Job 20:14

14 yet his food will turn sour in his stomach; it will become the venom of serpents within him.

Job 20:14 in Other Translations

14 Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.
14 yet his food is turned in his stomach; it is the venom of cobras within him.
14 But suddenly the food in their bellies turns sour, a poisonous venom in their stomach.
14 But then they get stomach cramps, a bad case of food poisoning.
14 yet the food in his stomach turns into cobras' venom inside him.

Job 20:14 Meaning and Commentary

Job 20:14

[Yet] his meat in his bowels is turned
Or "his bread" {r}, to which sin is compared, being what the sinner lives in, and lives upon; what he strengthens himself in and with, and by which he is nourished unto the day of slaughter, and by means of which he grows and proceeds to more ungodliness, though in the issue he comes into starving and famishing circumstances; for this is bread of deceit, and proves to be ashes and gravel stones; it promises pleasure, profit, liberty, and impunity, but is all the reverse; as meat turns in a man's stomach when it does not digest in him, or rather his stomach turns against that, and instead of its being pleasant and agreeable to him, it distresses him and makes him uneasy; sin being compared to meat in the bowels, denotes the finishing of in after it has been conceived in the mind, and completed in the act:

[it is] the gall of asps within him;
which is bitter, though not poison; which yet Pliny F19 suggests, but it seems F20 it is not fact. Sin is an evil and bitter thing, and produces bitter sorrow, and makes bitter work for repentance in good men, ( Jeremiah 2:19 ) ( Matthew 26:75 ) ; and fills with distress inexpressible and intolerable in wicked men, as in Cain and Judas in this world, and with black despair, weeping, and gnashing of teeth, and dreadful horrors of conscience, in the world to come, to all eternity; the effect of it is eternal death, the second death, inevitable and everlasting ruin and destruction.


F18 (wmxl) "panis ejus", Pagninus, Montanus, Beza, Schmidt.
F19 Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 37.
F20 Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 4. p. 711. Philosoph. Transact. abridged, vol. 2. p. 819.

Job 20:14 In-Context

12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue,
13 though he cannot bear to let it go and lets it linger in his mouth,
14 yet his food will turn sour in his stomach; it will become the venom of serpents within him.
15 He will spit out the riches he swallowed; God will make his stomach vomit them up.
16 He will suck the poison of serpents; the fangs of an adder will kill him.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Proverbs 20:17; Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 4:18; Revelation 10:9
  • 2. S Numbers 21:6
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