Job 15:14
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?

King James Bible
What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

American Standard Version
What is man, that he should be clean? And he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

Douay-Rheims Bible
What is man that he should be without spot, and he that is born of a woman that he should appear just?

English Revised Version
What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

Webster's Bible Translation
What is man, that he should be clean? and he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

Job 15:14 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

7 Wast thou as the first one born as a man,

And hast thou been brought forth before the hills?

8 Hast thou attended to the counsel of Eloah,

And hast thou kept wisdom to thyself?

9 What dost thou know that we have not known?

Doest thou understand what we have not been acquainted with?

10 Both grey-haired and aged are among us,

Older in days than thy father.

The question in Job 15:7 assumes that the first created man, because coming direct from the hand of God, had the most direct and profoundest insight into the mysteries of the world which came into existence at the same time as himself. Schlottman calls to mind an ironical proverbial expression of the Hindus: "Yea, indeed, he is the first man; no wonder that he is so wise" (Roberts, Orient. Illustr. p. 276). It is not to be translated: wast thou born as the first man, which is as inadmissible as the translation of אחת מעט, Haggai 2:6, by "a little" (vid., Khler in loc.); rather ראישׁון (i.e., ראישׁון, as Joshua 21:10, formed from ראשׁ, like the Arabic raı̂s, from ras, if it is not perhaps a mere incorrect amalgamation of the forms ראשׁון and רשׁון, Job 8:8) is in apposition with the subject, and אדם is to be regarded as predicate, according to Ges. 139, 2. Raschi's translation is also impossible: wast thou born before Adam? for this Greek form of expression, πρῶτος μον, John 1:15, John 1:30; John 15:18 (comp. Odyss. xi. 481f., σεῖο μακάρτατος), is strange to the Hebrew. In the parallel question, Job 15:7, Umbr., Schlottm., and Renan (following Ewald) see a play upon Proverbs 8:24.: art thou the demiurgic Wisdom itself? But the introductory proverbs (Proverbs 1-9) are more recent than the book of Job (vid., supra, p. 24), and indeed probably, as we shall show elsewhere, belong to the time of Jehoshaphat. Consequently the more probable relation is that the writer of Proverbs 8:24. has adopted words from the book of Job in describing the pre-existence of the Chokma. Was Job, a higher spirit-nature, brought forth, i.e., as it were amidst the pangs of travail (חוללת, Pulal from חול, חיל), before the hills? for the angels, according to Scripture, were created before man, and even before the visible universe (vid., Job 38:4.). Hirz., Ew., Schlottm., and others erroneously translate the futt. in the questions, Job 15:8, as praes. All the verbs in Job 15:7, Job 15:8, are under the control of the retrospective character which is given to the verses by ראישׁון; comp. Job 10:10., where זכר־נא has the same influence, and also Job 3:3, where the historical sense of אוּלד depends not upon the syntax, but upon logical necessity. Translate therefore: didst thou attend in the secret council (סוד, like Jeremiah 23:18, comp. Psalm 89:8) of Eloah (according to the correct form of writing in Codd. and in Kimchi, Michlol 54a, הבסוד, like Job 15:11 המעט and Job 22:13 הבעד, with Beth raph. and without Gaja),

(Note: As a rule, the interrogative He, when pointed with Pathach, has Gaja against the Pathach 2 Samuel 7:5; this, however, falls away (among other instances) when the syllable immediately following the He has the tone, as in the two examples given above (comp. also האל, Job 8:3; הלאל, Job 13:7), or the usual Gaja (Metheg) which stands in the antepenultima (Br, Metheg-Setzung, 23)

and didst then acquire for thyself (גרע, here attrahere, like the Arabic, sorbere, to suck in) wisdom? by which one is reminded of Prometheus' fire stolen from heaven. Nay, Job can boast of no extraordinary wisdom. The friends - as Eliphaz, Job 15:9, says in their name - are his contemporaries; and if he desires to appeal to the teaching of his father, and of his ancestors generally, let them know that there are hoary-headed men among themselves, whose discernment is deeper by reason of their more advanced age. גּם is inverted, like Job 2:10 (which see); and at the same time, since it is sued twice, it is correlative: etiam inter nos et cani et senes. Most modern expositors think that Eliphaz, "in modestly concealed language" (Ewald), refers to himself. But the reference would be obvious enough; and wherefore this modest concealing, which is so little suited to the character of Eliphaz? Moreover, Job 15:10 does not sound as if speaking merely of one, and in Job 15:10 Eliphaz would make himself older than he appears to be, for it is nowhere implied that Job is a young man in comparison with him. We therefore with Umbreit explain בּנוּ: in our generation. Thus it sounds more like the Arabic, both in words (kebı̂r Arab., usual in the signif. grandaevus) and in substance. Eliphaz appeals to the source of reliable tradition, since they have even among their races and districts mature old men, and since, indeed, according to Job's own admission (Job 12:12), there is "wisdom among the ancient ones."

Job 15:14 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

is man

Job 9:2 I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?

Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

Job 25:4-6 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman...

1 Kings 8:46 If they sin against you, (for there is no man that sins not,) and you be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy...

2 Chronicles 6:36 If they sin against you, (for there is no man which sins not,) and you be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies...

Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that does good, no, not one.

Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Ecclesiastes 7:20,29 For there is not a just man on earth, that does good, and sins not...

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me...

Galatians 3:22 But the scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Ephesians 2:2,3 Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air...

1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us...

Cross References
1 John 1:8
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:10
If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

2 Chronicles 6:36
"If they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to a land far or near,

Job 14:4
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one.

Job 15:13
that you turn your spirit against God and bring such words out of your mouth?

Job 25:4
How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure?

Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

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