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1 Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?

2 As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work:

3 So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.

4 When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.

5 My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.

6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.

7 O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good.

8 The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not.

9 As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.

10 He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.

11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

12 Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?

13 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint;

14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:

15 So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life.

16 I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.

17 What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?

18 And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?

19 How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?

20 I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?

21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.

Commentary for Job 7

Job's troubles. (1-6) Job expostulates with God. (7-16) He begs release. (17-21)1-6 Job here excuses what he could not justify, his desire of death. Observe man's present place: he is upon earth. He is yet on earth, not in hell. Is there not a time appointed for his abode here? yes, certainly, and the appointment is made by Him who made us and sent us here. During that, man's life is a warfare, and as day-labourers, who have the work of the day to do in its day, and must make up their account at night. Job had as much reason, he thought, to wish for death, as a poor servant that is tired with his work, has to wish for the shadows of the evening, when he shall go to rest. The sleep of the labouring man is sweet; nor can any rich man take so much satisfaction in his wealth, as the hireling in his day's wages. The comparison is plain; hear his complaint: His days were useless, and had long been so; but when we are not able to work for God, if we sit still quietly for him, we shall be accepted. His nights were restless. Whatever is grievous, it is good to see it appointed for us, and as designed for some holy end. When we have comfortable nights, we must see them also appointed to us, and be thankful for them. His body was noisome. See what vile bodies we have. His life was hastening apace. While we are living, every day, like the shuttle, leaves a thread behind: many weave the spider's web, which will fail, ch. #8:14|. But if, while we live, we live unto the Lord, in works of faith and labours of love, we shall have the benefit, for every man shall reap as he sowed, and wear as he wove.

7-16 Plain truths as to the shortness and vanity of man's life, and the certainty of death, do us good, when we think and speak of them with application to ourselves. Dying is done but once, and therefore it had need be well done. An error here is past retrieve. Other clouds arise, but the same cloud never returns: so a new generation of men is raised up, but the former generation vanishes away. Glorified saints shall return no more to the cares and sorrows of their houses; nor condemned sinners to the gaieties and pleasures of their houses. It concerns us to secure a better place when we die. From these reasons Job might have drawn a better conclusion than this, I will complain. When we have but a few breaths to draw, we should spend them in the holy, gracious breathings of faith and prayer; not in the noisome, noxious breathings of sin and corruption. We have much reason to pray, that He who keeps Israel, and neither slumbers nor sleeps, may keep us when we slumber and sleep. Job covets to rest in his grave. Doubtless, this was his infirmity; for though a good man would choose death rather than sin, yet he should be content to live as long as God pleases, because life is our opportunity of glorifying him, and preparing for heaven.

17-21 Job reasons with God concerning his dealings with man. But in the midst of this discourse, Job seems to have lifted up his thoughts to God with some faith and hope. Observe the concern he is in about his sins. The best men have to complain of sin; and the better they are, the more they will complain of it. God is the Preserver of our lives, and the Saviour of the souls of all that believe; but probably Job meant the Observer of men, whose eyes are upon the ways and hearts of all men. We can hide nothing from Him; let us plead guilty before his throne of grace, that we may not be condemned at his judgment-seat. Job maintained, against his friends, that he was not a hypocrite, not a wicked man, yet he owns to his God, that he had sinned. The best must so acknowledge, before the Lord. He seriously inquires how he might be at peace with God, and earnestly begs forgiveness of his sins. He means more than the removing of his outward trouble, and is earnest for the return of God's favour. Wherever the Lord removes the guilt of sin, he breaks the power of sin. To strengthen his prayer for pardon, Job pleads the prospect he had of dying quickly. If my sins be not pardoned while I live, I am lost and undone for ever. How wretched is sinful man without a knowledge of the Saviour!

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Job 7

  • Anonymous
    Life is full of uncertainty, emptiness and pain. Our prayer is that God would give us the faith and fortitude to go thru.
  • Oyindamola
    This is really the groanings of a man in agony, oh! the depth of despair and pain.
  • Dal
    This is a response to Sue 's comment.Our natural reaction to seeing or hearing someone 's trouble should be mercy and compassion.I was moved by your situation but remember God cares and I pray that he will meet your needs.God bless You.
  • ED
    our FATHER alows thing to happen to us to teach us.when he is finished.its all good.most people talk to him but do we listen to him.the first comandment is listen to your creater he know better. the shame is most people dont know how to listen to him.they get up and keep doing the same thing all over again.ask him to teach you how to listen to him.and it will be he who will show you how. IF he taught me hardheaded as i was i know he can teach you
  • ED
    one time many yrs ago my FATHER told me if i dont stop fighing with your wife i am going to seperate the 2 of you. i heard him but i did not do what he said .results my wife lied and i was put in prison for 23 days boy did i suffer then .when i got out i when home to get my belongings she had cleaned the house of all i had but she keep my bible that she gave me .no place to live the money i had she stold the day i was put prison .she didnt even share it with me. she keep it all.that same day my FATHER gave me a house all of my own. only the floor to sleep on.for 2 wks he told me to read JOB after 2 wks i did .i did not understand nothing.but after a still solf voice spoke to me and said stop feeling sorry for your and get up clean your self up the best you can.tomorrow get out of the house then i will show you what to do. i went back home that day with 500 in my pocket.all i did was obey him he did the rest. my wife said please come back and i did .but we dont fight we love each outher. is this not what our FATHER wants us to do ?
  • Stan Almendro
    A wakeup call to the times we are living in. Eternity is on us and our activity in our churches which spills over into our homes is materialism, entertainment and leisure. Heaven and ETERNITY is real and we spend so much time preparing for the 70 years on earth. Our cry of PAIN should be Oh God Come and Change our HEARTS so that we can sense the urgency of our day, get our lives in order and alert others to the things of Heaven.

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Bible Trivia

What was Job waiting for?
  • Death
  • A miracle
  • An angel from God.
  • The beginning of a new year.