Job 14

The Brevity of Life

14:1 “Man, born of woman,1

lives but a few days,2 and they are full of trouble.3

14:2 He grows up4 like a flower and then withers away;5

he flees like a shadow, and does not remain.6

14:3 Do you fix your eye7 on such a one?8

And do you bring me9 before you for judgment?

14:4 Who can make10 a clean thing come from an unclean?11

No one!

14:5 Since man’s days12 are determined,13

the number of his months is under your control;14

you have set his limit15 and he cannot pass it.

14:6 Look away from him and let him desist,16

until he fulfills17 his time like a hired man.

The Inevitability of Death

14:7 “But there is hope for18 a tree:19

If it is cut down, it will sprout again,

and its new shoots will not fail.

14:8 Although its roots may grow old20 in the ground

and its stump begins to die21 in the soil,22

14:9 at the scent23 of water it will flourish24

and put forth25 shoots like a new plant.

14:10 But man26 dies and is powerless;27

he expires – and where is he?28

14:11 As29 water disappears from the sea,30

or a river drains away and dries up,

14:12 so man lies down and does not rise;

until the heavens are no more,31

they32 will not awake

nor arise from their sleep.

The Possibility of Another Life

14:13 “O that33 you would hide me in Sheol,34

and conceal me till your anger has passed!35

O that you would set me a time36

and then remember me!37

14:14 If a man dies, will he live again?38

All the days of my hard service39 I will wait40

until my release comes.41

14:15 You will call42 and I43 – I will answer you;

you will long for44 the creature you have made.45

The Present Condition46

14:16 “Surely now you count my steps;47

then you would not mark48 my sin.49

14:17 My offenses would be sealed up50 in a bag;51

you would cover over52 my sin.

14:18 But as53 a mountain falls away and crumbles,54

and as a rock will be removed from its place,

14:19 as water wears away stones,

and torrents55 wash away the soil,56

so you destroy man’s hope.57

14:20 You overpower him once for all,58

and he departs;

you change59 his appearance

and send him away.

14:21 If60 his sons are honored,61

he does not know it;62

if they are brought low,

he does not see63 it.

14:22 Only his flesh has pain for himself,64

and he mourns for himself.”65

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