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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Job 14

 

 

Verses 1-6

Job 14:1-6. How sorrowful the lot of man, whom God so straitly overlooks! Man's life is transitory and insubstantial (Job 14:1 f.), why does God act the inquisitor with one so frail?

Job 14:3. Let God cease to torment him (Job 14:6).

Job 14:4 is to be translated as mg. "Oh that a clean thing could come out of an unclean! not one can." This is probably a gloss. "It is the sigh of a pious reader, written on the margin, and mistakenly introduced into the text" (Peake).

Job 14:6. For "accomplish" substitute mg. "have pleasure in."


Verses 7-12

Job 14:7-12 gives the reason why God should let man have what little pleasure he can (Job 14:6): Death ends all. In Damascus it is still customary to cut down trees, the stumps of which being watered send forth new shoots. Job refers to such a practice, which shows the indomitable vitality of tree life (Job 14:7-9). But man, when he dies, knows no rejuvenation (Job 14:10 f.).

Job 14:11 may perhaps be a gloss, quoted from Isaiah 19:5, where both "the sea" and "the river" mean the Nile.


Verses 13-15

Job 14:13-15. If God, moved by longing for His creatures, would only restore Job to life! He who rejuvenates the tree, could reanimate the man. Death would then be a proof of the Divine love: it would be God's hiding Job in Sheol from His own wrath, till it was over (Job 14:13). In this case Job would welcome death (Job 14:14). For after it would come a time of uninterrupted communion with God (Job 14:15). The first emergence of hope was in Job 7:21. Here the hope is stronger, and it will be stronger again yet.

Job 14:14. Duhm follows LXX "If a man might die and live again!" This seems best: if we retain the text, the question is asked without being answered: the second line continues the thought of Job 14:13.


Verses 16-22

Job 14:16-22 turns to the contrast of Job's present misery and hopeless end. Now God watches Job (Job 14:16). God writes down his sins, and seals up the indictments in a bag (Job 14:17). The mountains perish and the stones are worn away: so God destroys man's hope, and the man himself (Job 14:18-20). He is sunk in Sheol where he neither knows nor cares for the concerns of his family (Job 14:21). "Only his flesh upon him hath pain and his soul within him mourneth" (Job 14:22). [The flesh suffers pain through the process of decomposition in the grave; but the soul in Sheol also participates in the pain of its body, for though death has rent them apart, they still belong to the same self and sympathetically feel each other's experiences. Cf. Jeremiah 8:2*.—A. S. P.] He is wholly shut up in his own misery.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Job 14:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/job-14.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 15th, 2019
the Third Week of Advent
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