Job 14:20
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
You prevail forever against him, and he passes; you change his countenance, and send him away.

King James Bible
Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth: thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.

American Standard Version
Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth; Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou hast strengthened him for a little while, that he may pass away for ever: thou shalt change his face, and shalt send him away.

English Revised Version
Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth; thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth: thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.

Job 14:20 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

13 Oh that Thou wouldst hide me in Shel,

That Thou wouldst conceal me till Thine anger change,

That Thou wouldst appoint me a time and then remember me!

14 If man dieth, shall he live again?

All the days of my warfare would Iwait,

Until my change should come.

15 Thou wouldst call and I would answer,

Thou wouldst have a desire for the work of Thy hands -

16 For now thou numberest my steps,

And dost not restrain thyself over my sins.

The optative יתּן מי introduces a wish that has reference to the future, and is therefore, as at Job 6:8, followed by futt.; comp. on the other hand, Job 23:3, utinam noverim. The language of the wish reminds one of such passages in the Psalms as Psalm 31:21; Psalm 27:5 (comp. Isaiah 26:20): "In the day of trouble He hideth me in His pavilion, and in the secret of His tabernacle doth He conceal me." So Job wishes that Hades, into which the wrath of God now precipitates him for ever, may only be a temporary place of safety for him, until the wrath of God turn away (שׁוּב, comp. the causative, Job 9:13); that God would appoint to him, when there, a חק, i.e., a terminus ad quem (comp. Job 14:5), and when this limit should be reached, again remember him in mercy. This is a wish that Job marks out for himself. The reality is indeed different: "if (ἐὰν) a man dies, will he live again?" The answer which Job's consciousness, ignorant of anything better, alone can give, is: No, there is no life after death. It is, however, none the less a craving of his heart that gives rise to the wish; it is the most favourable thought, - a desirable possibility, - which, if it were but a reality, would comfort him under all present suffering: "all the days of my warfare would I wait until my change came." צבא is the name he gives to the whole of this toilsome and sorrowful interval between the present and the wished-for goal, - the life on earth, which he likens to the service of the soldier or of the hireling (Job 7:1), and which is subject to an inevitable destiny (Job 5:7) of manifold suffering, together with the night of Hades, where this life is continued in its most shadowy and dismal phase. And חליפה does not here signify destruction in the sense of death, as the Jewish expositors, by comparing Isaiah 2:18 and Sol 2:11, explain it; but (with reference to צבאי, comp. Job 10:17) the following after (Arab. chlı̂ft, succession, successor, i.e., of Mohammed), relief, change (syn. תּמוּרה, exchange, barter), here of change of condition, as Psalm 55:20, of change of mind; Aquila, Theod., ἄλλαγμα. Oh that such a change awaited him! What a blessed future would it be if it should come to pass! Then would God call to him in the depth of Shel, and he, imprisoned until the appointed time of release, would answer Him from the deep. After His anger was spent, God would again yearn after the work of His hands (comp. Job 10:3), the natural loving relation between the Creator and His creature would again prevail, and it would become manifest that wrath is only a waning power (Isaiah 54:8), and love His true and essential attribute. Schlottman well observes: "Job must have had a keen perception of the profound relation between the creature and his Maker in the past, to be able to give utterance to such an imaginative expectation respecting the future."

In Job 14:16, Job supports what is cheering in this prospect, with which he wishes he might be allowed to console himself, by the contrast of the present. עתּה כּי is used here as in Job 6:21; כי is not, as elsewhere, where עתה כי introduces the conclusion, confirmatory (indeed now equals then indeed), but assigns a reason (for now). Now God numbers his steps (Job 13:27), watching him as a criminal, and does not restrain himself over his sin. Most modern expositors (Ew., Hlgst, Hahn, Schlottm.) translate: Thou observest not my sins, i.e., whether they are to be so severely punished or not; but this is poor. Raschi: Thou waitest not over my sins, i.e., to punish them; instead of which Ralbag directly: Thou waitest not for my sins equals repentance or punishment; but שׁמר is not supported in the meaning: to wait, by Genesis 37:11. Aben-Ezra: Thou lookest not except on my sins, by supplying רק, according to Ecclesiastes 2:24 (where, however, probably משׁיאכל should be read, and מ after אדם, just as in Job 33:17, has fallen away). The most doubtful is, with Hirzel, to take the sentence as interrogative, in opposition to the parallelism: and dost Thou not keep watch over my sins? It seems to me that the sense intended must be derived from the phrase אף שׁמר, which means to keep anger, and consequently to delay the manifestation of it (Amos 1:11). This phrase is here so applied, that we obtain the sense: Thou keepest not Thy wrath to thyself, but pourest it out entirely. Mercerus is substantially correct: non reservas nec differs peccati mei punitionem.

Job 14:20 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

prevailest

Ecclesiastes 8:8 There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither has he power in the day of death...

changest

Job 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

Job 2:12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle...

Lamentations 4:8 Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin sticks to their bones; it is withered...

Cross References
Job 3:13
For then I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,

Job 4:20
Between morning and evening they are beaten to pieces; they perish forever without anyone regarding it.

Job 20:7
he will perish forever like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, 'Where is he?'

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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