Job 19:26
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(26) And though after my skin.—The word skin is probably put by the common metonymy of a part for the whole for body. “After they have thus destroyed my skin,” or “after my skin hath been thus destroyed”—or, “and after my skin hath been destroyed—this shall be: that even from my flesh I shall see God”—referring, probably, in the first instance, to his present personal faith, notwithstanding the corruption produced by his disease. “I can and do still see God, whom I know as my Redeemer;” but perhaps more probably put in contrast to this present knowledge as implying something yet to come, when the Redeemer stands at the last upon the earth, which also seems to be yet further expressed in the following verse.

Job 19:26. And though after my skin, &c. — The style of this and other poetical books of the Scripture is concise and short, and therefore many words are to be understood in some places to complete the sense. The meaning here is, Though my skin be now, in a great measure, consumed by sores, and the rest of it, together with this body, shall be devoured by worms, which may seem to make my case quite desperate, yet in my flesh — Hebrew, מבשׁרי, mibbeshari, out of my flesh, or, with my flesh, that is, with eyes of flesh, or bodily eyes; my flesh, or body, being raised from the grave and reunited to my soul: (which is very fitly added, to show that he did not speak of a mental or spiritual, but of a corporeal vision, and that after his death:) shall I see God — The same whom he called his Redeemer, (Job 19:25,) who having taken flesh, and appearing in his flesh or body, with and for Job upon the earth, might well be seen with his bodily eyes. Nor is this understood of a simple seeing of him, but of that glorious and beatifying vision of God which is promised to all God’s people.

19:23-29 The Spirit of God, at this time, seems to have powerfully wrought on the mind of Job. Here he witnessed a good confession; declared the soundness of his faith, and the assurance of his hope. Here is much of Christ and heaven; and he that said such things are these, declared plainly that he sought the better country, that is, the heavenly. Job was taught of God to believe in a living Redeemer; to look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come; he comforted himself with the expectation of these. Job was assured, that this Redeemer of sinners from the yoke of Satan and the condemnation of sin, was his Redeemer, and expected salvation through him; and that he was a living Redeemer, though not yet come in the flesh; and that at the last day he would appear as the Judge of the world, to raise the dead, and complete the redemption of his people. With what pleasure holy Job enlarges upon this! May these faithful sayings be engraved by the Holy Spirit upon our hearts. We are all concerned to see that the root of the matter be in us. A living, quickening, commanding principle of grace in the heart, is the root of the matter; as necessary to our religion as the root of the tree, to which it owes both its fixedness and its fruitfulness. Job and his friends differed concerning the methods of Providence, but they agreed in the root of the matter, the belief of another world.And though - Margin, Or, after I shall awake, though this body be destroyed, yet out of my flesh shall I see God. This verse has given not less perplexity than the preceding. Noyes renders it,

And though with this skin this body be wasted away,

Yet in my flesh shall I see God.

Dr. Good renders it,

And, after the disease hath destroyed my skin,

That in my flesh I shall see God.

Rosenmuller explains it, "And when after my skin (scil. is consumed and destroyed) they consume (scil. those corroding, or consuming, that is, it is corroded, or broken into fragments) this, that is, this structure of my bones - my body (which he does not mention, because it was so wasted away that it did not deserve to be called a body) - yet without my flesh - with my whole body consumed, shall I see God." He translates it,

Et quum post cutem meam hoc fuerit consumptum,

Tamen absque carne mea videbo Deum.

The Hebrew is literally, "and after my skin." Gesenius translates it, "After they shall have destroyed my skin, this shall happen - that I will see God." Herder renders it,

Though they tear and devour this my skin,

Yet in my living body shall I see God.

The fair and obvious meaning, I think, is that which is conveyed by our translation. Disease had attacked his skin. It was covered with ulcers, and was fast consuming; compare Job 2:8; Job 7:5. This process of corruption and decay he had reason to expect would go on until all would be consumed. But if it did, he would hold fast his confidence in God. He would believe that he would come forth as his vindicator, and he would still put his trust in him.

Worms - This word is supplied by our translators. There is not a semblance of it in the original. That is, simply, "they destroy;" where the verb is used impersonally, meaning that it would be destroyed; The agent by which this would be done is not specified. The word rendered "destroy" נקפו nâqaphû from נקף nâqaph, means "to cut, to strike, to cut down" (compare the notes at Job 1:5, for the general meaning of the word), and here means to destroy; that is, that the work of destruction might go on until the frame should be wholly wasted away. It is not quite certain that the word here would convey the idea that he expected to die. It may mean that he would become entirely emaciated, and all his flesh be gone. There is nothing, however, in the word to show that he did not expect to die - and perhaps that would be the most obvious and proper interpretation.


26. Rather, though after my skin (is no more) this (body) is destroyed ("body" being omitted, because it was so wasted as not to deserve the name), yet from my flesh (from my renewed body, as the starting-point of vision, So 2:9, "looking out from the windows") "shall I see God." Next clause [Job 19:27] proves bodily vision is meant, for it specifies "mine eyes" [Rosenmuller, 2d ed.]. The Hebrew opposes "in my flesh." The "skin" was the first destroyed by elephantiasis, then the "body." The style of this and other poetical books is concise and short, and therefore many words are to be understood in some places to complete the sense. The meaning of the place is this, Though my skin is now in a great measure consumed by sores, and the rest of it, together with this body, shall be devoured by the worms; which may seem to make my case quite desperate. Heb.

And though (which particle, as it is oft elsewhere, is here to be understood, as the opposition of the next branch showeth)

after my skin (which either now is, or suddenly will be, consumed by sores or worms) they (i.e. the destroyers, or devourers, as is implied in the verb; such impersonal speeches being usual in the Scripture; as Genesis 1:26 Luke 12:20 16:9, where the actions are expressed, but the persons or things acting are understood. And by the destroyers he most probably designs the worms, which do this work in the grave) destroy, or cut off, or devour this, i.e. all this which you see left of me, this which I now point to, all this which is contained within my skin, all my flesh and bones, this which I know not what to call, whether a living body, or a dead carcass, because it is between both; and therefore he did not say

this body, because it did scarce deserve that name.

Yet; for the particle and is oft used adversatively; or then, as it is oft rendered.

In my flesh, Heb. out of my flesh, or with (as the particle mem is used, Song of Solomon 1:2 3:9 Isaiah 57:8) my flesh, i.e. with eyes of flesh, as Job himself calls them, Job 10:4; or with bodily eyes; my flesh or body being raised from the grave, and restored and reunited to my soul. And this is very fitly added, to show that he did not speak of a mental or spiritual, but of a corporeal vision, and that after his death.

Shall I see God; the same whom he called his redeemer Job 19:25, i.e. Christ; of which see the note there; who being God-man, and having taken flesh, and appearing in his flesh or body with and for Job upon the earth, as was said Job 19:25, might very well be seen with his bodily eyes. Nor is this understood of a simple seeing of him; for so even they that pierced him shall see him, Revelation 1:7; but of seeing him with delight and comfort, as that word is oft understood, as Genesis 48:11 Job 42:16 Psalm 128:5 Isaiah 53:11; of that glorious and beatifying vision of God which is promised to all God’s people, Psalm 16:11 17:15 Matthew 5:8 1 Corinthians 13:12 1Jo 3:2.

And though after my skin worms destroy this body,.... Meaning not, that after his skin was wholly consumed now, which was almost gone, there being scarce any left but the skin of his teeth, Job 19:20; the worms in his ulcers would consume what was left of his body, which scarce deserved the name of a body, and therefore he points to it, and calls it "this", without saying what it was; but that when he should be entirely stripped of his skin in the grave, then rottenness and worms would strip him also of all the rest of his flesh and his bones; by which he expresses the utter consumption of his body by death, and after it in the grave; and nevertheless, though so it would be, he was assured of his resurrection from the dead:

yet in my flesh shall I see God: he believed, that though he should die and moulder into dust in the grave, yet he should rise again, and that in true flesh, not in an aerial celestial body, but in a true body, consisting of flesh, blood, and bones, which spirits have not, and in the same flesh or body he then had, his own flesh and body, and not another's; and so with his fleshly or corporeal eyes see God, even his living Redeemer, in human nature; who, as he would stand upon the earth in that nature, in the fulness of time, and obtain redemption for him, so he would in the latter day appear again, raise him from the dead, and take him to himself, to behold his glory to all eternity: or "out of my flesh" (f), out of my fleshly eyes; from thence and with those shall I behold God manifest in the flesh, my incarnate God; and if Job was one of those saints that rose when Christ did, as some say (g), he saw him in the flesh and with his fleshly eyes.

(f) "e carne mea", Tigurine version, Mercerus, Piscator, Cocceius, Schmidt, Schultens; so Gussetius, p. 446. (g) "Suidas in voce" & Sept. in ch. xlii. 17.

And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet {r} in my flesh shall I see God:

(r) In this Job declares plainly that he had a full hope, that both the soul and body would enjoy the presence of God in the last resurrection.

26. and though after my skin worms destroy] See trans. above. The word destroy means to break off, strike down or off, as branches from a tree (Isaiah 10:34). The words literally run, and after my skin which they have destroyed even this (probably pointing to himself). The indeterminate construction which they have destroyed is equivalent to our passive, which has been destroyed. The Heb. construction must be given somewhat freely in English, as above. The words “worms” and “body” have nothing corresponding in the original.

yet in my flesh] Better, as above, and without my flesh. The margin, out of (or, from) my flesh, suggests the explanation how such opposite senses may be arrived at. The Heb. prep. from has the same ambiguity as from in English. When Regan in Lear 11. 1 says,

“Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,

Of differences, which I best thought it fit

To answer from our home,”

her words most naturally perhaps suggest the meaning that she thought it best to answer at home, her home being the place from which the answer was sent. Her meaning, however, is that she thought it best to answer when she was away from home. Similarly when Job says, from (or, out of) my flesh shall I see God, the meaning may be, that (looking) from his flesh he shall see God, i. e. as A. V. in his flesh; or that he shall see God, (when) away from his flesh, i. e. without his flesh. The context and general scope of the passage decides for the latter sense. For a similar use of the Heb. prep. see ch. Job 11:15, away from (=without) spot; Job 21:9, margin; Job 28:4, they hang (far) away from men, they swing; cf. Genesis 27:39, away from (without) the fatness; Numbers 15:24, marg. The whole expression “after this my skin has been destroyed and without my flesh” means “when I have died under the ravages of my disease.” The words do not express in what condition precisely, but after what events Job shall see God.

shall I see God] The connexion is, But I know that my Redeemer liveth, and he who shall be after me shall stand upon the dust, and … I shall see God. The last words explain who Job’s Redeemer or Goel is, and who He is who remaineth or shall come after him, viz. God. After his skin is destroyed and without his flesh he shall see God. Before death he shall not see Him, for he shall die under His afflicting hand (cf. ch. Job 23:14), but he shall yet behold Him. To see God is to see Him reconciled and in peace, for this is implied in seeing Him at all, because now He hides. His face (ch. Job 23:3 seq., 8 seq., ch. Job 24:1 seq.).

Verse 26. - And though after my skin worms destroy this body. The supposed ellipsis of "worms" is improbable, as is also that of "body." Translate, and after my skin has been thus destroyed - "thus" meaning, "as you see it before your eyes." Yet in my flesh shall I see God; literally, from my flesh - scarcely, as Renan takes it, "without my flesh," or "away from my flesh" - "prive de ma chair;" but rather, "from the standpoint of my flesh " - "in my body," not "out of my body" - shall I see God. This may be taken merely as a prophecy of the theophany recorded in ch. 38-42. (see especially Job 42:5). But the nexus with ver. 25, and the expressions there used - "at the last," and "he shall stand up over my dust" - fully justify the traditional exegesis, which sees in the passage an avowal by Job of his confidence that he will see God "from his body" at the resurrection. Job 19:2626 And after my skin, thus torn to pieces,

And without my flesh shall I behold Eloah,

27 Whom I shall behold for my good,

And mine eyes shall see Him and no other -

My veins languish in my bosom.

28 Ye think: "How shall we persecute him?"

Since the root of the matter is found in me -

29 Therefore be ye afraid of the sword,

For wrath meeteth the transgressions of the sword,

That ye may know there is a judgment!

If we have correctly understood על־עפר,Job 19:25, we cannot in this speech find that the hope of a bodily recovery is expressed. In connection with this rendering, the oldest representative of which is Chrysostom, מבּשׂרי is translated either: free from my flesh equals having become a skeleton (Umbr., Hirz., and Stickel, in comm. in Iobi loc. de Gole, 1832, and in the transl., Gleiss, Hlgst., Renan), but this מבשׂרי, if the מן is taken as privative, can signify nothing else but fleshless equals bodiless; or: from my flesh, i.e., the flesh when made whole again (viz., Eichhorn in the Essay, which has exercised considerable influence, to his Allg. Bibl. d. bibl. Lit. i. 3, 1787, von Clln, BCr., Knapp, von Hofm.,

(Note: Von Hofmann (Schriftbeweis, ii. 2, 503) translates: "I know, however, my Redeemer is living, and hereafter He will stand forth which must have been יעמד instead of יקום] upon the earth and after my skin, this surrounding (נקּפוּ, Chaldaism, instead of נקּפוּת after the form עקּשׁוּת), and from my flesh shall I behold God, whom I shall behold for myself, and my eyes see [Him], and He is not strange.")

and others), but hereby the relation of Job 19:26 to Job 19:26 becomes a contrast, without there being anything to indicate it. Moreover, this rendering, as מבשׂרי may also be explained, is in itself contrary to the spirit and plan of the book; for the character of Job's present state of mind is, that he looks for certain death, and will hear nothing of the consolation of recovery (Job 17:10-16), which sounds to him as mere mockery; that he, however, notwithstanding, does not despair of God, but, by the consciousness of his innocence and the uncharitableness of the friends, is more and more impelled from the God of wrath and caprice to the God of love, his future Redeemer; and that then, when at the end of the course of suffering the actual proof of God's love breaks through the seeming manifestation of wrath, even that which Job had not ventured to hope is realized: a return of temporal prosperity beyond his entreaty and comprehension.

On the other hand, the mode of interpretation of the older translators and expositors, who find an expression of the hope of a resurrection at the end of the preceding strophe or the beginning of this, cannot be accepted. The lxx, by reading יקים instead of יקום, and connecting יקים עורי נקפו זאת, translates: ἀναστήσει δὲ (Cod. Vat. only ἀναστῆσαι) μου τὸ σῶμα (Cod. Vat. τὸ δέρμα μου) τὸ ἀναντλοῦν μοι (Cod. Vat. om. μοι) ταῦτα, - but how can any one's skin be said to awake (Italic: super terram resurget cutis mea),


Job 19:26 Interlinear
Job 19:26 Parallel Texts

Job 19:26 NIV
Job 19:26 NLT
Job 19:26 ESV
Job 19:26 NASB
Job 19:26 KJV

Job 19:26 Bible Apps
Job 19:26 Parallel
Job 19:26 Biblia Paralela
Job 19:26 Chinese Bible
Job 19:26 French Bible
Job 19:26 German Bible

Bible Hub

Job 19:25
Top of Page
Top of Page