Job 14:8
Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
14:7-15 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.Though the root thereof wax old - Though life becomes almost extinct. The idea is, though the root of the tree be very old, yet it does not become wholly lifeless. It is not like an old man, when life goes out altogether. In the very aged root there will be vitality still; but not so in man.

Though the stock thereof - The stump - literally that which is cut off - גזעוּ geza‛ô. The meaning is, that when the trunk of the tree is cut down and dies altogether, life remains in the root; but when man fails, life is wholly extinct.

7. Man may the more claim a peaceful life, since, when separated from it by death, he never returns to it. This does not deny a future life, but a return to the present condition of life. Job plainly hopes for a future state (Job 14:13; Job 7:2). Still, it is but vague and trembling hope, not assurance; excepting the one bright glimpse in Job 19:25. The Gospel revelation was needed to change fears, hopes, and glimpses into clear and definite certainties. Wax old; begin to wither and decay.

And the stock die, to wit, in outward appearance. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth,.... Lies long there, and is become dry, and seems to be consumed, on which account there may be the less hope of its flourishing:

and the stock thereof die in the ground; which may make it still more improbable; for this is not to be understood with some interpreters (y) of the stock or trunk of the tree cut down, and lying along on the earth, and in the dust of it; though it may be observed, that even such a stock or trunk, separated from the root, and as it lies along, will sprout again, as particularly in elms: but it may rather mean, since it is said to be "in the ground", that part of the stock or stump left in the ground, from whence the roots part and spread in the earth; and even though this dies, or at least so seems, yet there being still life and vigour in the roots, they send forth suckers.

(y) So Piscator and Cocceius.

Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 8, 9. - Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. After the stump is actually dead, suckers may be thrown up from the roots, if sufficient water be supplied to them; and these will put forth branches luxuriantly. 1 Man that is born of a woman,

Short of days and full of unrest,

2 Cometh forth as a flower and is cut down;

He fleeth as a shadow, and continueth not.

3 Moreover, Thou openest Thine eyes upon him,

And Thou drawest me before Thy tribunal.

Even if he yields to the restraint which his suffering imposes on him, to regard himself as a sinner undergoing punishment, he is not able to satisfy himself by thus persuading himself to this view of God's conduct towards him. How can God pass so strict a judgment on man, whose life is so short and full of sorrow, and which cannot possibly be pure from sin? - Job 14:1. אדם is followed by three clauses in apposition, or rather two, for אשּׁה ילוּד (lxx γεννητὸς γυναικός, as Matthew 11:11; comp. γέννημα γυν. Sir. 10:18) belongs to the subject as an adjectival clause: woman-born man, short-lived, and full of unrest, opens out as a flower. Woman is weak, with pain she brings forth children; she is impure during her lying-in, therefore weakness, suffering, and impurity is the portion of man even from the birth (Job 15:14; Job 25:4). As קצר is the constr. of קצר, so (רגז) שׂבע is from שׂבע, which here, as Job 10:15, has the strong signification: endowed (with adversity). It is questionable whether ויּמּל, Job 14:2, signifies et marcescit or et succiditur. We have decided here as elsewhere (vid., on Psalm 37:2; Psalm 90:6, Genesis, S. 383) in favour of the latter meaning, and as the Targ. (אתמולל), translated "he is mown down." For this meaning (prop. to cut off from above or before, to lop off), - in which the verb מלל (מוּל נמל) is become technical for the περιτομή, - is most probably favoured by its application in Job 24:24; where Jerome however translates, sicut summitates spicarum conterentur, since he derives ימלו from מלל in the signification not found in the Bible (unless perhaps retained in מלילה ni , Deuteronomy 23:25), fricare (Arab. mll, frigere, to parch). At the same time, the signification marcescere, which certainly cannot be combined with praecidere, but may be with fricare (conterere), is not unnatural; it is more appropriate to a flower (comp. נבל ציץ, Isaiah 40:7); it accords with the parallelism Psalm 37:2, and must be considered etymologically possible in comparison with ק־מל א־מל. But it is not supported by any dialect, and none of the old translations furnish any certain evidence in its favour; ימולל, Psalm 90:6, which is to be understood impersonally rather than intransitively, does not favour it; and none of the passages in which ימּל occurs demand it: least of all Job 24:24, where praeciduntur is more suitable than, and Job 18:16, praeciditur, quite as suitable as, marcescit. For these reasons we also take ויּמּל here, not as fut. Kal from מלל, or, as Hahn, from נמל equals נבל, to wither, but as fut. Niph. from מלל, to cut down. At the same time, we do not deny the possibility of the notion of withering having been connected with ימל, whether it be that it belonged originally and independently to the root מל, or has branched off from some other radical notion, as "to fall in pieces" (lxx here ἐξέπεσεν, and similarly also Job 18:16; Job 24:24; comp. מלחים, rags, נמלח, to come to pieces, to be dissolved) or "to become soft" (with which the significations in the dialects, to grind and to parch, may be connected). As a flower, which having opened out is soon cut or withered, is man: אף, accedit quod, insuper. This particle, related to ἐπὶ, adds an enhancing cumulat. More than this, God keeps His eye open (not: His eyes, for the correct reading, expressly noted by the Masora, is עינך without Jod plur.), על־זה, super hoc s. tali, over this poor child of man, who is a perishable flower, and not a "walking light, but a fleeting shadow" (Gregory the Great), to watch for and punish his sins, and brings Job to judgment before himself, His tribunal which puts down every justification. Elsewhere the word is pointed במשׁפט, Job 9:32; Job 22:4; here it is במשׁפט, because the idea is rendered determinate by the addition of עמך.

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