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Job 14:1-22. JOB PASSES FROM HIS OWN TO THE COMMON MISERY OF MANKIND.
1. woman--feeble, and in the East looked down upon
Man being born of one so frail must be frail himself
3. open . . . eyes upon--Not in graciousness; but, "Dost Thou sharply
fix Thine eyes upon?"
also see on
Is one so frail as man worthy of such constant watching on the part of
4. A plea in mitigation. The doctrine of original sin was held from the first. "Man is unclean from his birth, how then can God expect perfect cleanness from such a one and deal so severely with me?"
5. determined-- (Job 7:1; Isa 10:23; Da 9:27; 11:36).
6. Turn--namely, Thine eyes from watching him so jealously
7. Man may the more claim a peaceful life, since, when separated from it by death, he never returns to it. This does not deny a future life, but a return to the present condition of life. Job plainly hopes for a future state (Job 14:13; Job 7:2). Still, it is but vague and trembling hope, not assurance; excepting the one bright glimpse in Job 19:25. The Gospel revelation was needed to change fears, hopes, and glimpses into clear and definite certainties.
9. scent--exhalation, which, rather than the humidity of water,
causes the tree to germinate. In the antithesis to man the tree is
personified, and volition is poetically ascribed to it.
10. man . . . man--Two distinct Hebrew words are here used;
Geber, a mighty man: though mighty, he dies. Adam, a man of
earth: because earthly, he gives up the ghost.
11. sea--that is, a lake, or pool formed from the outspreading
of a river. Job lived near the Euphrates: and "sea" is applied to it
So of the Nile
12. heavens be no more--This only implies that Job had no hope of living again in the present order of the world, not that he had no hope of life again in a new order of things. Ps 102:26 proves that early under the Old Testament the dissolution of the present earth and heavens was expected (compare Ge 8:22). Enoch before Job had implied that the "saints shall live again" (Jude 14; Heb 11:13-16). Even if, by this phrase, Job meant "never" (Ps 89:29) in his gloomier state of feelings, yet the Holy Ghost has made him unconsciously (1Pe 1:11, 12) use language expressing the truth, that the resurrection is to be preceded by the dissolution of the heavens. In Job 14:13-15 he plainly passes to brighter hopes of a world to come.
13. Job wishes to be kept hidden in the grave until God's wrath
against him shall have passed away. So while God's wrath is visiting
the earth for the abounding apostasy which is to precede the second
coming, God's people shall be hidden against the resurrection glory
14. shall he live?--The answer implied is,
There is a hope that he shall, though not in the present order of life, as is shown by the words following. Job had denied
that man shall live again in this present world. But hoping for a "set
time," when God shall remember and raise him out of the hiding-place of
he declares himself willing to "wait all the days of his appointed
time" of continuance in the grave, however long and hard that may be.
15. namely, at the resurrection
16. Rather, "Yea, thou wilt number my steps, and wilt not (as now)
jealously watch over my sin." Thenceforward, instead of severe watching
for every sin of Job, God will guard him against every sin.
17. sealed up--
Is shut up in eternal oblivion, that is, God thenceforth will think no
more of my former sins. To cover sins is to completely
(Ps 32:1; 85:2).
Purses of money in the East are usually sealed.
18. cometh to naught--literally, "fadeth"; a poetical image from a leaf
Here Job falls back into his gloomy bodings as to the grave. Instead of
"and surely," translate "yet"; marking the transition from his brighter
hopes. Even the solid mountain falls and crumbles away; man therefore
cannot "hope" to escape decay or to live again in the present world
19. The Hebrew order is more forcible: "Stones themselves are worn
away by water."
22. "Flesh" and "soul" describe the whole man. Scripture rests the hope of a future life, not on the inherent immortality of the soul, but on the restoration of the body with the soul. In the unseen world, Job in a gloomy frame anticipates, man shall be limited to the thought of his own misery. "Pain is by personification, from our feelings while alive, attributed to the flesh and soul, as if the man could feel in his body when dead. It is the dead in general, not the wicked, who are meant here."