Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Job 15:21

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

A dreadful sound is in his ears - If he be an oppressor or tyrant, he can have no rest: he is full of suspicions that the cruelties he has exercised on others shall be one day exercised on himself; for even in his prosperity he may expect the destroyer to rush upon him.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

A dreadful sound is in his ears - Margin, “A sound of fears.” He hears sudden, frightful sounds, and is alarmed. Or when he thinks himself safe, he is suddenly surprised. The enemy steals upon him, and in his fancied security he dies. This sentiment might be illustrated at almost any length by the mode of savage warfare in America, and by the sudden attacks which the American savage makes, in the silence of the night, on his unsuspecting foes. The Chaldee renders this, “the fear of the terrors in Gehenna are in his ears; when the righteous dwell in peace and eternal life, destruction comes upon him.”

In prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him - When he supposes he is safe, and his affairs seem to be prosperous, then sudden destruction comes; see 1 Thessalonians 5:3. The history of wicked people, who have encompassed themselves with wealth, and as they supposed with every thing necessary to happiness, and who have been suddenly cut off, would furnish all the instances which would be necessary to illustrate this sentiment of Eliphaz. See an exquisitely beautiful illustration of it in Psalm 37:35-36:

I have seen the wicked in great power,

And spreading himself like a green bay-tree.

Yet he passed away, and lo he was not;

Yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

So, also, in Psalm 73:18-20:

Surely thou didst set them in slippery places;

Thou castedst them down into destruction.

How are they brought into desolation as in a moment!

They are utterly consumed with terrors.

As a dream when one awaketh,

O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Eliphaz maintains that the wicked are certainly miserable: whence he would infer, that the miserable are certainly wicked, and therefore Job was so. But because many of God's people have prospered in this world, it does not therefore follow that those who are crossed and made poor, as Job, are not God's people. Eliphaz shows also that wicked people, particularly oppressors, are subject to continual terror, live very uncomfortably, and perish very miserably. Will the prosperity of presumptuous sinners end miserably as here described? Then let the mischiefs which befal others, be our warnings. Though no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. No calamity, no trouble, however heavy, however severe, can rob a follower of the Lord of his favour. What shall separate him from the love of Christ?
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