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Job 14:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Man, that is born of a woman, Is of few days, and full of trouble.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Man, who is born of woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Man, born of woman, is of few days, and full of trouble.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Man that is born of a woman, is of few days, and full of trouble:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Man, born of woman! Of few days, and full of trouble!
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Man born of a woman, living for a short time, is filled with many miseries.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Man that is borne of a woman, is of few dayes, and full of trouble.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— For a mortal born of a woman [is] short lived, and full of wrath.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Man 120
{0120} Prime
From H0119; ruddy, that is, a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.).
[that is] born 3205
{3205} Prime
A primitive root; to bear young; causatively to beget; medically to act as midwife; specifically to show lineage.
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
of a woman 802
{0802} Prime
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
[is] of few 7116
{7116} Prime
From H7114; short (whether in size, number, life, strength or temper).
days, 3117
{3117} Prime
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
and full 7649
{7649} Prime
From H7646; satiated (in a pleasant or disagreeable sense).
of trouble. 7267
{7267} Prime
From H7264; commotion, restlessness (of a horse), crash (of thunder), disquiet, anger.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Job 14:1

_ _ Job 14:1-22. Job passes from his own to the common misery of mankind.

_ _ woman — feeble, and in the East looked down upon (Genesis 2:21). Man being born of one so frail must be frail himself (Matthew 11:11).

_ _ few days — (Genesis 47:9; Psalms 90:10). Literally, “short of days.” Man is the reverse of full of days and short of trouble.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Job 14:1-6

_ _ We are here led to think,

_ _ I. Of the original of human life. God is indeed its great original, for he breathed into man the breath of life and in him we live; but we date it from our birth, and thence we must date both its frailty and its pollution. 1. Its frailty: Man, that is born of a woman, is therefore of few days, Job 14:1. This may refer to the first woman, who was called Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Of her, who being deceived by the tempter was first in the transgression, we are all born, and consequently derive from her that sin and corruption which both shorten our days and sadden them. Or it may refer to every man's immediate mother. The woman is the weaker vessel, and we know that partus sequitur ventremthe child takes after the mother. Let not the strong man therefore glory in his strength, or in the strength of his father, but remember that he is born of a woman, and that, when God pleases, the mighty men become as women, Jeremiah 51:30. 2. Its pollution (Job 14:4): Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? If man be born of a woman that is a sinner, how can it be otherwise than that he should be a sinner? See Job 25:4. How can he be clean that is born of a woman? Clean children cannot come from unclean parents any more than pure streams from an impure spring or grapes from thorns. Our habitual corruption is derived with our nature from our parents, and is therefore bred in the bone. Our blood is not only attainted by a legal conviction, but tainted with an hereditary disease. Our Lord Jesus, being made sin for us, is said to be made of a woman, Galatians 4:4.

_ _ II. Of the nature of human life: it is a flower, it is a shadow, Job 14:2. The flower is fading, and all its beauty soon withers and is gone. The shadow is fleeting, and its very being will soon be lost and drowned in the shadows of the night. Of neither do we make any account; in neither do we put any confidence.

_ _ III. Of the shortness and uncertainty of human life: Man is of few days. Life is here computed, not by months or years, but by days, for we cannot be sure of any day but that it may be our last. These days are few, fewer than we think of, few at the most, in comparison with the days of the first patriarchs, much more in comparison with the days of eternity, but much fewer to most, who come short of what we call the age of man. Man sometimes no sooner comes forth than he is cut down — comes forth out of the womb than he dies in the cradle — comes forth into the world and enters into the business of it than he is hurried away as soon as he has laid his hand to the plough. If not cut down immediately, yet he flees as a shadow, and never continues in one stay, in one shape, but the fashion of it passes away; so does this world, and our life in it, 1 Corinthians 7:31.

_ _ IV. Of the calamitous state of human life. Man, as he is short-lived, so he is sad-lived. Though he had but a few days to spend here, yet, if he might rejoice in those few, it were well (a short life and a merry one is the boast of some); but it is not so. During these few days he is full of trouble, not only troubled, but full of trouble, either toiling or fretting, grieving or fearing. No day passes without some vexation, some hurry, some disorder or other. Those that are fond of the world shall have enough of it. He is satur tremorefull of commotion. The fewness of his days creates him a continual trouble and uneasiness in expectation of the period of them, and he always hangs in doubt of his life. Yet, since man's days are so full of trouble, it is well that they are few, that the soul's imprisonment in the body, and banishment from the Lord, are not perpetual, are not long. When we come to heaven our days will be many, and perfectly free from trouble, and in the mean time faith, hope, and love, balance the present grievances.

_ _ V. Of the sinfulness of human life, arising from the sinfulness of the human nature. So some understand that question (Job 14:4), Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? — a clean performance from an unclean principle? Note, Actual transgressions are the natural product of habitual corruption, which is therefore called original sin, because it is the original of all our sins. This holy Job here laments, as all that are sanctified do, running up the streams to the fountain (Psalms 51:5); and some think he intends it as a plea with God for compassion: “Lord, be not extreme to mark my sins of human frailty and infirmity, for thou knowest my weakness. O remember that I am flesh!” The Chaldee paraphrase has an observable reading of this verse: Who can make a man clean that is polluted with sin? Cannot one? that is, God. Or who but God, who is one, and will spare him? God, by his almighty grace, can change the skin of the Ethiopian, the skin of Job, though clothed with worms.

_ _ VI. Of the settled period of human life, v. 5.

_ _ 1. Three things we are here assured of: — (1.) That our life will come to an end; our days upon earth are not numberless, are not endless, no, they are numbered, and will soon be finished, Daniel 5:26. (2.) That it is determined, in the counsel and decree of God, how long we shall live and when we shall die. The number of our months is with God, at the disposal of his power, which cannot be controlled, and under the view of his omniscience, which cannot be deceived. It is certain that God's providence has the ordering of the period of our lives; our times are in his hand. The powers of nature depend upon him, and act under him. In him we live and move. Diseases are his servants; he kills and makes alive. Nothing comes to pass by chance, no, not the execution done by a bow drawn at a venture. It is therefore certain that God's prescience has determined it before; for known unto God are all his works. Whatever he does he determined, yet with a regard partly to the settled course of nature (the end and the means are determined together) and to the settled rules of moral government, punishing evil and rewarding good in this life. We are no more governed by the Stoic's blind fate than by the Epicurean's blind fortune. (3.) That the bounds God has fixed we cannot pass; for his counsels are unalterable, his foresight being infallible.

_ _ 2. These considerations Job here urges as reasons, (1.) Why God should not be so strict in taking cognizance of him and of his slips and failings (Job 14:3): “Since I have such a corrupt nature within, and am liable to so much trouble, which is a constant temptation from without, dost thou open thy eyes and fasten them upon such a one, extremely to mark what I do amiss? Job 13:27. And dost thou bring me, such a worthless worm as I am, into judgment with thee who art so quick sighted to discover the least failing, so holy to hate it, so just to condemn it, and so mighty to punish it?” The consideration of our own inability to contend with God, of our own sinfulness and weakness, should engage us to pray, Lord, enter not into judgment with thy servant. (2.) Why he should not be so severe in his dealings with him: “Lord, I have but a little time to live. I must certainly and shortly go hence, and the few days I have to spend here are, at the best, full of trouble. O let me have a little respite! Job 14:6. Turn from afflicting a poor creature thus, and let him rest awhile; allow him some breathing time, until he shall accomplish as a hireling his day. It is appointed to me once to die; let that one day suffice me, and let me not thus be continually dying, dying a thousand deaths. Let it suffice that my life, at best, is as the day of a hireling, a day of toil and labour. I am content to accomplish that, and will make the best of the common hardships of human life, the burden and heat of the day; but let me not feel those uncommon tortures, let not my life be as the day of a malefactor, all execution-day.” Thus may we find some relief under great troubles by recommending ourselves to the compassion of that God who knows our frame and will consider it, and our being out of frame too.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Job 14:1

Man — A weak creature, and withal corrupt and sinful, and of that sex by which sin and all other calamity was brought into the world.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Job 14:1

Man (a) [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble.

(a) Taking the opportunity of his adversaries words he describes the state of man's life from his birth to his death.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Job 15:14 What [is] man, that he should be clean? and [he which is] born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean [that is] born of a woman?
Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

of few days:
Heb. short of days,
Job 7:1 [Is there] not an appointed time to man upon earth? [are not] his days also like the days of an hireling?
Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.
Job 9:25 Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.
Genesis 47:9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage [are] an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.
Psalms 39:5 Behold, thou hast made my days [as] an handbreadth; and mine age [is] as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state [is] altogether vanity. Selah.


Job 5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
Ecclesiastes 2:17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun [is] grievous unto me: for all [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
Ecclesiastes 2:23 For all his days [are] sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 47:9. Jb 5:7; 7:1, 6; 9:25; 15:14; 25:4. Ps 39:5; 51:5. Ec 2:17, 23. Mt 11:11.

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