Job 24:20

Job 24:20

The womb shall forget him
His mother that bore him; or his wife, by whom he had many children; or his friend, as Gersom, who had a tender and affectionate respect for him; these all, and each of them, either because of his wicked life and infamous death, care not to speak of him, but bury him in oblivion; or because of his quiet and easy death, are not distressed with it, but soon forget him; unless this is to be understood of the womb of the earth, in which being buried, he lies forgotten, to which the next clause agrees; though some interpret it of God himself the word having the signification of mercy {b}; who, though mercy itself, is rich and abundant in it, yet has no mercy for, nor shows any favour to, such men; but they lie in the grave among those whom he remembers no more in a way of grace and favour, ( Psalms 85:5 ) ;

the worm shall feed sweetly on him;
for being brought to the grave at once, without any wasting distemper, is a fine repast for worms, his breasts being full of milk, and his bones moistened with marrow, and full of flesh; or "the worm [is] sweet unto him" F3; he feels no pain by its feeding on him, and so the sense is just the same with that expression, "the clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him", ( Job 21:33 ) ;

he shall be no more remembered;
with any mark of honour and respect; his memory shall rot with him, while the righteous are had in everlasting remembrance; or rather dying a common death, and not made a public example of:

and wickedness shall be broken as a tree;
that is, wicked men, who are wickedness itself, extremely wicked, and are like to a tree, sometimes flourishing in external prosperity, having an affluence of the things of this world, and always like barren and unfruitful trees, with respect to grace and good works; these, when the axe of death is laid to the root of them, they are cut down, and their substance comes to nothing, and their families are destroyed, and so they become like trees struck with thunder and lightning, and broken into ten thousand shivers; or as the trees in Egypt were broken to pieces by the plague of hail, ( Exodus 9:25 ) .


F2 (Mxr) "misericordia", V. L. "miseratio", Montanus, Bolducius; so Tigurine version, Grotius.
F3 (wqtm) "dulcescit ei", Beza, Piscator; "suavis", Cocceius; so Michaelis, Schultens.