Job 7:9
As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.
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(9) As the cloud is consumed.—It is a fine simile that man is as evanescent as a cloud; and very apt is the figure, because, whether it vanishes on the surface of the sky or is distributed in rain, nothing more completely passes away than the summer cloud. It is an appearance only, which comes to nought.

Job 7:9-10. As the cloud is consumed — Being dissolved by the heat of the sun. And vanisheth away — Never to return again. So he that goeth down, &c., shall come up no more — Never until the general resurrection. When you see a cloud, which looked great, as if it would eclipse the sun, of a sudden dispersed and disappearing, say, Just such a thing is the life of man, a vapour that appears for a while and then vanisheth away. He shall return no more to his house — He shall no more be seen and known in his former habitation. It concerns us to secure a better place when we die: for this will own us no more.

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.As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away - This image is taken from the light and fleecy clouds, which become smaller and smaller until they wholly vanish. For an illustration of a similar phrase, see the notes at Isaiah 44:22.

To the grave - - שׁאול she'ôl. Septuagint, εἰς ᾅδην eis hadēn, to Hades. The word may mean grave, or the place of departed spirits; see Isaiah 5:14, note; Isaiah 14:9, note; compare the notes at Job 10:21-22. Either signification will apply here.

Shall come up no more - Shall no more live on the earth. It would be pressing this too far to adduce it as proving that Job did not believe in the doctrine of the resurrection. The connection here requires us to understand him as meaning only that he would not appear again on the earth.

Job 7:9.But the wicked shall perish,

And the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs;

They shall consume,


9. (2Sa 12:23).

the grave—the Sheol, or place of departed spirits, not disproving Job's belief in the resurrection. It merely means, "He shall come up no more" in the present order of things.

The cloud is consumed; being dried up or dissolved by the heat of the sun.

Vanisheth away; never returneth again.

Shall come up no more, to live a natural, mortal life amongst men. For that he doth not deny a future life is manifest from Job 19:25, &c.

As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away,.... Which being dispersed by the wind, or broke up by the sun, is never seen, or returns more; for though the wise man speaks of clouds returning after the rain, this is not to be understood of the same clouds, but of succeeding ones, Ecclesiastes 12:2; so pardon of sin is expressed by the same metaphor, to show that sin thereby is no more, no more to be seen or remembered, Isaiah 43:25; the Targum renders it "as smoke", by which the shortness and consumption of men's days are expressed, Psalm 102:3; but by the simile of a cloud here is not so much designed the sudden disappearance of life as the irrevocableness of it when gone, as the reddition or application following shows:

so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more; the grave is the house or long home that all must go to, it being the appointment of God that all should die, or be in the state of the dead; which is meant by the grave, since all are not interred in the earth; and this, as here, is frequently expressed, as if it was man's act being hither brought; and when it designs an interment in the earth, it is with great propriety called a going down; and however that be, yet the state of the dead is a state of humiliation, a coming down from all the grandeur, honour, and glory of the present state, which are all laid in the dust; and when this is man's case, he comes up no more from it, that is, of himself, by his own power; none but Christ, who is God over all, ever did this; or none naturally, or by the laws of nature, for noticing short of almighty power can effect this; it must be done in an extraordinary way, and is no less than a miraculous operation; nor will this be done until the general resurrection of the just and unjust, when all that are in their graves shall come forth, the one to the resurrection of life, and the other to the resurrection of damnation; excepting in some few instances, as the Shunammite's son, 2 Kings 4:32; the man that touched the bones of the prophet Elisha, 2 Kings 13:21; the daughter of Jairus, Mark 5:41; the widow of Nain's son, Luke 7:14; Lazarus, John 11:43; and those that rose at our Lord's resurrection, Matthew 27:53; this is further explained in Job 7:10.

{e} As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall {f} come up no more.

(e) If you behold me in your anger I will not be able to stand in your presence.

(f) Shall no more enjoy this mortal life.

9. goeth down to the grave] Heb., down to She’ôl, the place of departed persons. This is never in the Old Testament confounded with the grave, although, being an ideal place and state, the imagination often paints it in colours borrowed from the grave and the condition of the body in death; cf. ch. Job 3:13 seq., Job 10:21 seq.

Verse 9. - As the aloud is consumed and vanisheth away. In mountainous countries one sees clouds clinging to a mountain-side, which do not float away, but gradually shrink, and at last wholly disappear. They are "consumed" in the strictest sense of the word - the hot rays of the sun drink them up. So he that goeth down to the grave; rather, to Sheol; i.e. to the lower world, the abode of the departed. What exactly was Job's idea of this world it is impossible to say, or whether it involved the continued separate identity of individual souls and their continued consciousness. In Isaiah's conception both seem certainly to have been involved (Isaiah 14:9-18), and perhaps in Jacob's (Genesis 37:35); but Job s creed on the subject can only be conjectured. It is certain, however, that both the Egyptians and the early Babylonians held the continuance after death of individual souls, their separate existence, and their consciousness (see the author's 'History of Ancient Egypt,' vol. 1. pp. 317-319; and 'Religions of the Ancient World,' pp. 62-65). Shall come up no more. The Egyptian belief was that the soul would ultimately return to the body from which death separated it, and rein-habit it. But this belief was certainly not general among the nations of antiquity. Job 7:9 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.

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