Job Chapter 17  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Job 17
Job 17:1

“spirit is broken.” If this is speaking of Job’s “spirit,” as most scholars maintain, then this is the use of “spirit” that refers to the activities of the mind: the thoughts, attitudes, and emotions. It is possible, however, that Job is saying “my breath is corrupt,” referring to the sickness that he has which produces bad breath and portents of possible death in the near future.a

[For more on the uses of “spirit” as breath or as activities of the mind, see Appendix 6, “Usages of ‘Spirit.’”]

Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament: Job, 292, 93.
Job 17:2(top)
Job 17:3(top)
Job 17:4(top)
Job 17:5(top)
Job 17:6(top)
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Job 17:8(top)
Job 17:9(top)
Job 17:10

“come on again.” That is, “try again” (cp. HCSB).

Job 17:11

“My days are over.” More literally, “My days are past.” Job sees his life as behind him now.

Job 17:12

“They change the night into day.” They are in darkness, but they make it sound like being in the light by saying the light is near.

Job 17:13

“If I look for Sheol to be my house.” Job is saying, “If I wait for Sheol to be the home where I am….” Sheol is the state of being dead. Job knows that if he dies he will be truly dead, not alive in any form or place. Job does not mention that if he dies he will live in heaven, “Hell” or any other place, he knows he will be dead, lifeless.

[For more information on the dead being truly dead, see Appendix 4, “The Dead are Dead.”]

“spread out my bed in the darkness.” In biblical times the “bed” was thick blankets that were rolled up during the day and spread out at night. Job speaks as if he spread out his bed “in the darkness,” that is, in the darkness of death.

Job 17:14

“the pit.” This is idiomatic for death and the grave.

Job 17:15

“hope for me.” The Hebrew is more literally, “my hope,” but that makes the meaning unclear in English.

Job 17:16

“the gates of Sheol.” Sheol is the state of being dead, and there is no escape from it except by being raised from the dead by God. Because of that, Sheol is compared to a prison that has “gates” and from which no one can escape without God’s help. These “gates” are referred to as the “gates of Sheol” (Job 17:16; Isa. 38:10) and “the gates of death” (Job 38:17; Ps. 9:13; 107:18). Jesus Christ referred to the gates in Matthew 16:18 where in many versions they are translated as “the gates of Hell.”

[For more on these gates, see commentary on Matt. 16:18. For more on Sheol, see commentary on Rev. 20:13. For more on dead people being dead, lifeless in every way, see Appendix 4, “The Dead are Dead.”]


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