Job 20:14

Yet his food in his body is soured, it is the gall of asps within him.
Read Chapter 20

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
15. What bread is in the belly, the same is fulness of earthly gratification in the mind. So let the hypocrite now be filled to the full with the praises tendered him, let him revel in honours, ‘his bread in his belly is turned into the gall of asps,’ because the fulness of transitory enjoyment, in the final Retribution, will be turned to bitterness, in that what here passed for the praise of greatness is discovered to have been ‘the gall of asps,’ i.e. the prompting of evil spirits. For the wicked then perceive that they are infected with the venom of the old serpent, when, being delivered over to avenging flames, they are tormented along with that prompter of theirs. And so this ‘bread’ has one sort of taste in the mouth, and another in the belly, in that the joy of transitory pleasure is sweet, while it is tasted here by a chewing of teeth, as it were, but it turns bitter in the belly, because when the joy is past it is swallowed to his ruing. 16. Or indeed forasmuch as bread is not unsuitably taken for the sense of the Holy Scriptures, which refreshes the mind and furnishes it with the sinews of right practice, and the hypocrite generally makes it his object to be well instructed in the mysteries of Holy Writ, not that he may live by them, but that it may appear to the rest of the world how learned he is, his ‘bread in his bowels is turned into the gall of asps,’ in that whilst he boasts of the knowledge of the Sacred Law, he converts the draught of life into a cup of poison to himself, and dies in a state of reprobation from the same cause, whence he appeared to derive instruction unto life. Nor is this again unfitly taken to be the meaning, that while the hypocrite sometimes applies himself to the word of instruction for display, being blinded by God’s judgment, he takes in a wrong sense that very word which he seeks in a wrong spirit. But when he falls into heretical error, it is his fate, that as by the ‘gall of asps,’ so the unhappy wretch perishes by ‘bread;’ and in his own self instruction he finds death, because in the words of life he never sought life. But it often happens that the sentences of divine warning, even if they be understood rightly by the hypocrite, forasmuch as he neglects to observe them in practice, are lost to him even before the course of the present life is at an end, so that it is taken from him to know, what while he knew he refused to practise.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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