For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?
For what is the hope of the hypocrite,.... In religion, who seems to be what he is not, a holy and righteous man; professes to have what he has not, the grace of God; pretends to do what he does not, worship God sincerely and fervently, and does all he does to be seen of men; though such a man may have an hope, as he has, of an interest in the divine layout, and of eternal glory and happiness, what will it signify? what avail will it be unto him? what will it issue in? Job was of the same mind in this with Bildad and Zophar, that such a man's hope is as the spider's web, and as the giving up of the ghost, Job 8:14; however he may please himself with it in this life, it will be of no service to him at death; for it is not like that of the true believer's, that is sure and steadfast, and founded upon the perfect righteousness and sacrifice of Christ; but upon his outward substance, fancying, that because God prospers him in this world, he is highly in his favour, and shall enjoy the happiness of the world to come; and upon his external profession of religion, and found of duties performed by him, but he will find himself mistaken: though he hath gained; great wealth and riches under a guise of religion, and by that means making gain of godliness, and taking the one for the other; so the Targum,
"because he hath gathered the mammon of falsehood;''
and also has great gifts, and a great deal of head knowledge, being able to talk of and dispute about most points of religion, and so has gained a great name among men both for knowledge and holiness, and yet all will not stand him in any stead, or be of any advantage to him:
when God taketh away his soul? out of his body by death, as a sword is drawn out of its scabbard, and which is as easily done by him; or as a shoe is plucked off from the foot, as Aben Ezra, and what he has a right to do, and will do it: and this taking it away seems to be in a violent manner, though not by what is called a violent death, yet against the will of the person; a good man is willing to die, is desirous of it, and gives up the ghost cheerfully; but an hypocrite is not willing to die, being afraid of death, and therefore his life or soul is taken from him without his consent and will, and not in love but in wrath, as the latter part of this chapter shows. Now Job had an hope which bore him up under all his troubles, and which he retained in the most killing and distressed circumstances, and which continued with him, and supported him in the views of death and eternity, so that he could look upon death, and into another world, with pleasure, and therefore could be no hypocrite, see Job 13:15.