For the congregation of hypocrites [shall be] desolate
Hypocrites are such who seem to and would be thought to be, what they are not; they are outwardly righteous before men, but inwardly very wicked; have a form of godliness, but are destitute the power of it, ( 2 Timothy 3:5 ) ; pretend to much religion, and to be worshippers of God, when it is only in outward appearances, and not in reality and sincerity: and such as these have been in the congregations of the righteous, in all ages; but here Eliphaz speaks of a congregation of them, a society, a family of them; and very probably has his eye upon Job's, and would represent hereby that he, the head of his family, and his children, when living, and his servants and associates, were all hypocrites, and now become desolate, reduced to want and poverty, and in distressed circumstances: or were "solitary" F9 and alone, as the word is rendered in ( Job 3:7 ) ; destitute of friends, and of the comforts of life; and perhaps reference may be had to the future state of such, when they shall aloud be bid to depart from God, have no society with angels and saints, but shall have their portion with those of the same character with them, hypocrites, in the highest degree of torment and misery, ( Matthew 24:51 ) ;
and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery;
either such tents, or houses, as were built with money taken as bribes; see ( Habakkuk 2:12 ) ; or where such who received bribes dwelt; unjust judges, who took a gift that blinds the eyes, to pervert justice. Job is afterwards by Eliphaz represented as if he was an oppressor, a wicked magistrate, and guilty of such like crimes as here pointed at, ( Job 22:6-9 ) ; and the "fire" said to consume the dwelling places of such may be understood either of material fire, such as came down from heaven, and destroyed Job's sheep, ( Job 1:16 ) ; or figuratively, the wrath of God often compared to fire, which would appear in one way or another, to the utter ruin of such persons, their habitations, and those that dwelt in them.
F9 (dwmlg) "solitarium", Montanus; and to the same sense Vatablus, Beza, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, Cocceius.