Job 7:21
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Why then do You not pardon my transgression And take away my iniquity? For now I will lie down in the dust; And You will seek me, but I will not be."

King James Bible
And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.

Darby Bible Translation
And why dost not thou forgive my transgression and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I lie down in the dust, and thou shalt seek me early, and I shall not be.

World English Bible
Why do you not pardon my disobedience, and take away my iniquity? For now shall I lie down in the dust. You will seek me diligently, but I shall not be."

Young's Literal Translation
Thou dost not take away my transgression, And cause to pass away mine iniquity, Because now, for dust I lie down: And Thou hast sought me -- and I am not!

Job 7:21 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And why dost thou not pardon my transgression? - Admitting that I have sinned Job 7:20, yet why dost thou not forgive me? I shall soon pass away from the land of the living. I may be sought but I shall not be found. No one would be injured by my being pardoned - since I am so short-lived, and so unimportant in the scale of being. No one can be benefited by pursuing a creature of a day, such as I am, with punishment. Such seems to be the meaning of this verse. It is the language of complaint, and is couched in language filled with irreverence. Still it is language such as awakened and convicted sinners often use, and expresses the feelings which often pass through their hearts. They admit that they are sinners. They know that they must be pardoned or they cannot be saved. They are distressed at the remembrance of guilt, and under this state of mind, deeply convicted and distressed, they ask with a complaining spirit why God does not pardon them? Why does he allow them to remain in this state of agitation, suspense, and deep distress? Who could be injured by their being forgiven? Of what consequence to others can it be that they should not be forgiven? How can God be benefited by his not pardoning them? It may not be easy to answer these questions in a manner wholly satisfactory; but perhaps the following may be some of the reasons why Job had not the evidence of forgiveness which he now desired, and why the convicted sinner has not. The main reason is, that they are not in a state of mind to make it proper to forgive them.

(1) There is a feeling that they have a claim on God for pardon, or that it would be wrong for God not to pardon them. When people feel that they have a claim on God for pardon, they cannot be forgiven. The very notion of pardon implies that it must be when there is no claim existing or felt.

(2) There is no proper submission to God - to his views, his terms, his plan. In order that pardon may be extended to the guilty, there should be acquiescence in God's own terms, and time, and mode. The sinner must resign himself into his hands, to be forgiven or not as he pleases - feeling that the whole question is lodged in his bosom, and that if he should not forgive, still it would be right, and his throne would be pure. In particular, under the Christian method of pardon, there must be entire acquiescence in the plan of salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ; a willingness to accept of forgiveness, not on the ground of personal claim, but on the ground of his merits; and it is because the convicted sinner is not willing to be pardoned in this way, that he remains unforgiven. There should be a feeling, also, that it would be right for God to pardon others, if he pleases, even though we are not saved; and it is often because the convicted sinner is not willing that that should be done, because he feels that it would be wrong in God to save others and not him, that he is not forgiven. The sinner is often suffered to remain in this state until he is brought to acquiesce in the right of a sovereign God to save whom he pleases.

(3) There is a complaining spirit - and that is a reason why the sinner is not forgiven. That was manifestly the case with Job; and when that exists, how can God forgive? How can a parent pardon an offending child, when he is constantly complaining of his injustice and of the severity of his government? This very spirit is a new offence, and a new reason why he should be punished. So the awakened sinner murmurs. He complains of the government of God as too severe; of his law, as too strict; of his dealings, as harsh and unkind. He complains of his sufferings, and thinks they are wholly beyond his deserts. He complains of the doctrines of the Bible as mysterious, incomprehensible, and unjust. In this state how can he be forgiven? God often suffers the awakened sinner, therefore, to remain under conviction for sin, until he is willing to acquiesce in all his claims, and to submit without a complaint; and then, and not until then, he extends forgiveness to the guilty and troubled spirit.

For now shall I sleep in the dust - On the word sleep, as applied to death, see the notes at Job 3:13. The meaning is, that he was soon to die. He urges the shortness of the time which remained to him as a reason why his afflictions should be lightened, and why he should be pardoned. If God had anything that he could do for him, it must be done soon. But only a brief period remained, and Job seems to be impatient lest the whole of his life should be gone, and he should sleep in the dust without evidence that his sins were pardoned. Olympiodorus, as quoted by Rosenmuller, expresses the sense in the following manner: "If, therefore, I am so short-lived (or momentary, πρόσκαιρος proskairos) and obnoxious to death, and must die after a short time, and shall no more arise, as if from sleep, why dost not thou suffer the little space of life to be free from punishment?"

And thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be - That is, thou shalt seek to find me after I have slept in the dust, as if with the expectation that I should wake, but I shall not be found. My sleep will be perpetual, and I shall no more return to the land of the living. The idea seems to be, that if God were to show him any favor, it must be done soon. His death, which must happen soon, would put it out of the power even of God to show him mercy on earth, if he should relent and be inclined to favor him. He seems not to doubt that God would be disposed yet to show him favor; that he would be inclined to pardon him, and to relax the severity of his dealings with him, but he says that if it were done it must be done soon, and seems to apprehend that it would be delayed so long that it could not be done. The phrase "in the morning" here is used with reference to the sleep which he had just mentioned.

We sleep at night, and awake and arise in the morning. Job says it would not be so with him in the sleep of death. He would awake no more; he could no more be found. - In this chapter there is much language of bitter complaint, and much which we cannot justify. It should not be taken as a model for our language when we are afflicted, though Job may have only expressed what has passed through the heart of many an afflicted child of God. We should not judge him harshly. Let us ask ourselves how we would have done if we had been in similar circumstances. Let us remember that he had comparatively few of the promises which we have to comfort us, and few of the elevated views of truth as made known by revelation, which we have to uphold us in trial. Let us be thankful that when we suffer, promises and consolations meet us on every hand. The Bible is open before us - rich with truth, and bright with promise.

Let us remember that death is not as dark and dismal to us as it was to the pious in the time of the patriarchs - and that the grave is not now to us as dark and chilly, and gloomy, and comfortless an abode. To their view, the shadow of death cast a melancholy chillness over all the regions of the dead; to us the tomb is enlightened by Christian hope. The empire of Death has been invaded, and his power has been taken away. Light has been shed around the tomb, and the grave to us is the avenue to immortal life; the pathway on which the lamp of salvation shines, to eternal glory. Let us not complain, therefore, when we are afflicted, as if the blessing were long delayed, or as if it could not be conferred should we soon die. If withheld here, it will be imparted in a better world, and we should be willing to bear trials in this short life, with the sure promise that God will meet and bless us when we pass the confines of life, and enter the world of glory.

Job 7:21 Parallel Commentaries

"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?
Objection 1: It would seem that the aureole is not distinct from the essential reward which is called the "aurea." For the essential reward is beatitude itself. Now according to Boethius (De Consol. iii), beatitude is "a state rendered perfect by the aggregate of all goods." Therefore the essential reward includes every good possessed in heaven; so that the aureole is included in the "aurea." Objection 2: Further, "more" and "less" do not change a species. But those who keep the counsels and commandments
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

The Sinner Stripped of his Vain Pleas.
1, 2. The vanity of those pleas which sinners may secretly confide in, is so apparent that they will be ashamed at last to mention them before God.--3. Such as, that they descended from pious us parents.--4. That they had attended to the speculative part of religion.--5. That they had entertained sound notion..--6, 7. That they had expressed a zealous regard to religion, and attended the outward forms of worship with those they apprehended the purest churches.--8. That they had been free from gross
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

Cross References
Job 3:13
"For now I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept then, I would have been at rest,

Job 7:8
"The eye of him who sees me will behold me no longer; Your eyes will be on me, but I will not be.

Job 8:1
Then Bildad the Shuhite answered,

Job 9:28
I am afraid of all my pains, I know that You will not acquit me.

Job 10:9
'Remember now, that You have made me as clay; And would You turn me into dust again?

Job 10:14
If I sin, then You would take note of me, And would not acquit me of my guilt.

Job 13:19
"Who will contend with me? For then I would be silent and die.

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