New American Standard Bible
"They are insignificant on the surface of the water; Their portion is cursed on the earth. They do not turn toward the vineyards.
King James Bible
He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.
Darby Bible Translation
He is swift on the face of the waters; their portion is cursed on the earth: he turneth not unto the way of the vineyards.
World English Bible
"They are foam on the surface of the waters. Their portion is cursed in the earth. They don't turn into the way of the vineyards.
Young's Literal Translation
Light he is on the face of the waters, Vilified is their portion in the earth, He turneth not the way of vineyards.
Job 24:18 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
He is swift as the waters - Noyes renders this, "They are as swift as the skiff upon the waters." Dr. Good, "Miserable is this man upon the waters." Wemyss, "Such should be as foam upon the waters." Le Clerc says that there is scarcely any passage of the Scriptures more obscure than this, and the variety of rendering adopted will show at once the perplexity of expositors. Rosenmuller supposes that the particle of comparison (כ k) is to be understood, and that the meaning is, "he is as a light thing upon the waters;" and this probably expresses the true sense. It is a comparison of the thief with a light boat, or any other light thing that moves gently on the face of the water, and that glides along without noise. So gently and noiselessly does the thief glide along in the dark. He is rapid in his motion, but he is still. It is not uncommon to describe one who is about to commit crime in the night as moving noiselessly along, and as taking every precaution that the utmost silence should be preserved. So Macbeth, when about to commit murder, soliloquizes:
Now o'er the one half world
Nature seems dead -
And withered murder,
Alarm'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Who's howl'd his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost.
Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
The very stones prate of my whereabout.
I do not know, however, that this comparison of a thief, with a light object on the waters, is to be found any where else, but it is one of great beauty. The word rendered "swift" (קל qal) may denote either that which is swift, or that which is light. In Isaiah 30:16, it is applied to a fleet horse. Here it may be rendered, "He is as a light thing upon the face of the waters."
Their portion is cursed in the earth - That is, their manner of life, their way of obtaining a livelihood, is deserving of execration. The result of humble toil and honest labor may be said to be blessed; but not the property which they acquire. Rosenmuller and Noyes, however, suppose that the word "portion" here refers to their habitation, and that the idea is, they have their dwelling in wild and uncultivated places; they live in places that are cursed by sterility and barrenness. The Hebrew will bear either construction. The word lot, as it is commonly understood by us, may perhaps embrace both ideas. "Theirs is a cursed lot on earth."
He beholdeth not the way of the vineyards - That is, they do not spend their lives in cultivating them, nor do they derive a subsistence from them. They live by plunder, and their abodes are in wild retreats, far away from quiet and civilised society. The object seems to be to describe marauders, who make a sudden descent at night on the possessions of others, and who have their dwellings far away from fields that are covered with the fruits of cultivation.
LibraryWhether in Hell the Damned are Tormented by the Sole Punishment of Fire?
Objection 1: It would seem that in hell the damned are tormented by the sole punishment of fire; because Mat. 25:41, where their condemnation is declared, mention is made of fire only, in the words: "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire." Objection 2: Further, even as the punishment of purgatory is due to venial sin, so is the punishment of hell due to mortal sin. Now no other punishment but that of fire is stated to be in purgatory, as appears from the words of 1 Cor. 3:13: "The fire …
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica
The Desire of the Righteous Granted;
"I have seen the foolish taking root, And I cursed his abode immediately.
Or darkness, so that you cannot see, And an abundance of water covers you.
Who were snatched away before their time, Whose foundations were washed away by a river?
"They harvest their fodder in the field And glean the vineyard of the wicked.
"Within the walls they produce oil; They tread wine presses but thirst.
"Terrors overtake him like a flood; A tempest steals him away in the night.
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