For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope
That is, who is among the living, is one of them, and, as long as he is, there is hope, if his circumstances are mean, and he is poor and afflicted, that it may be better with him in time; see ( Job 14:7 ) ; or of his being a good man, though now wicked; of his being called and converted, as some are at the eleventh hour, even on a death bed; and especially there is a hope of men, if they are under the means of grace, seeing persons have been made partakers of the grace of God after long waiting. There is here a "Keri" and a "Cetib", a marginal reading and a textual writing; the former reads, "that is joined", the latter, "that is chosen"; our version follows the marginal reading, as do the Targum, Jarchi, Aben Ezra, the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions: some, following the latter, render the words, "who is to be chosen" F25, or preferred, a living, or a dead man? not a dead but a living man: "to all the living there is hope"; of their being better; and, as Jarchi observes, there is hope, while alive, even though he is a wicked man joined to the wicked; yea, there is hope of the wicked, that he may be good before he dies; for a living dog is better than a dead lion;
a proverbial speech, showing that life is to be preferred to death; and that a mean, abject, and contemptible person, living, who for his despicable condition may be compared to a dog, is to be preferred to the most generous man, or to the greatest potentate, dead; since the one may possibly be useful in some respects or another, the other cannot: though a living sinner, who is like to a dog for his uncleanness and vileness, is not better than a dead saint or righteous man, comparable to a lion, who has hope in his death, and dies in the Lord.