Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 18:5

"Indeed, the light of the wicked goes out, And the flame of his fire gives no light.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Wicked (People);   Thompson Chain Reference - Darkness;   Light-Darkness;   The Topic Concordance - Bearing Fruit;   Knowledge;   Perishing;   Snares;   Wickedness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Fire;   Lamps;   Light;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Bildad;   Lamp;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Candle;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Lamps, Lighting, Lampstand;   Spark;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Lamp;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Fire;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Lamp;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Flame;   Light;   Poetry, Hebrew;   Shine;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Furniture, Household;   Light;   Superstition;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The light of the wicked shall be put out - Some think it would be better to translate the original, "Let the light of the wicked be extinguished!" Thou art a bad man, and thou hast perverted the understanding which God hath given thee. Let that understanding, that abused gift, be taken away. From this verse to the end of the chapter is a continual invective against Job.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 18:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Yea - Truly; or, behold. Bildad here commences his remarks on the certain destiny of the wicked, and strings together a number of apparently proverbial sayings, showing that calamity in various forms would certainly overtake the wicked. There is nothing particularly new in his argument, though the use of the various images which he employs shows how deep was the conviction of this doctrine at that time, and how extensively it prevailed.

The light of the wicked shall be put out - Light here is an emblem of prosperity.

The spark of his fire - Hebrew the flame of his fire. There may be an allusion here to the customs of Arabian hospitality. This was, and is, their national glory, and it is their boast that no one is ever refused it. The emblem of fire or flame here may refer to the custom of kindling a fire on an eminence, near a dwelling, to attract the stranger to share the hospitality of the owner of it; or it may refer to the fire in his tent, which the stranger was always at liberty to share. In the collection of the Arabian poems, called the Hamasa, this idea occurs almost in the words of Bildad. The extract was furnished me by the Rev. Eli Smith. It is a boast of Salamiel, a prince of Tema. In extolling the virtues of his tribe, he says, “No fire of ours was ever extinguished at night without a guest; and of our guests never did one disparage us.” The idea here is, that the wicked would attempt to show hospitality, but the means would be taken away. He would not be permitted to enjoy the coveted reputation of showing it to the stranger, and the fire which might invite the traveler, or which might confer comfort on him, would be put out in his dwelling. The inability to extend the offer of a liberal hospitality would be equivalent to the deepest poverty or the most trying affliction.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 18:5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-18.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

BILDAD'S LONG; UNINSPIRED DIATRIBE ON THE FATE OF THE WICKED

"Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out,

And the spark of his fire shall not shine.

The light shall be dark in his tent,

And his lamp above him shall be put out.

The steps of his strength shall be straightened

And his own counsel shall cast him down.

For he is cast into a net by his own feet,

And he walketh upon the toils.

A gin shall take him by the heel,

And a snare shall lay hold on him.

A noose is hid for him in the ground,

And a trap for him in the way.

Terrors shall make him afraid on every side,

And shall chase him at his heels.

His strength shall be hunger-bitten,

And calamity shall be ready at his side.

The members of his body shall be devoured,

Yea, the first-born of death shall devour his members.

He shall be rooted out of his tent where he trusteth;

And he shall be brought to the king of terrors.

There shall dwell in his tent that which is none of his:

Brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.

His roots shall be dried up beneath,

And above shall his branch be cut off.

His remembrance shall perish from the earth,

And he shall have no name in the street.

He shall be driven from light into darkness,

And chased out of the world.

He shall have neither son nor son's son among his people.

Nor any remaining where he sojourned.

They that come after shall be astonished at his day,

As they that went before were affrighted.

Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous,

And this is the place of him that knoweth not God."

"Bildad here painted a dark picture of the fate of the wicked."[7] The only thing wrong with it was that it bore no resemblance to the truth. How could he have thought that, "The remembrance of the wicked shall perish from the earth" (Job 18:17)? Even a fool should have known that the extremely wicked make up the vast majority of mankind whose names shine forever on the pages of history. Not for a moment can we agree with Blair that this wicked description of the fate of the wicked is, "More powerful than any other in the Bible."[8] As Rawlinson noted, "Bildad was only stringing together a list of `ancient saws.'"[9] But, as Watson wrote, "It is a cold creed indeed that is built on the wisdom of this world."[10]

Again returning to Bildad's ridiculous idea that the remembrance of the wicked shall perish (Job 18:17), Bildad himself would refute his silly allegation. His name, and that of his evil friends, all of them special agents of Satan himself, would be remembered forever in the pages of the Bible. Also, think of Cain, Esau, Balaam, Abimelech, Saul, Nebuchadnezzar, many of the reprobate kings of Israel, the brutal and ruthless rulers of the Gentiles, etc, - the list is endless! And, as for such men having, "no name in the street" (Job 18:17b), just take a look at the monuments that stand in the streets of all nations. Countless numbers of them memorialize the names of the wickedest men in their respective generations! How blind was Bildad!

"His lamp above him shall be put out" (Job 18:6). "There is no doubt that Bildad applied every word of this to Job."[11]

"Six kinds of snares or traps are mentioned in Job 18:8-10";[12] and Bildad's point here is that there's no possible way for Job to escape; he might as well admit his wickedness!

Andersen's paraphrase[13] of Job 18:11-13 is:

"His plump body becomes emaciated,

His ribs stick right out,

Disease corrodes his kin,

Death's eldest son swallows his organs."

"The first-born of death ... the king of terrors" (Job 18:13-14). "The first of these is probably the worst pestilence, and the `king of terrors' is death itself."[14]

"Brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation" (Job 18:15). Fire and brimstone were rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness; and hell itself was eventually described as the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. It is not hard to read Bildad's evil thoughts toward Job in remarks such as this.

"And this is the place of him that knoweth not God" (Job 18:21). "The use of the singular pronoun here and in the preceding clause indicates that this whole series of denunciations (Job 18:5-21) is leveled against an individual, namely, Job."[15]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Job 18:5". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/job-18.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out,.... Or "nevertheless"F13גם "attamen, nihilominus", Cocceius, Schultens; so the Targum. ; notwithstanding all this disregard and inattention to us, and contempt of us, and all the rage, and wrath, and pride, and haughtiness discovered, as if the laws of nature, and stated methods of Providence, must all give way to justify a man in such circumstances as show him to be wicked; this will certainly be his case, his "light shall be put out"; meaning not the light of his eyes, or his corporeal light, which sometimes has been the case of wicked men, as was of the Sodomites, since this, through accident, or old age, is common to good and bad then; but rather moral light, the light of nature, with which every man is enlightened that comes into the world; by which he can discern things natural and civil, and in some degree things moral and religious, though in a very dim manner; and which, when it is abused, may be taken away, and men be given up to judicial blindness, and to a reprobate mind, a mind void of sense and judgment. Cocceius thinks light of doctrine may be intended, speculative and notional light and knowledge of divine things, as of God, and his perfections, which may be more clearly discerned by revelation than by the light of nature; and of Christ, his person, offices, and grace; and of the Gospel, and each of the doctrines of it, which men may be enlightened into, and yet be wicked men, as Balsam, and others; which knowledge may be lost, and light put out, as in the man that had but one talent, and neglected it, and in the idle shepherd, Matthew 25:29; to which may be added the light of joy, or a flash of natural affections that sometimes is to be observed in hypocritical persons, or notional professors, which in time is lost, and comes to nothing, as in Herod and the stony ground hearers, Mark 6:20; but as for the true spiritual light, and experimental knowledge, that can never be lost or put out, but shines more and more unto the perfect day: but it seems best by "light" here to understand outward prosperity, for as darkness is often put for adversity, so light for prosperity in civil things, see Esther 8:16; but then, though this in wicked men is often put out, and they are reduced to distressed circumstances, yet not always; and it sometimes is the case of good men, and was the case of Job, which Bildad had his eye upon, see Job 29:2;

and the spark of his fire shall not shine; all his carnal reasonings, the effects of the light of nature, and all his schemes, especially religious ones built upon them, shall all come to nothing, and be of no effect or use unto him, see Isaiah 50:11; or the sense is, that he shall be reduced to so low a condition in things civil, that he shall have no light nor heat, nor joy and comfort, in this sense; no, not so much as a spark of outward happiness shall be left 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 18:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Yea, the light of the wicked shall be e put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine.

(e) When the wicked is in his prosperity, then God changes his state: and this is his ordinary working for their sins.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 18:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-18.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

That (Job 18:4) cannot be. The decree of God is unalterable, the light (prosperity) of the wicked shall at length be put out.

his fire — alluding to Arabian hospitality, which prided itself on welcoming the stranger to the fire in the tent, and even lit fires to direct him to it. The ungodly shall be deprived of the means to show hospitality. His dwelling shall be dark and desolate!

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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 18:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-18.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 18:5 Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine.

Ver. 5. Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out] The ensuing description of a wicked man’s unhappiness in like, at death, and after death, is very true, and daintily set forth, but falsely and wrongfully wrested against Job. Yea, or of a surety, the light of the wicked shall be put out, though thou wilt not hear of it; but the truth shall be spoken, however it be taken, and thou shalt hereby see thyself to be a wicked man, because thy light is extinct, that is, thy outward prosperity, fitly compared to light, because, 1. It cheereth our minds; 2. Directeth our hands to every business; 3. Lesseneth our frights; 4. Rendereth us conspicuous. The light of the wicked shall put out itself (so some render it); he is commonly the cause of his own ruin (Merlin).

And the spark of his fire shall not shine] He is quenched as the fire of the thorns, Psalms 118:12. Whereof, after a while, neither spark nor spunk remaineth.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 18:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 18:5. Yea, the light of the wicked Rather let the light of the wicked be put out. Heath.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 18:5". 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

Yea; the thing is true and certain, notwithstanding thy dissatisfaction and opposition against it.

The light of the wicked shall be put out; all their glory and felicity shall perish.

The spark of his fire, i.e. their highest and brightest glory, which he calleth the spark, &c., because, like a spark, it shines briskly for a moment, but is quickly extinct.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 18:5". 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

THE DIVINE ORDER OF THE WORLD IS DISPLAYED IN THE INEVITABLE PUNISHMENT OF INCORRIGIBLE SINNERS. Job 18:5-21.

Hengstenberg divides the section into a Heptade, Job 18:5-11; and a Decade, Job 18:12-21.

All things — nets, pitfalls, gins, nooses, snares, and traps — conspire to carry into effect the law of retribution established by God, Job 18:5-11.

5.The spark, etc. — The flame of his fire. There may be an allusion to the fires of hospitality which the wealthy Arabs were wont to light upon the tops of hills, to direct travellers to their houses for entertainment. An Arabian poet, cited by Scott, thus expresses the permanent prosperity of his family: “Neither is our fire, lighted for the benefit of the night stranger, extinguished.” The flame of fire is a common Oriental figure for splendid fortune. The extinction of the one implied that of the other.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 18:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-18.html. 1874-1909.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Indeed": Notice Bildad"s absolute confidence that such things always happen to the wicked in this life-and Job fits in that class. Obviously things are not true just because someone sincerely believes them to be so. "The light burning in a house is symbolic of continuous prosperity (Proverbs 13:9; 20:20; 24:20), the extinction of these symbols of happiness and prosperity is a mark of judgment on the household" (Strauss p. 175).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 18:5". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-18.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

light. The reference is to the universal practice of burning a light during the night.

wicked = lawless. Hebrew. rasha. App-44.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 18:5". "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

Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine.

That (Job 18:4) cannot be.

Yea - however much the wicked kick against it. The decree of God is unalterable: the light (prosperity) of the wicked shall at length be put out.

His fire - alluding to Arabian hospitality, which prided itself on welcoming the stranger to the fire in the tent, and even lit fires to direct him to it. The ungodly shall be deprived of the means to show hospitality. His dwelling shall be dark and desolate!

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 18:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-18.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine.
the light
20:5; Proverbs 4:19; 13:9; 20:20; 24:20
spark
Isaiah 50:11
Reciprocal: Esther 7:6 - was afraid;  Job 12:5 - a lamp;  Job 13:4 - ye are forgers;  Job 15:23 - the day;  Job 15:30 - depart;  Job 20:26 - darkness;  Job 21:17 - oft;  Job 38:15 - from;  Ecclesiastes 8:13 - it shall;  Isaiah 57:20 - like;  Ezekiel 32:7 - put thee out;  Hosea 9:11 - their;  Matthew 25:8 - for

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 18:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-18.html.