New American Standard Bible
"What is man, that he should be pure, Or he who is born of a woman, that he should 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?
Darby Bible Translation
What is man, that he should be pure? and he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
World English Bible
What is man, that he should be clean? What is he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
Young's Literal Translation
What is man that he is pure, And that he is righteous, one born of woman?
Job 15:14 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
What is man that he should be clean? - The object of Eliphaz in this is to overturn the positions of Job that he was righteous, and had been punished beyond his deserts. He had before maintained Job 4:7, that no one ever perished being innocent, and that the righteous were not cut off. This was with him a favorite position; and indeed the whole drift of the argument maintained by him and his friends was, to prove that uncommon calamities were proof of uncommon guilt. Job had insisted on it that he was a righteous man, and had not deserved the calamities which had come upon him - a position which Eliphaz seems to have regarded as an assertion of innocence. To meet this he now maintains that no one is righteous; that all that are born of women are guilty; and in proof of this he goes back to the oracle which had made so deep an impression on his mind, and to the declaration then made to him that no one was pure before God; Job 4:He does not repeat it exactly as the oracle was then delivered to him, but adverts to the substance of it, and regards it as final and indisputable. The meaning is, "What are all the pretensions of man to purity, when even the angels are regarded as impure and the heavens unclean?"
He which is born of a woman - Another mode of denoting man. No particular argument to maintain the doctrine of man's depravity is couched in the fact that he is born of a woman. The sense is, simply, how can anyone of the human family be pure?
LibraryOf Meditation Upon the Hidden Judgments of God, that we May not be Lifted up Because of Our Well-Doing
Thou sendest forth Thy judgments against me, O Lord, and shakest all my bones with fear and trembling, and my soul trembleth exceedingly. I stand astonished, and remember that the heavens are not clean in thy sight.(1) If Thou chargest Thine angels with folly, and didst spare them not, how shall it be unto me? Stars have fallen from heaven, and what shall I dare who am but dust? They whose works seemed to be praiseworthy, fell into the lowest depths, and they who did eat Angels' food, them have …
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ
Meditations to Stir us up to Morning Prayer.
The Hebrew Sages and their Proverbs
Man's Inability to Keep the Moral Law
1 John 1:8
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:10
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
2 Chronicles 6:36
"When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to a land far off or near,
"Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one!
That you should turn your spirit against God And allow such words to go out of your mouth?
"How then can a man be just with God? Or how can he be clean who is born of woman?
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
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