Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 18:12

"His strength is famished, And calamity is ready at his side.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Wicked (People);   The Topic Concordance - Bearing Fruit;   Knowledge;   Perishing;   Wickedness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Death of the Wicked, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Bildad;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

His strength shall be hungerbitten - Shall be exhausted by hunger or famine.

And destruction shall be ready at his side - Hebrew “Shall be fitted” נכוּן nākûn “to his side.” Some have supposed that this refers to some disease, like the pleurisy, that would adhere closely to his side. So Jerome understands it. Schultens has quoted some passages from Arabic poets, in which calamities are represented as “breaking the side.” Bildad refers probably, to some heavy judgments that would crush a man; such that the ribs, or the human frame, could not bear; and the meaning is, that a wicked man would be certainly crushed by misfortune.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 18:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-18.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Job 18:12

His strength shall be hunger-bitten.

The hunger-biter

I. A curse which will be fulfilled upon the ungodly. It is not said that they are hunger-bitten, but that their strength is so; and if their strength is hunger-bitten, what must their weakness be? When a man’s strength is bitten with hunger, what a hunger must be raging throughout the whole of his nature! A large proportion of men make their gold to be their strength, their castle, and high tower. But every ungodly man ought to know that riches are not forever, and often they take to themselves wings and flee away. If this hunger does not come upon the ungodly man during the former part of his life, it will come to him at the close of it.

II. The kind of discipline through which God puts the self-righteous when He means to save them. Many people are very religious, but are not saved. When God means to save a man, the hunger of the heart comes in and devours all his boasted excellence. Some are very satisfied because, in addition to a commendable life they have performed certain ceremonies to which they impute great sanctity. May your strength be hunger-bitten if you are resting in anything which is external and unspiritual.

III. There are many of God’s servants whose strength is lamentably hunger-bitten. They may be hunger-bitten through not feeding upon the Word of God. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Job 18:12". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/job-18.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

His strength shall be hungerbitten,.... Or "shall be famine"F21רעב "fames", Beza. , or hunger, that is, shall be weakened by it; famine is a sore evil, and greatly weakens thee natural strength of men; want of food will soon bring down the strength of the strongest man, when the stay and the staff, the sustenance and support of man's nature is taken from him: many of the Jewish writers, by "his strength", understand his children, who are, as Jacob said of Reuben, his might, and the beginning of his strength, Genesis 49:3; and when grown up are his protection and defence; and for these to be distressed with hunger, or destroyed by famine, is a sore judgment; so the Targum paraphrases it, his firstborn son; Jarchi interprets it, his son; and Ben Gersom, his seed or offspring:

and destruction shall be ready at his side; or "to his rib"F23לצלעו "costae ejus", Montanus, Vatablus, Grotius, Schultens. ; that is, his wife, as the Targum and Jarchi explain it, the Jews calling a man's wife his rib, because the woman was originally made out of one of the ribs of man; and if this could be thought to be the sense of the word here, and what is given by them of the former clause, both make up a complete account of the destruction of a wicked man's family, his wife and children: but rather it signifies some calamity, distress, and trouble at hand, ready prepared for wicked men, just going to be inflicted on them; for God has stores of vengeance for them, and has made ready his bow, and prepared instruments and arrows of death and destruction for them, as well as there is everlasting fire prepared, and blackness of darkness reserved for them in the world to come; for it can hardly be thought that this should be understood literally of any disease in the side, as the pleurisy, &c. which is threatening, or any mortal wound or stab there, such as Joab gave Amass under the fifth rib.

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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 18:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

His strength shall be g hungerbitten, and destruction [shall be] ready at his side.

(g) That which should nourish him will be consumed by famine.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 18:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-18.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The Hebrew is brief and bold, “his strength is hungry.”

destruction — that is, a great calamity (Proverbs 1:27).

ready at his side — close at hand to destroy him (Proverbs 19:29).

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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 18:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-18.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 18:12 His strength shall be hungerbitten, and destruction [shall be] ready at his side.

Ver. 12. His strength shall be hunger bitten] Heb. His strength (or wealth) shall be famine, Fit famelicum robur eius. Or, Famine shall be his strength. He, who while, having health and wealth at will, fared deliciously and gathered strength, shall be hunger starved, and hardly have prisoner’s pittance; so much only as will neither keep him alive nor suffer him to die. See 1 Samuel 2:5; 1 Samuel 2:36. It is as much, saith Brentius, as we use to say of an extreme poor or feeble person, his wealth is poverty, his strength weakness.

And destruction shall be ready at his side] i.e. Shall suddenly and inevitably seize upon him, there will be no running away from it, for can a man run from his side? The word signifieth not an ordinary calamity, but a dreadful and direful destruction. Some understand it to be the pleurisy, or ulcers in the side of a man. Others of rib rest, as they call it, tortures inflicted on condemned persons, as Hebrews 11:34, who are beaten with bats.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 18:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 18:12. His strength shall be hunger-bitten The Vulgate renders this, His strength shall be eaten by famine; which appears to be a good translation, and still keeps up the image in the former verses: as does the next clause, Destruction shall be ready at, or for his side, alluding to the arrow which is fitted to the string, and ready to be discharged at him. See ch. Job 12:5.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 18:12". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-18.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

His strength; either,

1. His children, which are, and are called, a man’s strength, as Genesis 49:3 Psalms 127:4,5. Or rather,

2. His wealth, and power, and prosperity. Hunger-bitten, or famished, i.e. utterly consumed.

Shall be ready at his side, i.e. shall follow him at the heels, as a most diligent servant, or constant companion.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 18:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-18.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Decade, a. Ravenous calamity, maiming disease, (see note Job 2:7,) and inexorable death — three insatiate furies — remand the wicked to the king of terrors, while the doom of Sodom falls upon his habitation, and all that remains to him, Job 18:12-16.

12.His strength — This might better be read, his calamity shall be hungry, (for him,) though the older interpreters adopt the other meaning of , strength. “Calamity” furnishes a more satisfactory parallel for “destruction,” , which is a stronger word, signifying literally “a load of suffering.”

At his side — Others read “for his fall.” Destruction awaits the results which itself accomplishes.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 18:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-18.html. 1874-1909.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"His strength is famished, and calamity is ready at his side": The wicked man may be worn out and tired, but the calamity that stalks him remains hungry and ready to strike.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 18:12". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-18.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

strength, &c. i.e. shall be weakened by hunger. Same word as Job 18:7, not same as Job 18:13.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 18:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/job-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

His strength shall be hungerbitten, and destruction shall be ready at his side.

The Hebrew is brief and bold, 'his strength is hungry.' Besides dangers at every step, the sinner's own strength is wasted by disease.

Destruction - i:e., a great calamity (Proverbs 1:27).

Ready at his side - close at hand to destroy him.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 18:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-18.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) His strength.—By “strength” some understand his firstborn son, as Genesis 49:3, but it is not necessary to take it otherwise than literally.

Destruction shall be ready at his side.—Or, according to some, for his halting; shall lie in wait for his tripping in order to overthrow him.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 18:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

His strength shall be hungerbitten, and destruction shall be ready at his side.
hunger-bitten
15:23,24; 1 Samuel 2:5,36; Psalms 34:10; 109:10
destruction
Psalms 7:12-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:3; 2 Peter 2:3
Reciprocal: Job 18:15 - dwell;  Luke 9:7 - Herod

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 18:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-18.html.