Job 14:21

21 If their children are honored, they do not know it; if their offspring are brought low, they do not see it.

Read Job 14:21 Using Other Translations

His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.
His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; they are brought low, and he perceives it not.
They never know if their children grow up in honor or sink to insignificance.

What does Job 14:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Job 14:21

His sons come to honour
Or "are multiplied" F19, see ( Nahum 3:15 ) ; their families increase like a flock, become very numerous, which was reckoned a great blessing; or "become heavy" F20; being loaded with gold and silver, with riches and honour, raised to great grandeur and dignity, and possessed of much wealth and large estates:

and he knoweth [it] not;
the man whose countenance is changed and sent away into another world; for the dead know nothing of the affairs of this life; a good man indeed after death knows more of God and Christ, of the doctrines of grace, and mysteries of Providence; but he knows nothing of the affairs of his family he has left behind: some understand this of a man on his death bed while alive, who, when he is told of the promotion of his sons to honour, or of the increase of their worldly substance, takes no notice of it; either being deprived of his senses by the disease upon him; or through the greatness of his pains and agonies, or the intenseness of his thoughts about a future state, does not notice what is told him, nor rejoice at it; which in the time of health would have been pleasing to him: but the first sense seems best:

and they are brought low,
that is, his sons; or "are diminished" F21; lessened in their numbers, one taken off after another, and so his family decreases; or they come into low circumstances of life, are reduced in the world, and brought to straits and difficulties, to want and poverty:

but he perceiveth [it] not of them;
he is not sensible of their troubles, and so not grieved at them; see ( Isaiah 63:16 ) ; or when he is told of them on his death bed, he does not take notice of them, or regard them, having enough to grapple with himself, and his mind intent on his everlasting state, or carried above them in the views of the love, grace, and covenant of God; see ( 2 Samuel 23:5 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F19 (wdbky) (pollwn genomenwn) , Sept. "multiplicabuntur", Vatablus, Bolducius.
F20 "Multi vel graves sunt", Drusius; "graves erunt et onusti", Mercerus.
F21 (wreuy) (oligoi genwntai) , Sept. "minuuntur, numero pauci sunt", Drusius.
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