Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with you, you have 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.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.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.
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.''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.
And causest me to possess the iniquities of my youth,
27 And puttest my feet in the stocks,
And observest all my ways.
Thou makest for thyself a circle round the soles of my feet,
28 Round one who moulders away as worm-eaten,
As a garment that the moth gnaweth.
He is conscious of having often prayed: "Remember not the sins of my youth, and my transgressions: according to Thy mercy remember Thou me," Psalm 25:7; and still he can only regard his affliction as the inheritance (i.e., entailed upon him by sins not repented of) of the sins of his youth, since he has no sins of his mature years that would incur wrath, to reproach himself with. He does not know how to reconcile with the justice of God the fact that He again records against him sins, the forgiveness of which he implores soon after their commission, and decrees (כּתב, as Psalm 149:9, and as used elsewhere in the book of Job with reference to the recording of judgment) for him on account of them such bitter punishment (מררות, amara, bitter calamities; comp. Deuteronomy 32:32, "bitter" grapes). And the two could not indeed be harmonized, if it really were thus. So long as a man remains an object of the divine mercy, his sins that have been once forgiven are no more the object of divine judgment. But Job can understand his affliction only as an additional punishment. The conflict of temptation through which he is passing has made God's loving-kindness obscure to him. He appears to himself to be like a prisoner whose feet are forced into the holes of a סד, i.e., the block or log of wood in which the feet of a criminal are fastened, and which he must shuffle about with him when he moves; perhaps connected with Arab. sadda, occludere, opplere (foramen), elsewhere מהפּכת (from the forcible twisting or fastening), Chald. סדיא, סדנא, Syr. sado, by which Acts 16:24, ξύλον equals ποδοκάκη, is rendered; Lat. cippus (which Ralbag compares), codex (in Plautus an instrument of punishment for slaves), or also nervus. The verb תּשׂם which belongs to it, and is found also in Job 33:11 in the same connection, is of the jussive form, but is neither jussive nor optative in meaning, as also the future with shortened vowel (e.g., Job 27:22; Job 40:19) or apocopated (Job 18:12; Job 23:9, Job 23:11) is used elsewhere from the preference of poetry for a short pregnant form. He seems to himself like a criminal whose steps are closely watched (שׁמר, as Job 10:14), in order that he may not have the undeserved enjoyment of freedom, and may not avoid the execution for which he is reserved by effecting an escape by flight. Instead of ארחתי, the reading adopted by Ben-Ascher, Ben-Naphtali writes ארחתי, with Cholem in the first syllable; both modes of punctuation change without any fixed law also in other respects in the inflexion of ארח, as of ארחה, a caravan, the construct is both ארחות, Job 6:19, and ארחות. It is scarcely necessary to remark that the verbs in Job 13:27 are addressed to God, and are not intended as the third pers. fem. in reference to the stocks (Ralbag). The roots of the feet are undoubtedly their undermost parts, therefore the soles. But what is the meaning of תּתחקּה? The Vulg., Syr., and Parchon explain: Thou fixest thine attention upon ... , but certainly according to mere conjecture; Ewald, by the help of the Arabic tahhakkaka ala: Thou securest thyself ... , but there is not the least necessity to depart from the ordinary use of the word, as those also do who explain: Thou makest a law or boundary (Aben-Ezra, Ges., Hahn, Schlottm.). The verb חקה is the usual word (certainly cognate and interchangeable with חקק) for carved-out work (intaglio), and perhaps with colour rubbed in, or filled up with metal (vid., Job 19:23, comp. Ezekiel 23:14); it signifies to hew into, to carve, to dig a trench. Stickel is in some measure true to this meaning when he explains: Thou scratchest, pressest (producing blood); by which rendering, however, the Hithpa. is not duly recognised. Raschi is better, tu t'affiches, according to which Mercerus: velut affixus vestigiis pedum meorum adhaeres, ne qu elabi possim aut effugere. But a closer connection with the ordinary use of the word is possible. Accordingly Rosenm., Umbreit, and others render: Thou markest a line round my feet (drawest a circle round); Hirz., however, in the strictest sense of the Hithpa.: Thou diggest thyself in (layest thyself as a circular line about my feet). But the Hithpa. does not necessarily mean se insculpere, but, as התפשׁט sibi exuere, התפתח sibi solvere, התחנן sibi propitium facere, it may also mean sibi insculpere, which does not give so strange a representation: Thou makest to thyself furrows (or also: lines) round the soles of my feet, so that they cannot move beyond the narrow boundaries marked out by thee. With והוּא, Job 13:28, a circumstantial clause begins: While he whom Thou thus fastenest in as a criminal, etc. Observe the fine rhythmical accentuation achālo ‛asch. Since God whom he calls upon does not appear, Job's defiance is changed to timidity. The elegiac tone, into which his bold tone has passed, is continued in Job 14.
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