Job 7

1 “Do not mortals have hard service on earth? Are not their days like those of hired laborers?
2 Like a slave longing for the evening shadows, or a hired laborer waiting to be paid,
3 so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me.
4 When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.
5 My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering.
6 “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope.
7 Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again.
8 The eye that now sees me will see me no longer; you will look for me, but I will be no more.
9 As a cloud vanishes and is gone, so one who goes down to the grave does not return.
10 He will never come to his house again; his place will know him no more.
11 “Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or the monster of the deep, that you put me under guard?
13 When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint,
14 even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions,
15 so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine.
16 I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.
17 “What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention,
18 that you examine them every morning and test them every moment?
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?[a]
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 Commentary

Chapter 7

Job's troubles. (1-6) Job expostulates with God. (7-16) He begs release. (17-21)

Verses 1-6 Job here excuses what he could not justify, his desire of death. Observe man's present place: he is upon earth. He is yet on earth, not in hell. Is there not a time appointed for his abode here? yes, certainly, and the appointment is made by Him who made us and sent us here. During that, man's life is a warfare, and as day-labourers, who have the work of the day to do in its day, and must make up their account at night. Job had as much reason, he thought, to wish for death, as a poor servant that is tired with his work, has to wish for the shadows of the evening, when he shall go to rest. The sleep of the labouring man is sweet; nor can any rich man take so much satisfaction in his wealth, as the hireling in his day's wages. The comparison is plain; hear his complaint: His days were useless, and had long been so; but when we are not able to work for God, if we sit still quietly for him, we shall be accepted. His nights were restless. Whatever is grievous, it is good to see it appointed for us, and as designed for some holy end. When we have comfortable nights, we must see them also appointed to us, and be thankful for them. His body was noisome. See what vile bodies we have. His life was hastening apace. While we are living, every day, like the shuttle, leaves a thread behind: many weave the spider's web, which will fail, ch. 8:14 . But if, while we live, we live unto the Lord, in works of faith and labours of love, we shall have the benefit, for every man shall reap as he sowed, and wear as he wove.

Verses 7-16 Plain truths as to the shortness and vanity of man's life, and the certainty of death, do us good, when we think and speak of them with application to ourselves. Dying is done but once, and therefore it had need be well done. An error here is past retrieve. Other clouds arise, but the same cloud never returns: so a new generation of men is raised up, but the former generation vanishes away. Glorified saints shall return no more to the cares and sorrows of their houses; nor condemned sinners to the gaieties and pleasures of their houses. It concerns us to secure a better place when we die. From these reasons Job might have drawn a better conclusion than this, I will complain. When we have but a few breaths to draw, we should spend them in the holy, gracious breathings of faith and prayer; not in the noisome, noxious breathings of sin and corruption. We have much reason to pray, that He who keeps Israel, and neither slumbers nor sleeps, may keep us when we slumber and sleep. Job covets to rest in his grave. Doubtless, this was his infirmity; for though a good man would choose death rather than sin, yet he should be content to live as long as God pleases, because life is our opportunity of glorifying him, and preparing for heaven.

Verses 17-21 Job reasons with God concerning his dealings with man. But in the midst of this discourse, Job seems to have lifted up his thoughts to God with some faith and hope. Observe the concern he is in about his sins. The best men have to complain of sin; and the better they are, the more they will complain of it. God is the Preserver of our lives, and the Saviour of the souls of all that believe; but probably Job meant the Observer of men, whose eyes are upon the ways and hearts of all men. We can hide nothing from Him; let us plead guilty before his throne of grace, that we may not be condemned at his judgment-seat. Job maintained, against his friends, that he was not a hypocrite, not a wicked man, yet he owns to his God, that he had sinned. The best must so acknowledge, before the Lord. He seriously inquires how he might be at peace with God, and earnestly begs forgiveness of his sins. He means more than the removing of his outward trouble, and is earnest for the return of God's favour. Wherever the Lord removes the guilt of sin, he breaks the power of sin. To strengthen his prayer for pardon, Job pleads the prospect he had of dying quickly. If my sins be not pardoned while I live, I am lost and undone for ever. How wretched is sinful man without a knowledge of the Saviour!

Cross References 48

  • 1. Job 14:14; Isaiah 40:2
  • 2. S Job 5:7
  • 3. S Leviticus 25:50; Job 14:6
  • 4. Job 14:1; Ecclesiastes 2:23
  • 5. S Leviticus 19:13; S Job 14:6
  • 6. Job 16:7; Psalms 6:6; Psalms 42:3; Psalms 56:8; Ecclesiastes 4:1; Isaiah 16:9; Jeremiah 9:1; Lamentations 1:2,16
  • 7. Deuteronomy 28:67
  • 8. ver 13-14
  • 9. Job 17:14; Job 21:26; Job 24:20; Job 25:6; Isaiah 14:11
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 28:35
  • 11. Job 9:25; Psalms 39:5; Isaiah 38:12
  • 12. Job 13:15; Job 14:19; Job 17:11,15; Job 19:10; Psalms 37:4; Psalms 52:9
  • 13. ver 16; Genesis 27:46; Ps 39:4,5,11; Psalms 62:9; Psalms 78:39; Psalms 89:47; Psalms 144:4; Ecclesiastes 7:15; S James 4:14
  • 14. Job 10:20; Job 9:25
  • 15. S Job 3:13; Job 8:18; Job 15:29; Job 20:7,9,21; Job 27:17; Psalms 37:36; Psalms 103:16; Isaiah 41:12; John 16:16; Acts 20:25
  • 16. S Job 3:25
  • 17. S Job 3:13; Job 11:8; Job 14:13; Job 17:16; Job 26:6; Job 38:17; Amos 9:2
  • 18. 2 Samuel 12:23; Job 30:15
  • 19. Job 18:21; Job 21:18; Job 27:21,23; Psalms 58:9; Jeremiah 18:17; Jeremiah 19:8
  • 20. S ver 8; Psalms 37:10; Psalms 104:35; Job 8:18
  • 21. Job 9:35; Job 13:13; Psalms 22:2; Psalms 40:9
  • 22. Job 10:1; Psalms 6:3; Isaiah 38:15,17
  • 23. ver 13; Job 9:27; Job 21:4; Job 23:2
  • 24. S 1 Samuel 1:10; S Job 6:3
  • 25. Job 38:8-11
  • 26. S Genesis 1:21; Ezekiel 32:2-3
  • 27. ver 20; Isaiah 1:14
  • 28. S ver 11; Job 9:27
  • 29. Job 9:34
  • 30. S Genesis 41:8; S Job 3:26
  • 31. 1 Kings 19:4; John 4:3
  • 32. Job 6:9; Revelation 9:6
  • 33. S 1 Kings 19:4; Job 9:21; Job 10:1
  • 34. S Job 3:22
  • 35. ver 19; Job 10:20; Psalms 39:13
  • 36. S ver 7
  • 37. S Job 4:19; Job 22:2; Psalms 8:4; Psalms 144:3; Hebrews 2:6
  • 38. Psalms 73:14
  • 39. Job 23:10; Psalms 139:23
  • 40. Job 14:3; Psalms 17:3; Psalms 26:2; Psalms 66:10; Psalms 139:1-6; Psalms 143:2
  • 41. S ver 16
  • 42. Job 9:18; Job 13:26; Job 14:6; Job 27:2; Psalms 139:7
  • 43. Job 35:6; Jeremiah 7:19
  • 44. S Job 6:4; Job 16:12
  • 45. S ver 12
  • 46. Job 9:28; Job 10:14; Job 16:6; Psalms 119:120; Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 1:3
  • 47. S Genesis 3:19; Job 10:9; Job 34:15; Psalms 7:5; Psalms 22:15; Psalms 90:3; Psalms 104:29
  • 48. S ver 8; S Job 3:13

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. A few manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition and Septuagint; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text "I have become a burden to myself."

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Job goes on to defend himself in an address to God; as that he had reason to complain of his extraordinary afflictions, and wish for death; by observing the common case of mankind, which he illustrates by that of an hireling, Job 7:1; and justifies his eager desire of death by the servant and hireling; the one earnestly desiring the shadow, and the other the reward of his work, Job 7:2; by representing his present state as exceeding deplorable, even worse than that of the servant and hireling, since they had rest at night, when he had none, and were free from pain, whereas he was not, Job 7:3-5; by taking notice of the swiftness and shortness of his days, in which he had no hope of enjoying any good, Job 7:6,7; and so thought his case hard; and the rather, since after death he could enjoy no temporal good: and therefore to be deprived of it while living gave him just reason of complaint, Job 7:8-11; and then he expostulates with God for setting such a strict watch upon him; giving him no ease night nor day, but terrifying him with dreams and visions, which made life disagreeable to him, and death more eligible than that, Job 7:12-16; and represents man as unworthy of the divine regard, and below his notice to bestow favours on him, or to chastise him for doing amiss, Job 7:17,18; and admitting that he himself had sinned, yet he should forgive his iniquity, and not bear so hard upon him, and follow him with one affliction after another without intermission, and make him the butt of his arrows; but should spare him and let him alone, or however take him out of the world, Job 7:19-21.

Job 7 Commentaries

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