Job 7:16
I loathe it; I would not live always: let me alone; for my days are vanity.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(16) I loathe iti.e., the thought of self-destruction; or, I loathe my life; or, according to others (see the margin), I waste away: this, however, is perhaps less probable. Then the thought comes with a ray of comfort, “I shall not live for ever;” for this seems more in accordance with the context than the Authorised Version: “I would not live always.”

Job 7:16. I loath it — To wit, my life, last mentioned. I would not live alway — In this world, if I might, no not in prosperity; for even such a life is but vanity; much less in this extremity of misery. Let me alone — That is, withdraw thy hand from me, either, 1, Thy supporting hand, which preserves my life, and suffer me to die: or, rather, 2, Thy correcting hand, as this phrase signifies, Job 7:19. For my days are vanity — My life is in itself, and in its best estate, a vain, unsatisfying, uncertain thing, empty of solid comfort, and exposed to real griefs, and therefore I would not be for ever tied to it. And it is a decaying and perishing thing, and will, of itself, quickly vanish and depart, and does not need to be forced from me by such exquisite torments.7:7-16 Plain truths as to the shortness and vanity of man's life, and the certainty of death, do us good, when we think and speak of them with application to ourselves. Dying is done but once, and therefore it had need be well done. An error here is past retrieve. Other clouds arise, but the same cloud never returns: so a new generation of men is raised up, but the former generation vanishes away. Glorified saints shall return no more to the cares and sorrows of their houses; nor condemned sinners to the gaieties and pleasures of their houses. It concerns us to secure a better place when we die. From these reasons Job might have drawn a better conclusion than this, I will complain. When we have but a few breaths to draw, we should spend them in the holy, gracious breathings of faith and prayer; not in the noisome, noxious breathings of sin and corruption. We have much reason to pray, that He who keeps Israel, and neither slumbers nor sleeps, may keep us when we slumber and sleep. Job covets to rest in his grave. Doubtless, this was his infirmity; for though a good man would choose death rather than sin, yet he should be content to live as long as God pleases, because life is our opportunity of glorifying him, and preparing for heaven.I loathe it - I loathe my life as it is now. It has become a burden and I desire to part with it, and to go down to the grave. There is, however, considerable variety in the interpretation of this. Noyes renders it, "I am wasting away." Dr. Good connects it with the previous verse and understands by it, "death in comparison with my sufferings do I despise." The Syriac is, - it fails to me, that is, I fail, or my powers are wasting away. But the Hebrew word מאס mâ'as means properly to loathe and contemn (see the note at Job 7:5), and the true idea here is expressed in the common version. The sense is, "my life is painful and offensive, and I wish to die."

I would not live alway - As Job used this expression, there was doubtless somewhat of impatience and of an improper spirit. Still it contains a very important sentiment, and one that may be expressed in the highest state of just religious feeling. A man who is prepared for heaven should not and will not desire to live here always. It is better to depart and to be with Christ, better to leave a world of imperfection and sin, and to go to a world of purity and love. On this text, fully and beautifully illustrating its meaning, the reader may consult a sermon by Dr. Dwight. Sermons, Edinburgh, 1828, vol. ii. 275ff. This world is full of temptations and of sin; it is a world where suffering abounds; it is the infancy of our being; it is a place where our knowledge is imperfect, and where the affections of the best are comparatively grovelling; it is a world where the good are often persecuted, and where the bad are triumphant; and it is better to go to abodes where all these will be unknown. Heaven is a more desirable place in which to dwell than the earth; and if we had a clear view of that world, and proper desires, we should pant to depart and to be there. Most people live as though they would live always here if they could do it, and multitudes are forming their plans as if they expected thus to live. They build their houses and form their plans as if life were never to end. It is the privilege of the Christian, however, to EXPECT to die. Not wishing to live always here, he forms his plans with the anticipation that all which he has must soon be left; and he is ready to loose his hold on the world the moment the summons comes. So may we live; so living, it will be easy to die. The sentiments suggested by this verse have been so beautifully versified in a hymn by Muhlenberg, that I will copy it here:

I would not live alway; I ask not to stay

Where storm after storm rises dark o'er the way;

The few fleeting mornings that dawn on us here

Are enough for life's sorrows - enough for its cheer.

I would not live alway; no, welcome the tomb;

Since Jesus hath lain there, I dread not its gloom;

There sweet be my rest, till he bid me arise,

To hail him in triumph descending the skies.

Who, who would live alway, away from his God,

Away from yon heaven, that blissful abode,

Where rivers of pleasure flow o'er the bright plains,

And the noontide of glory eternally reigns?


16. Let me alone—that is, cease to afflict me for the few and vain days still left to me. I loathe it, to wit, my life, last mentioned. I would not live alway in this world if I might, no, not in prosperity, for even such a life is but vanity, much less in this extremity of misery. Or, let me not live for ever, lingering in this miserable manner, as if thou wouldst not suffer me to die, but hadst a design to perpetuate my torments. Or, let me not live out mine age, or the full time of my life, which by the course of nature I might do; for so the Hebrew word olam is oft used; but cut me off, and that speedily.

Let me alone, i.e. withdraw thy hand from me; either,

1. Thy supporting hand, which preserves my life, and suffer me to die; or rather,

2. Thy correcting hand, as this same phrase is used, 7:19.

My days are vanity; either,

1. My life is in itself, and in its best estate, a most vain, unsatisfying, uncertain thing; do not add this evil to it to make it miserable. Or,

2. My life is a vain, decaying, and perishing thing, it will of itself quickly vanish and depart, and doth not need to be forced from me by such exquisite torments. I loathe it,.... Or "them" (k), either his life, which was a weariness to him, or his bones, which were so painful and nauseous; or rather, "I am become loathsome", to himself, to his servants, and to his friends, and even his breath was strange to his wife; or "being ulcerated, I pine and waste away" (l), and must in course be quickly gone:

I would not live always; no man can or will; there is no man that lives but what shall see death, Psalm 89:48; Job knew this, nor did he expect or desire it; and this was not his meaning, but that he desired that he might not live long, or to the full term of man's life, yea, that he might die quickly; and indeed to a good man to die is gain; and to depart out of the world, and be with Christ, is far better than to continue in it. And had Job expressed himself without passion, and with submission to the divine will, what he says would not have been amiss:

let me alone; or "cease from me" (m); from afflicting him any more, having as great a weight upon him as he could bear, or greater than he could well stand up under; or from supporting him in life, he wishes that either God would withdraw his afflicting hand from him, or his preserving hand; either abate the affliction, or dismiss him from the world:

for my days are vanity; a "breath" (n) or puff of wind; a "vapour", as Mr. Broughton renders it, that soon vanishes away; days empty of all that is good, delightful, and pleasant, and full of evil, trouble, and sorrow, as well as fleeting, transitory, and soon gone, are as nothing, yea, less than nothing, and vanity.

(k) "Aspernor vitam", Piscator; so Jarchi & Ben Gersom. (l) "tabui", Cocceius; "ulceratus tabesco", Schultens. (m) "cessa a me", Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius, Schmidt. (n) "halitus", Michaelis, Schultens.

I loathe it; I would not live alway: {l} let me alone; for my days are vanity.

(l) Seeing my term of life is so short, let me have some rest and ease.

16. So keenly does he realize the misery of his condition and the intolerable painfulness of his life, that he breaks out into a passionate cry that he hates and is weary of life—I loathe it. The object of his loathing is not expressed, but it is rather life in general, as the words, I would not live alway, indicate, than what he calls his “bones,” cf. Job 10:21. No emphasis falls on alway, the phrase “I would not live alway” is rather an exclamation of revulsion, meaning I desire not life.

let me alone] i. e. cease from paining me with such afflictions. Job like his friends regarded his sufferings as inflicted directly by the hand of God, and if God would leave him his pains would cease. The words here are hardly a prayer, but something like an imperious command, to such a height of boldness is the sufferer driven by the keenness of his pains. The last words, “for my days are vanity,” support his demand that God would let him alone, by a reference to the shortness of his life; he seeks a little respite ere he die, cf. Job 10:20 seq. This reference to his life as “vanity” or a breath forms the natural transition to the next question.Verse 16. - I loathe it; rather, I am wasted away - "ulceratus tabesco" (Schultens). I would not live alway; rather, I shall not live alway. Let me alone; for my days are vanity; literally, cease from me; i.e. "cease to trouble me" - with, perhaps, the further meaning. "cease to trouble thyself about me;" for I am sufficiently reduced to nothingness - my life is mere vanity. 7 Remember that my life is a breath,

That my eye will never again look on prosperity.

8 The eye that looketh upon me seeth me no more;

Thine eyes look for me, - I am no more!

9 The clouds are vanished and passed away,

So he that goeth down to Shel cometh not up.

10 He returneth no more to his house,

And his place knoweth him no more.

11 Therefore I will not curb my mouth;

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;

I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

We see good, i.e., prosperity and joy, only in the present life. It ends with death. שׁוּב with ל infin. is a synonym of הוסיף, Job 20:9. No eye (עין femin.) which now sees me (prop. eye of my seer, as Genesis 16:13, comp. Job 20:7; Psalm 31:12, for ראני, Isaiah 29:15, or ראני, Isaiah 47:10; according to another reading, ראי: no eye of seeing, i.e., no eye with the power of seeing, from ראי, vision) sees me again, even if thy eyes should be directed towards me to help me; my life is gone, so that I can no more be the subject of help. For from Shel there is no return, no resurrection (comp. Psalm 103:16 for the expression); therefore will I at least give free course to my thoughts and feelings (comp. Psalm 77:4; Isaiah 38:15, for the expression). The גּם, Job 7:11, is the so-called גם talionis; the parallels cited by Michalis are to the point, Ezekiel 16:43; Malachi 2:9; Psalm 52:7. Here we first meet with the name of the lower world; and in the book of Job we learn the ancient Israelitish conception of it more exactly than anywhere else. We have here only to do with the name in connection with the grammatical exposition. שׁאול (usually gen. fem.) is now almost universally derived from שׁאל equals שׁעל, to be hollow, to be deepened; and aptly so, for they imagined the Sheôl as under ground, as Numbers 16:30, Numbers 16:33 alone shows, on which account even here, as from Genesis 37:35 onwards, שׁאולה ירד is everywhere used. It is, however, open to question whether this derivation is correct: at least passages like Isaiah 5:14; Habakkuk 2:5; Proverbs 30:15., show that in the later usage of the language, שׁאל, to demand, was thought of in connection with it; derived from which Sheôl signifies (1) the appointed inevitable and inexorable demanding of everything earthly (an infinitive noun like אלוהּ, פּקוד); (2) conceived of as space, the place of shadowy duration whither everything on earth is demanded; (3) conceived of according to its nature, the divinely appointed fury which gathers in and engulfs everything on the earth. Job knows nothing of a demanding back, a redemption from Sheôl.

Job 7:16 Interlinear
Job 7:16 Parallel Texts

Job 7:16 NIV
Job 7:16 NLT
Job 7:16 ESV
Job 7:16 NASB
Job 7:16 KJV

Job 7:16 Bible Apps
Job 7:16 Parallel
Job 7:16 Biblia Paralela
Job 7:16 Chinese Bible
Job 7:16 French Bible
Job 7:16 German Bible

Bible Hub

Job 7:15
Top of Page
Top of Page