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Job Thirty One

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

covenant with mine eyes. Job deliberately refused to allow any thoughts of lust to enter his mind when he chanced to see an attractive young woman. Note Christ's warning in Matthew 5:28.

Job 31:2 For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?

Job 31:3 Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?

Job 31:4 Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?

count all my steps. God has counted the number of stars (Psalm 147:4), the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30), and even the number of our steps! God is omniscient.

Job 31:5 If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;

If I have walked. Continuing to review his own record of righteousness (see Job 29), he makes some sixteen or more propositions beginning in effect with “If I ... had committed some sin of either commission or omission” and terminating with “Then I ... should be appropriately judged and chastised.” He insisted that he was innocent of all such sins.

Job 31:6 Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.

Job 31:7 If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;

Job 31:8 Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.

Job 31:9 If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door;

Job 31:10 Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.

Job 31:11 For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.

Job 31:12 For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.

Job 31:13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;

Job 31:14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?

Job 31:15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?

Job 31:16 If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;

Job 31:17 Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof;

Job 31:18 (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb;)

Job 31:19 If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;

Job 31:20 If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;

Job 31:21 If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate:

Job 31:22 Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.

Job 31:23 For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.

Job 31:24 If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;

Job 31:25 If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;

Job 31:26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;

walking in brightness. Job seemed to understand that the moon does not emit its own light, but reflects the light of the sun. He differentiates between the shining of the sun, and refers to the moon merely “walking” in the sun's brightness.

Job 31:27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:

kissed my hand. This seems to have been a ritualistic kiss associated with worshipping various nature gods, thus denying the one true God, who had created his hand—“the God that is above” (Job 31:28).

Job 31:28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.

Job 31:29 If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him:

Job 31:30 Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.

Job 31:31 If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.

Job 31:32 The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.

Job 31:33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:

Adam. Adam was still known to Job by name, though he had no access to the records now preserved in the book of Genesis. He also knew about the sin of Adam, and how he had tried unsuccessfully to hide from God.

Job 31:34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?

Job 31:35 Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.

mine adversary. Job did not regard God as his enemy. The terminology is that of a courtroom, and Job is expressing his desire that he might be informed of the charges against him.

Job 31:36 Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.

Job 31:37 I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.

Job 31:38 If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain;

Job 31:39 If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life:

Job 31:40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.

thistles. Job is here invoking God's primeval curse (Genesis 3:18) on his possessions if he is guilty of any known and unrepentant sin. Despite all the harsh charges of his erstwhile friends, Job insistently maintained both his faith in God and his righteous character and behavior, right up to the last.

cockle. “Stinkweed” in the Hebrew.