Job 29:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"I thought, 'I will die in my own house, my days as numerous as the grains of sand.

New Living Translation
"I thought, 'Surely I will die surrounded by my family after a long, good life.

English Standard Version
Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand,

New American Standard Bible
"Then I thought, 'I shall die in my nest, And I shall multiply my days as the sand.

King James Bible
Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So I thought: I will die in my own nest and multiply my days as the sand.

International Standard Version
"I used to say: 'I will die in my home. I'm going to live as many days as there are grains of sand on the shore.

NET Bible
"Then I thought, 'I will die in my own home, my days as numerous as the grains of sand.

New Heart English Bible
Then I said, 'I shall die in my own house, I shall number my days as the sand.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"I thought, 'I may die in my own house, but I will make my days as numerous as the sand.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Then I said: 'I shall die with my nest, And I shall multiply my days as the phoenix;

New American Standard 1977
“Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest,
            And I shall multiply my days as the sand.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.

King James 2000 Bible
Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.

American King James Version
Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.

American Standard Version
Then I said, I shall die in my nest, And I shall multiply my days as the sand:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I said: I shall die in my nest, and as a palm tree shall multiply my days.

Darby Bible Translation
And I said, I shall die in my nest, and multiply my days as the sand;

English Revised Version
Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand:

Webster's Bible Translation
Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.

World English Bible
Then I said, 'I shall die in my own house, I shall number my days as the sand.

Young's Literal Translation
And I say, 'With my nest I expire, And as the sand I multiply days.'
(18) I shall die in my nest.--Very touching is this spontaneous expression of his almost unconscious hope when in prosperity. Some have suggested the transposition of these three verses to the end of the chapter. Though this is obviously their natural position in one sense, yet in another it is less natural. The same thing is to be seen in the last four verses of chapter 31. They carry on the previous vindication from Job 31:34, which had been broken by the parenthesis in Job 31:35-37.

Verse 18. - Then I said, I shall die in my nest. The metaphor of "nest" for "dwelling-place" occurs in Numbers 24:21; Jeremiah 49:16: Obadiah 1:4; and Habakkuk 2:9. It is also employed by Healed ('Op. et Di.,' 1:301). And I shall multiply my days as the sand. Some translate, "I shall multiply my days as the phoenix," the fabulous bird which was supposed to live for five hundred years (Herod., 2:72), to burn itself on a funeral pile of spices, and then to rise again from its ashes. But the view seems to be a mere rabbinical tradition, and is unsupported by etymology. Khal (חול) means "sand" in Genesis 22:17; Jeremiah 33:22; and elsewhere. It is taken in this sense by Rosenmuller, Schultens, Professor Lee, Canon Cook, and our Revisers. Then I said, I shall die in my nest,.... Job, amidst all his prosperity, knew he should die, death and the grave being appointed for all men; and he often thought of it, and of the manner of it; but he concluded that death was as yet some distance from him, as appears from the following clause; and that, when the time was come, he should not die on the ground, but in the city in which he lived (m), in his house, and on his bed; that he should die with all his children about him, like a bird in its nest full of young; whereas now he was stripped of them all, and likely to die childless; that he should die amidst all his outward enjoyments, in an affluence of good things, in honour, credit, and esteem among men; whereas now he was deprived of all his substance, and had in contempt by friends and foes; and that he should die in great tranquillity of mind and peace of soul, in the enjoyment of the divine Presence, and under rich discoveries of his love and grace; whereas now God had hid himself from him, and the arrows of the Almighty stuck fast in him. Job now had dropped his former confidence, and yet after all he did die in all the circumstances he believed he should; see Job 42:10; and this confidence might rise not from any mercenary spirit in him, as if this would be the fruit and reward of his integrity and uprightness, justice and faithfulness, and as due to him on that account; but from the promises of God, which to the patriarchs were usually of temporal blessings, as types of spiritual ones; though it may be there was in this somewhat of the infirmity of the flesh, as in David, Psalm 30:7; and an inattention to the uncertainty of all temporal enjoyments; nor might he then be so well acquainted with the doctrine of the cross he now had an experience of:

and I shall multiply my days as the sand; which is not to be numbered; an hyperbolical expression, to denote the long life he expected to enjoy, and which was promised to good men; and which Job, notwithstanding his present despair of it, was favoured and satisfied with, Psalm 91:16. Some versions render it, "as the phoenix" (n), a bird of that name, spoken of by many writers as a very long lived one; some say it lived five hundred years (o), others five hundred forty (p), others six hundred sixty (q); yea, some, and so the Jewish writers, as Jarchi and others (r), make it to live a thousand years, and some say (s) more; and it is reported of it, though not with sufficient evidence, that there is never but one of the kind at a time; which, perceiving its end drawing near, it makes a nest of cassia, frankincense, and other spices, and sets fire to it, and burns itself in it, and that out of its ashes comes forth an egg, which produces another; and some of the ancient writers, as Tertullian (t) particularly, have made use of this as an emblem of the resurrection; and to which some think Job has here respect; that he should live long like this bird, and then die and rise again; but inasmuch as this seems to be a fabulous bird, and that there is not, nor ever was, any such in being, it cannot well be thought that Job should allude unto it; though his making mention of his nest, in the former clause, may seem to favour it, and which has induced some to give into it (u): others render it, "as the palm tree" (w); between which and the phoenix there is thought to be some likeness on account of duration (x), and both in the Greek tongue have the same name; the palm tree is an evergreen, and endures a long time; Pliny (y) speaks of a palm tree in his time at Delos, said to have been there from the days of Apollo, which is supposed to be 1400 years; and it is observed (z) that this tree does continue two or three hundred years; and this version may seem to be countenanced and confirmed by what follows: but since the Hebrew word here used is never used but of sand, it is best so to understand it here, seeing it as fully answers Job's purpose; which was to express his confidence of a very long life. Sand is frequently used in Scripture for what is innumerable; so in Aristophanes (a), for what cannot be numbered, and are equal to a mountain of sand.

(m) So Rufus Virginius used to call the villa where he dwelt, "Senectutio suae Nidulum", Plin. l. 6. Ephesians 10. (n) "sicut phoenix", Pagninus; so Mercerus, Piscator. (o) Herodot Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 73. Pompon. Mela de situ Orbis, l. 6. c. 58. Tacit. Annal. l. 6. c. 28. (p) Solin. Polyhistor. c. 46. (q) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 2.((r) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 19. fol. 15. 2. Yalkut in loc. par. 1. fol. 152. 2.((s) Vid. Texelii Phoenix. l. 2. c. 1. p. 140. (t) De Resurrectione, c. 13. Vid. Clement. Rom. Ep. 1. ad Corinth. p. 60. & Felli Not. in ib. (u) Vid. Tentzelii Dissert. de Phoenice, &c. sect. 5. (w) , Sept. "sicut palma", V. L. (x) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 4. (y) Ib. l. 16. c. 44. (z) Vid. Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. l. vol. 4. p. 757. (a) Acharnes Acts 1. Sc. 1. & Scholia in ib. 18. I said—in my heart (Ps 30:6).

in—rather, "with my nest"; as the second clause refers to long life. Instead of my family dying before me, as now, I shall live so long as to die with them: proverbial for long life. Job did realize his hope (Job 42:16). However, in the bosom of my family, gives a good sense (Nu 24:21; Ob 4). Use "nest" for a secure dwelling.

sand—(Ge 22:17; Hab 1:9). But the Septuagint and Vulgate, and Jewish interpreters, favor the translation, "the phoenix bird." "Nest" in the parallel clause supports the reference to a bird. "Sand" for multitude, applies to men, rather than to years. The myth was, that the phoenix sprang from a nest of myrrh, made by his father before death, and that he then came from Arabia (Job's country) to Heliopolis (the city of the Sun) in Egypt, once in every five hundred years, and there burnt his father [Herodotus, 2:73]. Modern research has shown that this was the Egyptian mode of representing hieroglyphically a particular chronological era or cycle. The death and revival every five hundred years, and the reference to the sun, implies such a grand cycle commencing afresh from the same point in relation to the sun from which the previous one started. Job probably refers to this.29:18-25 Being thus honoured and useful, Job had hoped to die in peace and honour, in a good old age. If such an expectation arise from lively faith in the providence and promise of God, it is well; but if from conceit of our own wisdom, and dependence on changeable, earthly things, it is ill grounded, and turns to sin. Every one that has the spirit of wisdom, has not the spirit of government; but Job had both. Yet he had the tenderness of a comforter. This he thought upon with pleasure, when he was himself a mourner. Our Lord Jesus is a King who hates iniquity, and upon whom the blessing of a world ready to perish comes. To Him let us give ear.
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