Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 17:14

If I call to the pit, ‘You are my father'; To the worm, ‘my mother and my sister';
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Body;   Corruption;   Dead (People);   Death;   Despondency;   Thompson Chain Reference - Body;   Corruption;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Sheol;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Burial;   Sheol;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Worm;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Father;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Hell;   Insects;   Worm;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Worms;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Worm;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Corruption;   Father;   Sister;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Worm;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I have said to corruption - I came from a corrupted stock, and I must go to corruption again. The Hebrew might be thus rendered: To the ditch I have called, Thou art my father. To the worm, Thou art my mother and my sister. I am in the nearest state of affinity to dissolution and corruption: I may well call them my nearest relations, as I shall soon be blended with them.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 17:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-17.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I have said - Margin, cried, or called. The sense is, “I say,” or “I thus address the grave.”

To corruption - The word used here (שׁחת shachath ) means properly a pit, or pit-fall, Psalm 7:15; Psalm 9:15; a cistern, or a ditch, Job 9:31; or the sepulchre, or grave, Psalm 30:9; Job 33:18, Job 33:30. The Septuagint renders it here by θανάτον thanaton - death. Jerome (Vulgate), putredini dixi. According to Gesenius (Lex), the word never has the sense of corruption. Schultens, however, Rosenmuller, and others, understand it in the sense of corruption or putrefaction. This accords, certainly, with the other hemistich, and better constitutes a parallelism with the “worm” than the word “grave” would. It seems probable that this is the sense here; and if the proper meaning of the word is a pit, or the grave, it here denotes the grave, as containing a dead and moulderling body.

Thou art my father - “I am nearly allied to it. I sustain to it a relation like that of a child to a father.” The idea seems to be that of family likeness; and the object is to present the most striking and impressive view of his sad and sorrowful condition. He was so diseased, so wretched, so full of sores and of corruption (see Job 7:5), that he might be said to be the child of one mouldering in the grave, and was kindred to a family in the tomb!

To the worm - The worm that feeds upon the dead. He belonged to that sad family where the body was putrifying, and where it was covered with worms; see the notes at Isaiah 14:11.

My mother - I am so nearly allied to the worms, that the connection may be compared to that between a mother and her son.

And my sister - “The sister here is mentioned rather than the brother, because the noun rendered worm in the Hebrew, is in the feminine gender.” Rosenmuller. The sense of the whole is, that Job felt that he belonged to the grave. He was destined to corruption. He was soon to lie down with the dead. His acquaintance and kindred were there. So corrupt was his body, so afflicted and diseased, that he seemed to belong to the family of the putrifying, and of those covered with worms! What an impressive description; and yet how true is it of all! The most vigorous frame, the most beautiful and graceful form, the most brilliant complexion, has a near relationship to the worm, and will soon belong to the mouldering family beneath the ground! Christian reader! such are you; such am I. Well, let it be so. Let us not repine. Be the grave our home; be the mouldering people there our parents, and brothers, and sisters. Be our alliance with the worms. There is a brighter scene beyond - a world where we shall be kindred with the angels, and ranked among the sons of God. In that world we shall be clothed with immortal youth, and shall know corruption no more. Then our eyes will shine with undiminished brilliancy forever; our cheeks glow with immortal health; our hearts beat with the pulsations of eternal life. Then our hands shall be feeble and our knees totter with disease or age no more; and then the current of health and joy shall flow on through our veins forever and eye! Allied now to worms we are, but we are allied to the angels too; the grave is to be our home, but so also is heaven; the worm is our brother, but so also is the Son of God! Such is man; such are his prospects here, such his hopes and destiny in the world to come. He dies here, but he lives in glory and honor hereafter forever.

Shall man, O God of light and life,

For ever moulder in the grave?

Canst thou forget thy glorious work,

Thy promise and thy power to save?

Shall life revisit dying worms,

And spread the joyful insects‘ wing;

And O shall man awake no more,

To see thy face, thy name to sing?

Faith sees the bright, eternal doors,

Unfold to make her children way;

They shall be clothed with endless life,

And shine in everlasting day.

The trump shall sound, the dead shall wake,

From the cold tomb the slumberers spring;

Through heaven with joy these myriads rise,

And hail their Savior and their King.

Dr. Dwight

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 17:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-17.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I have said to corruption, thou art my father,.... Not to the corruptible seed, of which he was begotten; nor to the corruption or purulent matter of his boils and ulcers, and the worms his flesh was now clothed with, Job 7:5; but to that corruption his body would turn to in the grave, lying long enough to see it, which Christ's body did not, Psalm 16:10; that is, "to the pit of corruption"F3לשחת "foveam", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Drusius, &c. , as it may be rendered, meaning the grave, so called because in it dead bodies corrupt and putrefy: in houses are families consisting of various persons, of different relations, who dwell together in friendship and harmony, very lovingly and familiarly, as father and mother, brother and sister; so in the grave, the dwelling house of men, there are inhabitants that dwell together, as if they were familiar friends and acquaintance; and with these, Job claims kindred, such as corruption, rottenness, dust and worms, and these he speaks unto, not only very familiarly, but very respectfully; the note of Bar Tzemach is,

"I honour the grave as a son a father, that it may receive me quickly;'

yea, he speaks as not ashamed of the relation, but is fond of it; "I called" or "cried"F4קראתי "vocavi", Montanus; "clamavi", Mercerus. that is, aloud, with great vehemency and affection:

to the worm, thou art my mother and my sister; these are the rather mentioned, because the relation is near, and they are very loving and tender, and abide in the house, see Proverbs 7:4; he calls these his mother and sister, as the above Jewish commentator observes, because the might lie in their bosom; by all this Job would represent how familiar death and the grave were to him, and how little he dreaded them; yea, how desirable they were to him, since he should be at home, and among his relations and friends.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 17:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-17.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

I have said to corruption, Thou [art] my o father: to the worm, [Thou art] my mother, and my sister.

(o) I have no more hope in father, mother, sister, or any worldly thing: for the dust and worms will be to me instead of them.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 17:14". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-17.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Thou art my father, etc. — expressing most intimate connection (Proverbs 7:4). His diseased state made him closely akin to the grave and worm.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 17:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-17.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.

Corruption — Heb. to the pit of corruption, the grave.

Father — I am near a-kin to thee, and thou wilt receive and keep me in thy house, as parents do their children.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 17:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-17.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 17:14 I have said to corruption, Thou [art] my father: to the worm, [Thou art] my mother, and my sister.

Ver. 14. I have said to corruption, Thou art my father] See how he speaks of corruption and the worms, Ac si iam iuris illorum, et domesticus esset, as if he were of family with them, and nearest of kin to them; so doth he court them, as it were, that they might be willing to receive him; showing by it how willing he was to die; for whither do men in a strange country, and in misery, desire rather to go than to the house of their parents? Here also Job declareth what will be the end of all men, and what shall be their kindred in the grave. From corruption we came (for what else is the seed and blood of generation), to corruption also we go, as sons thereof; and Pulvis et Putredo, we salute for sisters, what shall be most tender to us, and attendant upon us. Why then should any boast of high kindred? To the pit I cry, O father, O sister; O mother, to the worm: so Broughton rendereth it. Why should any boast of bodily beauty, since corruption will shortly seize upon the fairest face, which is now but putrefaction and worms once removed, and to the same must suddenly move back again. Mihi experto credite, saith Austin, Believe me, who have made trial of it: Open a grave, and upon the dead man’s head you shall find toads leaping, begotten of his brains; upon his loins serpents crawling, begotten of his reins; in his belly worms abounding, arising out of his entrails. Behold what now we are, and what we shortly shall be; behold the origin and filthiness of sin (Serm. 48, ad Frat. in Erem.).

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 17:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-17.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

To corruption, Heb. to the pit of corruption, the grave.

Thou art my father; I am near akin to time, as being taken out of thee; and thou wilt receive and embrace me, and keep me in thy house, as parents do their children.

Thou art my mother, and my sister; because of the same original, and the most strict and intimate union and conjunction between me and the worms.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 17:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-17.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14. Said Called. The thought of his mouldering body suggested a family likeness to the corruption of the grave.

My father — The Oriental languages abound in like comparisons. The Arabians call Satan the father of bitterness; a husband, the father of a woman; rain, the father of life; the stomach, mother of food; the via lactea, mother of heaven; wine, mother of evils; and death, the mother of vultures. (Golius’ Lex.) Among the touching incidents connected with the burial of a Bedawi is an address of the friends to the deceased as he lies in the grave. “When the twain Green Angels shall question and examine thee, say, ‘The feaster makes merry, the wolf prowls, and man’s lot is still the same; but I have done with all these things. The sidr-tree is thy aunt, and the palm-tree thy mother.’” — PALMER, Dessert of the Exodus, 1:94. Diodorus, Archbishop of Cappadocia, requested that one word should be inscribed on his tombstone — acarus — which means a worm — and it was done. (VICTOR HUGO, Les Miserables.)

 

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 17:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-17.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Sister. I am nearly related to such things, and ready to drop into the grave, as my flesh is already devoured by worms. (Menochius)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 17:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-17.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.

Thou art my father ... - Expressing most intimate connection (Job 30:29; Proverbs 7:4, "Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister"). His diseased state made him closely akin to the grave and worm.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 17:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-17.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.
said
Heb. cried, or, called. corruption.
21:32,33; Psalms 16:10; 49:9; Acts 2:27-31; 13:34-37; 1 Corinthians 15:42,53,54
to the worm
19:26; 24:20; Isaiah 14:11
Reciprocal: Job 6:8 - the thing that I long for;  Job 6:11 - What;  Job 7:5 - flesh;  Job 7:21 - sleep;  Job 10:9 - into dust again;  Job 17:1 - the graves;  Job 21:26 - the worms;  Job 30:29 - a brother;  Job 36:20 - Desire;  Psalm 49:14 - they;  Proverbs 7:4 - Thou;  Acts 13:36 - and saw

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 17:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-17.html.