Job 17:14

14 if I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’ and to the worm, ‘My mother’ or ‘My sister,’

Read Job 17:14 Using Other Translations

I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.
if I say to the pit, 'You are my father,' and to the worm, 'My mother,' or 'My sister,'
What if I call the grave my father, and the maggot my mother or my sister?

What does Job 17:14 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Job 17:14

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, ( Psalms 16:10 ) ; that is, "to the pit of corruption" F3, 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" F4 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.


F3 (txvl) "foveam", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Drusius
F4 (ytarq) "vocavi", Montanus; "clamavi", Mercerus.
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