New American Standard Bible
"Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, So that I am a burden to myself?
King James Bible
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?
Darby Bible Translation
Have I sinned, what do I unto thee, thou Observer of men? Why hast thou set me as an object of assault for thee, so that I am become a burden to myself?
World English Bible
If I have sinned, what do I do to you, you watcher of men? Why have you set me as a mark for you, so that I am a burden to myself?
Young's Literal Translation
I have sinned, what do I to Thee, O watcher of man? Why hast Thou set me for a mark to Thee, And I am for a burden to myself -- and what?
Job 7:20 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
I have sinned - חטאתי châṭâ'tı̂y. This is a literal translation, and as it stands in the common version it is the language of a penitent - confessing that he had erred, and making humble acknowledgment of his sins. That such a confession became Job, and that he would be willing to admit that he was a sinner, there can be no doubt; but the connection seems rather to require a different sense - a sense implying that though he had sinned, yet his offences could not be such as to require the notice which God had taken of them. Accordingly this interpretation has been adopted by many, and the Hebrew will bear the construction. It may be rendered as a question, "Have I sinned; what did I against thee" Herder. Or, the sense may be, "I have sinned. I admit it. Let this be conceded. But what can that be to a being like God, that he should take such notice of it? Have I injured him? Have I deserved these heavy trials? Is it proper that he should make me a special mark, and direct his severest judgments against me in this manner?" compare the notes at -Job 35:6-8. The Syriac renders it in this manner, "If I have sinned, what have I done to thee?" So the Arabic, according to Walton. So the Septuagint, Εἰ ἐγὼ ἥμαρτον Ei egō hēmarton - "if I have sinned." This expresses the true sense. The object is not so much to make a penitent confession, as it is to say, that on the worst construction of the case, on the admission of the truth of the charge, he had not deserved the severe inflictions which he had received at the hand of God.
What shall I do unto thee? - Or, rather, what have I done unto thee? How can my conduct seriously affect thee? It will not mar thy happiness, affect thy peace, or in any way injure a being so great as God. This sentiment is often felt by people - but not often so honestly expressed.
O thou Preserver of men - Or, rather, "O thou that dost watch or observe men." The word rendered "Preserver" נצר notsēr is a participle from נצר nâtsar which means, according to Gesenius, to watch, to guard, to keep, and is used here in the sense of observing one's faults; and the idea of Job is, that God closely observed the conduct of people; that he strictly marked their faults, and severely punished them; and he asks with impatience, and evidently with improper feeling, why he thus closely watched people. So it is understood by Schultens, Rosenmuller, Dr. Good, Noyes, Herder, Kennicott, and others. The Septuagint renders it, "who knowest the mind of men?"
Why hast thou set me as a mark? - The word rendered "mark" מפגע mı̂phgâ‛, means properly that which one impinges against - from פגע pâga‛, to impinge against, to meet, to rush upon anyone - and here means, why has God made me such an object of attack or assault? The Septuagint renders it, κατεντευκτήν σου katenteuktēn sou, "an accuser of thee."
So that I am a burden to myself - The Septuagint renders this, ἐπὶ σοὶ φορτίον epi soi phortion, a burden to thee. The copy from which they translated evidently had עליך ‛alēykā - to thee, instead of עלי ‛ālay - to me, as it is now read in the Hebrew. "The Masoretes also place this among the eighteen passages which they say were altered by transcribers." Noyes. But the Received Text is sustained by all the versions except the Septuagint and by all the Hebrew manuscripts hitherto examined, and is doubtless the true reading. The sense is plain, that life had become a burden to Job. He says that God had made him the special object of his displeasure, and that his condition was insupportable. That there is much in this language which is irreverent and improper no one can doubt, and it is not possible wholly to vindicate it. Nor are we called to do it by any view which we have of the nature of inspiration. He was a good, but not a perfect man. These expressions are recorded, not for our imitation, but to show what human nature is. Before harshly condemning him, however, we should ask what we would be likely to do in his circumstances; we should remember also, that he had few of the truths and promises to support him which we have.
Library"Am I a Sea, or a Whale?"
On Thursday Evening, May 7th, 1891. "Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?"--Job 7:12. JOB WAS IN GREAT PAIN when he thus bitterly complained. These moans came from him when his skin was broken and had become loathsome and he sat upon a dunghill and scraped himself with a potsherd. We wonder at his patience, but we do not wonder at his impatience. He had fits of complaining, and failed in that very patience for which he was noted. Where God's saints are most glorious, there you …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891
Whether the Aureole is the Same as the Essential Reward which is Called the Aurea?
"And we all do Fade as a Leaf, and Our Iniquities, Like the Wind, have Taken us Away. "
The Sinner Stripped of his Vain Pleas.
If I sin, then You would take note of me, And would not acquit me of my guilt.
"I was at ease, but He shattered me, And He has grasped me by the neck and shaken me to pieces; He has also set me up as His target.
"For you say, 'What advantage will it be to You? What profit will I have, more than if I had sinned?'
"If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against Him? And if your transgressions are many, what do you do to Him?
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; Your judgments are like a great deep. O LORD, You preserve man and beast.
He bent His bow And set me as a target for the arrow.
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