Job 18

1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered, 2 “How long will you hunt for words? Consider, and afterwards we will speak. 3 Why are we counted as animals, which have become unclean in your sight? 4 You who tear yourself in your anger, shall the earth be forsaken for you? Or shall the rock be removed out of its place? 5 “Yes, the light of the wicked shall be put out, The spark of his fire shall not shine. 6 The light shall be dark in his tent. His lamp above him shall be put out. 7 The steps of his strength shall be shortened. His own counsel shall cast him down. 8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he wanders into its mesh. 9 A snare will take him by the heel. A trap will catch him. 10 A noose is hidden for him in the ground, a trap for him on the path. 11 Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall chase him at his heels. 12 His strength shall be famished. Calamity shall be ready at his side. 13 The members of his body shall be devoured. The firstborn of death shall devour his members. 14 He shall be rooted out of his tent where he trusts. He shall be brought to the king of terrors. 15 There shall dwell in his tent that which is none of his. Sulfur shall be scattered on his habitation. 16 His roots shall be dried up beneath. Above shall his branch be cut off. 17 His memory shall perish from the earth. He shall have no name in the street. 18 He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world. 19 He shall have neither son nor grandson amongst his people, nor any remaining where he lived. 20 Those who come after shall be astonished at his day, as those who went before were frightened. 21 Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous. This is the place of him who doesn’t know God.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–4

Bildad had before given Job good advice and encouragement; here he used nothing but rebukes, and declared his ruin. And he concluded that Job shut out the providence of God from the management of human affairs, because he would not admit himself to be wicked.

Verses 5–10

Bildad describes the miserable condition of a wicked man; in which there is much certain truth, if we consider that a sinful condition is a sad condition, and that sin will be men’s ruin, if they do not repent. Though Bildad thought the application of it to Job was easy, yet it was not safe nor just. It is common for angry disputants to rank their opponents among God’s enemies, and to draw wrong conclusions from important truths. The destruction of the wicked is foretold. That destruction is represented under the similitude of a beast or bird caught in a snare, or a malefactor taken into custody. Satan, as he was a murderer, so he was a robber, from the beginning. He, the tempter, lays snares for sinners wherever they go. If he makes them sinful like himself, he will make them miserable like himself. Satan hunts for the precious life. In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare for himself, and God is preparing for his destruction. See here how the sinner runs himself into the snare.

Verses 11–21

Bildad describes the destruction wicked people are kept for, in the other world, and which in some degree, often seizes them in this world. The way of sin is the way of fear, and leads to everlasting confusion, of which the present terrors of an impure conscience are earnests, as in Cain and Judas. Miserable indeed is a wicked man’s death, how secure soever his life was. See him dying; all that he trusts to for his support shall be taken from him. How happy are the saints, and how indebted to the lord Jesus, by whom death is so far done away and changed, that this king of terrors is become a friend and a servant! See the wicked man’s family sunk and cut off. His children shall perish, either with him or after him. Those who consult the true honour of their family, and its welfare, will be afraid of withering all by sin. The judgments of God follow the wicked man after death in this world, as a proof of the misery his soul is in after death, and as an earnest of that everlasting shame and contempt to which he shall rise in the great day. The memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot, Pr 10:7. It would be well if this report of wicked men would cause any to flee from the wrath to come, from which their power, policy, and riches cannot deliver them. But Jesus ever liveth to deliver all who trust in him. Bear up then, suffering believers. Ye shall for a little time have sorrow, but your Beloved, your Saviour, will see you again; your hearts shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh away.

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