Are they brought into desolation - This is often a literal fact. I have known several cases where persons, very rich, have by sudden losses been brought into desolation as in a moment; in consequence of which they were utterly consumed in terrors.
How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! - How suddenly and unexpectedly does destruction come upon them! Nothing can be argued from their apparent prosperity, for there is no ground of security in “that,” no basis for an argument that it will continue. The end must be seen in order to form a correct estimate on the subject, and that end may soon come. Compare the notes at Job 15:20-21.
They are utterly consumed with terrors - literally, “they perish; they are destroyed by terrors;” that is, by terrible things, or by things suited to produce terror in the mind. The idea is not that they are destroyed by their own fears, but that things come upon them which are suited to overwhelm the soul, and that by those things they are utterly destroyed. It is by this result that we are to determine in regard to the equity of the divine administration, and not by their prosperity and their apparent safety.