Job 7:17-21

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 7:17-21 Meaning and Commentary


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.

Cross References 12

  • 1. S Job 4:19; Job 22:2; Psalms 8:4; Psalms 144:3; Hebrews 2:6
  • 2. Psalms 73:14
  • 3. Job 23:10; Psalms 139:23
  • 4. Job 14:3; Psalms 17:3; Psalms 26:2; Psalms 66:10; Psalms 139:1-6; Psalms 143:2
  • 5. S ver 16
  • 6. Job 9:18; Job 13:26; Job 14:6; Job 27:2; Psalms 139:7
  • 7. Job 35:6; Jeremiah 7:19
  • 8. S Job 6:4; Job 16:12
  • 9. S ver 12
  • 10. Job 9:28; Job 10:14; Job 16:6; Psalms 119:120; Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 1:3
  • 11. S Genesis 3:19; Job 10:9; Job 34:15; Psalms 7:5; Psalms 22:15; Psalms 90:3; Psalms 104:29
  • 12. 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."
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