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1 But Iob answered, and sayd,

2 Heare diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations.

3 Suffer me that I may speake, and after that I haue spoken, mocke on.

4 As for mee, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?

5 Marke mee, and be astonished, and lay your hand vpon your mouth.

6 Euen when I remember, I am afraid, and trembling taketh holde on my flesh.

7 Wherefore doe the wicked liue, become old, yea, are mightie in power?

8 Their seede is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.

9 Their houses are safe from feare, neither is the rod of God vpon them.

10 Their bull gendreth and faileth not, their cow calueth, and casteth not her calfe.

11 They send foorth their little ones like a flocke, and their children dance.

12 They take the timbrell and harpe, and reioyce at the sound of the organe.

13 They spend their daies in wealth, and in a moment goe downe to the graue.

14 Therefore they say vnto God, Depart from vs: for we desire not the knowledge of thy wayes.

15 What is the Almightie, that wee should serue him? and what profite should we haue, if we pray vnto him?

16 Loe, their good is not in their hand, the counsell of the wicked is farre from me.

17 How oft is the candle of the wicked put out? and how oft commeth their destruction vpon them? God distributeth sorrowes in his anger.

18 They are as stubble before the winde, and as chaffe that the storme carieth away.

19 God layeth vp his iniquitie for his children: he rewardeth him, and he shall know it.

20 His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drinke of the wrath of the Almightie.

21 For what pleasure hath he in his house after him, when the number of his moneths is cut off in the middest?

22 Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he iudgeth those that are high.

23 One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet.

24 His breasts are full of milke, and his bones are moistened with marrow.

25 And another dieth in the bitternesse of his soule, and neuer eateth with pleasure.

26 They shall lie downe alike in the dust, and the wormes shall couer them.

27 Behold, I know your thoughts, and the deuices which yee wrongfully imagine against me.

28 For ye say, where is the house of the prince? and where are the dwelling places of the wicked?

29 Haue ye not asked them that goe by the way? and doe ye not know their tokens?

30 That the wicked is reserued to the day of destruction; they shall bee brought foorth to the day of wrath.

31 Who shall declare his way to his face? and who shall repay him what he hath done?

32 Yet shall hee be brought to the graue, & shall remaine in the tombe.

33 The cloudes of the valley shalbe sweete vnto him, and euery man shall draw after him, as there are innumerable before him.

34 How then comfort ye me in vaine, seeing in your answeres there remaineth falshood?

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Job 21

Job entreats attention. (1-6) The prosperity of the wicked. (7-16) The dealings of God's providence. (17-26) The judgement of the wicked is in the world to come. (27-34)1-6 Job comes closer to the question in dispute. This was, Whether outward prosperity is a mark of the true church, and the true members of it, so that ruin of a man's prosperity proves him a hypocrite? This they asserted, but Job denied. If they looked upon him, they might see misery enough to demand compassion, and their bold interpretations of this mysterious providence should be turned into silent wonder.

7-16 Job says, Remarkable judgments are sometimes brought upon notorious sinners, but not always. Wherefore is it so? This is the day of God's patience; and, in some way or other, he makes use of the prosperity of the wicked to serve his own counsels, while it ripens them for ruin; but the chief reason is, because he will make it appear there is another world. These prospering sinners make light of God and religion, as if because they have so much of this world, they had no need to look after another. But religion is not a vain thing. If it be so to us, we may thank ourselves for resting on the outside of it. Job shows their folly.

17-26 Job had described the prosperity of wicked people; in these verses he opposes this to what his friends had maintained about their certain ruin in this life. He reconciles this to the holiness and justice of God. Even while they prosper thus, they are light and worthless, of no account with God, or with wise men. In the height of their pomp and power, there is but a step between them and ruin. Job refers the difference Providence makes between one wicked man and another, into the wisdom of God. He is Judge of all the earth, and he will do right. So vast is the disproportion between time and eternity, that if hell be the lot of every sinner at last, it makes little difference if one goes singing thither, and another sighing. If one wicked man die in a palace, and another in a dungeon, the worm that dies not, and the fire that is not quenched, will be the same to them. Thus differences in this world are not worth perplexing ourselves about.

27-34 Job opposes the opinion of his friends, That the wicked are sure to fall into visible and remarkable ruin, and none but the wicked; upon which principle they condemned Job as wicked. Turn to whom you will, you will find that the punishment of sinners is designed more for the other world than for this, #Jude 1:14,15|. The sinner is here supposed to live in a great deal of power. The sinner shall have a splendid funeral: a poor thing for any man to be proud of the prospect of. He shall have a stately monument. And a valley with springs of water to keep the turf green, was accounted an honourable burial place among eastern people; but such things are vain distinctions. Death closes his prosperity. It is but a poor encouragement to die, that others have died before us. That which makes a man die with true courage, is, with faith to remember that Jesus Christ died and was laid in the grave, not only before us, but for us. That He hath gone before us, and died for us, who is alive and liveth for us, is true consolation in the hour of death.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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