A land of darkness, as darkness [itself]
Not merely like it, but truly so; as gross thick darkness, like that of Egypt, that might be felt; even blackness of darkness, which is as dark as it possibly can be; not only dark, but darkness, extremely dark:
[and] of the shadow of death;
which is repeated for the illustration and confirmation of it, as having in it all kind of darkness, and that to the greatest degree:
without any order,
or "orders" F9; or vicissitudes and successions of day and night, summer and winter, heat and cold, wet and dry; or revolutions of sun, moon, and stars, or of the constellations, as Aben Ezra; and whither persons go without any order, either of age, sex, or station; sometimes a young man, sometimes an old man, and the one before the other; sometimes a man, sometimes a woman; sometimes a king, prince, and nobleman, and sometimes a peasant; sometimes a rich man, and sometimes a poor man; no order is observed, but as death seizes them they are brought and laid in the grave, and there is no order there; the bones and dust of one and the other in a short time are mixed together, and, there is no knowing to whom they belong, only by the omniscient God:
and [where] the light [is] as darkness;
were there anything in the grave that could with any propriety be called light, even that is nothing but darkness; darkness and light are the same thing there: or when "it shineth it is darkness" F11; that is, when the sun shines brightest here, as at noon day, it is entire darkness in the grave; no light is discerned there, the rays of the sun cannot penetrate there; and could they, there is no visive faculty in the dead to receive them; all darkness is in those secret places.
F9 (Myrdo alw) "et non ordines", Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius, Mercerus; "sine ordinibus", Cocceius, Schmidt.
F11 (eptw) "splendet", Beza, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.