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!