Chapter 14

1Man born of woman is short-lived and sated with trouble.

אאָדָם יְלוּד אִשָּׁה קְצַר יָמִים וּשְׂבַע־רֹגֶז׃

2He blossoms like a flower and withers; He vanishes like a shadow and does not endure.

בכְּצִיץ יָצָא וַיִּמָּל וַיִּבְרַח כַּצֵּל וְלֹא יַעֲמוֹד׃

3Do You fix Your gaze on such a one? Will You go to law with me?

גאַף־עַל־זֶה פָּקַחְתָּ עֵינֶךָ וְאֹתִי תָבִיא בְמִשְׁפָּט עִמָּךְ׃

4Who can produce a clean thing out of an unclean one? No one!

דמִי־יִתֵּן טָהוֹר מִטָּמֵא לֹא אֶחָד׃

5His days are determined; You know the number of his months; You have set him limits that he cannot pass.

האִם חֲרוּצִים יָמָיו מִסְפַּר־חֳדָשָׁיו אִתָּךְ חקו [חֻקָּיו] עָשִׂיתָ וְלֹא יַעֲבוֹר׃

6Turn away from him, that he may be at ease Until, like a hireling, he finishes out his day.

ושְׁעֵה מֵעָלָיו וְיֶחְדָּל עַד־יִרְצֶה כְּשָׂכִיר יוֹמוֹ׃

7There is hope for a tree; If it is cut down it will renew itself; Its shoots will not cease.

KEE YAYSH la-AYTZ tik-VAH im yi-ka-RAYT v'-OD ya-kha-LEEF v'-yo-nak-TO LO tekh-DAL

זכִּי יֵשׁ לָעֵץ תִּקְוָה אִם־יִכָּרֵת וְעוֹד יַחֲלִיף וְיֹנַקְתּוֹ לֹא תֶחְדָּל׃

14:7 There is hope for a tree


The badlands of Ruhama near the city of Sderot.

Iyov contrasts the passing of man to the death of a tree. Once a man has departed from this world, he cannot be brought back to life. A tree, on the other hand, though seemingly lifeless, can be revived. Similarly, Yeshayahu writes (6:13) that though a tree appears dead after it sheds its leaves, the trunk remains, and from there, the tree will flower again in the spring. Yeshayahu compares the Children of Israel to a tree. Though at times it appears that they have been annihilated and will cease to exist, a holy remnant always remains, from which they will grow anew and flourish.


8If its roots are old in the earth, And its stump dies in the ground,

חאִם־יַזְקִין בָּאָרֶץ שָׁרְשׁוֹ וּבֶעָפָר יָמוּת גִּזְעוֹ׃

9At the scent of water it will bud And produce branches like a sapling.

טמֵרֵיחַ מַיִם יַפְרִחַ וְעָשָׂה קָצִיר כְּמוֹ־נָטַע׃

10But mortals languish and die; Man expires; where is he?

יוְגֶבֶר יָמוּת וַיֶּחֱלָשׁ וַיִּגְוַע אָדָם וְאַיּוֹ׃

11The waters of the sea fail, And the river dries up and is parched.

יאאָזְלוּ־מַיִם מִנִּי־יָם וְנָהָר יֶחֱרַב וְיָבֵשׁ׃

12So man lies down never to rise; He will awake only when the heavens are no more, Only then be aroused from his sleep.

יבוְאִישׁ שָׁכַב וְלֹא־יָקוּם עַד־בִּלְתִּי שָׁמַיִם לֹא יָקִיצוּ וְלֹא־יֵעֹרוּ מִשְּׁנָתָם׃

13O that You would hide me in Sheol, Conceal me until Your anger passes, Set me a fixed time to attend to me.

יגמִי יִתֵּן בִּשְׁאוֹל תַּצְפִּנֵנִי תַּסְתִּירֵנִי עַד־שׁוּב אַפֶּךָ תָּשִׁית לִי חֹק וְתִזְכְּרֵנִי׃

14If a man dies, can he live again? All the time of my service I wait Until my replacement comes.

ידאִם־יָמוּת גֶּבֶר הֲיִחְיֶה כָּל־יְמֵי צְבָאִי אֲיַחֵל עַד־בּוֹא חֲלִיפָתִי׃

15You would call and I would answer You; You would set Your heart on Your handiwork.

טותִּקְרָא וְאָנֹכִי אֶעֱנֶךָּ לְמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיךָ תִכְסֹף׃

16Then You would not count my steps, Or keep watch over my sin.

טזכִּי־עַתָּה צְעָדַי תִּסְפּוֹר לֹא־תִשְׁמוֹר עַל־חַטָּאתִי׃

17My transgression would be sealed up in a pouch; You would coat over my iniquity.

יזחָתֻם בִּצְרוֹר פִּשְׁעִי וַתִּטְפֹּל עַל־עֲוׂנִי׃

18Mountains collapse and crumble; Rocks are dislodged from their place.

יחוְאוּלָם הַר־נוֹפֵל יִבּוֹל וְצוּר יֶעְתַּק מִמְּקֹמוֹ׃

19Water wears away stone; Torrents wash away earth; So you destroy man's hope,

יטאֲבָנִים שָׁחֲקוּ מַיִם תִּשְׁטֹף־סְפִיחֶיהָ עֲפַר־אָרֶץ וְתִקְוַת אֱנוֹשׁ הֶאֱבַדְתָּ׃

20You overpower him forever and he perishes; You alter his visage and dispatch him.

כתִּתְקְפֵהוּ לָנֶצַח וַיַּהֲלֹךְ מְשַׁנֶּה פָנָיו וַתְּשַׁלְּחֵהוּ׃

21His sons attain honor and he does not know it; They are humbled and he is not aware of it.

כאיִכְבְּדוּ בָנָיו וְלֹא יֵדָע וְיִצְעֲרוּ וְלֹא־יָבִין לָמוֹ׃

22He feels only the pain of his flesh, And his spirit mourns in him.

כבאַךְ־בְּשָׂרוֹ עָלָיו יִכְאָב וְנַפְשׁוֹ עָלָיו תֶּאֱבָל׃