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Job 14:13-15 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The Possibility of Another Life

13 “O that[a] you would hide me in Sheol,[b]
and conceal me till your anger has passed![c]
O that you would set me a time[d]
and then remember me![e]
14 If a man dies, will he live again?[f]
All the days of my hard service[g] I will wait[h]
until my release comes.[i]
15 You will call[j] and I[k]—I will answer you;
you will long for[l] the creature you have made.[m]

Footnotes:

  1. Job 14:13 tn The optative mood is introduced here again with מִי יִתֵּן (mi yitten), literally, “who will give?” sn After arguing that man will die without hope, Job expresses his desire that there be a resurrection, and what that would mean. The ancients all knew that death did not bring existence to an end; rather, they passed into another place, but they continued to exist. Job thinks that death would at least give him some respite from the wrath of God, but this wrath would eventually be appeased, and then God would remember the one he had hidden in Sheol just as he remembered Noah. Once that happened, it would be possible that Job might live again.
  2. Job 14:13 sn Sheol in the Bible refers to the place where the dead go. But it can have different categories of meaning: death in general, the grave, or the realm of the departed spirits [hell]. A. Heidel shows that in the Bible when hell is in view the righteous are not there—it is the realm of the departed spirits of the wicked. When the righteous go to Sheol, the meaning is usually the grave or death. See chapter 3 in A. Heidel, The Gilgamesh Epic and the Old Testament Parallels.
  3. Job 14:13 tn The construction used here is the preposition followed by the infinitive construct followed by the subjective genitive, forming an adverbial clause of time.
  4. Job 14:13 tn This is the same word used in v. 5 for “limit.”
  5. Job 14:13 tn The verb זָכַר (zakhar) means more than simply “to remember.” In many cases, including this one, it means “to act on what is remembered,” i.e., deliver or rescue (see Gen 8:1, “and God remembered Noah”). In this sense, a prayer “remember me” is a prayer for God to act upon his covenant promises.
  6. Job 14:14 tc The LXX removes the interrogative and makes the statement affirmative, i.e., that man will live again. This reading is taken by D. H. Gard (“The Concept of the Future Life according to the Greek Translator of the Book of Job,” JBL 73 [1954]: 137-38). D. J. A. Clines follows this, putting both of the expressions in the wish clause: “if a man dies and could live again…” (Job [WBC], 332). If that is the way it is translated, then the verbs in the second half of the verse and in the next verse would all be part of the apodosis, and should be translated “would.” The interpretation would not greatly differ; it would be saying that if there was life after death, Job would long for his release—his death. If the traditional view is taken and the question was raised whether there was life after death (the implication of the question being that there is), then Job would still be longing for his death. The point the line is making is that if there is life after death, that would be all the more reason for Job to eagerly expect, to hope for, his death.
  7. Job 14:14 tn See Job 7:1.
  8. Job 14:14 tn The verb אֲיַחֵל (ʾayakhel) may be rendered “I will/would wait” or “I will/would hope.” The word describes eager expectation and longing hope.
  9. Job 14:14 tn The construction is the same as that found in the last verse: a temporal preposition עַד (ʿad) followed by the infinitive construct followed by the subjective genitive “release/relief.” Due, in part, to the same verb (חָלַף, khalaf) having the meaning “sprout again” in v. 7, some take “renewal” as the meaning here (J. E. Hartley, Alden, NIV, ESV).
  10. Job 14:15 sn The idea would be that God would sometime in the future call Job into his fellowship again when he longed for the work of his hands (cf. Job 10:3).
  11. Job 14:15 tn The independent personal pronoun is emphatic, as if to say, “and I on my part will answer.”
  12. Job 14:15 tn The word כָּסַף (kasaf) originally meant “to turn pale.” It expresses the sentiment that causes pallor of face, and so is used for desire ardently, covet. The object of the desire is always introduced with the ל (lamed) preposition (see E. Dhorme, Job, 202).
  13. Job 14:15 tn Heb “long for the work of your hands.”
New English Translation (NET)

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