Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Job 14:14

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

If a man die, shall he live again? - The Chaldee translates, If a wicked man die, can he ever live again? or, he can never live again. The Syriac and Arabic thus: "If a man die, shall he revive? Yea, all the days of his youth he awaits till his old age come." The Septuagint: "If a man die, shall he live, having accomplished the days of his life? I will endure till I live again." Here is no doubt, but a strong persuasion, of the certainty of the general resurrection.

All the days of my appointed time - צבאי tsebai, "of my warfare;" see on Job 7:1; (note). Will I await till חליפתי chaliphathi, my renovation, come. This word is used to denote the springing again of grass, Psalm 90:5, Psalm 90:6, after it had once withered, which is in itself a very expressive emblem of the resurrection.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

If a man die, shall he live again? - This is a sudden transition in the thought. He had unconsciously worked himself up almost to the belief that man might live again even on the earth. He had asked to be hid somewhere - even in the grave - until the wrath of God should be overpast, and then that God would remember him, and bring him forth again to life. Here he checks himself. It cannot be, he says, that man will live again on the earth. The hope is visionary and vain, and I will endure what is appointed for me, until some change shall come. The question here “shall he live again?” is a strong form of expressing negation. He will not live again on the earth. Any hope of that kind is, therefore, vain, and I will wait until the change come - whatever that may be.

All the days of my appointed time - צבאי tsâbâ'ı̂y - my warfare; my enlistment; my hard service. See the notes at Job 7:1.

Will I wait - I will endure with patience my trials. I will not seek to cut short the time of my service.

Till my change come - What this should be, he does not seem to know. It might be relief from sufferings, or it might be happiness in some future state. At all events, this state of things could not last always, and under his heavy pressure of wo, he concluded to sit down and quietly wait for any change. He was certain of one thing - that life was to be passed over but once - that man could not go over the journey again - that he could not return to the earth and go over his youth or his age again. Grotius, and after him Rosenmuller and Noyes, here quotes a sentiment similar to this from Euripides, in “Supplicibus,” verses 1080ff.

Οἴμοί τί δὴ βροτοῖσιν οὐκ ἔστιν τόδε,

Νέους δὶς εἶναι, καὶ γέροντας αὐ πάλιν; κ. τ. λ.

Oimoí ti dē brotoisin ouk estin tode Neous dis einai kai gerontas au palin etc whole passage is thus elegantly translated by Grotius:

Proh fata! cur non est datum mortalibus

Duplici juventa, duplici senio frui?

Intra penates siquid habet incommode,

Fas seriore corrigi sententia;

Hoc vita non permittit: at qui bis foret

Juvenis senexque, siquid erratum foret

Priore, id emendaret in cursu altero.

The thought here expressed cannot but occur to every reflecting mind. There is no one who has not felt that he could correct the errors and follies of his life, if he were permitted to live it over again. But there is a good reason why it should not be so. What a world would this be if man knew that he might return and repair the evils of his course by living it over again! How securely in sin would he live! How little would he be restrained! How little concerned to be prepared for the life to come! God has, therefore, wisely and kindly put this out of the question; and there is scarcely any safeguard of virtue more firm than this fact. We may also observe that the feelings here expressed by Job are the appropriate expressions of a pious heart. Man should wait patiently in trial until his change comes. To the friend of God those sorrows will be brief. A change will soon come - the last change - and a change for the better. Beyond that, there shall be no change; none will be desirable or desired. For that time we should patiently wait, and all the sorrows which may intervene before that comes, we should patiently bear.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Though a tree is cut down, yet, in a moist situation, shoots come forth, and grow up as a newly planted tree. But when man is cut off by death, he is for ever removed from his place in this world. The life of man may fitly be compared to the waters of a land flood, which spread far, but soon dry up. All Job's expressions here show his belief in the great doctrine of the resurrection. Job's friends proving miserable comforters, he pleases himself with the expectation of a change. If our sins are forgiven, and our hearts renewed to holiness, heaven will be the rest of our souls, while our bodies are hidden in the grave from the malice of our enemies, feeling no more pain from our corruptions, or our corrections.
Ellen G. White
The Faith I Live By, 185.1

If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Job 14:14. FLB 185.1

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 44.3

In the act of dying, Christ was destroying him who had the power of death. He carried out the plan, finished the work which from Adam's fall He had covenanted to undertake. By dying for the guilt of a sinful world, He reinstated fallen man, on condition of obedience to God's commandments, in the position from which he had fallen in consequence of disobedience. And when He broke the fetters of the tomb and rose triumphant from the dead He answered the question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). Christ made it possible that every child of Adam might, through a life of obedience, overcome sin and rise also from the grave to his heritage of immortality purchased by the blood of Christ. HP 44.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 230

True missionary work is that in which the Saviour's work is best represented, His methods most closely copied, His glory best promoted. Missionary work that falls short of this standard is recorded in heaven as defective. It is weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and found wanting. 6T 230.1

Physicians should seek to direct the minds of their patients to Christ, the Physician of soul and body. That which physicians can only attempt to do, Christ accomplishes. The human agent strives to prolong life. Christ is life itself. He who passed through death to destroy him that had the power of death is the Source of all vitality. There is balm in Gilead, and a Physician there. Christ endured an agonizing death under the most humiliating circumstances that we might have life. He gave up His precious life that He might vanquish death. But He rose from the tomb, and the myriads of angels who came to behold Him take up the life He had laid down heard His words of triumphant joy as He stood above Joseph's rent sepulcher proclaiming: “I am the resurrection, and the life.” 6T 230.2

The question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” has been answered. By bearing the penalty of sin, by going down into the grave, Christ has brightened the tomb for all who die in faith. God in human form has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. In dying, Christ secured eternal life for all who believe in Him. In dying, He condemned the originator of sin and disloyalty to suffer the penalty of sin—eternal death. 6T 230.3

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