They are exalted for a little while
To seats of honour, to places of profit and trust, to great wealth and riches, to be highly esteemed among men, and to have a large affluence of the good things of life; see ( Malachi 3:15 ) ; though this exaltation, dignity, and glory, wealth and riches, last but for a little time, this life at longest being but short, like a vapour that appears, and soon vanishes away; and then all a man's honours and glory, riches and substance, are at an end, who is soon cut down as the grass, and withers as the green herb, ( Psalms 37:2 ) ; but as this pretty much falls in with the sentiment of Zophar, or seems to do so, ( Job 20:5 ) ; rather this phrase, "for a little while", may be joined with what follows, "a little while, and they are gone";
but are gone;
out of the world, to their own place, and death puts an end to all their prosperity, to all their outward enjoyments, which yet they retain till death: or "they are not" F9; in the land of the living, in their houses and shops, and places of trade and commerce; they are no more about their business, and in their callings of life, nor in the possession of their worldly estates; the places which knew them know them no more; and this comes to pass in a very little time; their honour is short lived, and their earthly portion is not forever:
and brought low;
not diminished in their substance in life, nor lessened in their honour and grandeur, nor are brought into poverty and disgrace; but are brought at last to death, and laid low in the grave, and are fed upon by worms, and reduced to rottenness and dust:
they are taken out of the way, as all [others];
out of the world, by death, and out of the way of others; who come in their room, and were hoping for their death, and waiting for their posts of honour, and places of profit, or for their worldly estates; and out of the way of doing more mischief, and especially to good men; or they are "closed" or "shut up" F11; that is, in the grave, where they lie imprisoned until the resurrection morn, and out of which prison none can release themselves; nor will they be released, until Christ, who has the keys of the grave, unlocks it, and sets the prisoners free; but then all this is no other than what befalls the rest of mankind; all die, and must die, and all are brought to the grave, and laid in that, and shut up in it, which is the house appointed for all living:
and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn;
when they are fully ripe at harvest time; it being usual in some places, as I have somewhere read, when they gather their corn, only to cut off the ears of corn at the top, which is very easily and quickly done; and so this may denote the quiet and easy death of wicked men, and when they are come to a full age, and are like a shock of corn in its season, ( Job 5:26 ) .
F9 (wnnyaw) "et non ipse", Montanus, Bolducius; "et non sunt", Schultens.
F11 (wupqy) "claudentur", Pagninus, Montanus; "clauduntur", Piscator.