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Job 7:17

    Job 7:17 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    What is man, that you should magnify him? and that you should set your heart on him?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him, And that thou shouldest set thy mind upon him,

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    What is man, that you have made him great, and that your attention is fixed on him,

    Webster's Revision

    What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him, And that thou shouldest set thy mind upon him,

    World English Bible

    What is man, that you should magnify him, that you should set your mind on him,

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him, and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him,

    Clarke's Commentary on Job 7:17

    What is man that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? - Two different ideas have been drawn from these words: -

    1. Man is not worth thy notice; why therefore dost thou contend with him?

    2. How astonishing is thy kindness that thou shouldest fix thy heart - thy strongest affections, on such a poor, base, vile, impotent creature as man, (אנוש enosh), that thou shouldest so highly exalt him beyond all other creatures, and mark him with the most particular notice of thy providence and grace!

    The paraphrase of Calmet is as follows: "Does man, such as he at present is, merit thy attention! What is man that God should make it his business to examine, try, prove, and afflict him? Is it not doing him too much honor to think thus seriously about him? O Lord! I am not worthy that thou shouldest concern thyself about me!"

    Barnes' Notes on Job 7:17

    What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? - That thou shouldst make him great, or that thou shouldst regard him as of so great importance as to fix thine eye attentively upon him. The idea here is, that it was unworthy the character of so great a being as God to bestow so much time and attention on a creature so insignificant as man; and especially that man could not be of so much importance that it was necessary for God to watch all his defects with vigilance, and take special pains to mark and punish all his offences. This question might be asked in another sense, and with another view. Man is so insignificant compared with God, that it may be asked why he should so carefully provide for his needs? Why make so ample provision for his welfare? Why institute measures so amazing and so wonderful for his recovery from sin? The answers to all these questions must be substantially the same.

    (1) It is a part of the great plan of a condescending God. No insect is so small as to be beneath his notice. On the humblest and feeblest animalcula a care is bestowed in its formation and support as if God had nothing else to regard or provide for.

    (2) Man is of importance. He has an immortal soul, and the salvation of that soul is worth all which it costs, even when it costs the blood of the Son of God.

    (3) A creature who sins, always makes himself of importance. The murderer has an importance in the view of the community which he never had before. All good citizens become interested to arrest and punish him. There is no more certain way for a man to give consequence to himself, than to violate the laws, and to subject himself to punishment. An offending member of a family has an importance which he had not before, and all eyes are turned to him with deep interest. So it is with man - a part of the great family of God.

    (4) A sufferer is a being of importance, and man as a sufferer is worthy of the notice of God. However feeble may be the powers of anyone, or humble his rank, yet if he suffers, and especially if he is likely to suffer forever, he becomes at once an object of the highest importance: Such is man; a sufferer here, and liable to eternal pain hereafter; and hence, the God of mercy has interposed to visit him, and to devise a way to rescue him from his sorrows, and from eternal death. The Syriac renders this, "What is man, that thou shouldst destroy him?" - but the Hebrew means. "to magnify him, to make him great or of importance."

    That thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? - Not with affection, but to punish him - for so the expression in this connection evidently means. The phrase itself might mean, "Why shouldst thou love him?" - implying that there was nothing in a creature so insignificant that could render him a proper object of the divine regard. But as used here by Job it means, "Why dost thou fix thy attention upon him so closely - marking the slightest offence, and seeming to take a special pleasure in inflicting pain and torture?" The Psalmist makes use of almost the same language, and not improbably copied it from this, though he employs it in a somewhat different sense. As used by him, it means that it was wonderful that the God who made the heavens should condescend to notice a creature so insignificant as man.

    When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers;

    The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

    What is man, that thou art mindful of him?

    And the son of man, that thou visitest him:

    Wesley's Notes on Job 7:17

    7:17 What, and c. - What is there in that poor, mean, creature called man, miserable man, as this word signifies, which can induce thee to take any notice of him, or to make such account of him? Man is not worthy of thy favour, and he is below thy anger; that thou shouldest concern thyself so much about him, as one near and dear to thee?
    Book: Job