In My Flesh

“If a man die, shall he live again?” asked Job. There is more than a hint of doubt in the question, especially in light of the gloomy content which precedes it, but he immediately follows up with a statement of hope: “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (Job 14:14).

A few chapters later, he declares his belief in the resurrection more decisively:

I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

Job 19:25-26

The King James translators italicized words that were not in the original text, which they added for clarity. So, for example, “worms” and “body” are not part of the original Hebrew text. Here is the actual Hebrew content of verse 26:

  • וְאַחַ֣ר – And after
  • ע֭וֹרִֽי – my skin
  • נִקְּפוּ – is destroyed
  • זֹ֑את – this (probably meaning, “this I know” or “this is true”)
  • וּ֝מִבְּשָׂרִ֗י – from my flesh
  • אֶֽחֱזֶ֥ה – I will see
  • אֱלֽוֹהַּ – God

(See Job 19:26, Hebrew on biblehub.com.)

One detail you’ll note is the preposition “from.” In Hebrew, Job says, “from my flesh I will see God.” What did he mean by that? Most English translations, including King James, interpret that to mean “from inside of my flesh” or “within my physical body.” But some other translations interpret it to mean “away from my flesh.” The American Standard Version, for example, says, “And after my skin, even this body, is destroyed, Then without my flesh shall I see God.” (See Job 19, ASV on biblehub.com.) A very different interpretation, indeed!

Fortunately, the Book of Mormon clarifies unambiguously that we will have a physical body again after we die, validating the King James interpretation of Job’s words. Amulek taught:

The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God.

Alma 11:43

And Alma said:

The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.

Alma 40:23

We will all be resurrected. We will all stand before God in the flesh.

President Thomas S. Monson said, “To all within the sound of my voice, I declare, If a man die, he shall live again. We know, for we have the light of revealed truth.” Then, he quoted the apostle Paul:

Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

Today, I will be grateful for the assurance that, because of Jesus Christ, we will live again. I will remember that, in spite of the imperfections of my mortal body and in spite of the inevitability of death, I will one day see God “in my flesh.”

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