(Job 19:25-26) Does this passage refer to the concept of resurrection?

CLAIM: Job says, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. 26 Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:25-26).

RESPONSE: Let’s break this passage down verse by verse:

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives…”

The Hebrew word for “Redeemer” is go’ el. It is the kinsman-redeemer spoken of throughout the Bible. The psalmist refers to God as our redeemer (Ps. 19:14) and so does Isaiah (Isa. 44:6).

“Even after my skin is destroyed…”

Job clearly believes that he will be physically destroyed, and this is paralleled by the next verse.

“…yet from my flesh I shall see God.”

Smick writes, “In its text and margin, the NIV has given the two major possibilities. They are opposite in meaning. The margin ‘apart from my flesh’ (i.e., in the disembodied state) is at best a rare concept in the OT. In the next verse Job asserted he would see God with his own eyes (v.27). The preposition refers to the viewer’s vantage point: ‘from (within) my flesh I shall see God.’”[1]

The NET notes state, “The Hebrew phrase is “and from my flesh.” This could mean “without my flesh,” i.e., separated from my flesh, or “from my flesh,” i.e., in or with my flesh. The former view is taken by those who think Job’s vindication will come in this life, and who find the idea of a resurrection unlikely to be in Job’s mind. The latter view is taken by those who interpret the preceding line as meaning death and the next verse underscoring that it will be his eye that will see. This would indicate that Job’s faith rises to an unparalleled level at this point.”

Before we get into the specifics of this passage, it is important what is not really debated: Job believed in some sort of afterlife where he would see God. Hebrew scholar Walter Kaiser writes, “One point on which everyone can agree is that Job expected to ‘see God,’ for he made the point three times.”


[1] Smick, E. B. (1988). Job. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 944). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.