Job 19:20
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"My bone clings to my skin and my flesh, And I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.

King James Bible
My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.

Darby Bible Translation
My bones cleave to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.

World English Bible
My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh. I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.

Young's Literal Translation
To my skin and to my flesh Cleaved hath my bone, And I deliver myself with the skin of my teeth.

Job 19:20 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh - The meaning of this probably is, "my skin and flesh are dried up so that the bone seems adhere to the skin, and so tht the form of the bone becomes visible." It is designed to denote a state of great emaciation, and describes an effect which we often see.

And I am escaped with the skin of my teeth - A very difficult expression, and which has greatly perplexed commentators, and on whose meaning they are by no means agreed. Dr. Good renders it, "and in the skin of my teeth am I dissolved;" but what that means is as difficult of explanation as the original. Noyes, "and I have scarcely escaped with the skin of my teeth." Herde, (as translated by Marsh,) "and scarcely the skin in my teeth have I brought away as a spoil." He says that "the figure is taken from the prey which wild beasts carry in their teeth; his skin is his poor and wretched body, which alone he had escaped with. His friends are represented as carnivorous animals which gnaw upon his skin, upon the poor remnant of life;" but the Hebrew will not bear this construction. Poole observes, quaintly enough, that it means, "I am scarcely sound and whole and free from sores in any part of my skin, except that of my jaws, which holdeth and covereth the roots of my teeth. This being, as divers observe, the devil's policy, to leave his mouth untouched, that be might more freely express his mind, and vent his blasphemies against God, which he supposed sharp pain would force him to do." Schultens has mentioned four different interpretations given to the phrase, none of which seems to be perfectly satisfactory. They are the following:

(1) That it means that the skin "about" the teeth alone was preserved, or the gums and the lips, so that he had the power of speaking, though every other part was wasted away, and this exposition is given, accompanied with the suggestion that his faculty of speech was preserved entire by Satan, in order that he might be "able" to utter the language of complaint and blasphemy against God.

(2) That he was emaciated and exhausted completely, "except" the skin about his teeth, that is, his lips, and that by them he was kept alive; that if it were not for them he could not breathe, but must soon expire.

(3) That the teeth themselves had fallen out by the force of disease, and that nothing was left but the gums. This opinion Schultens himself adopts. The image, be says, is taken from pugilists, whose teeth are knocked out by each other; and the meaning he supposes to be, that Job had been treated by his disease in the same manner. So violent had it been that he had lost all his teeth and nothing was left but his gums.

(4) A fourth opinion is, that the reference is to the "enamel" of the teeth, and that the meaning is, that such was the force and extent of his afflictions that all his teeth became hollow and were decayed, leaving only the enamel. It is difficult to determine the true sense amidst a multitude of learned conjectures; but probably the most simple and easy interpretation is the best. It may mean that he was "almost" consumed. Disease had preyed upon his frame until he was wasted away. Nothing was left but his lips, or his gums; he was just able to speak, and that was all. So Jerome renders it, delicta sunt tantummodo labia circa dentes meos. Luther renders it, und kann meine Zahne mit der Haut nicht bedecken - "and I cannot cover my teeth with the skin;" that is, with the lips.

Job 19:20 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Job's Sure Knowledge
"For I know that my Redeemer liveth,"--Job 19:25. I DARESAY you know that there are a great many difficulties about the translation of this passage. It is a very complicated piece of Hebrew, partly, I suppose, owing to its great antiquity, being found in what is, probably, one of the oldest Books of the Bible. Besides that, different persons have tried to translate it according to their own varying views. The Jews stiffly fight against the notion of the Messiah and his resurrection being found in
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 50: 1904

My Beloved Put in his Hand through the Opening, and My Bowels Thrilled at his Touch.
The Well-beloved, notwithstanding the resistance of his Bride, [29] puts in his hand by a little opening which yet remains to Him, that is, a remnant of abandonment, in spite of the repugnance of the soul to abandon herself so absolutely. A soul in this degree has a depth of submission to every will of God that will refuse him nothing; but when he unfolds his plans in detail, [30] and using the rights He has acquired over her, calls for the last renunciation and the extremest sacrifices, then it
Madame Guyon—Song of Songs of Solomon

Whether There is to be a Resurrection of the Body?
Objection 1: It would seem that there is not to be a resurrection of the body: for it is written (Job 14:12): "Man, when he is fallen asleep, shall not rise again till the heavens be broken." But the heavens shall never be broken, since the earth, to which seemingly this is still less applicable, "standeth for ever" (Eccles. 1:4). Therefore the man that is dead shall never rise again. Objection 2: Further, Our Lord proves the resurrection by quoting the words: "I am the God of Abraham, and the God
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether after the Resurrection the Saints Will See God with the Eyes of the Body? [*Cf. Fp, Q , a ]
Objection 1: It would seem that after the resurrection the saints will see God with the eyes of the body. Because the glorified eye has greater power than one that is not glorified. Now the blessed Job saw God with his eyes (Job 42:5): "With the hearing of the ear, I have heard Thee, but now my eye seeth Thee." Much more therefore will the glorified eye be able to see God in His essence. Objection 2: Further, it is written (Job 19:26): "In my flesh I shall see God my Saviour [Vulg.: 'my God']." Therefore
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Luke 10:11
Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.'

Job 2:5
"However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face."

Job 16:8
"You have shriveled me up, It has become a witness; And my leanness rises up against me, It testifies to my face.

Job 33:21
"His flesh wastes away from sight, And his bones which were not seen stick out.

Psalm 102:5
Because of the loudness of my groaning My bones cling to my flesh.

Lamentations 4:8
Their appearance is blacker than soot, They are not recognized in the streets; Their skin is shriveled on their bones, It is withered, it has become like wood.

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