on Job 27 :19
The rich man shall lie down - In the grave. But he shall not be gathered - Neither have a respectable burial among men, nor be gathered with the righteous in the kingdom of God. It may be that Job alludes here to an opinion relative to the state of certain persons after death, prevalent in all nations in ancient times, viz., that those whose funeral rites had not been duly performed, wander about as ghosts, and find no rest.
He openeth his eyes - In the morning of the resurrection.
And he is not - He is utterly lost and undone for ever. This seems to be the plain sense of the passage; and so all the versions appear to have understood it; but Reiske and some others, by making יאסף yeaseph an Arabic word, signifying, not the idea of gathering, but care, anxiety, etc., have quite altered this sense of the passage; and Mr. Good, who copies them, translates thus: Let the rich man lie down, and care not. I see no manner of occasion to resort to this interpretation, which, in my judgment, gives a sense inferior to that given above, or to the following: The rich man shall lie down - go to his rest, fully persuaded that his property is in perfect safety; but he shall not be gathered, or he shall not gather - make any farther addition to his stores: he openeth his eyes in the morning, when he is not - marauders in the night have stripped him of all his property, as in the case of Job himself; a case quite probable, and not unfrequent in Arabia, when a hostile tribe makes a sudden incursion, and carries off an immense booty. But I prefer the first meaning, as it is obtained without crucifying the text. Coverdale translates: When the rich man dyeth, he carieth nothinge with him: he is gone in the twincklinge of an eye.
on Job 27 :19
The rich man - That is, the rich man who is wicked.
Shall lie down - Shalt die - for so the connection demands.
But he shall not be gathered - In an honorable burial. The slain in battle are gathered together for burial; but he shall be unburied. The expressions "to be gathered," "to be gathered to one's fathers," frequently occur in the Scriptures, and seem to be used to denote a peaceful and happy death and an honorable burial. There was the idea of a happy union with departed friends; of being honorably placed by their side in the grave, and admitted to companionship with them again in the unseen world; compare Genesis 25:8; Genesis 35:29; Genesis 49:29, Genesis 49:33; Numbers 27:13; Deuteronomy 32:50; Judges 2:10; 2 Kings 22:20. Among the ancients, the opinion prevailed that the souls of those who were not buried in the customary manner, were not permitted to enter Hades, or the abodes of the dead, but were doomed to wander for an hundred years upon the banks of the river Styx. Thus, Homer (Iliad, 23:71, following) represents the spirit of Patroclus as appearing to Achilles, and praying him that he would commit his body with proper honors to the earth. So Palinurus is represented by Virgil (Aeneid, vi. 365) as saying, "Cast earth upon me, that I may have a calm repose in death." The Hindoos, says Dr. Ward, believe that the souls of those who are unburied wander about and find no rest. It is possible that such views may have prevailed in the time of Job. The sentiment here is, that such an honored death would be denied the rich man of oppression and wickedness.
He openeth his eyes, and he is not - That is, in the twinkling of an eye he is no more. From the midst of his affluence he is suddenly cut off, and hurried away in a moment.
on Job 27 :19
27:19 Lie down - In death. Not gathered - Instead of that honourable interment with his fathers, his carcase shall lie like dung upon the earth. One openeth his eyes - That is, while a man can open his eyes, in the twinkling of an eye. He is as if he had never been, dead and gone, and his family and name extinct with him.