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1 Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and saide,

2 Therefore doe my thoughts cause mee to answere, and for this I make haste.

3 I haue heard the checke of my reproach, and the spirit of my vnderstanding causeth me to answere.

4 Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed vpon earth,

5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the ioy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

6 Though his excellencie mount vp to the heauens, and his head reach vnto the clouds:

7 Yet he shall perish for euer, like his owne doung: they which haue seene him, shall say, Where is he?

8 He shall flie away as a dreame, and shall not be found: yea he shalbe chased away as a vision of the night.

9 The eye also which saw him, shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more behold him.

10 His children shall seeke to please the poore, and his hands shall restore their goods.

11 His bones are ful of the sinne of his youth, which shall ye downe with him in the dust.

12 Though wickednes be sweet in his mouth, though hee hide it vnder his tongue;

13 Though he spare it, and forsake it not, but keepe it stil within his mouth:

14 Yet his meate in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of Aspes within him.

15 He hath swallowed downe riches, and hee shall vomite them vp againe: God shall cast them out of his belly.

16 He shall sucke the poison of Aspes: the vipers tongue shall slay him.

17 Hee shall not see the riuers, the floods, the brookes of hony and butter.

18 That which he laboured for, shall he restore, & shall not swallow it downe: according to his substance shall the restitution bee, and hee shall not reioyce therein.

19 Because hee hath oppressed, and hath forsaken the poore; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not:

20 Surely he shall not feele quietnesse in his belly, hee shall not saue of that which he desired.

21 There shall none of his meat be left, therefore shall no man looke for his goods.

22 In the fulnesse of his sufficiencie, he shalbe in straites: euery hand of the wicked shall come vpon him.

23 When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the furie of his wrath vpon him, and shall raine it vpon him while he is eating.

24 He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steele shall strike him through.

25 It is drawen, and commeth out of the body; yea the glistering sword commeth out of his gall; terrours are vpon him.

26 All darknesse shalbe hid in his secret places: a fire not blowen shall consume him; it shall goe ill with him that is left in his tabernacle.

27 The heauen shall reueale his iniquitie: and the earth shall rise vp against him.

28 The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath.

29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed vnto him by God.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Job 20

Zophar speaks of the short joy of the wicked. (1-9) The ruin of the wicked. (10-22) The portion of the wicked. (23-29)1-9 Zophar's discourse is upon the certain misery of the wicked. The triumph of the wicked and the joy of the hypocrite are fleeting. The pleasures and gains of sin bring disease and pain; they end in remorse, anguish, and ruin. Dissembled piety is double iniquity, and the ruin that attends it will be accordingly.

10-22 The miserable condition of the wicked man in this world is fully set forth. The lusts of the flesh are here called the sins of his youth. His hiding it and keeping it under his tongue, denotes concealment of his beloved lust, and delight therein. But He who knows what is in the heart, knows what is under the tongue, and will discover it. The love of the world, and of the wealth of it, also is wickedness, and man sets his heart upon these. Also violence and injustice, these sins bring God's judgments upon nations and families. Observe the punishment of the wicked man for these things. Sin is turned into gall, than which nothing is more bitter; it will prove to him poison; so will all unlawful gains be. In his fulness he shall be in straits, through the anxieties of his own mind. To be led by the sanctifying grace of God to restore what was unjustly gotten, as Zaccheus was, is a great mercy. But to be forced to restore by the horrors of a despairing conscience, as Judas was, has no benefit and comfort attending it.

23-29 Zophar, having described the vexations which attend wicked practices, shows their ruin from God's wrath. There is no fence against this, but in Christ, who is the only Covert from the storm and tempest, #Isa 32:2|. Zophar concludes, "This is the portion of a wicked man from God;" it is allotted him. Never was any doctrine better explained, or worse applied, than this by Zophar, who intended to prove Job a hypocrite. Let us receive the good explanation, and make a better application, for warning to ourselves, to stand in awe and sin not. One view of Jesus, directed by the Holy Spirit, and by him suitably impressed upon our souls, will quell a thousand carnal reasonings about the suffering of the faithful.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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