Job 14:1-17

1 “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble.
2 They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.
3 Do you fix your eye on them? Will you bring them[a] before you for judgment?
4 Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!
5 A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.
6 So look away from him and let him alone, till he has put in his time like a hired laborer.
7 “At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.
8 Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil,
9 yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.
10 But a man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more.
11 As the water of a lake dries up or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
12 so he lies down and does not rise; till the heavens are no more, people will not awake or be roused from their sleep.
13 “If only you would hide me in the grave and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set me a time and then remember me!
14 If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal[b] to come.
15 You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.
16 Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin.
17 My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.

Job 14:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
ESV
1 "Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.
NLT
1 “How frail is humanity! How short is life, how full of trouble!
MSG
1 "We're all adrift in the same boat: too few days, too many troubles.
CSB
1 Man born of woman is short of days and full of trouble.

Job 14:1-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 14

Job, having turned himself from his friends to God, continues his address to him in this chapter; wherein he discourses of the frailty of man, the shortness of his life, the troubles that are in it, the sinfulness of it, and its limited duration, beyond which it cannot continue; all which he makes use of with God, that he would not therefore deal rigorously with him, but have pity on him, and cease from severely afflicting him, till he came to the end of his days, which could not be long, Job 14:1-6; he observes of a tree, when it is cut down to the root, yea, when the root is become old, and the stock dies, it will, by means of being watered, bud and sprout again, and produce boughs and branches; but man, like the failing waters of the sea, and the decayed and dried up flood, when he dies, rises not, till the heavens be no more, Job 14:7-12; and then he wishes to be hid in the grave till that time, and expresses hope and belief of the resurrection of the dead, Job 14:13-15; and goes on to complain of the strict notice God took of his sins, of his severe dealings with men, destroying their hope in life, and removing them by death; so that they see and know not the case and circumstances of their children they leave behind, and while they live have continual pain and sorrow, Job 14:16-22.

Job 14:1-17 In-Context

1 “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble.
2 They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.
3 Do you fix your eye on them? Will you bring them before you for judgment?
4 Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!
5 A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.
6 So look away from him and let him alone, till he has put in his time like a hired laborer.
7 “At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.
8 Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil,
9 yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.
10 But a man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more.
11 As the water of a lake dries up or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
12 so he lies down and does not rise; till the heavens are no more, people will not awake or be roused from their sleep.
13 “If only you would hide me in the grave and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set me a time and then remember me!
14 If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come.
15 You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.
16 Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin.
17 My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.
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.

Cross References 42

  • 1. Job 15:14; Matthew 11:11
  • 2. S Job 10:20
  • 3. S Genesis 3:17; S Job 7:2; Job 5:7; Ecclesiastes 2:23
  • 4. Psalms 103:15; S James 1:10
  • 5. Psalms 37:2; Psalms 90:5-6; Isaiah 40:6-8
  • 6. Job 8:9; Psalms 39:4; Psalms 102:11; Psalms 109:23; Psalms 144:4; Ecclesiastes 6:12
  • 7. S Job 4:20; Psalms 49:12
  • 8. Psalms 8:4; Psalms 144:3
  • 9. S Job 7:18; Psalms 143:2
  • 10. Psalms 51:10
  • 11. S Job 4:17; Ephesians 2:1-3
  • 12. S Job 9:30; John 3:6; Romans 5:12; Romans 7:14
  • 13. Job 24:1; Psalms 31:15; Psalms 139:16
  • 14. Job 21:21; Psalms 39:4; Psalms 90:12
  • 15. Acts 17:26
  • 16. S Job 7:19
  • 17. Job 7:1,2; Psalms 39:13; Isaiah 16:14; Isaiah 21:16
  • 18. Job 19:10; Job 24:20; Psalms 52:5
  • 19. Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2; Isaiah 60:21
  • 20. Isaiah 6:13
  • 21. Isaiah 6:13; Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2
  • 22. Job 29:19; Psalms 1:3; Jeremiah 17:8; Ezekiel 31:7
  • 23. Leviticus 26:4; Ezekiel 34:27; Zechariah 10:1
  • 24. ver 12
  • 25. S Job 10:21; Job 13:19
  • 26. S 2 Samuel 14:14; Isaiah 19:5
  • 27. ver 10
  • 28. Psalms 102:26; Revelation 20:11; Revelation 21:1
  • 29. Acts 3:21
  • 30. S Job 7:9
  • 31. Psalms 30:5; Isaiah 26:20; Isaiah 54:7
  • 32. S Genesis 8:1
  • 33. Job 6:8
  • 34. S Job 7:1
  • 35. S 2 Kings 6:33
  • 36. S Job 13:22
  • 37. S Job 10:3
  • 38. S Job 10:4; Psalms 139:1-3; Proverbs 5:21; Jeremiah 16:17; Jeremiah 32:19
  • 39. Job 10:6; 1 Corinthians 13:5
  • 40. Jeremiah 32:10
  • 41. S Deuteronomy 32:34
  • 42. S Job 9:30; S Job 13:23; Hosea 13:12

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew "me"
  • [b]. Or "release"
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