Job 7:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention,

New Living Translation
"What are people, that you should make so much of us, that you should think of us so often?

English Standard Version
What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him,

New American Standard Bible
"What is man that You magnify him, And that You are concerned about him,

King James Bible
What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What is man, that You think so highly of him and pay so much attention to him?

International Standard Version
"What is a human being, that you make so much of him; that you set your affections on him,

NET Bible
"What is mankind that you make so much of them, and that you pay attention to them?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"What is a mortal that you should make so much of him, that you should be concerned about him?

Jubilee Bible 2000
What is man that thou should magnify him and that thou should set thine heart upon him

King James 2000 Bible
What is man, that you should magnify him? and that you should set your heart upon him?

American King James Version
What is man, that you should magnify him? and that you should set your heart on him?

American Standard Version
What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him, And that thou shouldest set thy mind upon him,

Douay-Rheims Bible
What is a man that thou shouldst magnify him? or why dost thou set thy heart upon him?

Darby Bible Translation
What is man, that thou makest much of him? and that thou settest thy heart upon him?

English Revised Version
What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him, and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him,

Webster's Bible Translation
What is man, that thou shouldst magnify him? and that thou shouldst set thy heart upon him?

World English Bible
What is man, that you should magnify him, that you should set your mind on him,

Young's Literal Translation
What is man that Thou dost magnify him? And that Thou settest unto him Thy heart?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

7:17-21 Job reasons with God concerning his dealings with man. But in the midst of this discourse, Job seems to have lifted up his thoughts to God with some faith and hope. Observe the concern he is in about his sins. The best men have to complain of sin; and the better they are, the more they will complain of it. God is the Preserver of our lives, and the Saviour of the souls of all that believe; but probably Job meant the Observer of men, whose eyes are upon the ways and hearts of all men. We can hide nothing from Him; let us plead guilty before his throne of grace, that we may not be condemned at his judgment-seat. Job maintained, against his friends, that he was not a hypocrite, not a wicked man, yet he owns to his God, that he had sinned. The best must so acknowledge, before the Lord. He seriously inquires how he might be at peace with God, and earnestly begs forgiveness of his sins. He means more than the removing of his outward trouble, and is earnest for the return of God's favour. Wherever the Lord removes the guilt of sin, he breaks the power of sin. To strengthen his prayer for pardon, Job pleads the prospect he had of dying quickly. If my sins be not pardoned while I live, I am lost and undone for ever. How wretched is sinful man without a knowledge of the Saviour!

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 17. - What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? or, make so much of him - regard him as of such great importance (comp. Psalm 8:4). It seems, at first sight, an exalted idea of God to regard him as too lofty, too great, to be really concerned about so mean a creature, so poor a being, as man. Hence, among the Greeks, the Epicureans maintained that God paid no attention at all to this world, or to anything that happened in it, but dwelt secure and tranquil in the empyrean, with nothing to disturb, displease, or vex him. And the holy men of old sometimes fell into this same phase of thought, and expressed surprise and wonder that God, who dwelt on high, should "humble himself to consider the things in heaven and earth." "Lord," says David, or whoever was the author of the hundred and forty-fourth psalm, "what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him? or the son of man, that thou makest account of him? Man k like to vanity; his days are as a shadow that passeth away" (Psalm 144:3, 4). But all, except Epicureans, agree that God does, in fact, so concern himself, and a little reflection is enough to show us that the opposite view, instead of exalting, really degrades God. To bring conscious, sentient beings into the world - beings capable of the intensest happiness or misery, and then to leave them wholly to themselves, to have no further care or thought of them, would be the part, not of a grand, glorious, and adorable Being, but of one destitute of any claim to our admiration. And that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? This strong expression is not used of God elsewhere. But it well expresses the extreme tenderness and consideration that God has for man, and the deep love from which that tenderness and consideration spring.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him?.... Man in his best estate, in his original state, was but of the earth, earthly; a mutable creature, and altogether vanity; so that it was wonderful God should magnify him as be did, raise him to such honour and dignity, as to set him over all the works of his hands, and bestow peculiar marks of his favour upon him in Eden's garden; but man in his low and fallen estate, being, as the word here used is generally observed to signify, a frail, feeble, weak, and mortal creature; yea, a sinful one; it is much more marvellous that God should magnify him, or make him great, that is, any of the human race, as he has some, so as "to set his heart upon them", as Jarchi connects this with the following clause; to think of them and provide for them in his purposes and decrees, in his council and covenant, to choose any of them to grace here, and glory hereafter: he has magnified them, by espousing them to his Son, whereby they share with him in his glory, and in all the blessings of his goodness; through the incarnation of Christ, by means of which the human nature is greatly advanced and honoured; and by their redemption through Christ, whereby they are raised to an higher dignity, and restored to a greater estate than they lost by the fall; by clothing them with the rich robe of Christ's righteousness, comparable to the gold of Ophir, and raiment of needlework; and by adorning them with the graces of the blessed Spirit; and, in a word, by taking them into his family, making them his children and his heirs, rich in grace, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven, and kings and priests unto him; taking them as beggars from the dunghill, to sit among princes, and to inherit the throne of glory. The words may be understood in a different sense, and more agreeably to the context, and to the scope of Job's discourse, as they are by some (o), of God's magnifying men by afflicting them; according to which, man is represented as a poor, weak, strengthless creature, a worm and clod of the earth; and the Lord as the mighty God, as of great and infinite power and strength, between whom there is no manner of proportion; God is not a man, that they should come together, or as if on equal foot; nor man a match for God; to wrestle with principalities and powers, which are not flesh and blood, is too much for men of themselves, and how much less able are they to contend with God? Now Job by this suggests, that his thought and sentiment of the matter was, and in which he has a particular view to himself, and his own case; that as on the one hand it was a demeaning the might and majesty of God, by making himself a combatant with man; so on the other hand it was doing man too much honour, as if he was one of more importance and consequence, and more mighty and powerful than he is; whereas he is unworthy of the divine notice in any respect, either to bestow his favours, or lay his afflicting hand upon him; compare with this 1 Samuel 24:14. Hence a late learned writer (p), agreeably to the use of the word in the Arabic language, renders it, "what is mortal man, that thou shouldest wrestle with him?" strive and contend with him as if he was thy match, when thou couldest at one blow, and even at a touch, dispatch him at once?

and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? have an affection for him, love him, delight in him, highly value and esteem him; it is wonderful that God should have such a regard to any of the sons of men; and yet it is certain that he has, as appears by the good things he has provided and laid up for them in covenant, by sending his Son to die for them, by calling and quickening them by his Spirit and grace, and drawing them with loving kindness to himself; by taking continual care of them, and keeping them as the apple of his eye: though these words may be interpreted agreeably to the other sense, "that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?" or towards him, to afflict him and chastise him with afflictions, so Bar Tzemach; or to stir up himself against him, as Sephorno: and the above late learned writer chooses to render them, "that thou shouldest set thine heart against him?" (q) and so the Hebrew (r) particle is used in many other places; see Ezekiel 13:2; compare with this Job 34:14, where R. Simeon Bar Tzemach (s) thinks Elihu has respect to this passage of Job, and reproves him for it.

(o) So Simeon Bar Tzemach, Sephorno, Mercerus, Diodati, Schultens. (p) Schultens. (q) "et quod intendas cor tuum". (r) "Adversus eum". ibid. (s) Vid. Noldii Ebr. Partic. Concord. p. 57.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

17. (Ps 8:4; 144:3). Job means, "What is man that thou shouldst make him [of so much importance], and that thou shouldst expend such attention [or, heart-thought] upon him" as to make him the subject of so severe trials? Job ought rather to have reasoned from God's condescending so far to notice man as to try him, that there must be a wise and loving purpose in trial. David uses the same words, in their right application, to express wonder that God should do so much as He does for insignificant man. Christians who know God manifest in the man Christ Jesus may use them still more.

Job 7:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
Job Continues: Life Seems Futile
16"I waste away; I will not live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are but a breath. 17"What is man that You magnify him, And that You are concerned about him, 18That You examine him every morning And try him every moment?…
Cross References
Hebrews 2:6
But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him?

Job 22:2
"Can a man be of benefit to God? Can even a wise person benefit him?

Job 25:6
how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot-- a human being, who is only a worm!"

Psalm 8:4
what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

Psalm 144:3
LORD, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them?
Treasury of Scripture

What is man, that you should magnify him? and that you should set your heart on him?

What is man.

Psalm 8:4 What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that …

Psalm 144:3 LORD, what is man, that you take knowledge of him! or the son of …

Hebrews 2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that you …

magnify.

Job 7:12 Am I a sea, or a whale, that you set a watch over me?

1 Samuel 24:14 After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom do you pursue? …

set thine.

Job 34:14,15 If he set his heart on man, if he gather to himself his spirit and his breath…

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