on Job 21 :13
They spend their days in wealth - There is a various reading here of some importance. In the text we have יבלו yeballu, they grow old, or wear out as with old age, terent vetustate; and in the margin, יכלו yechallu, they consume; and the Masora states that this is one of the eleven words which are written with ב beth and must be read with כ caph. Several editions have the former word in the text, and the latter in the margin; the former being what is called the kethib, the latter keri. יבלו yeballu, they grow old, or wear out, is the reading of the Antwerp, Paris, and London Polyglots; יכלו yechallu, they accomplish or spend, is the reading of the Complutensian Polyglot, thirteen of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS., the Septuagint, Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic. The Vulgate has ducunt, "they lead or spend," from which our translation is borrowed. I incline to the former, as Job's argument derives considerable strength from this circumstance; they not only spend their days in faring sumptuously every day; but they even wear out so as to grow old in it; they are not cut off by any sudden judgment of God. This is fact; therefore your doctrine, that the wicked are cut off suddenly and have but a short time, is far from the truth.
In a moment go down to the grave - They wear out their years in pleasure; grow old in their gay and giddy life; and die, as in a moment, without previous sickness; or, as Mr. Good has it, They quietly descend into the grave.
on Job 21 :13
They spend their days in wealth - Margin, or, "mirth." Literally, "they wear out their days in good" - בטוב baṭôb. Vulgate "in bonis." Septuagint, ἐν ἀγαθοῖς en agathois - "in good things;" in the enjoyment of good. They are not oppressed with the evils of poverty and want, but they have abundance of "the good things" of life.
And in a moment go down to the grave - Hebrew to שׁאול she'ôl - but here meaning evidently the grave. The idea is, that when they die they are not afflicted with lingering disease, and great bodily pain, but having lived to an old age in the midst of comforts, they drop off suddenly and quietly, and sleep in the grave. God gives them prosperity while they live, and when they come to die he does not come forth with the severe expressions of his displeasure, and oppress them with long and lingering sickness. The author of Psalm 73 had a view of the death of the wicked remarkably similar to this, when he said,
For I was envious at the foolish,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no bands in their death,
But their strength is firm. Psalm 73:3-4.
All that Job says here is predicated on the supposition that such a sudden removal is preferable to death accompanied with long and lingering illness. The idea is, that it is in itself "desirable" to live in tranquility; to reach an honorable old age surrounded by children and friends, and then quietly and suddenly to drop into the grave without being a burden to friends. The wicked, he says, often live such a life, and he infers, therefore, that it is not a fact that God deals with people according to their character in this life, and that it is not right to draw an inference respecting their moral character from his dealings with them in this world. There are instances enough occurring in every age like those supposed here by Job, to justify the conclusion which he draws.
on Job 21 :13
21:13 Moment - They do not die of a lingering and tormenting disease.