A Comprehensive Commentary on Job Chapter 20: Unfanned Fire and Total Darkness


Understanding the symbolism and deeper meanings in biblical texts like Job Chapter 20 can be challenging. Known for its profound themes of unfanned fire and total darkness, this chapter dives deep into the fate of wickedness from a unique perspective.

This article will guide you through a comprehensive commentary on this noteworthy chapter, shedding light on its complex metaphors and theological implications. Get ready to embark on an enlightening journey through one of the most thought-provoking chapters in the Book of Job!

Key Takeaways

Viral Believer is reader-supported. We may earn a small fee from products we recommend at no charge to you. Read Our Affiliate Disclosuree

  • Job Chapter 20 explores the symbolism of unfanned fire and total darkness as metaphors for the consequences of wickedness, emphasizing the self-destructive nature of sin.
  • The chapter warns against finding temporary joy in sinful pleasures, highlighting the lasting punishment that awaits those who choose to walk in darkness.
  • Zophar’s commentary reveals the moral and spiritual implications of living a godless life, urging readers to strive for righteousness and justice while extending compassion to others.
  • Job Chapter 20 serves as a powerful reminder that actions have consequences and encourages readers to evaluate their own lives in light of God’s commandments.
A Comprehensive Commentary on Job Chapter 20: Unfanned Fire and Total Darkness

The Significance of Unfanned Fire in Job Chapter 20

Unfanned fire in Job Chapter 20 holds significant metaphorical meaning and implies severe consequences for the wicked.

Exploring the metaphorical meaning

In the labyrinth of allegories residing in Job Chapter 20, one finds poignant metaphors that underscore profound spiritual truths. The quintessential depiction of an “unfanned fire” lends itself as a symbol for self-inflicted destruction.

Left unchecked, sin can rage like a wild, untamed inferno within us; devouring our peace and joy much like an unfanned fire feasts on everything it touches until nothing remains but ashes. Drawing parallels from such biblical imagery, Matthew Henry in his commentary elucidates how our own transgressions can engineer our downfall if we fail to douse them with repentance.

Shifting focus onto another metaphorical gem embedded within this chapter is the ‘Total Darkness.’ Scripturally speaking, total darkness often signifies the absence of divine illumination or guidance leading to a state of despair and disorientation.

In Job Chapter 20, it’s implied that treasures hidden in darkness are reserved for those who defy God’s laws – signaling not just material impoverishment but also spiritual bankruptcy. This stark portrayal serves to remind believers about the grim consequences awaiting those who disregard God’s commandments while dwelling in their own ethical eclipse.

Analyzing the implications for the wicked

The implications for the wicked in Job Chapter 20 are profound and sobering. As we dive deeper into Zophar’s commentary, we discover that the wicked will face ruin and misery as a consequence of their godless actions.

The desires and lusts of the flesh may offer passing pleasures of sin, but they ultimately lead to destruction.

Zophar paints a vivid picture of how the youth, who once triumphed with their passing pleasures, will be oppressed by guilt and shame. Their riches and treasures will no longer bring them joy, but instead become hidden in secret places where total darkness resides.

The heavens themselves will expose their true nature before God.

This passage serves as a stark warning against indulging in sinful behaviors and taking advantage of others. It reminds us that there is an inherent justice at play in the world, where those who oppress the poor or live without regard for righteousness will eventually face divine retribution.

The Symbolism of Total Darkness in Job Chapter 20

Total darkness in Job Chapter 20 symbolizes the hidden places where the wicked will ultimately face their punishment and judgment.

Understanding the concept of darkness

In Job Chapter 20, the concept of darkness holds significant symbolism. Darkness represents not just the absence of light, but also moral and spiritual obscurity. It serves as a vivid illustration of the wicked’s separation from God’s truth and righteousness.

The darkness mentioned in this chapter is not simply a physical state, but rather a metaphorical depiction of the consequences that await those who indulge in sinful ways.

The imagery of total darkness emphasizes the hidden nature of these consequences. Just as treasures are often concealed in secret places, so too will total darkness be reserved for those who choose to walk down unrighteous paths.

This hiding away suggests that there is no escape or reprieve for the wicked – their fate is sealed.

By understanding this concept of darkness in Job Chapter 20, we can grasp the severity and eternal implications of living apart from God’s light. It serves as a warning against succumbing to temptations and engaging in sinful behavior.

Unpacking the consequences for the wicked

In Job Chapter 20, the consequences for the wicked are unpacked with great severity. The chapter reveals that those who live godlessly and give in to the lusts of their flesh will face a miserable condition.

Zophar, one of Job’s friends, describes the ruin and suffering that awaits them. He emphasizes that while they may triumph temporarily, the passing pleasures of sin will soon be replaced by darkness and an unfanned fire.

The symbolism of total darkness signifies hidden judgment. It is reserved for treasures that have been stored up for punishment. Zophar warns that these treasures will be hidden in secret places where no light can reach them.

Additionally, an unfanned fire represents destruction without mercy or relief. Zophar portrays this fire as consuming everything in its path without any external cause or assistance.

As Evangelical and Charismatic Christians, we must take heed of these warnings from Job Chapter 20. We should avoid giving in to the sinful desires of our flesh and remember that temporary worldly gains are not worth risking eternal separation from God.

The Context and Themes of Job Chapter 20

In Job Chapter 20, we delve into the broader narrative of Job, exploring key themes and motifs that shape this chapter’s context.

Examining the broader narrative of Job

In order to fully understand the significance of Job Chapter 20, it is essential to examine the broader narrative of the Book of Job. This powerful Old Testament story follows a man named Job who experiences unimaginable suffering and loss.

Throughout his trials, Job wrestles with questions about God’s justice and the nature of human suffering. Chapter 20 specifically focuses on a response from one of Job’s friends, Zophar.

Zophar, in his commentary, addresses the ruin and suffering described in previous chapters. He emphasizes the miserable condition of the wicked and highlights their oppression of the poor. Zophar warns that their passing pleasures will lead to ultimate destruction.

Identifying key themes and motifs in the chapter

In Job Chapter 20, several key themes and motifs are presented that shed light on the nature of wickedness and its consequences. Here are the main themes and motifs found in this chapter:

  1. Divine Retribution: Job Chapter 20 emphasizes the concept of divine justice and retribution for the wicked. Zophar, one of Job’s friends, describes in vivid detail the catastrophic consequences that will befall those who live godlessly and indulge in sinful pleasures.
  2. Temporary Joy vs. Eternal Punishment: The chapter contrasts the passing pleasures of sin with the lasting punishment that awaits the wicked. Zophar warns against finding joy in worldly pursuits, as they ultimately lead to destruction and misery.
  3. Oppression of the Poor: Zophar highlights how the wicked oppress and exploit the poor, emphasizing their lack of empathy and compassion. This theme serves as a reminder to act justly and show kindness towards those less fortunate.
  4. Concealed Guilt: The motif of hidden guilt is prevalent throughout Job Chapter 20. Zophar depicts how even though evildoers may try to conceal their sins, their guilt will eventually be exposed by divine intervention.
  5. Symbolism of Darkness and Fire: Total darkness and an unfanned fire symbolize the terrifying fate awaiting the wicked. These symbols represent isolation from God’s light and consuming destruction respectively, reinforcing the severity of divine judgment.
  • Divine Retribution: The chapter emphasizes that God’s justice will prevail over those who live without regard for Him.
  • Temporary Joy vs Eternal Punishment: It is warned against finding pleasure in sin as it leads to lasting punishment.
  • Oppression of the Poor: The wicked are depicted as those who exploit the disadvantaged and lack compassion.
  • Concealed Guilt: Despite attempts to hide their wrongdoing, the guilty will ultimately face exposure by divine intervention.
  • Symbolism of Darkness and Fire: Total darkness and unfanned fire represent isolation from God’s light and consuming destruction respectively.

The Message and Lessons from Job Chapter 20

Job Chapter 20 delivers a powerful message about the consequences of wickedness and the ultimate destruction that awaits those who choose to walk in darkness.

Extracting moral and spiritual insights

In Job Chapter 20, we are confronted with the moral and spiritual ramifications of wickedness. It serves as a powerful reminder that actions have consequences, especially for those who turn away from God’s path.

The chapter highlights the fleeting nature of worldly pleasures and warns against succumbing to the lusts of the flesh.

Through Zophar’s commentary, we gain insights into how our choices can lead to ruin and misery. This passage challenges us to examine our own lives and consider whether we are triumphing in passing pleasures or walking in righteousness.

It reminds us of the importance of upholding justicenot oppressing the poor but instead extending a helping hand.

The message from Job Chapter 20 is clear: true fulfillment comes from living a righteous life according to God’s commandments rather than indulging in temporary gratification. We must learn from the consequences faced by the wicked described in this chapter – their fate is one of darkness and destruction.

Reflecting on the implications for our own lives

As we delve into the profound words of Job Chapter 20, it is essential for us as Evangelical and Charismatic Christians to reflect on the implications this passage holds for our own lives. The imagery of unfanned fire and total darkness serves as a powerful reminder that sin can lead to ruin and separation from God.

Just as the wicked face dire consequences in Job’s story, we must be cautious not to succumb to the lusts of the flesh or oppress others. Instead, let us strive to live in righteousness and seek God’s wisdom in all things.

This chapter serves as a sobering call for us to examine our hearts, repent of any wrongdoing, and embrace a life aligned with God’s will.

The message presented in Job Chapter 20 illuminates how passing pleasures of sin can ultimately lead to miserable conditions for those who choose godlessness over righteousness. We are reminded that youthful pursuits driven by selfish desires can bring nothing but temporary satisfaction followed by lasting destruction.


In conclusion, Job Chapter 20 presents a vivid depiction of the consequences awaiting the wicked. The metaphorical imagery of unfanned fire and total darkness serves as a warning against pursuing sinful desires and oppressing the vulnerable.

This commentary provides valuable insights into the deeper meaning of this chapterencouraging readers to reflect on their own lives and strive for righteousness in the face of trials. With Matthew Henry’s commentary as a guide, we are reminded that while suffering may endure for a time, ultimately God will judge and vindicate His people.

About The Author

Scroll to Top