Matthew Henry's Commentary
Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
18:1-4 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.
How long will it be ere ye make an end of words? mark, and afterwards we will speak.
Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed vile in your sight?
He teareth himself in his anger: shall the earth be forsaken for thee? and shall the rock be removed out of his place?
Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine.
18:5-10 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.
The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him.
The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down.
For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare.
The gin shall take him by the heel, and the robber shall prevail against him.
The snare is laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way.
Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet.
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, and destruction shall be ready at his side.
It shall devour the strength of his skin: even the firstborn of death shall devour his strength.
His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, and it shall bring him to the king of terrors.
It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his: brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.
His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off.
His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street.
He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world.
He shall neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any remaining in his dwellings.
They that come after him shall be astonied at his day, as they that went before were affrighted.
Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God.