|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:7-15 Though a tree is cut down, yet, in a moist situation, shoots come forth, and grow up as a newly planted tree. But when man is cut off by death, he is for ever removed from his place in this world. The life of man may fitly be compared to the waters of a land flood, which spread far, but soon dry up. All Job's expressions here show his belief in the great doctrine of the resurrection. Job's friends proving miserable comforters, he pleases himself with the expectation of a change. If our sins are forgiven, and our hearts renewed to holiness, heaven will be the rest of our souls, while our bodies are hidden in the grave from the malice of our enemies, feeling no more pain from our corruptions, or our corrections.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Yet through the scent of water it will bud,.... As soon as it smells it, or perceives it, is sensible of it, or partakes of its efficacy; denoting both how speedily, and how easily, at once as it were, it buds forth through the virtue either of rain water that descends upon it, or river water by which it is planted, or by any means conveyed unto it; particularly this is true of the willow, which delights in watery places; and, when it is in the circumstances before described, will by the benefit of water bud out again, even when its stock has been seemingly dead:
and bring forth boughs like a plant; as if it was a new plant, or just planted; so the Vulgate Latin version, as "when it was first planted"; or as a plant that sends forth many branches: the design of this simile is to show that man's case is worse than that of trees, which when cut down sprout out again, and are in the place where they were before; but man, when he is cut down by death, rises up no more in the same place; he is seen no more in it, and the place that knew him knows him no more; where he falls he lies until the general resurrection; he rises not before without a miracle, and such instances are very rare, and never either before or at the resurrection, but by the omnipotence of God; whereas a tree, in the above circumstances, sprouts out of itself, according to its nature, and in virtue of a natural power which God has put into it; not so man (y).
(y) "Mutat terra vices-----nos ubi decidimus", Horat. Carmin. l. 4. Ode 7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. scent—exhalation, which, rather than the humidity of water, causes the tree to germinate. In the antithesis to man the tree is personified, and volition is poetically ascribed to it.
like a plant—"as if newly planted" [Umbreit]; not as if trees and plants were a different species.
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