Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Job 21:26

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

They shall lie down alike in the dust - Death levels all distinctions, and the grave makes all equal. There may be a difference in the grave itself; but the human corpse is the same in all. Splendid monuments enshrine corruption; but the sod must lie close and heavy upon the putrefying carcass, to prevent it from becoming the bane of the living.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

They shall lie down alike in the dust - The emphasis here is on the word “alike” - יחד yachad The idea is, that they should die “in a similar manner.” There would be no such difference in the mode of their death as to determine anything about their character or to show that one was the friend of God, and that the other was not. The friends of Job had maintained, that that could be certainly known by the divine dealings with people, either in their life, or in their death. Job combats this opinion, and says, that there is no such marked distinction in their life, nor is there any certain indication of their character in their death. Prosperity often attends the wicked as well as the righteous, and the death of the righteous and the wicked resemble each other.

And the worms shall cover them - Cover them “both.” They shall alike moulder back to dust. There is no distinction in the grave. There is no difference in the manner in which they moulder back to dust. No argument can be drawn respecting their character from the divine dealings toward them when in life - none from the manner of their death - none from the mode in which they moulder back to dust. On the reference to the “worm” here, see the notes at Job 14:11.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Job had described the prosperity of wicked people; in these verses he opposes this to what his friends had maintained about their certain ruin in this life. He reconciles this to the holiness and justice of God. Even while they prosper thus, they are light and worthless, of no account with God, or with wise men. In the height of their pomp and power, there is but a step between them and ruin. Job refers the difference Providence makes between one wicked man and another, into the wisdom of God. He is Judge of all the earth, and he will do right. So vast is the disproportion between time and eternity, that if hell be the lot of every sinner at last, it makes little difference if one goes singing thither, and another sighing. If one wicked man die in a palace, and another in a dungeon, the worm that dies not, and the fire that is not quenched, will be the same to them. Thus differences in this world are not worth perplexing ourselves about.