412. Light and Darkness as Emblems

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Job 18:5-6. Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him.
To the susceptible mind of the Oriental, light is an object of desire, and darkness something to be greatly dreaded. The lamp is usually kept burning in the house all night; and its light is used as an emblem of prosperity, and the extinguishment of it as an emblem of a great calamity. Thus Job speaks of the days of his prosperity when the candle of the Lord shone upon his head (Job 29:3). David says, “Thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness” (Psa. 18:28). On the other hand, we find Job saying, as expressive of great affliction: “How oft is the candle of the wicked put out” (Job 21:17). Solomon says, “Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness” (Prov. 20:20). “The candle of the wicked shall be put out” (Prov. 24:20).
The Saviour on two occasions refers to this Oriental dread of darkness where he represents the punishment of the wicked under the figure of “outer darkness.” See Matthew 8:12; 22:13. Both ideas are blended in Proverbs 13:9: “The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.”
See also Jeremiah 25:10.