Job 3:14


King James Version (KJV)

With kings and counsellors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves;

American King James Version (AKJV)

With kings and counsellors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves;

American Standard Version (ASV)

With kings and counsellors of the earth, Who built up waste places for themselves;

Basic English Translation (BBE)

With kings and the wise ones of the earth, who put up great houses for themselves;

Webster's Revision

With kings and counselors of the earth, who built desolate places for themselves;

World English Bible

with kings and counselors of the earth, who built up waste places for themselves;

English Revised Version (ERV)

With kings and counsellors of the earth, which built up waste places for themselves;

Clarke's Job 3:14 Bible Commentary

With kings and counsellors of the earth - I believe this translation to be perfectly correct. The counsellors, יעצי yoatsey, I suppose to mean the privy council, or advisers of kings; those without whose advice kings seldom undertake wars, expeditions, etc. These mighty agitators of the world are at rest in their graves, after the lives of commotion which they have led among men: most of whom indeed have been the troublers of the peace of the globe.

Which built desolate places - Who erect mausoleums, funeral monuments, sepulchral pyramids, etc., to keep their names from perishing, while their bodies are turned to corruption. I cannot think, with some learned men, that Job is here referring to those patriotic princes who employed themselves in repairing the ruins and desolations which others had occasioned. His simple idea is, that, had he died from the womb, he would have been equally at rest, neither troubling nor troubled, as those defunct kings and planners of wars and great designs are, who have nothing to keep even their names from perishing, but the monuments which they have raised to contain their corrupting flesh, moldering bones, and dust.

Barnes's Job 3:14 Bible Commentary

With kings - Reposing as they do. This is the language of calm meditation on what would have been the consequence if he had died when he was an infant. He seems to delight to dwell on it. He contrasts it with his present situation. He pauses on the thought that that would have been an honorable repose. He would have been numbered with kings and princes. Is there not here a little spice of ambition even in his sorrows and humilation? Job had been an eminently rich man; a man greatly honored; an emir; a magistrate; one in whose presence even princes refrained talking, and before whom nobles held their peace; Job 29:9. Now he was stripped of his honors, and made to sit in ashes. But had he died when an infant, he would have been numbered with kings and courtsellers, and would have shared their lot. Death is repulsive; but Job takes comfort in the thought that he would have been associated with the most exalted and honorable among people. There is some consolation in the idea that when an infant dies he is associated with the most honored and exalted of the race; there is consolation in the reflection that when we die we shall lie down with the good and the great of all past times, and that though our bodies shall moulder back to dust, and be forgotten, we are sharing the same lot with the most beautiful, lovely, wise, pious, and mighty of the race. To Christians there is the richest of all consolations in the thought that they will sleep as their Savior did in the tomb, and that the grave, naturally so repulsive, has been made sacred and even attractive by being the place where the Redeemer reposed.

Why should we tremble to convey

Their bodies to the tomb?

There the dear flesh of Jesus lay,

And left a long perfume.

The graves of all his saints he blessed,

And softened every bed:

Where should the dying members rest

But with the dying Head?

And counsellors of the earth - Great and wise men who were qualified to give counsel to kings in times of emergency.

Which built desolate places for themselves - Gesenius supposes that the word used here (חרבה chorbâh) means palaces which would soon be in ruins. So Noyes renders it, "Who build up for themselves - ruins!" That is, they build splendid palaces, or perhaps tombs, which are destined soon to fall to ruin. Dr. Good renders it, "Who restored to themselves the ruined wastes;" that is, the princes who restored to their former magnificence the ruins of ancient cities, and built their palaces in them But it seems to me that the idea is different. It is, that kings constructed for their own burial, magnificent tombs or mausoleums, which were lonely and desolate places, where they might lie in still and solemn grandeur; compare the notes at Isaiah 14:18. Sometimes these were immense excavations from rocks; and sometimes they were stupendous structurcs built as tombs. What more desolate and lonely places could be conceived than the pyramids of Egypt - reared probably as the burial places of kings?

What more lonely and solitary than the small room in the center of one of those immense structures, where the body of the monarch is supposed to have been deposited? And what more emphatic than the expression - though" so nearly pleonastic that it may be omitted" ("Noyes") - "for themselves?" To my view, that is far from being pleonastic. It is full of emphasis. The immense structure was made for "them." It was not to be a common burial-place; it was not for the public good; it was not to be an abode for the living and a contributor to their happiness: it was a matter of supreme selfishness and pride - an immense structure built only run themselves. With such persons lying in their places of lonely grandeur, Job felt it would be an honor to be associated. Compared with his present condition it was one of dignity; and he earnestly wished that it might have been his lot thus early to have been consigned to the fellowship of the dead. It may be some confirmation of this view to remark, that the land of Edom, near which Job is supposed to have lived, contains at this day some of the most wonderful sepulchral monuments of the world; comp the notes at Isaiah 17:1.

Wesley's Job 3:14 Bible Commentary

3:14 Kings - I had then been as happy as the proudest monarchs, who after all their great achievements and enjoyments, go down into their graves. Built - Who to shew their wealth and power, or to leave behind them a glorious name, rebuilt ruined cities, or built new cities and palaces, in places where before there was mere solitude and wasteness.

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