This [is] one [thing]
Or "one thing [there] is" F24 in the world, as Jarchi adds; or "one measure", as the Targum, to good and bad men; one event alike to the righteous, and to the wicked, ( Ecclesiastes 9:2 ) ; so that, as others render it, "it is all one" F25, whether a man righteous and perfect, or whether he is not, he is equally liable to be afflicted and distressed: and "this is one thing, [very] singular" F26, amazing and astonishing, and very unaccountable; but so it is, and which he differed from his three friends about; as to the justice of God, he agreed with them in that; yea, he believed he was righteous in whatever he did, and even in this, which was so strange and surprising, though he could not account for it: and "this is uniform", as Mr. Broughton translates it; either God acts uniformly in what he does, treating all men alike, good and bad men; or Job was uniform in his sentiments, he was all of a piece, steady and constant, retaining the same sense of things, from which he had not departed, nor could he depart:
therefore I said [it];
with the greatest confidence and assurance, because he believed it, and would say it again, seeing no reason at all to alter his judgment; the thing was quite clear to him, of which he had, at least as he thought, unquestionable evidence; and the thing he has respect to is as follows:
he destroyeth the perfect and the wicked;
this is thought by some to be a very bad expression, bordering on blasphemy, and contrary to the nature and perfections of God, and to the methods of his providence, ( Genesis 18:23-25 ) ; and that Job speaks in the person of one destitute of the grace of God: but nothing is more certain than that this was the real sentiment of his mind, his firm belief, nor could he be persuaded to the contrary; indeed it may be understood in a good sense: by a "perfect" man we are to understand a truly good man, one that has received the grace of God in truth, and is perfectly justified and pardoned through the blood and righteousness of Christ; and by a "wicked" man one that is under the influence of his lusts, is abandoned to them, and never easy but while he is serving them, which he is continually doing. Now the destruction of these is not to be interpreted of everlasting destruction; this indeed will be the case of wicked men, but not of perfect and good men: God by his grace has made a difference between them in this world, and so he will in the next; the one will go into everlasting punishment, the other into everlasting life, and will never come together in the same place or state; nor will the perfect man be destroyed at all in such sense; the grace of God within him, and the righteousness of Christ upon him, will eternally secure him from everlasting wrath and ruin: but it is meant of temporal destruction; sometimes indeed a remarkable distinction is made between the one and the other in a time of general calamity, as Noah, a perfect man, was saved, when the world of the ungodly were destroyed by water, ( Genesis 7:23 ) ( 2 Peter 2:5 ) ; and Lot, a righteous man, when Sodom and Gomorrah were consumed by fire, ( Genesis 19:29 ) ; but frequently they fall together in the same common distress; good and bad men, among the Jews were alike carried captive into Babylon, signified by Jeremiah's good and bad figs, ( Jeremiah 24:2 ) ; of good men, Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego, are instances; though indeed it is on different accounts, and with different views, that the one and the other are destroyed with a temporal destruction, in their persons, their health, their families, or in their estates; such calamities upon good men are not as punishments for their sins, as on the wicked; but as fatherly chastisements, and for the trial of their graces, for their spiritual and eternal good, and that they might not be condemned with the world. Job's view in saying this is to observe, that a man's state God-ward is not to be judged of by his outward circumstances, whether he is a good man or a bad man, since they may both be in the same afflictions and distress, and which he opposes to the sentiments and sayings of Eliphaz and Bildad, ( Job 4:7 ) ( 8:20 ) .