His roots shall be dried up beneath
Wicked men are sometimes compared to trees; to trees of the wood, barren, and unfruitful; to trees without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; and sometimes to green bay trees, very flourishing for a while, and which on a sudden perish, and come to nothing, see ( Song of Solomon 2:3 ) ( Jude 1:12 ) ( Psalms 37:35 Psalms 37:36 ) ; and such a simile is here used; and by his roots may be meant his family, from whence he sprung, which now should be extinct with him, see ( Isaiah 11:1 ) ( Daniel 11:7 ) ; or his substance, which being greatly increased, he seemed to take root in the earth, and not only to be in a prosperous, but in a stable settled condition; but now, like Ephraim, he should be smitten, and his root dried up; all his wealth, and all the resources of it, should be exhausted, be no more, see ( Jeremiah 12:2 ) ( Hosea 9:16 ) ;
and above shall his branch be cut off;
his children that sprung from him, as branches from a tree, and were his glory and beauty, these should be cut off; referring no doubt in both clauses to Job's present circumstances, whose root in the time of his prosperity was spread out by the waters, but now dried up, and on whose branches the dew lay all night, but now cut off, ( Job 29:19 ) ; so the Targum,
``his children shall be cut off out of the earth, and from heaven his destruction shall be decreed;''both clauses signify the utter destruction of the family of the wicked man, root and branch, see ( Malachi 4:1 ) . It is a beautiful description of a tree struck with thunder and lightning, and burnt and shattered to pieces, and agrees with ( Job 18:15 ) .