on Job 18 :14
His confidence shall be rooted out - His dwelling-place, how well soever fortified, shah now he deemed utterly insecure.
And it shall bring him to the king of terrors - Or, as Mr. Good translates, "And dissolution shall invade him as a monarch." He shall be completely and finally overpowered. The phrase king of terrors has been generally thought to mean death; but it is not used in any such way in the text. For למלך בלהות lemelech ballahoth, to the king of destructions, one of De Rossi's MSS. has כמלך kemelech, "as a king;" and one, instead of בלהות ballahoth, with ו vau holem, to indicate the plural, terrors or destructions, has בלהות ballahuth, with ו vau shurek, which is singular, and signifies terror, destruction. So the Vulgate seems to have read, as it translates, Et calcet super eum, quasi rex, interitis; "And shall tread upon him as a king or destroyer. Or as a king who is determined utterly to destroy him." On this verse the bishop of Killala, Dr. Stock, says, "I am sorry to part with a beautiful phrase in our common version, the king of terrors, as descriptive of death; but there is no authority for it in the Hebrew text." It may however be stated that death has been denominated by similar epithets both among the Greeks and Romans.
So Virgil, Aen. vi., ver. 100. -
Quando hic inferni janua regi Dicitur.
"The gates of the king of hell are reported to be here."
And Ovid, Metam. lib. v., ver. 356, 359.
Inde tremit tellus: et rex pavit ipse silentum.
Hanc metuens cladem, tenebrosa sede tyrannus Exierat.
"Earth's inmost bowels quake, and nature groans;
His terrors reach the direful King of Hell.
Fearing this destruction, the tyrant left hisgloomy court."
And in Sophocles, (Oedip. Colon., ver. 1628, edit. Johnson).
on Job 18 :14
His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle - Security shall forsake his dwelling, and he shall be subject to constant alarms. There shall be nothing there in which he can confide, and all that he relied on as sources of safety shall have fled.
And it shall bring him - That is, he shall be brought.
To the king of terrors - There has been much variety in the explanation of this verse. Dr. Noyes renders it, "Terror pursues him like a king." Dr. Good, "Dissolution shall invade him like a monarch." Dr. Stock says. "I am sorry to part with a beautiful phrase in our common version, the king of terrors, as descriptive of death, but there is no authority for it in the Hebrew text." Wemyss renders it, "Terror shall seize him as a king." So Schultens translates it, "Gradientur in eum, instar regis, terrores." Rosenmuller renders it as it is in our version. The Vulgate: Et calcet super eum, quasi rex, interitus - "destruction shall tread upon him as a king." The Septuagint "and distress shall lay hold on him with the authority of a king" - αἰτίᾳ βασιλικῃ satia basilikē. The Chaldee renders it, "shall be brought to the king of terrors" - רגושתא למלך is not evident, therefore, that we are to give up the beautiful phrase, "king of terrors."
The fair construction of the Hebrew, as it seems to me, is that which is conveyed in our common version - meaning, that the wicked man would be conducted, not merely to death, but to that kind of death where a fearful king would preside - a monarch infusing terrors into his soul. There is something singularly beautiful and appropriate in the phrase, "the king of terrors." Death is a fearful monarch. All dread him. He presides in regions of chilliness and gloom. All fear to enter those dark regions where he dwells and reigns, and an involuntary shudder seizes the soul on approaching the confines of his kingdom. Yet all must be brought there; and though man dreads the interview with that fearful king, there is no release. The monarch reigns from age to age - reigns over all. There is but one way in which he will cease to appear as a terrific king. - It is by confidence in Him who came to destroy death; that great Redeemer who has taken away his "sting," and who can enable man to look with calmness and peace even on the chilly regions where he reigns. The idea here is not precisely that of the Roman and Grecian mythologists, of a terrific king, like Rhadamanthus, presiding over the regions of the dead but it is of death personified - of death represented as a king fitted to inspire awe and terror.
on Job 18 :14
18:14 Confidence - All the matter of his confidence, his riches, and children. Terrors - To death, which even Aristotle called, The most terrible of all terribles. And this it will do, either because it will expose him to his enemies, who will kill him; or because the sense of his disappointments, and losses, and dangers, will break his heart.