Job 7:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?

New Living Translation
If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of all humanity? Why make me your target? Am I a burden to you?

English Standard Version
If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind? Why have you made me your mark? Why have I become a burden to you?

New American Standard Bible
"Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, So that I am a burden to myself?

King James Bible
I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If I have sinned, what have I done to You, Watcher of mankind? Why have You made me Your target, so that I have become a burden to You?

International Standard Version
So what if I sin? What have I done against you, you observer of humankind? Why have you made me your target? Why burden yourself with me?

NET Bible
If I have sinned--what have I done to you, O watcher of men? Why have you set me as your target? Have I become a burden to you?

New Heart English Bible
If I have sinned, what do I do to you, you watcher of men? Why have you set me as a mark for you, so that I am a burden to myself?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If I sin, what can I [possibly] do to you since you insist on spying on people? Why do you make me your target? I've become a burden even to myself.

JPS Tanakh 1917
If I have sinned, what do I unto Thee, O Thou watcher of men? Why hast Thou set me as a mark for Thee, So that I am a burden to myself?

New American Standard 1977
“Have I sinned? What have I done to Thee,
            O watcher of men?
            Why hast Thou set me as Thy target,
            So that I am a burden to myself?

Jubilee Bible 2000
If I have sinned, what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? Why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?

King James 2000 Bible
I have sinned; what shall I do unto you, O you preserver of men? why have you set me as a mark against you, so that I am a burden to myself?

American King James Version
I have sinned; what shall I do to you, O you preserver of men? why have you set me as a mark against you, so that I am a burden to myself?

American Standard Version
If I have sinned, what do I unto thee, O thou watcher of men? Why hast thou set me as a mark for thee, So that I am a burden to myself?

Douay-Rheims Bible
I have sinned: what shall I do to thee, O keeper of men? why hast thou set me opposite to thee, and I am become burdensome to myself?

Darby Bible Translation
Have I sinned, what do I unto thee, thou Observer of men? Why hast thou set me as an object of assault for thee, so that I am become a burden to myself?

English Revised Version
If I have sinned, what do I unto thee, O thou watcher of men? why hast thou set me as a mark for thee, so that I am a burden to myself?

Webster's Bible Translation
I have sinned; what shall I do to thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?

World English Bible
If I have sinned, what do I do to you, you watcher of men? Why have you set me as a mark for you, so that I am a burden to myself?

Young's Literal Translation
I have sinned, what do I to Thee, O watcher of man? Why hast Thou set me for a mark to Thee, And I am for a burden to myself -- and what?
Study Bible
Job Continues: Life Seems Futile
19"Will You never turn Your gaze away from me, Nor let me alone until I swallow my spittle? 20"Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, So that I am a burden to myself? 21"Why then do You not pardon my transgression And take away my iniquity? For now I will lie down in the dust; And You will seek me, but I will not be."…
Cross References
Job 10:14
If I sin, then You would take note of me, And would not acquit me of my guilt.

Job 16:12
"I was at ease, but He shattered me, And He has grasped me by the neck and shaken me to pieces; He has also set me up as His target.

Job 35:3
"For you say, 'What advantage will it be to You? What profit will I have, more than if I had sinned?'

Job 35:6
"If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against Him? And if your transgressions are many, what do you do to Him?

Psalm 36:6
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; Your judgments are like a great deep. O LORD, You preserve man and beast.

Lamentations 3:12
He bent His bow And set me as a target for the arrow.
Treasury of Scripture

I have sinned; what shall I do to you, O you preserver of men? why have you set me as a mark against you, so that I am a burden to myself?

I have sinned.

Job 9:29-31 If I be wicked, why then labor I in vain…

Job 13:26 For you write bitter things against me, and make me to possess the …

Job 14:16 For now you number my steps: do you not watch over my sin?

Job 22:5 Is not your wickedness great? and your iniquities infinite?

Job 31:33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom:

Job 33:9,27 I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there …

Psalm 80:4 O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry against the prayer …

O thou preserver.

Nehemiah 9:6 You, even you, are LORD alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of …

Psalm 36:6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains; your judgments are …

why hast.

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

Job 6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof …

Job 16:12-14 I was at ease, but he has broken me asunder: he has also taken me …

Psalm 21:12 Therefore shall you make them turn their back, when you shall make …

Lamentations 3:12 He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.

I am.

Job 7:11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish …

Job 3:24 For my sighing comes before I eat, and my roarings are poured out …

(20) I have sinned--i.e., "Putting the case that I have sinned, yet what then can I do unto Thee, O thou keeper of men? "with a possible allusion to Job 7:12, though the verb is not the same.

O thou preserver of men.--"Why hast Thou set me as a mark for Thee to expend all Thine arrows upon?" or, "Why hast Thou made me to be Thy stumbling-block, so that Thou ever comest into collision against me, so that I am become a burden to myself?"

Verse 20. - I have sinned. This is not so much a confession as a concession, equivalent to "Granting that I have sinned," or, "Suppose that I have sinned." In that case, What shall I do unto thee? or, What can I do for thee? How is it in my power to do anything? Can I undo the past? Or can I make compensation in the future? Neither seems to Job to be possible. O thou Preserver of men; rather, thou Observer of men. A continuation of the complaint that God's eye is always upon him. Why hast thou set me as a mark against thee? "A mark" (מפגע) is either "a butt," "a target for arrows," or else "an obstacle," "a stumbling-block," which God, by repeated blows, is removing out of his way. The latter meaning is preferred by Schultens and Professor Lee; the former by Rosenmuller and our Revisers. So that I am a burden to myself (comp. Psalm 38:4). I have sinned,.... Some render it, "if I have sinned" (w); be it so that I have, as my friends say, yet since there is forgiveness with thee, why should I be so afflicted as I am? but there is no need of such a supplement, the words are an affirmation, I have sinned, or I am a sinner; not that he owned that he had been guilty of any notorious sin, or had lived a sinful course of life, on account of which his afflictions came upon him, as his friends suggested; but that he was not without sin, was daily guilty of it, as men, even the best of men, ordinarily are; and being a sinner was not a match for a holy God; he could not contend with him, nor answer him for one sin of a thousand committed by him in thought, word, or deed; and therefore desires him to desist and depart from him, see Luke 5:8,

what shall I do unto thee? this he said, not as one in distress of mind on account of sin, and under the load of the guilt of it, inquiring what he must do to make satisfaction for it, how and what way he could be saved from it; for he knew that nothing done by him in a ceremonial way by sacrifices, nor in a moral way by the performance of duties, could take away sin, or atone for it, or save him from it; he knew this was only by his living Redeemer, and whom he knew and determined should be his salvation, and he only; see Job 9:30; but rather as it may be rendered, "what can or ought I do unto thee?" (x) that is, more than I have done, namely, to confess my sin unto thee; what more dost thou require of me? or what more can be done by me, than to repent of my sin, acknowledge it, and beg pardon for it? as he does in Job 7:21, or "what can I do unto thee?" thou art all over match for me, I cannot struggle and contend with thee, a sinful man with an holy God:

O thou preserver of men? as he is in a providential way, the supporter of men in their lives and beings; or, "O thou keeper of men" (y), as he is, not only of Israel, but of all others, and that night and day; perhaps Job may refer to his setting and keeping a watch over him, Job 7:12; and enclosing and hedging him all around with afflictions, so that he could not get out of the world as he desired; or, "O thou observer of men" (z), of their words, ways, works, and actions, and who kept such a strict eye upon him while wrestling with him, and therefore what could he do? or, "O thou Saviour of men" (a), by whom only I can be saved from the sins I have been and am daily guilty of:

why hast thou set me as a mark against thee? as a butt to shoot thine arrows at, one affliction after another, thick and fast, see Job 16:12 Lamentations 3:12; the words I think may be rendered, "why hast thou appointed me to meet thee", or "for a meeting with thee?" (b) as one man challenge, another to meet him in such a place and fight him: alas! I am not equal to thee, I am a mere worm, not able to contend with thee the mighty God, or to meet thee in the way of thy judgments, and to endure the heavy strokes of thy angry hand; and so Bar Tzemach paraphrases it,"thou hast hated me, and not loved me; that thou hast set, or appointed me to meet thee, as a man meets his enemy in the time of his wrath, and he stirs up against him all his fury:''and to the same sense, and much in the same words, Jarchi interprets it:

so that I am a burden to myself? weary of his life, through the many pressing and heavy afflictions upon him, as Rebekah was of hers, because of the daughters of Heth, Genesis 27:46. The reading which we follow, and is followed by the Targum, and by most interpreters, Jewish and Christian, is a correction of the scribes, and one of the eighteen places corrected by them; which is no argument of the corruption of the Hebrew text, but of the contrary; since this was only placed in the margin of the Bible, as the Masorites afterwards did with their various readings, showing only what was their sense of this, and the like passages; and as an instruction how in their opinion to understand them, still retaining the other reading or writing; and which, according to Aben Ezra, may be rightly interpreted, and is, "so that I am a burden to thee" (c); and which is followed by some, signifying, as Job thought at least, that he was so offensive to him that he could not bear him, but treated him as an enemy; was weary of him, as God is said to be of sinners and their sins, and of the services and duties of carnal professors, see Isaiah 1:14; so Abendana interprets it,"thou hast set me for a mark unto thee, as if I was a burden to thee.''

(w) Vatablus, Drusius, Schmidt; so Sept. Syr. & Ar. (x) "quid faciam aut facere possum tibi", Michaelis; "debeam", Schmidt. (y) "custos hominum". V. L. Pagninus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus. (z) "Observator", Schultens. (a) "Sospitatur", Codurcus; "servator", Drusius, Schmidt, Michaelis. Vid. Witsii Oeconom. Foeder. l. 4. c. 3. sect. 30. (b) "in occursum tibi", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Drusius. (c) , Sept. "et tibi", Beza, Grotius. 20. I have sinned—Yet what sin can I do against ("to," Job 35:6) thee (of such a nature that thou shouldst jealously watch and deprive me of all strength, as if thou didst fear me)? Yet thou art one who hast men ever in view, ever watchest them—O thou Watcher (Job 7:12; Da 9:14) of men. Job had borne with patience his trials, as sent by God (Job 1:21; 2:10); only his reason cannot reconcile the ceaseless continuance of his mental and bodily pains with his ideas of the divine nature.

set me as a mark—Wherefore dost thou make me thy point of attack? that is, ever assail me with new pains? [Umbreit] (La 3:12).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!
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