some wicked people, though they seem secure, have already received the sentence of death, eternal death, within themselves, and plainly see hell gaping for them. No marvel that it follows (Job 15:24; Job 15:24), Trouble and anguish (that inward tribulation and anguish of soul spoken of Romans 2:8; Romans 2:9, which are the effect of God's indignation and wrath fastening upon the conscience) shall make him afraid of worse to come. What is the hell before him if this be the hell within him? And though he would fain shake off his fears, drink them away, and jest them away, it will not do; they shall prevail against him, and overpower him, as a king ready to the battle, with forces too strong to be resisted. He that would keep his peace, let him keep a good conscience. Fourthly, If at any time he be in trouble, he despairs of getting out (Job 15:22; Job 15:22): He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, but he gives himself up for gone and lost in an endless night. Good men expect light at evening time, light out of darkness; but what reason have those to expect that they shall return out of the darkness of trouble who would not return from the darkness of sin, but went on in it?Psalms 82:5. It is the misery of damned sinners that they know they shall never return out of that utter darkness, nor pass the gulf there fixed. Fifthly, He perplexes himself with continual care, especially if Providence ever so little frown upon him, Job 15:23; Job 15:23. Such a dread he has of poverty, and such a waste does he discern upon his estate, that he is already, in his own imagination, wandering abroad for bread, going a begging for a meal's meat, and saying, Where is it? The rich man, in his abundance, cried out, What shall I do?Luke 12:17. Perhaps he pretends fear of wanting, as an excuse of his covetous practices; and justly may he be brought to this extremity at last. We read of those who were full, but have hired out themselves for bread (1 Samuel 2:5), which this sinner will not do. He cannot dig; he is too fat (Job 15:27; Job 15:27): but to beg he may well be ashamed. See Psalms 109:10. David never saw the righteous so far forsaken as to beg their bread; for, verily, they shall be fed by the charitable unasked, Psalms 37:3; Psalms 37:25. But the wicked want it, and cannot expect it should be readily given them. How should those find mercy who never showed mercy?

      [2.] His outward prosperity will soon come to an end, and all his confidence and all his comfort will come to an end with it. How can he prosper when God runs upon him? so some understand that, Job 15:26; Job 15:26. Whom God runs upon he will certainly run down; for when he judges he will overcome. See how the judgments of God cross this worldly wicked man in all his cares, desires, and projects, and so complete his misery. First, He is in care to get, but he shall not be rich,Job 15:29; Job 15:29. His own covetous mind keeps him from being truly rich. He is not rich that has not enough, and he has not enough that does not think he has. It is contentment only that is great gain. Providence remarkably keeps some from being rich, defeating their enterprises, breaking their measures, and keeping them always behind-hand. Many that get much by fraud and injustice, yet do not grow rich: it goes as it comes; it is got by one sin and spent upon another. Secondly, He is in care to keep what he has got, but in vain: His substance shall not continue; it will dwindle and come to nothing. God blasts it, and what came up in a night perishes in a night. Wealth gotten by vanity will certainly be diminished. Some have themselves lived to see the ruin of those estates which have been raised by oppression; but, where this is not the case, that which is left goes with a curse to those who succeed. De male quæsitis vix gaudet tertius hæres--Ill-gotten property will scarcely be enjoyed by the third generation. He purchases estates to him and his heirs for ever; but to what purpose? He shall not prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth; neither the credit nor the comfort of his riches shall be prolonged; and, when those are gone, where is the perfection of them? How indeed can we expect the perfection of any thing to be prolonged upon the earth, where every thing is transitory, and we soon see the end of all perfection? Thirdly, He is in care to leave what he has got and kept to his children after him. But in this he is crossed; the branches of his family shall perish, in whom he hoped to live and flourish and to have the reputation of making them all great men. They shall not be green,Job 15:32; Job 15:32. The flame shall dry them up,Job 15:30; Job 15:30. he shall shake them off as blossoms that never knit, or as the unripe grape,Job 15:33; Job 15:33. They shall die in the beginning of their days and never come to maturity. Many a man's family is ruined by his iniquity. Fourthly, He is in care to enjoy it a great while himself; but in that also he is crossed. 1. He may perhaps be taken from it (Job 15:30; Job 15:30): By the breath of God's mouth shall he go away, and leave his wealth to others; that is, by God's wrath, which, like a stream of brimstone, kindles the fire that devours him (Isaiah 30:33), or by his word; he speaks, and it is done immediately. This night thy soul shall be required of thee; and so the wicked is driven away in his wickedness, the worldling in his worldliness. 2. It may perhaps be taken from him, and fly away like an eagle towards heaven: It shall be accomplished (or cut off) before his time (Job 15:32; Job 15:32); that is, he shall survive his prosperity, and see himself stripped of it. Fifthly, He is in care, when he is in trouble, how to get out of it (not how to get good by it); but in this also he is crossed (Job 15:30; Job 15:30): He shall not depart out of darkness. When he begins to fall, like Haman, all men say, "Down with him." It was said of him (Job 15:22; Job 15:22), He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness. He frightened himself with the perpetuity of his calamity, and God also shall choose his delusions and bring his fears upon him (Isaiah 66:4), as he did upon Israel, Numbers 14:28. God says Amen to his distrust and despair. Sixthly, He is in care to secure his partners, and hopes to secure himself by his partnership with them; but that is in vain too, Job 15:34; Job 15:35. The congregation of them, the whole confederacy, they and all their tabernacles, shall be desolate and consumed with fire. Hypocrisy and bribery are here charged upon them; that is, deceitful dealing both with God and man--God affronted under colour of religion, man wronged under colour of justice. It is impossible that these should end well. Though hand join in hand for the support of these perfidious practices, yet shall not the wicked go unpunished. (3.) The use and application of all this. Will the prosperity of presumptuous sinners end thus miserably? Then (Job 15:31; Job 15:31) let not him that is deceived trust in vanity. Let the mischiefs which befal others be our warnings, and let not us rest on that broken reed which always failed those who leaned on it. [1.] Those who trust to their sinful ways of getting wealth trust in vanity, and vanity will be their recompence, for they shall not get what they expected. Their arts will deceive them and perhaps ruin them in this world. [2.] Those who trust to their wealth when they have gotten it, especially to the wealth they have gotten dishonestly, trust in vanity; for it will yield them no satisfaction. The guilt that cleaves to it will ruin the joy of it. They sow the wind, and will reap the whirlwind, and will own at length, with the utmost confusion, that a deceived heart turned them aside, and that they cheated themselves with a lie in their right hand.

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Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Job 15:28". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". 1706.