Job 14:7-17 – If Mortals Die, Will They Live Again?
SummaryJob observes that after a tree is cut down, new growth may emerge from the stump if water is added. This brings on a yearning, a wondering, a question whether new life is also possible for a human being who has been cut down.
AnalysisIn most of Job's speeches he expresses no hope for life after death. If there is no justice in this life, then there is no recourse for a final settlement in an afterlife. When you are dead, you are dead. Rich or poor, wise or foolish, good or bad, all lie in the ground together and will never wake again. Only here and in chapter 19 are there any glimmers of hope that even after death God can take care of injustices that were done in this life. Death does not close the door on God's justice. Job would gladly wait for such a day when God would call him, and all his iniquities would be covered.
The use of nature as a metaphor for rebirth of humans is very common in Christian tradition. Though not a nature religion like that of Canaan, biblical religion certainly uses metaphors related to nature to express belief in God's power to bring life to what has died. The fact that Easter occurs in the Northern Hemisphere just as spring is breaking forth from the cold of winter is evidence of this and is similar to this observation from Job.