Job 14:9
Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
14:7-15 Though a tree is cut down, yet, in a moist situation, shoots come forth, and grow up as a newly planted tree. But when man is cut off by death, he is for ever removed from his place in this world. The life of man may fitly be compared to the waters of a land flood, which spread far, but soon dry up. All Job's expressions here show his belief in the great doctrine of the resurrection. Job's friends proving miserable comforters, he pleases himself with the expectation of a change. If our sins are forgiven, and our hearts renewed to holiness, heaven will be the rest of our souls, while our bodies are hidden in the grave from the malice of our enemies, feeling no more pain from our corruptions, or our corrections.Yet through the scent of water - The word here rendered "scent" (ריח rêyach) means properly the odor or fragrance which anything exhales or emits; Sol 2:13; Sol 7:13; Genesis 27:27. The idea is very delicate and poetic. It is designed to denote a gentle and pleasant contact - not a rush of water - by which the tree is made to live. It inhales, so to speak, the vital influence from the water - as we are refreshed and revived by grateful odorifles when we are ready to faint.

It will bud - Or, rather, it will germinate, or spring up again - יפרח yapârach; see the notes at Isaiah 55:10.

And bring forth boughs - קציר qâtsı̂yr. This word usually means a harvest; Genesis 8:22; Genesis 30:14; Genesis 45:6. It also means, as here, a bough, or branch; compare Psalm 80:11; Job 18:16; Job 29:19.

Like a plant - Like a young plant - as fresh and vigorous as a plant that is set out.

9. scent—exhalation, which, rather than the humidity of water, causes the tree to germinate. In the antithesis to man the tree is personified, and volition is poetically ascribed to it.

like a plant—"as if newly planted" [Umbreit]; not as if trees and plants were a different species.

Through the scent of water, i.e. by means of water. Scent or smell is figuratively ascribed to a tree.

Like a plant; like a tree newly planted. Yet through the scent of water it will bud,.... As soon as it smells it, or perceives it, is sensible of it, or partakes of its efficacy; denoting both how speedily, and how easily, at once as it were, it buds forth through the virtue either of rain water that descends upon it, or river water by which it is planted, or by any means conveyed unto it; particularly this is true of the willow, which delights in watery places; and, when it is in the circumstances before described, will by the benefit of water bud out again, even when its stock has been seemingly dead:

and bring forth boughs like a plant; as if it was a new plant, or just planted; so the Vulgate Latin version, as "when it was first planted"; or as a plant that sends forth many branches: the design of this simile is to show that man's case is worse than that of trees, which when cut down sprout out again, and are in the place where they were before; but man, when he is cut down by death, rises up no more in the same place; he is seen no more in it, and the place that knew him knows him no more; where he falls he lies until the general resurrection; he rises not before without a miracle, and such instances are very rare, and never either before or at the resurrection, but by the omnipotence of God; whereas a tree, in the above circumstances, sprouts out of itself, according to its nature, and in virtue of a natural power which God has put into it; not so man (y).

(y) "Mutat terra vices-----nos ubi decidimus", Horat. Carmin. l. 4. Ode 7.

Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. like a plant] i. e. a fresh and new plant; it begins a new life again. 1 Man that is born of a woman,

Short of days and full of unrest,

2 Cometh forth as a flower and is cut down;

He fleeth as a shadow, and continueth not.

3 Moreover, Thou openest Thine eyes upon him,

And Thou drawest me before Thy tribunal.

Even if he yields to the restraint which his suffering imposes on him, to regard himself as a sinner undergoing punishment, he is not able to satisfy himself by thus persuading himself to this view of God's conduct towards him. How can God pass so strict a judgment on man, whose life is so short and full of sorrow, and which cannot possibly be pure from sin? - Job 14:1. אדם is followed by three clauses in apposition, or rather two, for אשּׁה ילוּד (lxx γεννητὸς γυναικός, as Matthew 11:11; comp. γέννημα γυν. Sir. 10:18) belongs to the subject as an adjectival clause: woman-born man, short-lived, and full of unrest, opens out as a flower. Woman is weak, with pain she brings forth children; she is impure during her lying-in, therefore weakness, suffering, and impurity is the portion of man even from the birth (Job 15:14; Job 25:4). As קצר is the constr. of קצר, so (רגז) שׂבע is from שׂבע, which here, as Job 10:15, has the strong signification: endowed (with adversity). It is questionable whether ויּמּל, Job 14:2, signifies et marcescit or et succiditur. We have decided here as elsewhere (vid., on Psalm 37:2; Psalm 90:6, Genesis, S. 383) in favour of the latter meaning, and as the Targ. (אתמולל), translated "he is mown down." For this meaning (prop. to cut off from above or before, to lop off), - in which the verb מלל (מוּל נמל) is become technical for the περιτομή, - is most probably favoured by its application in Job 24:24; where Jerome however translates, sicut summitates spicarum conterentur, since he derives ימלו from מלל in the signification not found in the Bible (unless perhaps retained in מלילה ni , Deuteronomy 23:25), fricare (Arab. mll, frigere, to parch). At the same time, the signification marcescere, which certainly cannot be combined with praecidere, but may be with fricare (conterere), is not unnatural; it is more appropriate to a flower (comp. נבל ציץ, Isaiah 40:7); it accords with the parallelism Psalm 37:2, and must be considered etymologically possible in comparison with ק־מל א־מל. But it is not supported by any dialect, and none of the old translations furnish any certain evidence in its favour; ימולל, Psalm 90:6, which is to be understood impersonally rather than intransitively, does not favour it; and none of the passages in which ימּל occurs demand it: least of all Job 24:24, where praeciduntur is more suitable than, and Job 18:16, praeciditur, quite as suitable as, marcescit. For these reasons we also take ויּמּל here, not as fut. Kal from מלל, or, as Hahn, from נמל equals נבל, to wither, but as fut. Niph. from מלל, to cut down. At the same time, we do not deny the possibility of the notion of withering having been connected with ימל, whether it be that it belonged originally and independently to the root מל, or has branched off from some other radical notion, as "to fall in pieces" (lxx here ἐξέπεσεν, and similarly also Job 18:16; Job 24:24; comp. מלחים, rags, נמלח, to come to pieces, to be dissolved) or "to become soft" (with which the significations in the dialects, to grind and to parch, may be connected). As a flower, which having opened out is soon cut or withered, is man: אף, accedit quod, insuper. This particle, related to ἐπὶ, adds an enhancing cumulat. More than this, God keeps His eye open (not: His eyes, for the correct reading, expressly noted by the Masora, is עינך without Jod plur.), על־זה, super hoc s. tali, over this poor child of man, who is a perishable flower, and not a "walking light, but a fleeting shadow" (Gregory the Great), to watch for and punish his sins, and brings Job to judgment before himself, His tribunal which puts down every justification. Elsewhere the word is pointed במשׁפט, Job 9:32; Job 22:4; here it is במשׁפט, because the idea is rendered determinate by the addition of עמך.

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