Job 19:25-27 – Job’s Redeemer and Seeing God

The question has been presented in another forum, Who was Job’s redeemer? It is then claimed that Job 19:26 specificially answers that question, and, with this assumption, the thought is that Jesus is God, since it is claimed that it will be Jesus that Job will see.

Many see “trinity” in this verse, although actually there is nothing at all about a triune God presented here are anywhere else in the Bible. Any thought of a triune God has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into Job 19:25-27.

Job 19:25 But as for me, I know that my Redeemer(a) lives.(b) In the end, he will stand [arise, be established – same word used in Deuteronomy 18:18(c)] upon the earth.
Job 19:26 After my skin is destroyed, Then in my flesh shall I see God,
Job 19:27 Whom I, even I, shall see on my side. My eyes shall see, and not as a stranger.  “My heart is consumed within me.”

Job 19:25

As one should be able to realize from the interlinear rendering above, the Hebrew is not exactly what is presented in most English translations. Most translations in English take some liberties regarding Job 19:25 in translation; indeed, the translators have to adjust it in order have it make sense in English.  The word “redeemer” in English is a noun, however, in the Hebrew, we do not find a noun, but rather a verb with the pronoun attached, most literally, he redeems me, or the one redeems me. Most translations render the Hebrew word “chay/chi” (Strong’s 2416) in some verb form. Actually, the word “chay” is an adjective describing someone as being “alive” or “living”. Some translations add the verb “is” before “living”, making read, “I know my redeemer is living”.

First we need to note that there is nothing in these verses that give any indication that Jehovah is more than one person; there is nothing stated to the effect that Jesus is Jehovah; any such thoughts have to be assumed and read into what is being stated.

Job later stated to Jehovah: “now my eye sees you.” (Job 42:5) In reality, no man can actually see the substance of God Himself and live; Job had not physicaly seen the substance of God, thus he was speaking of seeing with his mental eyes.

As best as we can determine, Job expresses that he knows that His redeemer lives; he does not say who he was referring as redeeming him. If Job was referring to Jehovah (Yahweh) as his redeemer, yes, his redeemer was then living. More than likely, Job was indeed referring to God, although it is possible that he may have been referring to coming of Jesus. Of course, Jesus, also, was then living with his God and Father in heaven (John 17:5), but we do not know that Job had knowledge of such. Nevertheless, Job, had surely heard of God’s promise of a redeemer, the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15), the seed of Abraham, who was foretold to deliver mankind and bring forth the blessings of all the nations. (Genesis 28:14) The Hebrew is not as tense-oriented as we find things in English. In supplying forms of the verb “to be” a translator could supply the present tense when it may be actually referring to the future. Job could have been given special knowledge that Jesus was already alive, but this appears to be highly unlikely. At the time that Job spoke the words recorded in Job 19, he had not yet heard and seen that which God later spoke to him. Yet, by faith, he surely looked forward to the coming time when his redeemer would come and arise over the earth.

While the Hebrew does not actually state the redeemer was to “stand” on the earth, in the first century, we know that Jesus did come in these latter times (Hebrews 1:2) and he physically stood upon the earth back in the earth. Having now sacrificed his body of flesh for our sins (Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18), we have no reason to believe that Jesus will physically stand upon the earth again with such a body of flesh, although it is possible that he could do similar to the way that angels appeared a “men” at various times.

Regarding applying this to Jesus as being future, some may object that since Job uses the present tense, that this could not apply to then yet coming Messiah, and that Job did not have knowledge that Jesus was then existing. Biblical Hebrew does not have tenses; in English, however, we express practically everythng as related to time. Biblical Hebrew does not do this. Thus, Job could have been have been speaking of the one yet to come, in whom was life, a life that could be given to God for the deliverance of mankind from the condemnation of death. — John 1:4; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Ephesians 5:2.

Notice, however, Young’s translation renders Isaiah 11:6-9:

6 And a wolf hath sojourned with a lamb, And a leopard with a kid doth lie down, And calf, and young lion, and fatling [are] together, And a little youth is leader over them. 7 And cow and bear do feed, Together lie down their young ones, And a lion as an ox eateth straw. 8 And played hath a suckling by the hole of an asp, And on the den of a cockatrice Hath the weaned one put his hand. 9 Evil they do not, nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For full hath been the earth with the knowledge of Jehovah, As the waters are covering the sea.

However, most translators put this in the future tense:

6 And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea. — American Standard Version.

Job, however believed that even though his flesh be destroyed, he would yet in his flesh be able to see God. This lends support to the idea that Job was NOT speaking of Jesus, but of Jehovah himself, and of the age to come, after Satan is abyssed, and all nations will then learn the ways of Jehovah. — Isaiah 2:2-4; Revelation 20:3.

If Job was speaking of Jehovah as being the Redeemer, we certainly should not expect that Jehovah Himself will physically stand on the earth, and that people will be able to look upon the Most High. (Exodus 33:20; John 1:18) In Exodus 17:6, Jehovah used the same Hebrew word for “stand” as Job used in Job 19:25. Jehovah said to Moses: “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.” (ASV) Was Jehovah there in some physical body standing before Moses? No, we have no reason to think so; but we would should rather reason that by “stand” Jehovah meant His invisible spiritual presence.

Nevertheless, God is the redeemer in the sense that he is source of redemption, and He will certainly become established throughout the whole earth in that the knowledge of His glory will indeed fill the earth. Jehovah redeems man by means of his son, who is to deliver man out of the condition of sin and back into harmony with God. With such redemption, one can then “see” God, that is, mentally comprehend things pertaining to God which he could not otherwise comprehend. Job knew that such would come when he is raised in the day of the resurrection.

Job stated:

Job 14:1 “Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble.
Job 14:2 He comes forth like a flower and fades away; He flees like a shadow and does not continue.
Job 14:3 And do You open Your eyes on such a one, And bring me to judgment with Yourself?
Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one!
Job 14:5 Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.
Job 14:6 Look away from him that he may rest, Till like a hired man he finishes his day.
Job 14:7 “For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that its tender shoots will not cease.
Job 14:8 Though its root may grow old in the earth, And its stump may die in the ground,
Job 14:9 Yet at the scent of water it will bud And bring forth branches like a plant.
Job 14:10 [And]* man dies and is laid away; Indeed he breathes his last And where is he?
Job 14:11 As water disappears from the sea, And a river becomes parched and dries up,
Job 14:12 So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, They will not awake Nor be roused from their sleep.
Job 14:13 “Oh, that You would hide me in the grave, That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past, That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
Job 14:14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes.
Job 14:15 You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands.
Job 14:16 For now You number my steps, But do not watch over my sin.
Job 14:17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag, And You cover my iniquity. — New King James
*The NKJV puts “But”, whereas this should be “And”.

Job expessed here the hope of the resurrection, that man will live again, that he will be changed from his present condition, which hope he applied to himself. When a man dies, generally speaking, except that there be some intervention, he does not rise back up as long the present heavens last. However, the scriptures show that the present heavens are to pass away (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17; 21:33; 2 Peter 3:10), and that there will be new heavens to follow. (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-5) Thus, it will in the time of the new heavens that God will call, through his Son, Jesus, and Job will answer, and will be brought back to life with a terrestrial, physical body. (1 Corinthians 15:40) Then Job, in the flesh at that time, will see the glory of Jehovah by means of the knowledge of glory of Jehovah that will then fill the whole earth. — Isaiah 6:3; 11:9; 40:5; Habakkuk 2:14.

Nothing in any of this means that we need to read into this that Jesus is Jehovah, nor is there any need to imagine and assume that Jehovah is more than one person.

Originally published December 2013; edited, updated, and republished August 2014.


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