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Bible Commentaries
Job 7

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary


Job Chapter 7

Job 7:1 "[Is there] not an appointed time to man upon earth? [are not] his days also like the days of an hireling?" We know that it is God who determines how long each of us lives. He allots the amount of time He gives us to accomplish the things we have been assigned to do, as well. A hireling is someone who is hired to do a specific job.

Job 7:2 "As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for [the reward of] his work:" The servant was waiting until nightfall to rest. The hireling was waiting until payday. He was waiting to be paid for the Job that was finished.

Job 7:3 "So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me." The months of vanity were speaking of months that accomplished nothing. The wearisome nights were speaking of pain and suffering that seems to be magnified at night.

Job 7:4 "When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day." Job was speaking of the nights that seemed never to end. He tossed all night long. Job 7:5 "My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome." His skin was so infected, that worms were in the sores. This was speaking of the disease being so bad that the sores ran with puss. His sores were so terrible, that he had begun to hate his own flesh.

Job 7:6 "My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope." The weaver’s shuttle spins rapidly. This was saying, that looking back over his life seemed like it passed in a hurry. In comparison to his long weary nights, his days were long. One day brought no more hope of a cure for his disease than the day before.

Job 7:7 "O remember that my life [is] wind: mine eye shall no more see good." The wind comes and goes no one knows where. His days were like that, also. He did not know when this would all end. He did not know where this was leading. He was full of despair and believed that all of his good times were over.

Job 7:8 "The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no [more]: thine eyes [are] upon me, and I [am] not." Job felt that he was near death. When death came, and they put him in the grave, he would not be seen again on the earth.

Job 7:9 "[As] the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no [more]." Clouds appear for a moment in time, and then suddenly vanish away. Job believed his life was the same way. He had no hope of living again upon this earth.

Job 7:10 "He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more." This is true of all who die upon the earth. The house you lived in, will be inhabited by the next generation. You will have no need for it anymore.

Job 7:11 "Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul." Job had decided that since his life seemed to be so hopeless, he would complain. He had not previously revealed his bitter feelings. Now, he would open up, and reveal the hurt that he felt.

Job 7:12 "[Am] I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?" Job was not an animal, or a sea that had no control over their lives. He was a man with feelings. He was restrained as if he had no thoughts, or feelings. He felt as if God had forgotten him.

Job 7:13 "When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint;"

Job 7:14 "Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:" In the past, he had lain down at night and found peace and rest in his own bed. The sickness in his body would not even allow him to rest, when he lay down for the night. He had bad dreams that tormented him, even in his sleep. His visions were even of evil things.

Job 7:15 "So that my soul chooseth strangling, [and] death rather than my life." He did not desire to live in this tormented state. Strangling was thought of as a disgraceful way of dying, but he would have even preferred that to living in this torment.

Job 7:16 "I loathe [it]; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days [are] vanity." Man does not live in this body forever. Job wanted to know why he could not just die now, and cut the time short.

Job 7:17 "What [is] man, that thou shouldest magnify him? And that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?" At this point, Job did not have much regard for his own self. He could not imagine why God would love so wretched a creature as himself. Job was saying that man was so useless that he could not imagine why God would elevate him to be made in the image of God.

Job 7:18 "And [that] thou shouldest visit him every morning, [and] try him every moment?" Job was feeling that he had fallen short of the expectations of God. Job was saying that man was under the eye of God every moment of every day. It seems that any weakness in man is tried. It is as if man is under inspection constantly. I think the problem is, that Job had examined his past actions, and could not find what he had done wrong. He actually thought that he had forgotten some sin he had committed, and that God was holding him responsible for that sin.

Job 7:19 "How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?" Job was asking God not to examine him every moment of every day. He did not want God to leave him. He just wanted God to not examine him quite as closely.

Job 7:20 "I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?" Job realized that he had been singled out to mark. God had not revealed to him the challenge Satan had put before Him pertaining to Job. Notice, Job did not say what his sin was, because he did not know what the sin was. It is as if he was saying, "If I have sinned, I am sorry". I cannot go back and change the past. He was a burden to himself.

Job 7:21 "And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I [shall] not [be]." Job was sure death was near. He wanted God to forgive him, so that he could rest in peace when he died. Job knew that if he did sin, which he was not sure he did, God is a forgiving God. Job was saying, that God would stop this chastisement sometime, but he would, probably, already be dead, when He did stop it. This was a man in great despair.

Job 7 Questions

1. The days of man on earth are ___________.

2. His days are like the days of a _________.

3. What is a hireling?

4. What does a hireling look for?

5. What were the months of vanity speaking of?

6. Why were the nights wearisome for Job?

7. In Job 7:5, we see that his flesh was clothed with _________. 8. His disease had become so terrible, that he hated his ______ ______.

9. When Job looked back over his life, it seemed to have passed in a ________.

10. Why was his life compared to the wind?

11. In Job 7:8, Job felts as if he was near ________.

12. How is he compared to a cloud?

13. In Job 7:10, we see that the house he used to live in, would now be inhabited by the ______ __________.

14. How had Job found peace in his past life?

15. Why had Job decided to complain?

16. Job did not desire to live in this ____________ state.

17. Why was strangling mentioned?

18. What questions did Job ask God in Job 7:17?

19. Job felt that he had fallen short of the __________ of God.

20. What was Job asking for in verse 19? 21. What had God not revealed to Job?

22. Why did Job not say what his sin was?

23. Why did Job want God to pardon his transgressions?

24. If Job had sinned, Job knew God is a ________ God.

25. Job knew God would stop the chastisement sometime, but believe he would be _________ by that time.

Verses 1-10

Job 7:1-10


Job 7


Job, in his agony and suffering, is not altogether coherent in this speech. Having affirmed his righteousness (Job 6:29), yet he wonders why God has not forgiven his transgression, some iniquity, perhaps, of which he has no knowledge (Job 7:20).

He stated here that those who go down into Sheol shall come up no more (Job 7:9); but afterward he would declare that after death, "in my flesh, I shall see God" (Job 19:26 KJV).

His reference to his flesh being clothed with worms (Job 7:5), "Could be either a figure of speech or literally true. We do not know; but, in any case, Job’s body had become loathsome, and he suffered intense pain." "In the first part of this chapter, Job justifies himself in his desire for death, and, in the latter part of it, he turns to God in prayer."

Job 7:1-10

"Is there not a warfare for man upon earth?

And are not his days like the days of an hireling?

As a servant that earnestly desireth the shadow,

And as a hireling that looketh for his wages:

So am I made to possess months of misery,

And wearisome nights are appointed to me.

When I lie down, I say,

When shall I arise, and the night be gone?

And I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.

My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust;

My skin closeth up and breaketh out afresh.

My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,

And are spent without hope.

Oh remember that my life is a breath:

Mine eye shall no more see good.

The eye of him that seeth me shall behold me no more;

Thine eyes shall be upon me, but I shall not be.

As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away,

So he that goeth down to Sheol shall come up no more.

He shall return no more to his house,

Neither shall his place know him anymore."

"Is there not a warfare for man upon the earth" (Job 7:1)? We like Adam Clarke’s explanation of this. "Human life is a state of probation, a time of exercise to train us for eternal life. It is a warfare; we are enlisted in the Church Militant and must accomplish our time of service." "And there is no discharge in that war" (Ecclesiastes 8:8).

"As the servant ... desireth the shadow, and ... an hireling looketh for his wages" (Job 7:2). Jamieson has the best comment on this we have seen. "If the servant longs for the evening when his wages are paid, why may not Job long for the close of his life of hard service, when he shall enter on his reward"? This proves that Job did not, as many maintain, regard the grave as the end of everything, in spite of what he said later in Job 7:9.

"When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise" (Job 7:4). Paul Sherer explained Job’s words in these verses thus: "What on earth was there to live for? With his days as long as empty months, and no shadow of the evening to bring him a little respite, there’s nothing but tossings to and fro from dusk till dawn. Would God it were day! And every night, would God it were dawn"!

"He that goeth down to Sheol shall come up no more" (Job 7:9). Job does not, in these words, abandon all hope after death, but merely states a well-known truth that the dead do not return to their houses, nor are they seen any more by their contemporaries.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 7:1. There is one very pitiable feature of this case that I have not mentioned and it will be done now. In all of Job’s afflictions he had not been told why it had come about. He did not believe the position of the friends, but he did not profess to understand the background. Because of not knowing why the afflictions were allowed to come he likewise did not know that they were supposed ever to end as long as he remained in the land of the living. Had he known that it was for the special purpose of a test and that as soon as the test had been carried through he would be restored, it then would have been easier for him to endure it. But the only consideration there was to keep him true through all the afflictions was his faith in God. He just supposed that "his fate was the common fate of all; that into each life some rain must fall," and that he would just have to bide his time.

Job 7:2-3. The shadow is the closing of the day when the slave would get to cease working; he would naturally wish for that time to come, and the hireling would look forward to the moment when he would receive his wages. The strain of mind in these servants is used to illustrate the state of Job’s mind as he looked to the time when his day of sorrow would be over.

Job 7:4. A state of continual unrest was what Job was describing in this verse. He would wish for the night because it was supposed to bring him rest. Then when it came and he lay down, his spirit of unrest made him wish it would be day.

Job 7:5. The running ulcers that covered Job’s body would naturally cause an open condition all over the surface. That exposed him to all kinds of filth that would be connected with the situation. Sitting among the ashes he would be helpless against the accumulation of the dust that would be caught by the sores that were open. This matter then formed clods which Strong defines in the original as "a mass of earth." Such a condition would attract the blowflies and they deposited their germs. That brought the worms as the text says and which Strong defines as maggots. Thus we see Job with our mind’s eye, sitting there in the ashes, and the filthy pus oozing out and over his body. The flying dust has been caught by the open sores and it has formed into clods inside the sores. To add to all this, the maggots have hatched out of the germs deposited by the flies, and their creepy, wriggly, constant motion helps to keep Job’s sickening agitation constantly with him.

Job 7:6. Ordinarily we think that "time goes so slowly" when conditions are such as those being suffered by Job; the illustration is used in a different sense. A weaver’s shuttle darts back and forth in the work as if it were nervously looking for a place to stop and rest. Yet it does not get to rest but must go on and on endlessly from one stroke to another. Likewise the days of Job were being constantly passed away from one alternation to another with no prospect of relief.

Job 7:7. Job compared his life to wind in about the same sense that James called it a vapor (James 4:14).

Job 7:8. This verse has been a favorite saying for many years when people were referring to the fleeting existence of human life. The force of the statement, however, has been overlooked. A man might refer to some date years ahead and say that when that time came no eye would see him. But that would still leave it possible for the speaker to live a long time. But this verse says that the eye that bath seen him would see him no more, which indicated that the end was near.

Job 7:9-10. The unbeliever in a future life would use the first of these verses to prove his theory. It is not fair to do that, but all of the connection should be observed. I will suggest that the reader underscore the last 5 words of verse 9, then underscore words 6, 7, 8 in the next verse. He will then have the expression shall come up no more to his house. That will be the truth, for we all know that the dead are never to come back to the earth to live.

Verses 17-21

Job 7:17-21

Job 6:17-21


"What is man that thou shouldest magnify him,

That thou shouldest set thy mind upon him?

And that thou shouldest visit him every morning,

And try him every moment.

How long wilt thou not look away from me,

Nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?

If 50have sinned, what do I unto thee,

O thou watcher of men?

Why hast thou set me as a mark for thee,

So that I am a burden to myself?.

And why dost thou not pardon my transgression,

And take away mine iniquity?

For now shall I lie down in the dust;

And thou shalt seek me diligently, but I shall not be."

"Once again the angry questions pour out. Why, why, why?"

"What is man ... that thou shouldest set thy mind against him" (Job 7:17). "Job here demands to know why God concerns himself to interfere with so insignificant a being as man."

"The language of Job 7:17 is too much like Psalms 8 to be a coincidence; and some think that Job was twisting the Psalm into a parody"; but we reject this as absolutely impossible of any proof. It is far more likely that the author of the Psalm was changing the expression from what he read in Job. Besides that, the resemblance of the two passages might very well be pure coincidence.

"Till I swallow down my spittle" (Job 7:19). "This is a figurative expression with the meaning of `a mere moment.’" A similar rude proverb from West Texas is, "time to spit on his hands."

E.M. Zerr:

Job 7:17-18. Job was again ignoring the presence of Eliphaz and speaking as if to God only. He admits to the Lord that his life was not worth much in view of the present troubles and the satisfaction of a life in another world.

Job 7:19. Job was protesting being constantly aggravated by Eliphaz. By the phrase till I swallow down my spittle is meant about the same as if he had said: "Can’t you leave me alone for even a second?"

Job 7:20-21. I have sinned. This does not admit that the position of the three friends was correct. Job never denied being human and subject to human weaknesses, he only denied that his present afflictions were a specific penalty for some sin. But he was confused about the whole situation and asked, Why Hast thou set me as a mark against thee?

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Job 7". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/job-7.html.
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