Job 13:14
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Why should I take my flesh in my teeth And put my life in my hands?

King James Bible
Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand?

Darby Bible Translation
Wherefore should I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand?

World English Bible
Why should I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand?

Young's Literal Translation
Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth? And my soul put in my hand?

Job 13:14 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth - The meaning of the proverbial expressions in this verse is not very clear. They indicate a state of great danger; but the exact sense of the proverbs it has been difficult to ascertain. Some have supposed that the phrase "to take the flesh in the teeth," is significant of a state of famine, where a man dying from this cause would cease upon his own flesh and devour it; others, that it refers to the contentions of voracious animals, struggling for a piece of flesh; others, that it refers to the fact that what is borne in the teeth is liable to be dropped, and that Job regarded his life as in such a perilous condition. Schultens regards it as denoting that bold courage in which a man exposes his life to imminent peril. He supposes that it is to be taken in connection with the previous verse, as intimating that he would go forward and speak at any rate, whatever might be the result.

He translates it, "Whatever may be the event, I will take my flesh in my teeth, and my life in my hand." In this interpretation Rosenmuller concurs. Noyes renders it, "I will count it nothing to bear my flesh in my teeth." Good, "Let what may - I will carry my flesh in my teeth; ' and supposes that the phrase is equivalent to saying, that he would incur any risk or danger. The proverb he supposes is taken from the contest which so frequently takes place between dogs and other carnivorous quadrupeds, when one of them is carrying a bone or piece of flesh in his mouth, which becomes a source of dispute and a prize to be fought for. The Vulgate renders it, "Quare lacero carnes meus dentibus meis." The Septuagint, "Taking my flesh in my teeth, I will put my life in my hand." It seems to me, that the language is to be taken in connection with the previous verse, and is not to be regarded as an interrogatory, but as a declaration. "Let come upon me anything - whatever it may be - מה mâh - Job 13:13 on account of that, or in reference to that - על־מה ‛al-mâh - Job 13:14, I will take my life in my hand, braving any and every danger."

It is a firm and determined purpose that he would express his sentiments, no matter what might occur - even if it involved the peril of his life. The word "flesh" I take to be synonymous with life, or with his best interests; and the figure is probably taken from the fact that animals thus carry their prey or spoil in their teeth. Of course, this would be a poor protection. It would be liable to be seized by others. It might even tempt and provoke others to seize it: and would lead to conflict and perils. So Job felt that the course he was pursuing would lead him into danger, but he was determined to pursue it, let come what might.

And put my life in mine hand - This is a proverbial expression, meaning the same as, I will expose myself to danger. Anything of value taken in the hand is liable to be rudely snatched away. It is like taking a casket of jewels, or a purse of gold, in the hand, which may at any moment be seized by robbers. The phrase is not uncommon in the Scriptures to denote exposure to great peril; compare Psalm 119:109, "My soul is continually in my hand;" 1 Samuel 19:5, "For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine;" Judges 12:3, "I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon." A similar expression occurs in the Greek Classics denoting exposure to imminent danger - ἐν τῇ χειρὶ τὴν ψυχὴν ἔχει en tē cheiri tēn psuchēn echei - "he has his life in his hand;" see Rosenmuller on Psalm 119:109. The Arabs have a somewhat similar proverb, as quoted by Schultens, "His flesh is upon a butcher's block."

Job 13:14 Parallel Commentaries

Whether Indulgences are as Effective as they Claim to Be?
Objection 1: It would seem that indulgences are not as effective as they claim to be. For indulgences have no effect save from the power of the keys. Now by the power of the keys, he who has that power can only remit some fixed part of the punishment due for sin, after taking into account the measure of the sin and of the penitent's sorrow. Since then indulgences depend on the mere will of the grantor, it seems that they are not as effective as they claim to be. Objection 2: Further, the debt of
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Fraud Pertains to Craftiness?
Objection 1: It would seem that fraud does not pertain to craftiness. For a man does not deserve praise if he allows himself to be deceived, which is the object of craftiness; and yet a man deserves praise for allowing himself to be defrauded, according to 1 Cor. 6:1, "Why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?" Therefore fraud does not belong to craftiness. Objection 2: Further, fraud seems to consist in unlawfully taking or receiving external things, for it is written (Acts 5:1) that
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

"And we all do Fade as a Leaf, and Our Iniquities, Like the Wind, have Taken us Away. "
Isaiah lxiv. 6.--"And we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Here they join the punishment with the deserving cause, their uncleanness and their iniquities, and so take it upon them, and subscribe to the righteousness of God's dealing. We would say this much in general--First, Nobody needeth to quarrel God for his dealing. He will always be justified when he is judged. If the Lord deal more sharply with you than with others, you may judge there is a difference
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Meditations against Despair, or Doubting of God's Mercy.
It is found by continual experience, that near the time of death, when the children of God are weakest, then Satan makes the greatest nourish of his strength, and assails them with his strongest temptations. For he knows that either he must now or never prevail; for if their souls once go to heaven, he shall never vex nor trouble them any more. And therefore he will now bestir himself as much as he can, and labour to set before their eyes all the gross sins which ever they committed, and the judgments
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Cross References
Judges 12:3
"When I saw that you would not deliver me, I took my life in my hands and crossed over against the sons of Ammon, and the LORD gave them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?"

1 Samuel 28:21
The woman came to Saul and saw that he was terrified, and said to him, "Behold, your maidservant has obeyed you, and I have taken my life in my hand and have listened to your words which you spoke to me.

Psalm 119:109
My life is continually in my hand, Yet I do not forget Your law.

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