The Sin of Youth in the Bones of Age
Job 20:11
His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust.

Expositors differ in their exposition of a text in which so material a word as "the sin" is supplied by our translators. "His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust" — the italicised words not occurring in the original. The Vulgate version is in favour of ours, "His bones are full of the sins of his youth"; while the Septuagint has it, "His bones are full of his youth"; in accordance with which rendering, Gesenius and others take the passage to mean, full of vigour, so that the man is cut off in his physical prime. Dr. Good's reading is, "His secret sins shall follow his bones, yea, they shall press upon him in the dust." Others take the literal Hebrew, "His bones are full of secret things," to refer to the hidden, long-cherished faults of his life — the corrupt habits secretly indulged, which would "adhere to him, leaving a withering influence on his whole system in advancing years." "His secret lusts would work his certain ruin," the effect being that which, as a popular commentator says, is so often seen, when vices corrupt the very physical frame, and where the results are seen far on in future life. In this sense be the text accepted here. Graphic, after the manner of the man, is Dr. South's picture of the old age that comes to wail upon what he calls a "great and worshipful sinner," who for many years together has had the reputation of eating well and doing ill. "It comes (as it ought to do to a person of such quality) attended with a long train and retinue of rheums, coughs, catarrhs, and dropsies, together with many painful girds and achings, which are at least called the gout. How does such a one go about, or is carried rather, with his body bending inward, his head shaking, and his eyes always watering (instead of weeping) for the sins of his ill-spent youth: In a word, old age seizes upon such a person like fire upon a rotten house; it was rotten before, and must have fallen of itself, so that it is no more but one ruin preventing another." Virtue, we are admonished, is a friend and a help to nature; but it is vice and luxury that destroy it, and the diseases of intemperance are the natural product of the sins of intemperance. "Chastity makes no work for a chirurgeon, nor ever ends in rottenness of bones." Whereas, sin is the fruitful parent of distempers, and ill lives occasion good physicians.

(Francis Jacox.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust.

WEB: His bones are full of his youth, but youth shall lie down with him in the dust.

The Sin of Youth
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