on Job 21 :30
That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? - Though every one can tell that he has seen the wicked in prosperity, and even spend a long life in it; yet this is no proof that God loves him, or that he shall enjoy a prosperous lot in the next world. There, he shall meet with the day of wrath. There, the wicked shall be punished, and the just rewarded.
on Job 21 :30
That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? - He is not punished, as you maintain, at once. He is "kept" with a view to future punishment; and though calamity will certainly overtake him at some time, yet it is not immediate. This was Job's doctrine in opposition to theirs, and in this he was undoubtedly correct. The only wonder is, that they had not at all seen it sooner, and that it should have been necessary to make this appeal to the testimony of travelers. Rosenmuller, Noyes, and Schultens, understand it as meaning that the wicked are "spared" in the day of destruction, that is, in the day when destruction comes upon other people. This accords well with the argument which Job is maintaining. Yet the word (חשׂך châśak) rather means, especially when followed by ל l, to hold back, reserve, or retain "for" something future; and this is the sentiment which Job was maintaining, that the wicked were not cut off at once, or suddenly overwhelmed with punishment. He did not deny that they would be punished at some period; and that exact justice would be done them. The point of the controversy turned upon the inquiry whether this would come "at once," or wheather the wicked might not live long in prosperity.
They shall be brought forth - יובלו yûbālû. They shall be led or conducted - as one is to execution. This appears as if Job held to the doctrine of "future" retribution. But when that time would be, or what were his exact views in reference to the future judgment, is not certainly intimated. It is clear, however, from this discussion, that he supposed it would be "beyond" death, for he says that the wicked are prospered in this life: that they go down to the grave and sleep in the tomb; that the clods of the valley are sweet unto them, Job 21:32-33, yet that the judgment, the just retribution, would certainly come. This passage, therefore, seems to be decisive to prove that he held to a state of retribution beyond the grave, where the inequalities of the present life would be corrected, and where people, though prospered here, would be treated as they deserved. This, he says, was the current opinion.
It was that which was brought by travelers, who had gone into other lands. What impropriety is there in supposing that he may refer to some travelers who had gone into the country where Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob had lived, or then lived, and that they had brought this back as the prevalent belief there? To this current faith in that foreign land, he may now appeal as deserving the attention of his friends, and as meeting all that they had said. It "would" meet all that they said. It was the exact truth. It accorded with the course of events. And sustained, as Job says it was, by the prevailing opinion in foreign lands, it was regarded by him as settling the controversy. It is as true now as it was then; and this solution, which could come only from revelation, settles all inquiries about; the rectitude of the divine administration in the dispensation of rewards and punishments. It answers the question," How is it consistent for God to bestow so many blessings on the wicked, while his own people are so much afflicted?" The answer is, they have "their" good things in this life, and in the future world all these inequalities will be rectified.
Day of wrath - Margin, as in Hebrew "wraths." The plural form here is probably employed to denote emphasis, and means the same as "fierce wrath."
on Job 21 :30