Job 4:20

20 Between dawn and dusk they are broken to pieces; unnoticed, they perish forever.

Job 4:20 in Other Translations

20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
20 Between morning and evening they are beaten to pieces; they perish forever without anyone regarding it.
20 They are alive in the morning but dead by evening, gone forever without a trace.
20 These bodies of ours are here today and gone tomorrow, and no one even notices - gone without a trace.
20 They are smashed to pieces from dawn to dusk; they perish forever while no one notices.

Job 4:20 Meaning and Commentary

Job 4:20

They are destroyed from morning to evening
That is, those that dwell in houses of clay, before described; the meaning is, that they are always exposed to death, and liable to it every day they live; not only such who are persecuted for the sake of religion, but all men in common, for of such are both the text and context; who have always the seeds of mortality and death in them, that is continually working in them; and every day, even from morning to evening, are innumerable instances of the power of death over men; and not only some there are, whose sun rises in the morning and sets at evening, who are like grass in the morning, gay, and green, and by evening cut down and withered, live but a day, and some not that, but even it is true of all men, comparatively speaking, they begin to die the day they begin to live; so that the wise man takes no notice of any intermediate time between a time to be born and a time to die, ( Ecclesiastes 3:2 ) ; so frail and short is the life of man; his days are but as an hand's breadth, ( Psalms 39:5 ) ;

they perish for ever:
which is not to be understood of the second or eternal death which some die; for this is not the case of all; those that believe in Christ shall not perish for ever, but have everlasting life; but this respects not only the long continuance of men under the power of death until the resurrection, which is not contradicted by thus expression; but it signifies that the dead never return to this mortal life again, at least the instances are very rare; their families, friends, and houses, that knew them, know them no more; they return no more to their worldly business or enjoyments, see ( Job 7:9 Job 7:10 ) ( 10:21 ) ;

without any regarding [it];
their death; neither they themselves nor others, expecting it so soon, and using no means to prevent it, and which, if made use of, would not have availed, their appointed time being come; or "without putting" F11, either without putting light into them, as Sephorno, which can only be true of some; or with out putting the hand, either their own or another's, to destroy them, being done by the hand of God, by a distemper of his sending, or by one providence or another; or without putting the heart to it, which comes to the sense of our version; though death is so frequent every day, yet it is not taken notice of; men do not lay it to heart, so as to consider of their latter end, and repent of their sins, and reform from them, that they may not be their ruin; and this is and would be the case of all men, were it not for the grace of God.


F11 (Myvm ylbm) "propter non ponentem", Montanus; "sub. manum", Codurcus; "cor", R. Levi, Jarchi, Mercerus, Piscator, Michaelis.

Job 4:20 In-Context

18 If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error,
19 how much more those who live in houses of clay, whose foundations are in the dust, who are crushed more readily than a moth!
20 Between dawn and dusk they are broken to pieces; unnoticed, they perish forever.
21 Are not the cords of their tent pulled up, so that they die without wisdom?’

Cross References 1

  • 1. Job 14:2,20; Job 15:33; Job 20:7; Job 24:24; Psalms 89:47; Psalms 90:5-6; James 4:14