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14:1 Again Job comes back to man's frail origin. It seems ironic that while Job was longing for death that at the same time he complains about life being so short. "In a sudden shift of mood, Job turned from confidence that he could win his court case against God to a melancholy lament about life's futility and death's certainty" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 735).
14:2 Human life is about as permanent as a spring flower (1 Peter 1:23-25), or a shadow.
14:3 Man is also constantly under God's supervision and is ultimately brought before God to answer in judgment.
14:4 Job is not saying that man is totally depraved but he is expressing the frustration of standing before such a God and being acquitted. Not even God could judge someone who is unclean as being clean. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ answers this question! (Romans 7-8).
14:5 God has set limits beyond which man cannot go, including a span of life.
14:6 "Because man is so hemmed in and his days so ephemeral, the least God could do would be to turn His gaze from him that he may rest. Job longed for a respite from God's cruel watchfulness over him so that like a hired hand he could find some rest at the end of his day of labor" (Zuck p. 64). This is one of those foolish statements that Job would later regret. "Brevity, toil, and God's relentless scrutiny are all suggested in this verse" (p. 65).
14:7-10 Here Job makes a contrast between man and trees, which he considers to be and example of unfairness. Even a tree that has been cut down can come back to life. This is even true if the roots are old, the stump beginning to rot, yet when man is cut down, he never comes back. "Man, unlike a tree that is cut down but may spring back, just dies and is buried" (Jackson p. 44).
14:10 "And where is he?" In the New Testament we will find that the righteous man is in a much better place (Philippians 1:21,23).
14:11-12 "Until the heavens are no more": Is this a hint that when the physical universe is destroyed all the dead will be raised? (2 Peter 3:10; 1 Corinthians 15). Job believes that death is like water that evaporates and is gone for good or a sleep from which man never awakes.
14:13 At least in death, Job felt that he would be concealed from God's anger. "Job could endure that time if God would limit it and not forget to resurrect him" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 736).
14:14 "If a man dies, will he live again?" Notice how the thought of the afterlife and especially the resurrection, seemed to offer Job even while he was in despair. Without this thought of a life beyond this life, this life becomes completely meaningless. 14:14 "All the days of my struggle": The term struggle means hard service. The term "change" means "release", and is used of one group of soldiers relieving another. "Death, with its release from the burdens of this life, would be like an honorary discharge or a changing of the guard" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 736).
14:15 Here is once again the hope that God would summon Job, and God would long for Job who was the work of His hands. Notice that Job did not want some sort of utopia, rather what Job wanted, what was heaven to him, was a relationship with God. We should note that when God did call Job, Job was unable to answer Him (40:4-5).
14:16-17 Is this an anticipation of forgiveness or a complaint that God is watching him presently and keeps whatever sin or sins Job has supposedly committed sealed up in a bag and won't open it for Job to see?
14:18-19 Like all these things, so is man's hope, which wears away as well. "Like the crushing forces of nature, hope is destroyed" (Jackson p. 45). In his present suffering, Job probably feels like a rock that is being eroded continually by his trials.
14:19 Finally death arrives even to the strongest of men, and their appearance, the flesh once flush with life, becomes pale at death.
14:21 Death also separates us from all that we knew and loved in his life. "In death a parent cannot see his sons honored nor can he sympathize with their problems" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 736). Man dies, and all knowledge of this life is veiled. Remember, this is Job's view of death as he is suffering.
14:22 The idea seems to be that man only knows his own misery. His pain is both physical and mental. "Job now abandons the traditional resolution more of man's troubles, that of leaving a prosperous family behind. But Job has no family. Whether the source be Job or classical naturalistic liberals, it is not very exciting to hope only in the survival of humanity" (Strauss p. 137).
How thrilled Job would have been had he been privileged to hear the words of the Lord Jesus, 'I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he keep on living (present tense)' (John 11:25)" (Jackson p. 45).
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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 14". "Dunagan's Commentaries on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26