Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 36:18

"Beware that wrath does not entice you to scoffing; And do not let the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Death;   Ransom;   Watchfulness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Redemption;  
Dictionaries:
Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Ransom (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ransom;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elihu;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Ransom;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Deliver;   Ransom;   Take;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Because there is wrath - This is a time in which God is punishing the wicked; take heed lest thou be cut off in a moment. Redeem the time; the days are evil.

Then a great ransom - When he determines to destroy, who can save?

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 36:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-36.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Because there is wrath - That is, the wrath of God is to be dreaded. The meaning is, that if Job persevered in the spirit which he had manifested, he had every reason to expect that God would suddenly cut him off. He might now repent and find mercy, but he had shown the spirit of those who were rebellions in affliction, and if he persevered in that, he had nothing to expect but the wrath of God.

With his stroke - With his smiting or chastisement; compare Job 34:26.

Then a great ransom cannot deliver thee - Margin, “turn thee aside.” The meaning is, that a great ransom could not prevent him from being cut off. On the meaning of the word ransom, see the notes at Job 33:24. The idea here is, not that a great ransom could not deliver him “after” he was cut off and consigned to hell - which would be true; but that when he had manifested a spirit of insubmission a little longer, nothing could save him from being cut off from the land of the living. God would not spare him on account; of wealth, or rank, or age, or wisdom. None of these things would be a “ransom” in virtue of which his forfeited life would be preserved.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 36:18". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-36.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Job 36:18

Because there is wrath.

The wrath of God

The language of the text may be spoken to every impenitent and unbelieving sinner of the human race.

I. The actual. “There is wrath.”

1. This wrath is Divine. By virtue of God’s perfection He is in the possession of an emotional nature, He has the attribute of wrath. Instead of this property being inconsistent with the other attributes of God, it is absolutely necessary to constitute Him morally perfect. This wrath is undoubtedly a great reality.

2. This wrath is merited. Sin merits wrath. Sin is the wrong act of a moral substance, a substance in the possession of free-will. In this act there are rebellion, robbery, and ingratitude. Hence sin merits the Divine indignation. Hence, wherever there is sin there is also suffering.

3. This wrath is impartial. It has been revealed from heaven against angels and against men, without respect of person. It has been revealed against every sinful act of every sinful being.

II. The probable. There may be destruction. “Beware lest He take thee away with His stroke.”

1. He hath power to do it.

2. He has threatened to do so.

3. Some who were as near saved as you have been lost.

III. The impossible. There cannot be deliverance. “Then a great ransom cannot deliver thee,” literally, “cannot turn thee aside.” Deliverance is impossible--

1. By a great ransom of material wealth. Though we could give mines of gems, oceans of pearls, worlds of gold and silver, yet such a ransom price could not deliver us.

2. By a great ransom of animal life.

3. By the ransom of the Highest, Christ Jesus. “Christ gave Himself a sacrifice for us.” (Homilist.)

Divine anger

1. There is “wrath” in the government of God.

2. This “wrath” may overtake the sinner any moment.

3. When it overtakes him in this way, he has no means of deliverance. (Homilist.)

Solemn warning

Whether these words were suited to the ease of Job or not, they are certainly applicable to all impenitent sinners, and contain--

I. An important assertion. “Because there is wrath.” From this declaration it is evident that it has been known from the earliest ages that God is displeased with sin, and has often revealed His anger against the ungodliness of men.

1. This assertion must be explained. The anger, hatred, and wrath of God are not impure passions in Him, as they are in man. All who violate the precepts of His law become obnoxious to its awful penalties, and justly incur the punitive wrath of the Divine Lawgiver (Romans 2:3-9).

2. This assertion must be confirmed. This is evident from the Scriptures, which assure us that the Lord is “angry with the wicked.”

II. An affectionate admonition.

1. The exercise of caution. “Beware!” Deeply consider your state and character before God--remember your awful responsibility, and the intimate connection which subsists between a state of mortal probation and eternal retribution (Galatians 6:7-8); be wise, and know the day of your visitation.

2. The pursuit of salvation. An apprehension of Divine wrath should induce a diligent use of the means appointed for our deliverance; this is the only way of being rescued from sin and ruin.

III. An impressive argument; “Lest He take thee away,” etc.

1. The sinner’s punishment is inevitable. “Lest He take thee away with His stroke.” Incorrigible impenitence leads to unavoidable ruin (Romans 6:21); sin will surely find us out, “for the wicked shall not go unpunished.” His stroke signifies a sudden calamity or awful judgment. Such was the deluge--the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah--the punishment of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram--the death of Herod, Ananias, and Sapphira, etc. (Genesis 7:1-24; Genesis 19:27; Numbers 16:31-33; Acts 5:1-10; Acts 12:20-23).

2. The sinner’s punishment is irremediable. “Then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.” To ransom is to deliver, either by price or by power. The present life is the only day of salvation. There is no Redeemer for the finally lost. They have nothing to offer for their ransom, nor can any possible price purchase, or power rescue them from interminable perdition. What, then, is our present state? (Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Job 36:18". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/job-36.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE BALANCE OF THE DISPUTED PASSAGE

"For let not wrath stir thee up against chastisements;

Neither let the greatness of the ransom turn thee aside.

Wilt thy cry avail, that thou be not in distress,

Or all the forces of thy strength?

Desire not the night,

When peoples are cut off in their place."

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Job 36:18". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/job-36.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Because there is wrath,.... Either wrath in Job, so some; indignation and impatience under the afflicting hand of God, expressed by cursing the day of his birth, and by his angry pleadings with God: and therefore Elihu advises him to beware of it, and check this impetuous spirit; cease from his anger and forsake wrath, and fret not himself to do evil, and provoke the Lord to take him away at once, and then his case would be irretrievable. Or rather wrath in God, which is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. His vindictive and punitive justice, to revenge and punish wickedness, the effects of which are sometimes awful judgments on men in this life; and eternal vengeance hereafter, called wrath to come: this is laid up in store with him, and sealed up in his treasures, prepared in his purposes and decrees, is revealed in his law, and breaks forth in various instances; see Numbers 16:46. And there is an appearance of wrath, a little wrath, which is no other than love displeased, in the afflictions and chastisements of God's people, and might be perceived by Job: and this being the case, Elihu advises him to

beware; which, though not expressed in the original, is well supplied; and his meaning is, that he would be cautious of what he said, and not go on to multiply words against God; speak unbecomingly of him, arraign his justice, and find fault with his dealings with him; as well as beware of his actions, conduct, and behaviour, that his tongue and his doings be not against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory;

lest he take thee away with his stroke; out of the world by death, which is the stroke of his hand; and is sometimes given suddenly, and in an awful manner, in wrath and vengeance. Some render the last word, "with clapping of hands"F25בשפק "complosione manuum", Tigurine version; so some in Munster. ; either the hands of men, Job 27:23; or of God; expressing his exultation and pleasure at the death of such a person, laughing at his calamity, and mocking when fear cometh; which is dreadful and tremendous;

then a great ransom cannot deliver thee: there is no ransom on earth equal to the life or soul of man; "what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26; see Psalm 49:6. The great ransom of all is the ransom of Christ, which Elihu had made mention of before, Job 33:24; and what else could he have in his mind now? This is the ransom found by infinite wisdom, which Christ came to give, and has given; and by which he has ransomed his people from him that is stronger than they, from the bondage of sin, of Satan, of the world, of hell and death, and everlasting destruction: and this is a great one, plenteous redemption, a great salvation; the ransomer is the great God and our Saviour; the ransom price is not corruptible things, as silver and gold, but the precious blood of Christ, his life, yea, he himself. How great must this ransom be! and it is given for great sinners, the chief of them; and is sufficient for all the elect of God, both Jews and Gentiles: and yet, as great as it is, it is of no avail to one that God has taken away by a stroke out of this world, and sent to everlasting destruction; not through want of sufficiency in this ransom, but by reason of the final and unalterable state of such persons; as, even in the present life, it is of no avail to the deniers and despisers of it, Hebrews 10:26.

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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 36:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-36.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

n Because [there is] wrath, [beware] lest he take thee away with [his] stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.

(n) God punishes you, lest you forget God in your wealth and so perish.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 36:18". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-36.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

(Numbers 16:45; Psalm 49:6, Psalm 49:7; Matthew 16:26). Even the “ransom” by Jesus Christ (Job 33:24) will be of no avail to willful despisers (Hebrews 10:26-29).

with his stroke — (Job 34:26). Umbreit translates, “Beware lest the wrath of God (thy severe calamity) lead thee to scorn” (Job 34:7; Job 27:23). This accords better with the verb in the parallel clause, which ought to be translated, “Let not the great ransom (of money, which thou canst give) seduce thee (Margin, turn thee aside, as if thou couldst deliver thyself from “wrath” by it). As the “scorn” in the first clause answers to the “judgment of the wicked” (Job 36:17), so “ransom” (“seduce”) to “will he esteem riches” (Job 36:19). Thus, Job 36:18 is the transition between Job 36:17 and Job 36:19.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 36:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-36.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.

Wrath — Conceived by God against thee.

Then — If once God's wrath take hold of thee, no ransom will be accepted for thee.

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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 36:18". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-36.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 36:18 Because [there is] wrath, [beware] lest he take thee away with [his] stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.

Ver. 18. Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke] Beza readeth it thus, Surely it is wrath, take heed lest with strokes it take thee away; i.e. Certainly the wrath of God doth in this thy calamity most manifestly show itself. Oh beware lest he double his strokes, and beat thee to pieces for thy disobedience and stubbornness. With the froward God will wrestle, Psalms 18:26, and add to their miseries seven times more, and seven times and seven to that, Leviticus 26:18; Leviticus 26:21; Leviticus 26:24; Leviticus 26:28.

Then a great ransom cannot deliver thee] Heb. turn thee aside, or help thee to decline; that is, to escape, no, though thou shouldest offer thousands of rams, or ten thousand rivers of oil, as Micah 6:7.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 36:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-36.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Because there is wrath, to wit, conceived by God against thee. Because by thy pleading the cause of the wicked, thou hast deserved that God should give sentence against thee, as was now said, and hast provoked God’s wrath against thee; therefore look to thyself, and reconcile thyself to God by true repentance whilst thou mayst, and before sentence be executed upon thee.

Beware: this is not in the Hebrew, but is necessarily to be understood to make up the sense, and is oft understood in the like cases, and that before this Hebrew particle pen, as Genesis 3:22 11:4 42:4 Isaiah 36:8. See the like also Matthew 25:9 Acts 5:39.

With his stroke; properly, with the stroke of his hand or foot. It is an allusion to men, who oft express their anger by clapping their hands, or stamping with their feet.

Then a great ransom cannot deliver thee; for if once God’s wrath take hold of thee, and sentence be executed upon thee before thou dost repent and humble thyself to thy judge, neither riches, nor friends, no, nor any person or thing in heaven and earth, can redeem thee; no ransom or price will be accepted for thee.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 36:18". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-36.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

18.Because there is wrath’ his stroke — This passage has given much trouble to critics, of whose readings some are unspeakably absurd. The real difficulty lies in the word stroke, ( , sephek,) which is translated by some, “abundance;” thus, (Furst,) “He may not seduce thee with abundance.” making God indirectly an agent of evil. On the other hand, Gesenius renders it “punishment;” while Furst gives the first meaning of its root, as in Job 34:26, “to strike.” Rosenmuller, A. Clarke, and Noyes, virtually adopt the reading of the text. Carey thinks that the expression “take away” is intended to correspond with the same word, “remove,” in Job 36:16, with the meaning, God has not, as yet, by his mercy urged you out ( ) of your distress, (Job 36:16;) take care that in his provoked wrath he does not altogether urge you away ( ) with a stroke. The preposition , with, (a stroke,) may be rendered against; which leads some (Conant) to ascribe the anger to Job, and to read the clause. “For beware lest anger stir thee up against chastisement.” But the use of the same word ( , “wrath”) in Job 19:29, where it is spoken of God, would rather point to a rebuke on the part of Elihu. The very wrath Job threatened against “the friends” is that which he himself has reason to apprehend unless he, too, exercise proper caution. The muttering of the approaching storm may have given special point to the exhortation, and Elihu may have been emboldened to greater severity of address than would otherwise have seemed justifiable. “See,” he seems to say, “the lightnings, God’s messengers, already endorse the message of God’s servant.”

Ransom Kopher; same word as in Job 33:24, but used here in a modified sense. No consideration either of wealth, honour, wisdom, or piety, (Ezekiel 33:12-13,) — no price that man can bring — will avail to deliver man when once under the retributive hand of God. Comp. Job 30:24.

Cannot deliver thee — The meaning of in the niphil form is unquestionably, as in the margin, “to turn aside.” Gesenius renders the phrase, (Thes. 877,) “A great ransom cannot turn thee aside from the divine punishment; a form of speech,” he says, “used of those who turn aside from the way to avoid peril.”

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 36:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-36.html. 1874-1909.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Job needs to be careful that his pain and suffering do not move him towards acting like or speaking like a scoffer. "And not let "the greatness of the ransom" (the large price he is paying by his suffering) turn him aside from upright living" (Zuck p. 157).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 36:18". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-36.html. 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.

(Numbers 16:45; Psalms 49:6-7; Matthew 16:26.) Even the "ransom" by Jesus Christ (Job 33:24) will be of no avail to willful despisers (Hebrews 10:26-29).

With his stroke - [saapaq is the same as caapaq (Hebrew #5607), smite] (Job 34:26). Umbreit translates 'Beware lest the wrath of God (thy severe calamity) lead thee to scorn' (Job 34:7; Job 27:23): literally, to smite the hands in scorn. This accords with the verb in the parallel clause, which ought to be translated, 'Let not the great ransom (of money, which thou canst give) seduce thee' (margin, turn thee aside, as if thou couldst deliver thyself from "wrath" by it). As the "scorn" in the first clause answers to the "judgment of the wicked," Job 36:17, so 'ransom, seduce' to "Will he esteem riches," Job 36:19. Thus Job 36:18 is the transition between Job 36:17; Job 36:19. Maurer for "wrath" translates 'milk' or 'butter,' the very image for wealth which Job himself had used, Job 29:6, 'Beware lest thy milk-like flow of wealth seduce thee in abundance' (so the Hebrew means, Job 20:22). The Hebrew [ cheemaah (Hebrew #2534)] will bear either meaning, milk or wrath. The English version is good Hebrew and good sense.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 36:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-36.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(18) Because there is wrath.—“For there is wrath: now, therefore, beware lest He take thee away with one stroke, so that great ransom cannot deliver thee.” Literally it is, let not a great ransom deliver thee, but the sense is probably like the Authorised Version.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 36:18". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-36.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.
Because
Psalms 2:5,12; 110:5; Matthew 3:7; Romans 1:18; 2:5; Ephesians 5:6
his
Psalms 39:10; Isaiah 14:6; Ezekiel 24:16
then
33:24; Psalms 49:7,8; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 2:3
deliver thee
Heb. turn thee aside.
Reciprocal: Exodus 30:12 - a ransom;  1 Kings 20:39 - or else;  Job 10:3 - Is it good;  Proverbs 11:4 - Riches;  Isaiah 30:13 - cometh;  Luke 12:58 - the judge

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 36:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-36.html.