Job 15:21

21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears; when all seems well, marauders attack him.

Read Job 15:21 Using Other Translations

A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.
Dreadful sounds are in his ears; in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him.
The sound of terror rings in their ears, and even on good days they fear the attack of the destroyer.

What does Job 15:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Job 15:21

A dreadful sound [is] in his ears
Or "a voice", or "sound of fears" F20, of what causes fears; and which are either imaginary; sometimes wicked men, fear when there is no cause or occasion for it; they fancy an enemy at their heels, and flee, when none pursues them; they are a "Magormissabib", or "terror on every side", a fear to themselves and all about them, ( Jeremiah 20:3 ) ; like Cain, who fancied and feared that every man that met him would slay him ( Genesis 4:13 Genesis 4:14 ) ; such is the effect of a guilty conscience: or real; and these either extraordinary sounds, such as were made in the ears of the Syrian host, which caused them to flee, and leave their tents, and all their substance in them, ( 2 Kings 7:6 2 Kings 7:7 ) ; or ordinary, as the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war, wars and rumours which are very terrible, especially to some persons; or sounds of fears, reports of one calamity after another, which cause fears; and so may respect Job's troubles, and the dreadful sound of them in his ears, brought by one messenger of bad tidings after another: but there is a more dreadful sound than either of these, which is sometimes in the ears of wicked men; the terrors of the law of God broken by them, the menaces and curses of it, and a sound of hell and damnation, which continually rings in their ears, and fills the with horror and black despair; and so the Targum,

``the voice or sound of the fears in hell is in his ears;''

and among the rest of his fears what follows is one, and so some connect the words, that F21

in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him;
either God the lawgiver, whose law he has transgressed, and who is able, as to save his people, so to destroy the wicked, soul and body, in hell; and destruction from the Almighty, Job himself says, was a terror to him, ( Job 31:23 ) ; or a destroying angel, such an one as went through the land of Egypt, and destroyed the firstborn, and into the camp of Israel, when they committed sin, and were destroyed of the destroyer; or some enemy, plunderer, and robber, such as the Sabeans and Chaldeans were, and to whom respect may be had; or even the devil himself, Apollyon, the destroyer of the souls of men, and who sometimes wicked men fear will come and carry them away, soul and body, to hell; or it may be death is meant, which kills and destroys all men; and wicked men are afraid that in the midst of all their peace and prosperity sudden destruction by death should come upon them, like a thief in the night, and remove them from all their enjoyments; and whether they are or no under any fearful apprehensions of this, it certainly will be their case.


F20 (Mydxp lwq) "sonitus timorum", Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius; to the same sense Codurcus, Junius & Tremellius, Mercerus, Cocceius, Schmidt, Schultens.
F21 "Vastatorem invasurum eum", Junius & Tremellius.
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