|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1-6 Job enlarges upon the condition of man, addressing himself also to God. Every man of Adam's fallen race is short-lived. All his show of beauty, happiness, and splendour falls before the stroke of sickness or death, as the flower before the scythe; or passes away like the shadow. How is it possible for a man's conduct to be sinless, when his heart is by nature unclean? Here is a clear proof that Job understood and believed the doctrine of original sin. He seems to have intended it as a plea, why the Lord should not deal with him according to his own works, but according to His mercy and grace. It is determined, in the counsel and decree of God, how long we shall live. Our times are in his hands, the powers of nature act under him; in him we live and move. And it is very useful to reflect seriously on the shortness and uncertainty of human life, and the fading nature of all earthly enjoyments. But it is still more important to look at the cause, and remedy of these evils. Until we are born of the Spirit, no spiritually good thing dwells in us, or can proceed from us. Even the little good in the regenerate is defiled with sin. We should therefore humble ourselves before God, and cast ourselves wholly on the mercy of God, through our Divine Surety. We should daily seek the renewing of the Holy Ghost, and look to heaven as the only place of perfect holiness and happiness.
Verse 5. - Seeing his days are determined. Job here returns to the consideration of the shortness of man's life. "His days are determined;" i.e. they are a limited period, known to and fixed beforehand by God. They are not like God's days, which "endure throughout all generations" (Psalm 102:24). The number of his months are with thee. "With thee" means here "known to thee," "laid up in thy counsels." Thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass. "His bounds" are "the limit of his lifetime." The three clauses are pleonastic. One idea pervades them all.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Seeing his days are determined,.... Or "cut out" (i), exactly and precisely, how many he shall live, and what shall befall him every day of his life; whose life, because of the shortness of it, is rather measured by days than vents:
the number of his months are with thee; before him, in his sight, in his account, and fixed and settled by him:
thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; the boundaries of his life the period of his days, beyond which he cannot go; the term of man's life is so peremptorily fixed by God, that he cannot die sooner, nor live longer, than he has determined he should; as the time of a man's birth, so the time of his death is according to the purpose of God; and all intervening moments and articles of time, and all things that befall a man throughout the whole course of his life, all fall under the appointment of God, and are according to his determinate will; and when God requires of man his soul, no one has power over his spirit to retain it one moment; yet this hinders not the use of means for the preservation and comfort of life, since these are settled as well as the end, and are under the divine direction: the word for bounds signifies sometimes "statutes" (k): though not to be understood of laws appointed by God, either of a moral or ceremonial nature; but here it signifies set, stated, appointed times (l) Seneca (m) says the same thing;
"there is a boundary fixed for every man, which always remains where it is set, nor can any move it forward by any means whatsoever.''
(i) "exacte praefiniti sunt", Tigurine version. (k) "statuta ejus", V. L. Mercerus, Schmidt. (l) "Stata tempora", Beza. (m) Consolat. ad Marciam, c. 20.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. determined—(Job 7:1; Isa 10:23; Da 9:27; 11:36).
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