Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Job 27:23

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Men shall clap their hands at him - These two verses refer to the storm, which is to sweep away the ungodly; therefore the word God, in Job 27:22, and men in this verse, should be omitted.

    Job 27:22; : "For it shall fall upon him, and not spare: flying from its power he shall continue to fly.

    Job 27:23. It shall clap its hands against him, and hiss, וישרק veyishrok, shriek, him out of his place."

Here the storm is personified and the wicked actor is hissed and driven by it from off the stage. It seems it was an ancient method to clap the hands against and hiss a man from any public office, who had acted improperly in it. The populace, in European countries, express their disapprobation of public characters who have not pleased them in the same manner to the present day, by hisses, groans, and the like.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Men shall clap their hands at him - That is, they shall combine to drive him out of the world, and rejoice when he is gone. The same sentiment was also expressed by Bildad, Job 18:18:

“He shall be driven fromm light into darkness,

And chased out of the world.”

There can be no doubt, I think, that Job alludes to that sentiment, and that his object in quoting it is to show its incorrectness. He does not indeed go into a formal reply to it in the following chapters, but he seems to consider that he had already replied to it by the statements which he had made, and which showed the incorrectness of the views which his friends had taken. He had demonstrated in the previous chapters that their main position was incorrect, and he asks (in Job 27:12 of this chapter), how it was possible that they could hold such sentiments as these, in the midst of all the facts which surrounded them? The whole current of events was against their opinion, and in the close of this chapter he enumerates the sentiments which they had advanced, which he regarded as so strange, and which he felt that he had now shown to be erroneous. In deed, they seem to have regarded themselves as confuted, for they were silent. Job had attacked and overthrown their main position, that people were treated according to their character in this life, and that consequently extraordinary sufferings were proof of extraordinary guilt, and, that being overthrown, they had nothing more to say. Having silenced them, and shown the error of the opinions which he has here enumerated, be proceeds in the following chapters to state his own views on important topics connected with the providence of God, mainly designed to show that we are not to expect fully to comprehend the reason of his dispensations.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Job's friends, on the same subject, spoke of the misery of wicked men before death as proportioned to their crimes; Job considered that if it were not so, still the consequences of their death would be dreadful. Job undertook to set this matter in a true light. Death to a godly man, is like a fair gale of wind to convey him to the heavenly country; but, to a wicked man, it is like a storm, that hurries him away to destruction. While he lived, he had the benefit of sparing mercy; but now the day of God's patience is over, and he will pour out upon him his wrath. When God casts down a man, there is no flying from, nor bearing up under his anger. Those who will not now flee to the arms of Divine grace, which are stretched out to receive them, will not be able to flee from the arms of Divine wrath, which will shortly be stretched out to destroy them. And what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and thus lose his own soul?