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Job 29:18 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Then I said, I shall die in my nest, And I shall multiply my days as the sand:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply [my] days as the sand.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest, And I shall multiply [my] days as the sand.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply [my] days as the sand.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And I said, I shall die in my nest, and multiply my days as the sand;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then said I, Like a stem, shall I grow old, yea, as the sand, shall I multiply days:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And I say, 'With my nest I expire, And as the sand I multiply days.'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And I said: I shall die in my nest, and as a palm tree shall multiply my days.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiplie [my] dayes as the sand.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And I said, My age shall continue as the stem of a palm-tree; I shall live a long while.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply [my] days as the sand.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Then I said, 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
I shall die 1478
{1478} Prime
A primitive root; to breathe out, that is, (by implication) expire.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
in x5973
(5973) Complement
From H6004; adverb or preposition, with (that is, in conjunction with), in varied applications; specifically equally with; often with prepositional prefix (and then usually unrepresented in English).
my nest, 7064
{7064} Prime
Contracted from H7077; a nest (as fixed), sometimes including the nestlings; figuratively a chamber or dwelling.
and I shall multiply 7235
{7235} Prime
A primitive root; to increase (in whatever respect).
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
[my] 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).
as the sand. 2344
{2344} Prime
From H2342; sand (as round or whirling particles).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Job 29:18

_ _ I said — in my heart (Psalms 30:6).

_ _ in — rather, “with my nest”; as the second clause refers to long life. Instead of my family dying before me, as now, I shall live so long as to die with them: proverbial for long life. Job did realize his hope (Job 42:16). However, in the bosom of my family, gives a good sense (Numbers 24:21; Obadiah 1:4). Use “nest” for a secure dwelling.

_ _ sand — (Genesis 22:17; Habakkuk 1:9). But the Septuagint and Vulgate, and Jewish interpreters, favor the translation, “the phoenix bird.” “Nest” in the parallel clause supports the reference to a bird. “Sand” for multitude, applies to men, rather than to years. The myth was, that the phoenix sprang from a nest of myrrh, made by his father before death, and that he then came from Arabia (Job’s country) to Heliopolis (the city of the Sun) in Egypt, once in every five hundred years, and there burnt his father [Herodotus, 2:73]. Modern research has shown that this was the Egyptian mode of representing hieroglyphically a particular chronological era or cycle. The death and revival every five hundred years, and the reference to the sun, implies such a grand cycle commencing afresh from the same point in relation to the sun from which the previous one started. Job probably refers to this.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Job 29:18-25

_ _ That which crowned Job's prosperity was the pleasing prospect he had of the continuance of it. Though he knew, in general, that he was liable to trouble, and therefore was not secure (Job 3:26, I was not in safety, neither had I rest), yet he had no particular occasion for fear, but as much reason as ever any man had to count upon the lengthening out of his tranquility.

_ _ I. See here what his thoughts were in his prosperity (Job 29:18): Then I said, I shall die in my nest. Having made himself a warm and easy nest, he hoped nothing would disturb him in it, nor remove him out of it, till death removed him. He knew he had never stolen any coal from the altar which might fire his nest; he saw no storm arising to shake down his nest; and therefore concluded, To morrow shall be as this day; as David (Psalms 30:6), My mountain stands strong, and shall not be moved. Observe, 1. In the midst of his prosperity he thought of dying, and the thought was not uneasy to him. He knew that, though his nest was high, it did not set him out of the reach of the darts of death. 2. Yet he flattered himself with vain hopes, (1.) That he should live long, should multiply his days as the sand. He means as the sand on the sea-shore; whereas we should rather reckon our days by the sand in the hourglass, which will have run out in a little time. See how apt even good people are to think of death as a thing at a distance, and to put far from them that evil day, which will really be to them a good day. (2.) That he should die in the same prosperous state in which he had lived. If such an expectation as this arise from a lively faith in the providence and promise of God, it is well, but if from a conceit of our own wisdom, and the stability of these earthly things, it is ill-grounded and turns into sin. We hope Job's confidence was like David's (Psalms 27:1, Whom shall I fear?), not like the rich fool's (Luke 12:19), Soul, take thy ease.

_ _ II. See what was the ground of these thoughts.

_ _ 1. If he looked at home, he found he had a good foundation. His stock was all his own, and none of all his neighbours had any demand upon him. He found no bodily distemper growing upon him; his estate did not lie under any incumbrance; nor was he sensible of any worm at the root of it. He was getting forward in his affairs, and not going behind-hand; he lost no reputation, but gained rather; he knew no rival that threatened either to eclipse his honour or abridge his power. See how he describes this, Job 29:19, Job 29:20. He was like a tree whose root is not only spread out, which fixes it and keeps it firm, so that it is in no danger of being overturned, but spread out by the waters, which feed it, and make it fruitful and flourishing, so that it is in no danger of withering. And, as he thought himself blessed with the fatness of the earth, so also with the kind influences of heaven too; for the dew lay all night upon his branch. Providence favoured him, and made all his enjoyments comfortable and all his enterprises successful. Let none think to support their prosperity with what they draw from this earth without that blessing which is derived from above. God's favour being continued to Job, in the virtue of that his glory was still fresh in him. Those about him had still something new to say in his praise, and needed not to repeat the old stories: and it is only by constant goodness that men's glory is thus preserved fresh and kept from withering and growing stale. His bow also was renewed in his hand, that is, his power to protect himself and annoy those that assailed him still increased, so that he thought he had as little reason as any man to fear the insults of the Sabeans and Chaldeans.

_ _ 2. If he looked abroad, he found he had a good interest and well confirmed. As he had no reason to dread the power of his enemies, so neither had he any reason to distrust the fidelity of his friends. To the last moment of his prosperity they continued their respect to him and their dependence on him. What had he to fear who so gave counsel as in effect to give law to all his neighbours? Nothing surely could be done against him when really nothing was done without him.

_ _ (1.) He was the oracle of his country. He was consulted as an oracle, and his dictates were acquiesced in as oracles, Job 29:21. When others could not be heard all men gave ear to him, and kept silence at his counsel, knowing that, as nothing could be said against it, so nothing needed to be added to it. And therefore, after his words, they spoke not again, Job 29:22. Why should men meddle with a subject that has already been exhausted?

_ _ (2.) He was the darling of his country. All about him were well pleased with every thing he said and did, as David's people were with him, 2 Samuel 3:36. He had the hearts and affections of all his neighbours, all his servants, tenants, subjects; never was man so much admired nor so well beloved. [1.] Those were thought happy to whom he spoke, and they thought themselves so. Never were the dews of heaven so acceptable to the parched ground as his wise discourses were to those that attended on them, especially to those to whom they were particularly accommodated and directed. His speech dropped upon them, and they waited for its as for the rain (Job 29:22, Job 29:23), wondering at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, catching at them, laying hold on them, and treasuring them up as apophthegms. His servants that stood continually before him to hear his wisdom would not have envied Solomon's. Those are wise, or are likely to be so, that know how to value wise discourse, that wish for it, and wait for it, and drink it in as the earth does the rain that comes often upon it, Hebrews 6:7. And those who have such an interest as Job had in the esteem of others whose ipse dixitbare assertion goes so far, as they have a great opportunity of doing good, so they must take great care lest they do hurt, for a bad word out of their mouths is very infectious. [2.] Much more happy were those thought on whom he smiled, and they thought themselves so, Job 29:24. “If I laughed on them, designing thereby to show myself pleased in them, or pleasant with them, it was such a favour that they believed it not for joy,” or because it was so rare a thing to see this grave man smile. Many seek the ruler's favour. Job was a ruler whose favour was courted and valued at a high rate. He to whom a great prince gave a kiss was envied by another to whom he only gave a golden cup. Familiarity often breeds contempt; but if Job at any time saw fit, for his own diversion, to make himself free with those about him, yet it did not in the least diminish the veneration they had for him: The light of his countenance they cast not down. So wisely did he dispense his favours as not to make them cheap, and so wisely did they receive them as not to make themselves unworthy of them another time.

_ _ (3.) He was the sovereign of his country, Job 29:25. He chose out their way, sat at the helm, and steered for them, all referring themselves to his conduct and submitting themselves to his command. To this perhaps, in many countries, monarchy owed its rise: such a man as Job, that so far excelled all his neighbours in wisdom and integrity, could not but sit chief, and the fool will, of course, be servant to the wise in heart: and, if the wisdom did but for a while run in the blood, the honour and power would certainly attend it and so by degrees become hereditary. Two things recommended Job to the sovereignty: — [1.] That he had the authority of a commander or general. He dwelt as a king in the army, giving orders which were not to be disputed. Every one that has the spirit of wisdom has not the spirit of government, but Job had both, and, when there was occasion, could assume state, as the king in the army does, and say, “Go,” “Come,” and “Do this,” Matthew 8:9. [2.] That yet he had the tenderness of a comforter. He was as ready to succour those in distress as if it had been his office to comfort the mourners. Eliphaz himself owned he had been very good in that respect (Job 4:3): Thou hast strengthened the weak hands. And this he now reflected upon with pleasure, when he was himself a mourner. But we find it easier to comfort others with the comforts wherewith we ourselves have been formerly comforted than to comfort ourselves with those comforts wherewith we have formerly comforted others.

_ _ I know not but we may look upon Job as a type and figure of Christ in his power and prosperity. Our Lord Jesus is such a King as Job was, the poor man's King, who loves righteousness and hates iniquity, and upon whom the blessing of a world ready to perish comes; see Psalms 72:2, etc. To him therefore let us give ear, and let him sit chief in our hearts.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Job 29:18

Multiply — See how apt even good men are, to set death at a distance from them!

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Job 29:18

Then I said, I shall die in my (m) nest, and I shall multiply [my] days as the sand.

(m) That is, at home in my bed without all trouble and unquietness.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
I shall die:

Psalms 30:6-7 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. ... LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, [and] I was troubled.
Jeremiah 22:23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!
Jeremiah 49:16 Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, [and] the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.
Obadiah 1:4 Though thou exalt [thyself] as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.
Habakkuk 2:9 Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!


Job 5:26 Thou shalt come to [thy] grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season.
Job 42:16-17 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, [even] four generations. ... So Job died, [being] old and full of days.
Psalms 91:16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

as the sand:

Genesis 32:12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
Genesis 41:49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for [it was] without number.
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Gn 32:12; 41:49. Jb 5:26; 42:16. Ps 30:6; 91:16. Jr 22:23; 49:16. Ob 1:4. Hab 2:9.

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