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Job 14:1 Man, who is born of a woman, is of few days, and full of trouble- Job slips back into the argument that human nature or condition is such that behaviour doesn't matter, as it will all soon be over anyway; and so it is God's problem if He wastes His time so closely concerned with our lives (:3). Job has at times a clearer view of the future, even looking forward to resurrection and judgment. But his faith in that goes up and down, with his depression always clawing him back towards a

Job 14:2 He comes forth like a flower, and is cut down. He also flees like a shadow, and doesn’t continue-
Is. 37:27 speaks of how the nations around Judah at Hezekiah's time were like this, and were of "small power", s.w. "few" in Job 14:1. Job was reasoning as if he were just any man with human nature. What he says about the brevity and frailty of life is true as far as it stands; but he fails to see that God's way with His chosen give them hope beyond the narrow limits of human nature. Hence the connection with Hezekiah continues- in his case, the shadow did "continue", its fleeing was "brought back" (Is. 38:8). Is. 40:7,8 specifically says that although the flower is cut down, the word of restoration would endure for ever.

Job 14:3 Do You open your eyes on such a one, and bring me into judgment with You?-
I noted on Job 1:6 that the 'Satan' figure refers to both fellow worshippers and also their Angelic representative in the heavenly throne room. The "eyes" of the Lord are His angels, and Job seems to be asking why God is using His Angel-eyes to take such a special interest in him; why God has asked His Angel to "consider My servant Job". When Job asks God to ‘look away’ from him, or remove His eyes from him (Job 7:8,19 RV and frequently in Job), this would then be understood as a reference to God’s Angel-eyes, whom Job perceived as bringing about his problems. The restoration prophecy of Zech. 12:4 turns all this around, saying that Yahweh will "open My eyes upon the house of Judah" to restore them. 


Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one-
This is not to say that all born of a woman must be morally unclean; for all we posit about human nature we say about the Lord Jesus, who fully had human nature, and yet was holy and undefiled. The LXX may be better, therefore: "For who shall be pure from uncleanness? not even one". And in any case, Job is wrongly assuming things about the human condition at this point. God doesn't make man a laughing stock or target practice, for example, nor is man without hope of resurrection as Job elsewhere thinks (:10). And there is a way for sinful man to be purged from uncleanness, as the law of Moses taught. It was and is a lame excuse to blame any human sin upon our nature.

Job 14:5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months is with You, and You have appointed his bounds that he can’t pass-
This may be a reference to the 'wonderful numberer' Angel of Dan. 8:13 who controls the timing of all things. LXX "if even his life should be but one day upon the earth: and his months are numbered by him: thou hast appointed him for a time, and he shall by no means exceed it". The restoration prophets interpret this more positively, in that the appointed time was set to favour Zion (Ps. 102:13)- just as a time was set for the end bounds of Job's sufferings. "Determined" is the word used for the 'determined time' of Judah's judgment and restoration (Is. 10:22,23; 28:22; Dan. 9:27; 11:36). "Bounds" is the word translated "appoint me a set time" in :13. Job longed for that point to come, in that he assumed that the bound or end of his suffering was in death. When God finally appears, that bound or set time is reached- and by pure grace, Job is restored and not slain in death. And this was what could have happened for the exiles when the appointed 70 year period ended.

Job 14:6 look away from him, that he may rest, until he shall accomplish, as a hireling, his day-
Job's faith in resurrection or future restoration comes and goes; in :13 he looks for a future "set time" of change of fortune, but now he just longs for death, counting the days toward it, considering that there is more hope of a tree reviving than of human restoration (:7-10). The way restoration finally comes for Job is therefore proof enough that God doesn't require perfect faith.

Job 14:7 For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, that the tender branch of it will not cease-
Job's idea that a tree will revive because it can sprout again with a "tender branch" is contrasted in his own mind with how he considers he doesn't have such hope (:10). However, these very images are reworked into a positive take by the restoration prophets. The revived Judah were indeed to have a "tender branch", a Messiah figure. Zerubbabel, the 'sprout from Babylon', could have fulfilled the prophecies in the sort term. There was indeed "hope" for the tree of Judah, once cut down by Babylon; just as finally, we are to see that Job also was "cut down" and yet sprouted again at his restoration.

The imagery is taken over in Is. 6:13: "If there is a tenth left in it, that also will in turn be consumed: as a terebinth, and as an oak, whose stump remains when they are felled; so the holy seed is its stump". The idea is of new life being sown from a minority (ten per cent?) as a result of the destruction of the majority. The image is similar to that of the Messianic "Branch" shooting forth from the decaying stump of the house of David. A ten percent minority is also envisaged in Am. 5:3; Am. 6:9,10. The point is that as those trees even when cut down retain the seed in their roots, which will again spring up into a great tree, so out of the judgments to come upon Judah there would arise a remnant who would grow up into the great tree of God's restored Kingdom.


Job 14:8 Though its root grows old in the earth, and its stock dies in the ground-
"Earth" is eretz, the land (of Israel). If merely "soil" was intended, a different word would have been used. Again, we see the drama of Job has been tweaked, under Divine inspiration, to become the narrative for the exiles. The root had indeed largely died in the land at the time of the Babylonian invasion, but it still had some life and would "bud" again (Job 14:9). Job was the man with great roots who had been cut down but hadn't completely died (Job 8:17); his roots had been dried up (Job 18:16; 29:19). He represented Judah, whose roots were throughout the land as a tree transplanted by God (s.w. Ps. 80:9). Those roots were withered by the invasions (Is. 5:24), but out of those dry roots would grow up a "tender plant / branch" (Is. 11:1,10; 53:2), using the same word for "tender" as in Job 14:7. This Messianic suffering servant was to be based upon Job, and representative of all God's restored people. They were to again spread their roots in the land of promise in a restored Kingdom (Is. 37:31; Jer. 17:8), after the pattern of Job's restoration.

Job 14:9 yet through the scent of water it will bud, and put forth boughs like a plant-
Perhaps God almost playfully responds to this by talking of how oceans of waters are under His control. Clearly Job's restoration was typical of how the restored Israel could "bud" and fill the land with fruit (s.w. Is. 27:6; 35:1,2; 66:14; Hos. 14:5,7).

Job 14:10 But man dies, and is laid low. Yes, man gives up the spirit, and where is he?-
I pointed out on :4 that Job's depression leads him to a wrong understanding of the human condition; and here we have another example, in his denial of any hope of resurrection of the body (as in :12); even though by Job 19:25-27 he has come to believe in it, and even by :13 he has returned to some idea of it. Again we see how both Job and the friends have truth on many points, but framed in the wrong context. Death is indeed unconsciousness; but Job is overlooking the resurrection of the body and future restoration, just as the exiles were focused only upon their present realities and not eternal ones.

Job 14:11 As the waters fail from the sea, and the river wastes and dries up-
The theme of 'drying up' or 'withering' is significant. Bildad considers Job to have been 'dried up' by God's judgment (Job 8:12), and the word is used of how God withered or dried up Judah at the hands of their invaders (Jer. 12:4; 23:10; Ez. 17:9,10,24; Zech. 11:17; Lam. 4:8; Is. 40:7,8- although the prophetic word of God requiring their restoration would endure, despite their drying up). The dry bones of Judah in captivity were withered or dried up (Ez. 37:11). So Job's 'drying up' was again, a sharing in the representative suffering of God's people. Job's personal response to his 'drying up' was to reflect that God dries up waters and also sends them forth as floods (Job 12:15 s.w.); He can give and He can take, just as Job had initially realized (Job 2:10). Just as He dried up Job / Israel, so He could abundantly send forth waters; just as He did at the Red Sea. Restoration and salvation was just as easy for Him as destruction, to put it another way. The drying up of Job was also understood by him as referring to his death (Job 14:11), but God could raise him from the dead and have a desire to him again (Job 14:15). Eliphaz wrongly argues that the Divine 'drying up' of a person means permanent extinction (Job 15:30), as does Bildad (Job 18:16); but Job always sees the 'drying up' as part of a Divine action which also has a counterpart, the pouring out again of waters, or resurrection of the dried up, withered bones. Likewise Judah in captivity thought that their drying up, their dry bones, were incapable of revival (Ez. 37:11); but the message is that they could indeed be revived, and their drying up was but a presage to their eternal revival.        

Job 14:12 so man lies down and doesn’t rise. Until the heavens are no more, they shall not awake, nor be roused out of their sleep-
Job was wrong to deny so dogmatically the hope of resurrection; see on :10. But he has the closeness of relationship with God to ask that in fact his case there would be a resurrection (:13), and by Job 19:25-27 he is thoroughly convinced there will be. We hereby see his growth in understanding throughout the book.

Job 14:13 Oh that You would hide me in Sheol, that You would keep me secret, until Your wrath is past-
The desires of Job were met, at least potentially, in God's willingness to hide the exiles from further personal suffering when Babylon fell, and to preserve them for His restored Kingdom. For these words are surely alluded to in Is. 26:20: "Come, My people, enter into your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for a little moment, until the indignation is past".

That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!- As noted on :5, that "set time" corresponds with Job's restoration, just as the exiles were to be restored at the end of 70 years "set time". See on Job 7:1.

Job 14:14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my warfare would I wait, until my release should come-

Job recognized that there would come a time when "My change come (when) Thou shalt call, and I will answer Thee: (I know) Thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine hands" (Job 14:14,15 AV). It would appear from this that Job feels that there will be a call to resurrection corresponding to God's call of Adam out of hiding, after which he would confess his sins- i.e. at the judgement. God's calling to Job out of the whirlwind and Job's subsequent confession at the end of the book again encourages us to see "the end of the Lord" with Job as pointing forward to our justification at the day of judgement and the Kingdom, as well as the restoration possible for the exiles. See on Job 14:20. 

Even if God slew him, Job would still be patient or wait (Job 13:15), he would 'patiently wait' for his "release" (AV "change") to come at some point after his death (Job 14:14), and waited for light to somehow come out of his current darkness (Job 30:26). This was the legendary "patience of Job" which we are bidden follow (James 5:11). He was impatient, but he was "patient" in the Hebrew sense of enduring in faith; faith that even if things didn't work out at all in this life, even if God was apparently unfair in this life, he would be finally restored at the resurrection. This was his 'endurance', and it is a parade example for all who struggle with the justice of God and the incomprehensible problem of suffering. 


Job 14:15 You would call, and I would answer You. You would have a desire to the work of Your hands- Despite all his apparently bitter words against God, Job realizes that finally, "God is love". For he uses a very tender expression for how he believes when God finally calls him to judgment, God will have a "desire" to Job as His very own created handiwork. It was 'just' that God was apparently acting very differently at that time in Job's mortal life. This is one implication of understanding that we are God's created beings, made in His image and likeness, and not mere results of random evolutionary chance. If indeed we are created by Him in His image, then He has a tenderness toward us, ultimately.

Job 14:16 But now You number my steps. Don’t You watch over my sin?-
This was how Job felt in this life, but he has prefaced this in :15 by saying that he believes that finally God would call him to judgment and show great tenderness to him. That indeed was what happened when God appeared at the end, speaking positively of the Job who had well nigh cursed Him, and restoring him. And the exiles could have experienced the same grace. We note that Job is slowly moving towards the acceptance that he does have "my sin", a realization which will come to full term when God finally appears. Earlier he has spoken as if he has nothing to apologize for before God.

Job 14:17 My disobedience is sealed up in a bag. You fasten up my iniquity-
LXX "and marked if I have been guilty of any transgression unawares". Like David, Job felt that God took note of sins of ignorance. But although he is now beginning to accept his sinfulness, he is justifying it. He has argued that his human nature is an excuse, and now he deploys the argument that any sin found in him would be a mere sin of ignorance. He has yet to come to the final confession of sin he makes at the end, when he ceases all attempts at self-justification before the marvel of God's justification of him.

Job 14:18 But the mountain falling comes to nothing. The rock is removed out of its place-
We note the progression from mountain to rocks to stones to dust (:19). Job saw man's being brought to dust as reflected in the process of erosion which can remove the greatest mountains. Again, Job is saying the truth but within the wrong framework. For although God indeed brings to dust, He revives from the dust and can work any number and nature of new creations. Again, the restoration prophets have a positive take on this; the great mountain which God would surely remove was Babylon, and He would establish the mountain of His restored people and Kingdom in Zion (Zech. 4:7; Dan. 2:45). See on Job 18:4.

Job 14:19 the waters wear away the stones. The torrents of it wash away the dust of the earth. So You destroy the hope of man-
See on :18. Originally, Job believed that his "hope" was predicated upon his upright ways (Job 4:6). But Job through his sufferings comes to feel he now has no "hope" (Job 7:6; 14:19; 17:15; 19:10). The friends suggest that Job had only the "hope" of the hypocrite, and this "hope" would perish (Job 4:6; 8:13; 27:8). Job had integrity, and on that basis he thought he had "hope". He suffered, and he lost that "hope", because he assumed that his sufferings meant that he was not in fact righteous. And yet he often reflects that he is righteous and is suffering unjustly. And so he is led to the realization that the "hope" of the righteous is by God's grace and not because of the "integrity of [Job's] ways". Judah in captivity likewise lost their "hope" (Ez. 19:5; 37:11). But the message of the restoration prophets was that "there is hope in your end" (Jer. 31:17); they were prisoners or exiles in "hope" (Zech. 9:12).

Job 14:20 You forever prevail against him, and he departs. You change his face, and send him away-
LXX "thou settest thy face against him, and sendest him away", relevant to the sending away of Judah into captivity with the face of God hidden from them and against them. See on :18. In his humbler moments Job recognized that he was a sinner and deserved Adam's punishment of being sent out of Eden; or also to Cain's countenance falling and then being sent away from God. See on Job 31:33; 9:17; 10:9. But Job makes one very wrong statement here, although 'just' one word: "forever". God does not send away forever. This was the whole message of the restoration prophets.

Job 14:21 His sons come to honour, and he doesn’t know it. They are brought low, but he doesn’t perceive it about them-
This may simply be a reference to the numbness Job still felt about the bringing low of his own sons.

Job 14:22 But his flesh on him has pain, and his soul within him mourns
- This clearly refers to Job personally; he saw himself as representative of the whole body of God's people, or all mankind. The captive exiles likewise 'mourned' (s.w. Ezra 10:6; Neh. 1:4), but were urged not to mourn (Neh. 8:9) because it was God's intention to restore them; after the pattern of Job.