Job 14:6
Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day.
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(6) Accomplish.—Rather, have pleasure in; rejoice at the day when his wages are paid him. Job had used the same image before (Job 7:2). Job now proceeds to enlarge on the mortality of man, comparing him, as is so often done in all literature, to the vegetable produce of the earth (Isaiah 40:7; Isaiah 65:22); with this difference, however—that a tree will sprout again when it is cut down, but even a strong man succumbs to death. “Yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?”

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.Turn from him - - שׁעה shâ‛âh. Look away from; or turn away the eyes; Isaiah 22:4. Job had represented the Lord as looking intently upon him, and narrowly watching all his ways. He now asks him that he would look away and suffer him to be alone, and to spend the little time he had in comfort and peace.

That he may rest - Margin, "Cease." "Let him be ceased from" - ויחדל veychâdal. The idea is not that of rest, but it is that of having God cease to afflict him; or, in other words, leaving him to himself. Job wished the hand of God to be withdrawn, and prayed that he might be left to himself.

Till he shall accomplish - - עד־ירצה ‛ad-yı̂rtseh. Septuagint, είδοκήσῃ τὸν βίον eidokēsē ton bion - "and comfort his life," or make his life pleasant. Jerome renders it, "until his desired day - "optata dies" - shall come like that of an hireling." Dr. Good, "that he may fill up his day." Noyes, "that he may enjoy his day." The word used here (רצה râtsâh) means properly to delight in, to take pleasure in, to satisfy, to pay off; and there can be no doubt that there was couched under the use of this word the notion of "enjoyment," or "pleasure." Job wished to be spared, that he might have comfort yet in this world. The comparison of himself with a hireling, is not that he might have comfort like a hireling - for such an image would not be pertinent or appropriate - but that his life was like that of an hireling, and he wished to be let alone until the time was completed. On this sentiment, see the notes at Job 7:1.

6. Turn—namely, Thine eyes from watching him so jealously (Job 14:3).

hireling—(Job 7:1).

accomplish—rather, "enjoy." That he may at least enjoy the measure of rest of the hireling who though hard worked reconciles himself to his lot by the hope of his rest and reward [Umbreit].

Turn from him; withdraw thine afflicting hand from him.

That he may rest; that he may have some present comfort and ease. Or, and let it cease, to wit, the affliction, which is sufficiently implied. Others, and let him cease, to wit, to live, i.e. take away my life. But that seems not to agree with the following clause of this verse, nor with the succeeding verses.

Till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day; give him some respite till he finish his course, and come to the period of his life which thou hast allotted to him, as a man appoints a set time to a mercenary servant. Turn from him, that he may rest,.... From this short lived afflicted man, whose days are limited, and will soon be at an end, meaning himself; not that he desires he would withdraw his gracious presence, nothing is more agreeable than this to a good man, and there is nothing he more deprecates than the withdrawing of it; besides, this was Job's case, and one part of his complaint, Job 13:24; nor to withhold his supporting presence, or his providential care of him, without which he could not subsist, but must die and drop into the dust; though some think this is the sense, and render the words, "turn from him, that he may cease" (n); to be, or to live, and so a wish for death, that he might have rest in the grave from all his labours, pains, and sorrows; but rather the meaning is, that he would turn away from afflicting him in this extraordinary, manner; since, according to the ordinary course of things, he would meet with many troubles and afflictions, and had but a little time to live, and therefore entreats he would take off his hand which pressed him sorely, and grant him a little respite; or "look off from him" (o); not turn away his eye of love, grace, and mercy, that is not reasonable to suppose; that was what he wanted, that God would look upon him, and have compassion on him under his affliction, and abate it; but that he would turn away his angry frowning countenance from him, which he could not bear; he had opened his eyes upon him, Job 14:3; and looked very sternly, and with great severity in his countenance, on him, and it was very distressing, and even intolerable to him; and therefore begs that he would take off his eye from him, that he might have rest from his adversity, that he might have some ease of body and mind, some intervals of peace and pleasure: or "that he might cease" (p) from murmuring, as Aben Ezra; or rather from affliction and trouble; not that he expected to be wholly free from it in this life, for man is born to it, as he full well knew; and the people of God have always their share of it, and which abides and waits for them while in this world; but he desires he might be rid of that very sore and heavy affliction now upon him; or "that it might cease" (q), the affliction he laboured under, which would be the case if God would turn himself, remove his hand, or look another way, and not so sharply upon him:

till he shall accomplish as an hireling his day; an hireling, as if he should say, that is hired for any certain time, for a year, or more or less, he has some relaxation from his labours, time for eating and sleeping to refresh nature; or he has some time allowed him as a respite from them, commonly called holy days; or if he is hired only for a day, he has time for his meals; and if his master's eye is off of him, he slackens his hand, and gets some intermission from his labour; wherefore at least Job begs that God would let him have the advantage of an hireling. Moreover, to "accomplish his day", is either to do the work of it, or to get to the end of it; every man has work to do while in this world, in things natural, civil, and religious, and is the work of his day or generation, and what must be done while it is day; and a good man is desirous of finishing it; to which the recompence of reward, though it is not of debt, but of grace, is a great encouragement, as it is to the hireling: or "till as an hireling he shall will", or "desire with delight and pleasure (r) his day"; that is, his day to be at an end, which he wishes and longs for; and when it comes is very acceptable to him, because he then enjoys his rest, and receives his hire; so as there is a fixed time for the hireling, there is for man on earth; and as that time is short and laborious, so is the life of man; and at the close of it, the good and faithful servant of the Lord, like the hireling, in some sense rests from his labours, and receives the reward of the inheritance, having served the Lord Christ; which makes this day a grateful and acceptable one to him, what he desires, and with pleasure waits for, being better than the day of his birth; and especially when his life is worn out with trouble, and he is weary of it through old age, and the infirmities thereof, those days being come in which he has no pleasure. Job therefore entreats that God would give him some intermission from his extraordinary troubles, till his appointed time came, which then would be as welcome to him as the close of the day is to an hireling, see Job 7:1.

(n) "donec desinat, sc. esse vel vivere", Piscator, Cocceius. (o) "respice aliorsum ab eo", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Schmidt, Michaelis; so De Dieu, Schultens. (p) "Et cesset", Mercerus; "et desinat a malo suo", Pagninus. (q) "Et cesset afflictio", Drusius; so the Targum. (r) "grato animo excipiet", Tigurine version; "velit", Montanus, Bolducius; "acceptum habeat", Piscator; De Dieu, Michaelis.

Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, {c} as an hireling, his day.

(c) Until the time you have appointed him to die, which he desires as the hireling waits for the end of his labour to receive his wages.

6. turn from him] lit. look away from him, cf. ch. Job 7:19, Job 10:20.—turn thy keen scrutiny away from him.

may rest] i. e. have peace, from unwonted affliction.

till he shall accomplish] Or, so that he may enjoy—so that he may have such pleasure as is possible in his brief and evil life, which is of no higher kind than the joy of the labourer during his hot and toilsome “day,” cf. ch. Job 7:1 seq. The sense given by the A. V., “to pay off,” is, however, possible (Isaiah 40:2), and not unsuitable here.Verse 6. - Turn from him, that he may rest; literally, look away from him; i.e. "Cease to watch him and search him out so continually" (comp. Job 7:17, 18). "Then he will be able to have a breathing-time, an interval of peace and rest, before his departure from the earth." What Job had previously desired for himself (Job 10:20) he now asks for all humanity. Till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day. Hired labourers are glad when their day's work is over. So man rejoices when life comes to an end. Ver 7. - For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down. God's vegetable creation is better off, in respect of length of days, than man. Let a tree be cut down, it is not therefore of necessity destroyed. There is yet hope for it. The bare dry stump will sometimes put forth tender branches, which will grow and flourish, and renew the old life. Or, if the stump be quite dead, suckers may spring up from the root and grow into new trees as vigorous as the one that they replace (comp. Isaiah 11:1). Herodotus considered that all trees had this recuperative power, except the πίτυς, a species of fir (Herod., 6:37), and the traveller Shaw says that when a palm tree dies there is always a sucker ready to take its place. Pliny also observes of the laurel, "Viva-cissima est radix, ita ut, si truncus ina-ruerit, recisa arbor mox laetius frutificet" ('Hist. Nat.,' 1:15. § 30). That it will sprout again. That is, from the spool or stump. Some trees, as the Spanish chest. nut, if cut down flush with the ground, throw up shoots from the entire circle of the stomp, often as many as fifteen or twenty. And that the tender branch thereof will not cease. The vigour of such shoots is very great. In a few years they grow to the height of the parent tree. If they are then removed they are quickly replaced by a fresh growth. 26 For Thou decreest bitter things against me,

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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