Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 18:21

"Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, And this is the place of him who does not know God."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

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

Adam Clarke Commentary

Such are the dwellings - This is the common lot of the wicked; and it shall be particularly the case with him who knoweth not God, that is Job, for it is evident he alludes to him. Poor Job! hard was thy lot, severe were thy sufferings. On the elephant hunt to which I have referred, Job 18:13, I shall borrow the following account extracted from Mr. Cordiner's History of Ceylon, by Mr. Good: -

"We have a curious description of the elephant hunt, which is pursued in a manner not essentially different from the preceding, except that the snares are pallisadoed with the strongest possible stakes, instead of being netted, and still farther fortified by interlacings. They are numerous, but connected together; every snare or inclosure growing gradually narrower, and opening into each other by a gate or two that will only admit the entrance of a single animal at a time.

"The wood in which elephants are known to abound is first surrounded, excepting at the end where the foremost and widest inclosure is situated, with fires placed on moveable pedestals, which in every direction are drawn closer and closer, and, aided by loud and perpetual shouts, drive the animals forward till they enter into the outer snare. After which the same process is continued, and they are driven by fear into a second, into a third, and into a fourth; till at length the elephants become so much sub-divided, that by the aid of cordage fastened carefully round their limbs, and the management of decoy elephants, they are easily capable of being led away one by one, and tamed. A single hunt thus conducted will sometimes occupy not less than two months of unremitting labor; and the entrance of the elephants into the snares is regarded as an amusement or sport of the highest character, and as such is attended by all the principal families of the country." Account of Ceylon, p. 218-226.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 18:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked - The conclusion or sum of the whole matter. The meaning is, that the habitations of all that knew not God would be desolate - a declaration which Job could not but regard as aimed at himself; compare Job 20:29. This is the close of this harsh and severe speech. It is no wonder that Job should feel it keenly, and that he “did” feel it is apparent from the following chapter. A string of proverbs has been presented, having the appearance of proof, and as the result of the long observation of the course of events, evidently bearing on his circumstances, and so much in point that he could not well deny their pertinency to his condition. He was stung to the quick, and and gave vent to his agonized feelings in the following chapter.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 18:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-18.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked,.... As before described; as that the light should be dark in them; a wicked man's confidence should be rooted out of them; everything shocking and dreadful should dwell in them; brimstone should be scattered on them, they should be utterly consumed, and none remaining in them, Job 18:6. The Targum represents these as the words of the persons astonished and frightened, who at the sight of such a dismal spectacle should utter them, prefacing them thus,

"and they shall say, but these are the dwellings, &c.'

and this is the place of him that knoweth not God; the place that he shall be driven to when chased out of the world, even a place of darkness and misery, Job 18:18; or "this is the case of him that knoweth not the Omnipotent", as Mr. Broughton translates the words; that is, which is above described in the several particulars of it; this is sooner or later the case of every wicked man, as Bildad supposed it now was Job's case, at least in part, or would be hereafter: one "that knows not God", is the periphrasis of a wicked man, that has no knowledge of God, at least no practical knowledge of him, that lives without God in the world, or like an atheist; such shall be punished with everlasting destruction by him, see 2 Thessalonians 1:8; either one whom "God knows not"F17לא ידע אל "quem non agnoscit Deus fortis", Junius. , so some render the words; for though God by the perfection of his omniscience knows all men, good and bad, yet there are some he knows not so as to approve of, love, and delight in, see Matthew 7:23; or rather that have no knowledge of God, who though they may know there is a God, yet do not worship and glorify him as God; and though they may profess to know him, yet in works they deny him, and however have no spiritual and experimental knowledge of him; do not know him in Christ, as the God of all grace, and as their God in him; they do not know him, so as to love him, fear, worship, and obey him.

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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 18:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-18.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

(Job 8:22, Margin).

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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 18:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-18.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God.

The place — The condition.

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 18:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-18.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 18:21 Surely such [are] the dwellings of the wicked, and this [is] the place [of him that] knoweth not God.

Ver. 21. Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked] As sure as death it is so; and this is oft inculcated, because hardly believed. Bildad hints at Job in all this, and therefore speaks of the wicked here in the singular number; as who should say, Thou art the man. But Job’s innocence served him for a Heptaboean buckler.

And this is the place] That is, the state.

Of him that knoweth not God] Periphrasis impii, saith Drusius; this is the character of a graceless man. "Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge?" Psalms 14:4. No, none that they were a button the better for.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 18:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-18.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

Our reflections on this chapter will be rendered profitable, if so be the HOLY GHOST graciously make them so for us, in leading our minds to consider how very consistent it is, with the love the LORD hath to the persons of his people, as in the instance of Job, to chasten them for their departures and infirmities. Reader! only pause and consider how great, how dear, how inexpressibly costly our redemption was to GOD, And therefore how suitable it is, that there should not be the smallest abuse of his covenant mercy, by his dear Son. Though Job was no hypocrite, yet Job confessed himself to be a sinner, sprung from the common stock of whom it is with truth said, there is none righteous, no not one. And there is in the best of men, even the most faithful servants of the LORD JESUS, so much of that commonness of corruption, belonging to a fallen nature, that if GOD'S grace did not restrain it, the worst of sins would be the sad and deadly consequence breaking out in all. How blessed is it then to see in GOD'S chastisement of our sin, though accepting the person of his people in JESUS, he manifests the holiness of his nature, and secures his own glory. And here, blessed JESUS, cause both Writer and Reader to pause, and contemplate the unparalleled instance of this regard JEHOVAH had to his holiness, and to his glory, when for sin in us he put thee to grief. Never, surely, was there such a proof ever given. And never can there be any more the like to it; as when he made thee to be sin for us, though thou knewest no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of GOD in thee. Hail! thou holy, blessed, spotless LAMB of GOD. Oh! what unknown, what unnumbered, what never to be fully accounted for, or fully recompensed riches, blessings, glories, are contained in the one offering of thyself once for all, by which thou hast forever perfected them that are sanctified. Oh! write this precious thought upon my inmost soul, and let death itself never, never be able to blunt the remembrance of it; JESUS and his glorious redemption hath more to plead for his church before GOD and his FATHER, than all the church's sins can plead against them. Neither can eternity itself recompense the infinite merit of the righteousness and blood-shedding sacrifice of a GOD incarnate.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 18:21". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/job-18.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

i.e. Who doth not acknowledge, nor fear, nor serve God, as this phrase is used, 1 Samuel 2:12 Psalms 79:6 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 18:21". 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

21.That knoweth not God — These words, last in the Hebrew also, furnish a climax — a sneer at Job’s most solemn protestations. (Job 16:19.)

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 18:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-18.html. 1874-1909.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Surely": Notice again the absolute confidence of Bildad, and there are no exceptions to this rule! Bildad reasoned that since Job had lost his possessions, children, wealth, and reputation, and was plagued by numerous calamities, it is obvious that he is wicked. The term "wicked" means a "deviate" person. The inference as well is that Job does not even know God, for how can a person who refuses to repent "know" God?

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 18:21". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-18.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

wicked. Hebrew. "aval. App-44. Occurs elsewhere only in Job 27:7; Job 29:17; Job 31:3, and Zephaniah 3:5.

GOD. Hebrew El. App-4.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 18:21". "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

Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God.

(Job , margin, "The dwelling-place of the wicked shall come to nought" - Hebrew, 'shall not be').

Remarks:

(1) The eternal and unchangeable laws of God's justice cannot be set aside, in order to give the sinner impunity in his wickedness. In vain shall the lost tear themselves in anger (Job 18:4) and impotent rage; God's righteousness stands immovable, as the Rock of ages. Sin will assuredly be men's ruin unless they repent. However brightly the light of the ungodly may shine now, the gloomy shades of death and hell are fast gathering round them (Job 18:5-6).

(2) The sinner is his own executioner; he is caught in his own net; the very scheme whereby he had promised himself security are the pitfalls wherein he causes himself to be entrapped (Job 18:8-10). Satan, the tempter, uses the sinner's own devices as the snares wherein to entangle him; and when once Satan has made his victim sinful as himself, he will also make him wretched as himself. (3) Alarms of conscience make the sinner's deathbed a scene of horrors (Job 18:11). Slowly, but surely, he is brought face to face before the King of Terrors, and his past confidences now prove of no avail. He and they perish together; and whereas the memory of the just is blessed, the name and remembrance of the wicked shall rot (Job 18:17; Proverbs 10:7). Sin brings blight upon the sinner's whole family and connection, as well as upon himself; so much so that even the worldly, when they see God's just judgement shall be constrained to acknowledge, "Verily, there is a reward for the righteous; verily, He is a God that judgeth in the earth" (Psalms 58:11).

(4) The truths stated by Bildad are weighty and important, but their application to Job was not justified by candour or charity. When we engage in disputation, we should beware of being betrayed by the heat of argument into unjust denunciations of others, as though they were the enemies of God and especially doomed to His wrath, because they do not agree with our particular opinions. We should rather try, while not sacrificing truth to charity, to hope the best of them, and gently lead them to what seems to us the better way.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 18:21". "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

(21) Dwellings of the wicked.—That is to say, of the wicked man. As Bildad designedly uses the singular here, there can be little doubt that he as designedly intended this terrible and cruel picture to represent Job himself.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 18:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God.
such are
knoweth
21:14; Exodus 5:2; Judges 2:10; 1 Samuel 2:12; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalms 79:6; Jeremiah 9:3; 10:25; Romans 1:28; 1 Thessalonians 4:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Titus 1:16 Reciprocal: Job 5:24 - thou shalt know;  Job 20:29 - the portion;  Proverbs 14:11 - house

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 18:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-18.html.