Job 34:20

20 They die in an instant, in the middle of the night; the people are shaken and they pass away; the mighty are removed without human hand.

Job 34:20 in Other Translations

KJV
20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.
ESV
20 In a moment they die; at midnight the people are shaken and pass away, and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.
NLT
20 In a moment they die. In the middle of the night they pass away; the mighty are removed without human hand.
MSG
20 Don't people who deserve it die without notice? Don't wicked rulers tumble to their doom? When the so-called great ones are wiped out, we know God is working behind the scenes.
CSB
20 They die suddenly in the middle of the night; people shudder, then pass away. Even the mighty are removed without effort.

Job 34:20 Meaning and Commentary

Job 34:20

In a moment shall they die
Princes as well as the common people, rich men as well as poor; all must and do die, great and small, high and low, kings and peasants, rich and poor men, and sometimes suddenly; are struck dead at once, and without any previous notice, that night, that hour, that moment their souls are required of them. The Targum interprets this of the men of Sodom. And Mr. Broughton, in his margin, refers to the history of them in ( Genesis 19:1-38 ) ;

and the people shall be troubled at midnight;
either the common people, when their kings and governors die; or the relations and friends of persons deceased; and this circumstance "at midnight" is added, which makes the scene more melancholy, awful, and shocking, when it happens at such a time. The above Targum understands it of the Egyptians, when their firstborn were slain, which was in the middle of the night; and Mr. Broughton refers in his margin to the same instance: but it is a question whether this affair ever came to the knowledge of Job and his friends, at least not so early as this controversy;

and pass away;
not into another country, being taken and carried away captive; but pass away by death into their graves, and into another world. Sephorno interprets it of the destroying angel's passing over the tents of the Israelites, and not entering into them to smite them when they smote the firstborn of Egypt. But the former sense is best, see ( Psalms 37:36 ) ;

and the mighty shall be taken away without hand:
without the hand of men, but by the immediate hand of God; not falling in battle, or in a common natural way by diseases, but by some judgment of God upon them: and the whole verse seems to be understood not of a natural death, or in the common way, but of sudden death in a way of judgment, from the immediate hand of God, and that upon the mighty and great men of the earth; which shows that he is no respecter of princes, see ( Daniel 8:25 ) ( 11:20 ) .

Job 34:20 In-Context

18 Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’ and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’
19 who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?
20 They die in an instant, in the middle of the night; the people are shaken and they pass away; the mighty are removed without human hand.
21 “His eyes are on the ways of mortals; he sees their every step.
22 There is no deep shadow, no utter darkness, where evildoers can hide.

Cross References 2

  • 1. ver 25; S Exodus 11:4; S Job 20:8; Exodus 12:29
  • 2. S Job 12:19