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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 5–10
Verses 5–10

The rest of Bildad’s discourse is entirely taken up in an elegant description of the miserable condition of a wicked man, in which there is a great deal of certain truth, and which will be of excellent use if duly considered—that a sinful condition is a sad condition, and that iniquity will be men’s ruin if they do not repent of it. But it is not true that all wicked people are visibly and openly made thus miserable in this world; nor is it true that all who are brought into great distress and trouble in this world are therefore to be deemed and adjudged wicked men, when no other proof appears against them; and therefore, though Bildad thought the application of it to Job was easy, yet it was not safe nor just. In these verses we have,

I. The destruction of the wicked foreseen and foretold, under the similitude of darkness (Job 18:5, 6): Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out. Even his light, the best and brightest part of him, shall be put out; even that which he rejoiced in shall fail him. Or the yea may refer to Job’s complaints of the great distress he was in and the darkness he should shortly make his bed in. “Yea,” says Bildad, “So it is; thou art clouded, and straitened, and made miserable, and no better could be expected; for the light of the wicked shall be put out, and therefore thine shall.” Observe here, 1. The wicked may have some light for a while, some pleasure, some joy, some hope within, as well as wealth, and honour, and power without. But his light is but a spark (Job 18:5), a little thing and soon extinguished. It is but a candle (Job 18:6), wasting, and burning down, and easily blown out. It is not the light of the Lord (that is sun-light), but the light of his own fire and sparks of his own kindling, Isa. 50:11. 2. His light will certainly be put out at length, quite put out, so that not the least spark of it shall remain with which to kindle another fire. Even while he is in his tabernacle, while he is in the body, which is the tabernacle of the soul (2 Cor. 5:1), the light shall be dark; he shall have no true solid comfort, no joy that is satisfying, no hope that is supporting. Even the light that is in him is darkness; and how great is that darkness! But, when he is put out of this tabernacle by death, his candle shall be put out with him. The period of his life will be the final period of all his days and will turn all his hopes into endless despair. When a wicked man dies his expectation shall perish, Prov. 11:7. He shall lie down in sorrow.

II. The preparatives for that destruction represented under the similitude of a beast or bird caught in a snare, or a malefactor arrested and taken into custody in order to his punishment, Job 18:7-10. 1. Satan is preparing for his destruction. He is the robber that shall prevail against him (Job 18:9); for, as he was a murderer, so he was a robber, from the beginning. He, as the tempter, lays snares for sinners in the way, wherever they go, and he shall prevail. If he make them sinful like himself, he will make them miserable like himself. He hunts for the precious life. 2. He is himself preparing for his own destruction by going on in sin, and so treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. God gives him up, as he deserves and desires, to his own counsels, and then his own counsels cast him down, Job 18:7. His sinful projects and pursuits bring him into mischief. He is cast into a net by his own feet (Job 18:8), runs upon his own destruction, is snared in the work of his own hands (Ps. 9:16); his own tongue falls upon him, Ps. 64:8. In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare. 3. God is preparing for his destruction. The sinner by his sin is preparing the fuel and then God by his wrath is preparing the fire. See here, (1.) How the sinner is infatuated, to run himself into the snare; and whom God will destroy he infatuates. (2.) How he is embarrassed: The steps of his strength, his mighty designs and efforts, shall be straitened, so that he shall not compass what he intended; and the more he strives to extricate himself the more will he be entangled. Evil men wax worse and worse. (3.) How he is secured and kept from escaping the judgments of God that are in pursuit of him. The gin shall take him by the heel. He can no more escape the divine wrath that is in pursuit of him than a man, so held, can flee from the pursuer. God knows how to reserve the wicked for the day of judgment, 2 Pet. 2:9.