Job 14:20

20 You overpower them once for all, and they are gone; you change their countenance and send them away.

Job 14:20 in Other Translations

20 Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth: thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.
20 You prevail forever against him, and he passes; you change his countenance, and send him away.
20 You always overpower them, and they pass from the scene. You disfigure them in death and send them away.
20 You're too much for us. As always, you get the last word. We don't like it and our faces show it, but you send us off anyway.
20 You completely overpower him, and he passes on; You change his appearance and send him away.

Job 14:20 Meaning and Commentary

Job 14:20

Thou prevailest for ever against him
God is a more than a match for man, in anything, in everything; there is no contending with him, or standing against him, he is stronger than he, and always prevails; there is no withstanding any disease, and the force of it, when he sends it; it is a messenger and servant of his, it goes at his command, and does what he bids it do; and all the art and power of man cannot resist it, or hinder what God would have done by it; and so death itself is irresistible; what is stronger than death? it is a king that reigns with a despotic power; it reigns irresistibly, victoriously, and triumphantly; it prevails over all men, in all ages, and will do to the end of the world; no man has power over his spirit to retain it one moment, when death comes to separate it from the body: and this prevalence of God by death over men will be for ever; the grave is man's long home, to which he is brought by death, and he will never return from it more, to come again into this world, and be about the business of it as now;

and he passeth;
out of the world, and is seen no more in it; death is a going the way of all flesh, a departure out of this life, and to it man never usually returns more; he goes to Hades, to the invisible place, and makes his appearance no more here; see ( Psalms 37:35 Psalms 37:36 ) ;

thou changest his countenance;
at death; the forerunners of death will change a man's countenance, pains, and diseases of body; by these God makes man's beauty to consume like the moth; the fear of death will change a man's countenance, as the handwriting on the wall did Belshazzar's, ( Daniel 5:9 ) ; even such who have out-braved death, and pretended to have made a covenant and agreement with it, yet when the king of terrors is presented to them, they are seized with a panic, their hearts ache, and their countenances turn pale; but oh! what a change is made by death itself, which for this reason is represented as riding on a pale horse; ( Revelation 6:8 ) ; when the rosy florid looks of man are gone, his comeliness turned into corruption, his countenance pale and meagre, his eyes hollow and sunk, his nose sharp pointed, his ears contracted, and jaws fallen, and his complexion altered, and still more when laid in the grave, and he is turned to rottenness, dust, and worms:

and sendeth him away;
giveth him a dismission from this world; sendeth him out of it, from his house, his family, friends, and acquaintance: his birth is expressed often by his coming into the world, and his death by going out of it; for here he has no continuance, no abiding, no rest; and yet there is no departure till God gives him dismission by death, then he sends him away from hence; some in wrath, whom he sends to take up their abode with devils and damned spirits; others in love, to prevent their being involved in evils coming upon the earth, and to be in better company, with God and Christ, with angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect: Maimonides interprets this of Adam F18, who, when he changed the object of his countenance, and looked on the forbidden fruit, was sent out of paradise.


F18 Moreh Nevochim, par. 1. c. 2. p. 5.

Job 14:20 In-Context

18 “But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place,
19 as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy a person’s hope.
20 You overpower them once for all, and they are gone; you change their countenance and send them away.
21 If their children are honored, they do not know it; if their offspring are brought low, they do not see it.
22 They feel but the pain of their own bodies and mourn only for themselves.”

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Job 4:20
  • 2. S Job 7:10; Job 8:18; S Job 12:19; Job 27:19; James 1:10
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