Job 14:5
Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 14:5-6. Seeing his days are determined — Limited to a certain period. The number of his months is with thee — Exactly known to thee, and in thy power and disposal. Thou hast appointed his bounds, &c. — Thou hast appointed a certain end of his days, beyond which he cannot prolong his life. Turn from him, that he may rest — Withdraw thine afflicting hand from him, that he may have some present ease and comfort. Till he shall accomplish, as a hireling, his day — Give him some respite till he finish his course, and come to the period of his life, which thou hast allotted him, as a man appoints a set time to a hired servant; which period will be as welcome to him as the end of his day of labour and toil is to the hireling. This idea is implied in the word ירצה, jertzeh, here rendered, he shall accomplish. Which properly means, he shall be pleased, or delighted. And the sense seems to be, As the poor mercenary rests and rejoices when he has finished the work of the day, and received his wages; so must that be an acceptable and joyful time, which puts a period to the life and sufferings of a man sinking under the burden of numerous and heavy troubles, and which introduces him into a state of perfect rest and endless felicity.

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.Seeing his days - are "determined" Since man is so frail, and so short-lived, let him alone, that he may pass his little time with some degree of comfort and then die; see the notes at Job 7:19-21. The word "determined" here means "fixed, settled." God has fixed the number of his days, so that they cannot be exceeded; compare the notes at Isaiah 10:23, and notes at Psalm 90:10.

The number of his months are with thee - Thou hast the ordering of them, or they are determined by thee.

Thou hast appointed his bounds - Thou hast fixed a limit, or hast determined the time which he is to live, and he cannot go beyond it. There is no elixir of life that can prolong our days beyond that period. Soon we shall come to that outer limit of life, and then we must die. When that is we know not, and it is not desirable to know. It is better that it should be concealed. If we knew that it was near, it would fill us with gloom, and deter us from the efforts and the plans of life altogether. If it were remote, we should be careless and secure, and should think there was time enough yet to prepare to die. As it is, we know that the period is not very far distant; we know not but that it may be very near at hand, and we would be always ready.

5. determined—(Job 7:1; Isa 10:23; Da 9:27; 11:36). His days; the days or (as it follows) months of his life. Are determined; are by thy sentence and decree limited to a certain period.

With thee, i.e. exactly known to thee, or in thy power and disposal. Thou hast appointed a certain end of his days, beyond which he cannot prolong his life; and therefore let this short life and unavoidable death suffice for man’s punishment, and do not add further and sorer calamities.

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.

Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5, 6. Man being of few days and full of trouble Job pleads that God would not load him with uncommon afflictions, but leave him oppressed with no more than those natural to his short and evil life.

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. Job 14:5 4 Would that a pure one could come from an impure!

Not a single one - -

5 His days then are determined,

The number of his months is known to Thee,

Thou hast appointed bounds for him that he may not pass over:

6 Look away from him then, and let him rest,

Until he shall accomplish as a hireling his day.

Would that perfect sinlessness were possible to man; but since (to use a New Testament expression) that which is born of the flesh is flesh, there is not a single one pure. The optative מי־יתּן seems to be used here with an acc. of the object, according to its literal meaning, quis det s. afferat, as Job 31:31; Deuteronomy 28:67; Psalm 14:7. Ewald remarks (and refers to 358, b, of his Grammar) that לא, Job 14:4, must be the same as לוּ; but although in 1 Samuel 20:14; 2 Samuel 13:26; 2 Kings 5:17, לא might be equivalent to the optative לו, which is questionable, still אחד לא here, as an echo of אין גם־אחד, Psalm 14:3, is Job's own answer to his wish, that cannot be fulfilled: not one, i.e., is in existence. Like the friends, he acknowledges an hereditary proneness to sin; but this proneness to sin affords him no satisfactory explanation of so unmerciful a visitation of punishment as his seems to him to be. It appears to him that man must the rather be an object of divine forbearance and compassion, since absolute purity is impossible to him. If, as is really the case, man's days are חרוּצים, cut off, i.e., ἀποτόμως, determined (distinct from חרוצים with an unchangeable Kametz: sharp, i.e., quick, eager, diligent), - if the number of his months is with God, i.e., known by God, because fixed beforehand by Him, - if He has set fixed bounds (Keri חקּיו) for him, and he cannot go beyond them, may God then look away from him, i.e., turn from him His strict watch (מן שׁעה, as Job 7:19; מן שׁית, Job 10:20), that he may have rest (יחדּל, cesset), so that he may at least as a hireling enjoy his day. Thus ירצה is interpreted by all modern expositors, and most of them consider the object or reason of his rejoicing to be the rest of evening when his work is done, and thereby miss the meaning.

Hahn appropriately says, "He desires that God would grant man the comparative rest of the hireling, who must toil in sorrow and eat his bread in the sweat of his brow, but still is free from any special suffering, by not laying extraordinary affliction on him in addition to the common infirmities beneath which he sighs. Since the context treats of freedom from special suffering in life, not of the hope of being set free from it, comp. Job 13:25-27; Job 14:3, the explanation of Umbreit, Ew., Hirz., and others, is to be entirely rejected, viz., that God would at least permit man the rest of a hireling, who, though he be vexed with heavy toil, cheerfully reconciles himself to it in prospect of the reward he hopes to obtain at evening time. Job does not claim for man the toil which the hireling gladly undergoes in expectation of complete rest, but the toil of the hireling, which seems to him to be rest in comparison with the possibility of having still greater toil to undergo." Such is the true connection.

(Note: In honour of our departed friend, whose Commentary on Job abounds in observations manifesting a delicate appreciation of the writer's purpose and thought, we have quoted his own words.)

Man's life - this life which is as a hand-breadth (Psalm 39:6), and in Job 7:1. is compared to a hireling's day, which is sorrowful enough - is not to be overburdened with still more and extraordinary suffering.

It must be asked, however, whether ריה seq. acc. here signifies εὐδοκεῖν (τὸν βίον, lxx), or not rather persolvere; for it is undeniable that it has this meaning in Leviticus 26:34 (vid., however Keil [Pent., en loc.]) and elsewhere (prop. to satisfy, remove, discharge what is due). The Hiphil is used in this sense in post-biblical Hebrew, and most Jewish expositors explain ירצה by ישלים. If it signifies to enjoy, עד ought to be interpreted: that (he at least may, like as a hireling, enjoy his day). But this signification of עד (ut in the final sense) is strange, and the signification dum (Job 1:18; Job 8:21) or adeo ut (Isaiah 47:7) is not, however, suitable, if ירצה is to be explained in the sense of persolvere, and therefore translate donec persolvat (persolverit). We have translated "until he accomplish," and wish "accomplish" to be understood in the sense of "making complete," as Colossians 1:24, Luther ("vollzhlig machen") equals ἀνταναπληροῦν.

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