Job 18:12
(12) His strength.--By "strength" some understand his firstborn son, as Genesis 49:3, but it is not necessary to take it otherwise than literally.

Destruction shall be ready at his side.--Or, according to some, for his halting; shall lie in wait for his tripping in order to overthrow him.

Verse 12. - His strength shall be hunger-bitten. (So Dillmann, Cook, and the Revised Version.) To the other sufferings of the wicked man shall be added the pangs of hunger. His bodily strength shall disappear, as destitution and famine come upon him. And destruction shall be ready at his side. Ready to seize on him at any moment. Some translate, "ready for his halting" i.e. ready to seize on him in ease of his tripping or halting (so the Revised Version).

18:11-21 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.His strength shall be hungerbitten,.... Or "shall be famine" (u), or hunger, that is, shall be weakened by it; famine is a sore evil, and greatly weakens thee natural strength of men; want of food will soon bring down the strength of the strongest man, when the stay and the staff, the sustenance and support of man's nature is taken from him: many of the Jewish writers, by "his strength", understand his children, who are, as Jacob said of Reuben, his might, and the beginning of his strength, Genesis 49:3; and when grown up are his protection and defence; and for these to be distressed with hunger, or destroyed by famine, is a sore judgment; so the Targum paraphrases it, his firstborn son; Jarchi interprets it, his son; and Ben Gersom, his seed or offspring:

and destruction shall be ready at his side; or "to his rib" (w); that is, his wife, as the Targum and Jarchi explain it, the Jews calling a man's wife his rib, because the woman was originally made out of one of the ribs of man; and if this could be thought to be the sense of the word here, and what is given by them of the former clause, both make up a complete account of the destruction of a wicked man's family, his wife and children: but rather it signifies some calamity, distress, and trouble at hand, ready prepared for wicked men, just going to be inflicted on them; for God has stores of vengeance for them, and has made ready his bow, and prepared instruments and arrows of death and destruction for them, as well as there is everlasting fire prepared, and blackness of darkness reserved for them in the world to come; for it can hardly be thought that this should be understood literally of any disease in the side, as the pleurisy, &c. which is threatening, or any mortal wound or stab there, such as Joab gave Amass under the fifth rib.

(u) "fames", Beza. (w) "costae ejus", Montanus, Vatablus, Grotius, Schultens.

Job 18:11
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