Verse 18. "And thou shalt be secure " - Thou shalt not fear any farther evils to disturb thy prosperity, for thou shalt have a well-grounded hope and confidence that thou shalt no more be visited by adversity.
"Yea, thou shalt dig " - I believe this neither refers to digging his grave, nor to curiously investigating surrounding circumstances; but to the custom of digging for water in the places where they pitched their tents. It was a matter of high importance in Asiatic countries to find good wells of wholesome water; and they were frequently causes of contention among neighbouring chiefs, who sometimes stopped them up, and at other times seized them as their own. Through envy of Isaac's prosperity the Philistines stopped up all the wells which Abraham had digged, Genesis xxvi. 12-16. And we find the herdsmen of Gerar contending with Isaac's servants about the wells which the latter had digged; so that they were obliged to abandon two of the chief of them, and remove to a distance in order to dig and find quiet possession. See Gen. xxxi. 17-22. Zophar, in reference to all these sorts of contentions and petty wars about wells and springs, tells Job that in the state of prosperity to which he shall be brought by the good providence of God, he shall dig-find wells of living water; none shall contend with him; and he shall rest in safety, all the neighbouring chieftains cultivating friendship with him; see on Job v. 23, 24; and that this is the meaning of the passage the following verse shows: Thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid; yea, many shall make
Verse 20. "The eyes of the wicked shall fail " - They shall be continually looking out for help and deliverance; but their expectation shall be cut off.
"And they shall not escape " - They shall receive the punishment due to their deserts; for God has his eye continually upon them. swnmw ”hnm dba umanos abad minnehem, literally, "And escape perishes from them." Flight from impending destruction is impossible.
"And their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost. " - ”twqtw pn jpm vethikratham mappach naphesh, "And their hope an exhalation of breath," or a mere wish of the mind. They retain their hope to the last; and the last breath they breathe is the final and eternal termination of their hope. They give up their hope and their ghost together; for a vain hope cannot enter into that place where shadow and representation exist not; all being substance and reality. And thus endeth Zophar the Naamathite; whose premises were in general good, his conclusions legitimate, but his application of them to Job's case totally erroneous; because he still proceeded on the ground that Job was a wicked man, if not ostensibly, yet secretly; and that the sufferings he was undergoing were the means by which God was unmasking him to the view of men. But, allowing that Job had been a bad man, the exhortations of Zophar were well calculated to enforce repentance and excite confidence in the Divine mercy. Zophar seems to have had a full conviction of the all-governing providence of God; and that those who served him with an honest and upright heart would be ever distinguished in the distribution of temporal good. He seems however to think that rewards and punishments were distributed in this life, and does not refer, at least very evidently, to a future state. Probably his information on subjects of divinity did not extend much beyond the grave; and we have much cause to thank God for a clearer dispensation. Deus nobis haec otia fecit. God grant that we may make a good use of it!