Job 18:15
It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his: brimstone shall be scattered on his habitation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) It shall dwell in his tabernacle.—Or, “There shall dwell in his tent they that are none of his,” or “which is no longer his”: i.e., terrors shall dwell, or, “which is none of his” may hint that it had been violently taken from some one else. “Brimstone shall be scattered on his dwelling” is probably an allusion to the cities of the plain (Genesis 19).

Job 18:15. It shall dwell in his tabernacle — Destruction, expressed Job 18:12, shall fix its abode with him. Because it is none of his — Because it is none of his own, being got from others by deceit or violence. Brimstone shall be scattered on his habitation — It shall be utterly destroyed, as it were, by fire and brimstone. He seems to allude both to the destruction of Sodom, which happened not long before these times, and to the judgment which befell Job, chap. Job 1:16. When the stranger hath taken and rifled his dwelling, he shall forsake it as an accursed place, and shall burn it with fire and brimstone, that there may be no monument of so vile a person left upon the earth. Heath’s interpretation of this verse is, “They shall take up their habitation in his tent, because he hath no surviver: brimstone shall be sprinkled upon his habitation. As much as to say, ‘Since he hath no one to survive him, his posterity is utterly exterminated: horror takes possession of his habitation, and it is sprinkled with brimstone, that no person may ever after inhabit it; but that it may remain an object of terror to future ages.’ The image is grand, and worthy of the tragic style.”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.It shall dwell in his tabernacle - It is uncertain what is to be understood as referred to here. Some suppose that the word to be understood is soul, and that the meaning is "his soul," that is, he himself, "shall dwell in his tent." Rosenmuller, Noyes, Wemyss, and others, suppose that the word is terror. "Terror (בלהה ballâhâh) shall dwell in his tent," the same word which is used in the plural in the previous verse. This is undoubtedly the correct sense; and the idea is, that his forsaken tent shall be a place of terror - somewhat, perhaps, as we speak of a forsaken house as "haunted." It may be that Bildad refers to some such superstitious fear as we sometimes, and almost always in childhood, connect with the idea of a house in which nobody lives.

Because it is none of his - It is no longer his. It is a forsaken, tenantless dwelling.

Brimstone shall be scattered - Brimstone has been always the image of desolation. Nothing will grow on a field that is covered with sulphur; and the meaning here is, that his house would be utterly desolate and forsaken. Rosenmuller and Noyes suppose that there is an allusion here to a sudden destruction, such as was that of Sodom and Gomorrha. Grotius doubts whether it refers to that or to lightning. Others suppose that lightning is referred to both here and in Genesis 19:24; Deuteronomy 29:23. I can see no evidence here, however, that there is any reference to Sodom and Gomorrha, or that there is any allusion to lightning. If the allusion had been to Sodom, it would have been more full. That was a case "just in point" in the argument; and the fact that was exactly in point, and would have furnished to the friends of Job such an irrefragalbe proof of the position which they were defending, and that it is not worked into the very texture of their argument, is full demonstration, to my mind, that that remarkable event is not referred to in this place. The only thing necessarily implied in the language before us is, that sulphur, the emblem of desolation, would be scattered on his dwelling, and that his dwelling would be wholly desolate.

15. It—"Terror" shall haunt, &c., and not as Umbreit, "another," which the last clause of the verse disproves.

none of his—It is his no longer.

brimstone—probably comparing the calamity of Job by the "fire of God" (Job 1:16) to the destruction of guilty Sodom by fire and brimstone (Ge 19:24).

It, i.e. destruction, expressed Job 18:12, and designed by this particle it, Job 18:13, shall not come upon him and his for a season, for then there might be some hopes of recovery; but it shall fix his abode with him.

It is none of his: this may be added, either,

1. By way of correction, Did I say

his tabernacle? I must retract the expression; for in truth, it is none of his, it is become another man’s. Or,

2. As a reason of the ruin of his tabernacle, because it is none of his own, but got from others by deceit or violence. But these words are and may be joined with the former, and both thus rendered, A stranger (Heb. one that is not his, that is not descended from him, and hath no relation to him)

shall dwell in his tabernacle, i.e. shall possess his house and goods.

Brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation; it shall be utterly and prodigiously destroyed, as it were by fire and brimstone. He seems to allude both to the destruction of Sodom, upon which God did scatter brimstone and fire, which happened not long before these times, and could not be unknown to them, who lived near that place, and were diligent observers of God’s works; and to the judgment which befell Job, Job 1:16: when the stranger hath taken and rifled his dwelling, he shall forsake it as an accursed place, and shall burn it with fire and brimstone, that there may be no monument of so vile a person left upon the earth. It shall dwell in his tabernacle,.... What shall dwell in it is not said; there are various conjectures about it, and different supplements are made; the Targum is,

"his wife shall dwell in a tabernacle not his;''

and to the same purpose Jarchi; as if it was one part of the punishment of a wicked man, that he should leave a widow behind him, and no house of his own for her to dwell in; but this is the case of the widows of many good men, who themselves, in their lifetime, have no houses of their own, and some no certain dwelling places, yea, have lived in caves and dens of the earth; the mother of our Lord, who seems to have been a widow at his death, was taken by one of his disciples to his own home, which shows she had none of her own. The Vulgate Latin version is,

"his neighbours shall dwell in his tabernacle;''

which some understand of their coming into it after his death, to mourn and bewail him; but as such a visit of his family upon his decease cannot be called dwelling, so this is rather a benefit and favour to his family, than a distress: rather it may signify, that such neighbours whom he had oppressed, and who hated him for his tyranny and cruelty, now should dwell in his house; what he had built, strangers should inhabit, which is a punishment of sin and sinners, Deuteronomy 28:30. Aben Ezra supplies it thus, a strange or evil beast shall dwell in it, as they do in desolate places; and it is frequently given as a sign and token of desolation in countries, cities, and palaces, that they are become the habitations of wild and savage creatures, see Isaiah 13:19; but it seems best to supply it from the context, either thus, famine, hunger, want of food, shall dwell in it; poverty and want shall come like an armed man into it, and take possession; there shall appear all the marks and signs of penury and distress; or destruction ready at his side shall take up its abode in it, and it shall be called the house of destruction, as a certain city is called the city of destruction, because devoted to it, Isaiah 19:18; or the firstborn of death, some deadly disease, as the pestilence; or death itself, the king of terrors, who is sometimes represented as a person coming up into the windows of a palace, and entering it, and cutting off great numbers; so that it goes ill with him that is left in a tabernacle, where he has his habitation, Jeremiah 9:21; or terror, as Ben Gersom; everyone of the terrors before mentioned, so that no body will care to dwell in it, but forsake it as an haunted house: in short, from the whole it may be gathered, that the curse of God should alight upon it, and remain in it, as it does in the house of the wicked; the same with the flying roll in the vision of Zechariah, the curse of God's righteous law, which enters into the house of the thief and perjurer, and consumes it, Proverbs 3:33; the reason follows,

because it is none of his; not by right, being bought or built with mammon of unrighteousness, with money not honestly got, and therefore shall not prosper; or because it is no longer his, he being taken from it by death, the king of terrors, and that not knowing or owning him any more as its master or proprietor, and therefore strangers shall dwell in it; or because there is none that shall be after him, because he shall have none left, or he shall have no survivor (h), all his family being taken away by death; and therefore nothing but desolation and destruction shall be seen in it, see Amos 6:9;

brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation; that is, his house should be burnt down by lightning, which is often sulphurous, and sometimes very sensibly has the smell of brimstone in it (i). Bildad may refer either to the fire of heaven that destroyed Job's sheep, which was of this kind; or rather to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, by a shower of fire and brimstone from heaven, a fact well known in those times. Moreover, brimstone scattered upon the wicked man's dwelling place may denote the desolation of it, that it should lie in ruins, and be unfit to be inhabited; and the desolation of places is sometimes signified by their being salt, brimstone and burning pitch, Deuteronomy 29:23; yea, this may be carried further, and denote the eternal damnation of all in his house, seeing the burning of Sodom with brimstone was an example to ungodly men suffering the vengeance of eternal fire, Jde 1:7; and which is sometimes expressed by brimstone, and a lake burning with fire and brimstone, Revelation 20:10. Some (k) think respect is had to the purifying of houses with sulphur, to drive away demons, and remove impurity, to make them fit to dwell in (l); and others think it refers to the burning of sulphur in houses at funerals, to testify and exaggerate mourning (m).

(h) So Syr. Ar & Schmidt. (i) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 35. c. 35. (k) Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 4. p. 709, 710. (l) Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 35. c. 15. Theocrit. Idyll. 25. ver. 95. Homer. Odyss. 22. prope finem. (m) Vid. Menochium de Repub. Heb. l. 8. c. 6. col. 792.

It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his: {l} brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.

(l) Though all the world would favour him, yet God would destroy him and his.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. The sense probably is,

There shall dwell in his tent they that are not his,

Brimstone shall be showered upon his habitation.

So Conant excellently. The two clauses of the verse are not to be taken logically together, they describe the destiny awaiting the sinner’s possessions and dwelling under different conceptions—in the one case they pass into the hands of strangers, in the other they are accursed of God, like Sodom, (Genesis 19:24) and Edom (Isaiah 34:9 seq.), and overwhelmed with a rain of brimstone from heaven.

15–17. The extinction of his name and race.Verse 15. - It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his; either, it (i.e. terror) shall dwell in his tabernacle which is no longer his; or, they shall dwell in his tabernacle that are none of his; i.e. strangers st, all inhabit the place where he dwelt heretofore (compare the Revised Version). Brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation. As God rained fire and brimstone out of heaven upon the cities of the plain (Genesis 19:24), so shall brimstone be scattered upon his habitation to ruin and destroy it (comp. Deuteronomy 29:23; Psalm 11:6). 8 For he is driven into the net by his own feet,

And he walketh over a snare.

9 The trap holdeth his heel fast,

The noose bindeth him.

10 His snare lieth hidden in the earth,

His nets upon the path;

11 Terrors affright him on every side,

And scare him at every step.

The Pual שׁלּח signifies not merely to be betrayed into, but driven into, like the Piel, Job 30:12, to drive away, and as it is to be translated in the similar passage in the song of Deborah, Judges 5:15 : "And as Issachar, Barak was driven (i.e., with desire for fighting) behind him down into the valley (the place of meeting under Mount Tabor);" בּרגליו, which there signifies, according to Judges 4:10; Judges 8:5, "upon his feet equals close behind him," is here intended of the intermediate cause: by his own feet he is hurried into the net, i.e., against his will, and yet with his own feet he runs into destruction. The same thing is said in Job 18:8; the way on which he complacently wanders up and down (which the Hithp. signifies here) is שׂבכה, lattice-work, here a snare (Arab. schabacah, a net, from שׂבך, schabaca, to intertwine, weave), and consequently will suddenly break in and bring him to ruin. This fact of delivering himself over to destruction is established in apocopated futt. (Job 18:9) used as praes., and without the voluntative signification in accordance with the poetic licence: a trap catches a heel (poetic brevity for: the trap catches his heel), a noose seizes upon him, עליו (but with the accompanying notion of overpowering him, which the translation "bind" is intended to express). Such is the meaning of צמּים here, which is not plur., but sing., from צמם (Arab. ḍmm), to tie, and it unites in itself the meanings of snare-layer (Job 5:5) and of snare; the form (as אבּיר, אדּיר) corresponds more to the former, but does not, however, exclude the latter, as תּנּין and לפּיד (λαμπάς) show.

The continuation in Job 18:10 of the figure of the fowler affirms that that issue of his life (Job 18:9) has been preparing long beforehand; the prosperity of the evil-doer from the beginning tends towards ruin. Instead of חבלו we have the pointing חבלו, as it would be in Arab. in a similar sense hhabluhu (from hhabl, a cord, a net). The nearer destruction is now to him, the stronger is the hold which his foreboding has over him, since, as Job 18:11 adds, terrible thoughts (בּלּהות) and terrible apparitions fill him with dismay, and haunt him, following upon his feet. לרגליו, close behind him, as Genesis 30:30; 1 Samuel 25:42; Isaiah 41:2; Habakkuk 3:5. The best authorized pointing of the verb is והפיצהוּ, with Segol (Ges. 104, 2, c), Chateph-Segol, and Kibbutz. Except in Habakkuk 3:14, where the prophet includes himself with his people, הפיץ, diffundere, dissipare (vid., Job 37:11; Job 40:11), never has a person as its obj. elsewhere. It would also probably not be used, but for the idea that the spectres of terror pursue him at every step, and are now here, now there, and his person is as it were multiplied.

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