Job 4:21

21 Are not the cords of their tent pulled up, so that they die without wisdom?’

Read Job 4:21 Using Other Translations

Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.
Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them, do they not die, and that without wisdom?'
Their tent-cords are pulled and the tent collapses, and they die in ignorance.

What does Job 4:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Job 4:21

Doth not their excellency [which is] in them go away?
&c.] Either the soul which is in them, and is the most excellent part of them; this, though it dies not, yet it goes away and departs from the body at death; and so do all the powers and faculties of it, the thoughts, the affections, the mind, and memory, yea, all the endowments of the mind, wisdom, learning, knowledge of languages, arts, and sciences, all fail at death, ( 1 Corinthians 13:8 ) ( Psalms 146:8 ) ; and so likewise all that is excellent in the body, the strength and beauty of it depart, its strength is weakened in the way, and its comeliness turned into corruption: or, as it may be rendered, "which is with them" F12; and so may likewise denote all outward enjoyments, as wealth and riches, glory and honour, which a man cannot carry with him, do not descend into the grave with him, but then go away: a learned man F13 renders the words, "is not their excellency removed [which was] in them?" and thinks it refers to the corruption of nature, the loss of original righteousness, and of the image of God in man, which formerly was his excellency in his state of innocence, but now, through sin and the fall, is removed from him; and this, indeed, is the cause, the source and spring, of his frailty, mortality, and death; hence it follows:

they die even without wisdom;
that dies with them, or whatsoever of that they have goes away from them at death; wise men die as well as fools, yea, they die as fools do, and multitudes without true wisdom, not being wise enough to consider their latter end; they die without the wisdom which some are made to know, in the hidden part, without the fear of God, which is real wisdom, or without the knowledge of Christ, and of God in Christ, which is the beginning, earnest, and pledge of life eternal. Now then since man is such a frail, mortal, foolish, and sinful creature, how can he be just before God, or pure in the sight of his Maker? which, is the thing designed to be proved and illustrated by all this; and here ends the divine oracle, or the revelation made to Eliphaz, when he had the vision before related.


FOOTNOTES:

F12 (Mb) "cum ipsis", Piscator; so some in Mercerus and Drusius, and Mr. Broughton.
F13 Schmidt; "quae fuerat", Beza.
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