Book of Job
Book of Job Death Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
'so that I would choose strangling
and death rather than this body.
I loathe my life; I would not live for ever.
Let me alone, for my days are a breath.
What are human beings, that you make so much of them,
that you set your mind on them,
visit them every morning,
test them every moment?
Will you not look away from me for a while,
let me alone until I swallow my spittle?
If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of humanity?
Why have you made me your target?
Why have I become a burden to you?
Why do you not pardon my transgression
and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in the earth;
you will seek me, but I shall not be.' (NRSV 7:15-21)
So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life.
I loathe it; I would not live always: let me alone; for my days are vanity.
What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?
And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?
How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?
I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?
And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be. (KJV 7:15-21)
Job makes the case here that death will hide him. After the whole nasty sores fiasco, he would choose death over existing in this pain and humiliation.
This passage highlights one of the Book of Job's best style choices: rhetorical questions. These characters are all about asking questions to get their listeners thinking—they don't really want an answer. In fact, there usually isn't an answer.
This time, Job is arguing that by the rules of that logic, God shouldn't be punishing him. Later on, we'll see that God uses this same strategy, but expands the scale of the questions.
'It is all one; therefore I say,
he destroys both the blameless and the wicked.
When disaster brings sudden death,
he mocks at the calamity of the innocent.' (NRSV 9:22-23)
This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked.
If the scourge slay suddenly, he will laugh at the trial of the innocent. (KJV 9:22-23)
Everyone dies, but God survives…to laugh? What do you think of how God is portrayed here? Does God himself address these questions in his speech? What about in the frame story?
'Remember that you fashioned me like clay;
and will you turn me to dust again?' (NRSV 10:9)
Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again? (KJV 10:9)
Dust is a certainty—Job understands that. But if God is going to kill Job off, Job thinks he deserves an explanation first.