Job 36:20
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Do not long for the night, When people vanish in their place.

King James Bible
Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place.

Darby Bible Translation
Desire not the night, when peoples are cut off from their place.

World English Bible
Don't desire the night, when people are cut off in their place.

Young's Literal Translation
Desire not the night, For the going up of peoples in their stead.

Job 36:20 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Desire not the night - That is, evidently, "the night of death." The darkness of the night is an emblem of death, and it is not uncommon to speak of death in this manner; see John 9:4, "The night cometh, when no man can work." Elihu seems to have supposed that Job might have looked forward to death as to a time of release; that so far from "dreading" what he had said would come, that God would cut him off at a stroke, it might be the very thing which he desired, and which he anticipated would be an end of his sufferings. Indeed Job had more than once expressed some such sentiment, and Elihu designs to meet that state of mind, and to charge him not to look forward to death as relief. If his present state of mind continued, he says, he would perish under the "wrath" of God; and death in such a manner, great as might be his sufferings here, could not be desirable.

When people are cut off in their place - On this passage, Schultens enumerates no less than "fifteen" different interpretations which have been given, and at the end of this enumeration remarks that he "waits for clearer light to overcome the shades of this night." Rosenmullcr supposes it means," Long not for the night, in which nations go under themselves;" that is, in which they go down to the inferior regions, or in which they perish. Noyes renders it, "To which nations are taken away to their place." Urnbroil renders it, "Pant not for the night, to go down to the people who dwell under thee;" that is, to the Shades, or to those that dwell in Sheol. Prof. Lee translates it, "Pant not for the night, for the rising of the populace from their places." Coverdale, "Prolong not thou the time, until there come a night for thee to set other people in thy stead." The Septuagint, "Do not draw out the night, that the people may come instead of them;" that is, to their assistance.

Dr. Good "Neither long thou for the night, for the vaults of the nations underneath them;" and supposes that the reference is to the "catacombs," or mummy-pits that were employed for burial-places. These are but specimens of the interpretations which have been proposed for this passage, and it is easy to see that there is little prospect of being able to explain it in a satisfactory manner. The principal difficulty in the passage is in the word rendered "cut off," (עלה ‛âlâh) which means "to go up, to ascend," and in the incongruity between that and the word rendered in their place (תחתם tachthâm), which literally means "under them." A literal translation of the passage is, "Do not desire the night to ascend to the people under them;" but I confess I cannot understand the passage, after all the attempts made to explain it. The trauslation given by Umbreit, seems best to agree with the connection, but I am unable to see that the Hebrew would bear this. See, however, his Note on the passage. The word עלה ‛âlâh he understands here in the sense of "going away," or "bearing away," and the pbrase the "people under them," as denoting the "Shades" in the world beneath us. The whole expression then would be equivalent to a wish "to die" - with the expectation that there would be a change for the better, or a release from present sufferings. Elihu admonishes Job not to indulge such a wish, for it would be no gain for a man to die in the state of mind in which he then was.

Job 36:20 Parallel Commentaries

Whether Christ Will Judge under the Form of his Humanity?
Objection 1: It would seem that Christ will not judge under the form of His humanity. For judgment requires authority in the judge. Now Christ has authority over the quick and the dead as God, for thus is He the Lord and Creator of all. Therefore He will judge under the form of His Godhead. Objection 2: Further, invincible power is requisite in a judge; wherefore it is written (Eccles. 7:6): "Seek not to be made a judge, unless thou have strength enough to extirpate iniquities." Now invincible power
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Judicial Power Corresponds to Voluntary Poverty?
Objection 1: It would seem that the judicial power does not correspond to voluntary poverty. For it was promised to none but the twelve apostles (Mat. 19:28): "You shall sit on twelve seats, judging," etc. Since then those who are voluntarily poor are not all apostles, it would seem that the judicial power is not competent to all. Objection 2: Further, to offer sacrifice to God of one's own body is more than to do so of outward things. Now martyrs and also virgins offer sacrifice to God of their
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The book of Job is one of the great masterpieces of the world's literature, if not indeed the greatest. The author was a man of superb literary genius, and of rich, daring, and original mind. The problem with which he deals is one of inexhaustible interest, and his treatment of it is everywhere characterized by a psychological insight, an intellectual courage, and a fertility and brilliance of resource which are nothing less than astonishing. Opinion has been divided as to how the book should be
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Job 34:20
"In a moment they die, and at midnight People are shaken and pass away, And the mighty are taken away without a hand.

Job 34:25
"Therefore He knows their works, And He overthrows them in the night, And they are crushed.

Job 36:19
"Will your riches keep you from distress, Or all the forces of your strength?

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