Job 7:21

21 Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more.”

Job 7:21 in Other Translations

21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.
21 Why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be."
21 Why not just forgive my sin and take away my guilt? For soon I will lie down in the dust and die. When you look for me, I will be gone.”
21 Why don't you just forgive my sins and start me off with a clean slate? The way things are going, I'll soon be dead. You'll look high and low, but I won't be around."
21 Why not forgive my sin and pardon my transgression? For soon I will lie down in the grave. You will eagerly seek me, but I will be gone.

Job 7:21 Meaning and Commentary

Job 7:21

And why dost thou not pardon my transgression
Or "lift [it] up" F4; every sin is a transgression of the law of God, and the guilt of it upon the conscience is a burden too heavy to bear, and the punishment of it is intolerable; pardon lifts up and takes away all manner of sin, and all that is in sin; it takes off the load of sin from the conscience, and eases it, and loosens from obligation to punishment for it, which comes to pass in this manner: Jehovah has taken lifted up sin from his people, and has put and laid it, or caused it to meet on his Son, by the imputation of it to him; and he has voluntarily taken it on himself, and has bore it, and has taken it away by his blood and sacrifice, which being applied to the conscience of a sinner, lifts it up and takes it from thence, and speaks peace and pardon to him; it wholly and entirely removes it from him, even as far as the east is from the west; and for such an application Job postulates with God, with whom there was forgiveness, and who had proclaimed himself a God pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin; and which he does when he both removes the guilt of it from the conscience, and takes away all the effects of it, such as afflictions and the like; in which latter sense Job may well be understood, as agreeing with his case and circumstances:

and take away mine iniquity?
or "cause it to pass away" F5 from him, by applying his pardoning grace and mercy to his conscience, and by removing his afflicting hand from him:

for now shall I sleep in the dust;
having sin pardoned, and the hand of God removed; I shall depart out of the world in peace, lie down in the grave, and rest quietly till the resurrection; there being in the bed of dust no tossings to and fro as now, nor a being scared with dreams and terrified with night visions. Mr. Broughton renders it, "whereas I lie now in the dust"; as if it referred to his present case, sitting as a mourner in dust and ashes, and his flesh clothed with clods of dust; or, in a figurative sense, lying in the dust of self-abhorrence; but the former sense seems best:

and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I [shall] not [be];
meaning not in the morning of the resurrection, for then he will be found; but it is a figurative way of speaking, as Bar Tzemach observes, just as one goes to visit a sick man in a morning, and he finds him dead, and he is not any more in the land of the living: many interpreters understand this as Job's sense, that he should quickly die; he could not be a long time in the circumstances he was; and therefore if the Lord had a mind to bestow any good thing on him in the present life, he must make haste to do it, since in a short time he should be gone, and then, if he sought for him, it would be too late, he should be no more; but the sense is this, that when he lay down in the dust, in the grave, he should be seen no more on earth by any man, nay, not by the eye of God himself, should the most early and the most diligent search be made for him. Mr. Broughton takes it to be a petition and request to die, rendering the words,

``why dost thou not quickly seek me out, that I should be no more?''

and to which others F6 agree.


F4 (avt) "tolles", Montanus, Beza, Drusius, Mercerus, Michaelis.
F5 (rybet) "transire facies", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius.
F6 So Junius & Tremellius.

Job 7:21 In-Context

19 Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant?
20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more.”

Cross References 3

  • 1. Job 9:28; Job 10:14; Job 16:6; Psalms 119:120; Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 1:3
  • 2. S Genesis 3:19; Job 10:9; Job 34:15; Psalms 7:5; Psalms 22:15; Psalms 90:3; Psalms 104:29
  • 3. S ver 8; S Job 3:13
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