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1 I made a couenant with mine eyes; why then should I thinke vpon a mayd?

2 For what portion of God is there from aboue? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?

3 Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquitie?

4 Doeth not he see my wayes, and count all my steps?

5 If I haue walked with vanitie, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;

6 Let me bee weighed in an euen ballance, that God may know mine integritie.

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

8 Then let mee sow, and let another eate, yea let my off-spring be rooted out.

9 If mine heart haue bene deceiued by a woman, or if I haue layde wait at my neighbours doore:

10 Then let my wife grind vnto another, and let others bow downe vpon her.

11 For this is an heinous crime, yea, it is an iniquitie to bee punished by the Iudges.

12 For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would roote out all mine encrease.

13 If I did despise the cause of my man-seruant, or of my mayd-seruant, when they contended with me:

14 What then shall I do, when God riseth vp? and when hee visiteth, what shall I answere him?

15 Did not hee that made mee in the wombe, make him? and did not one fashion vs in the wombe?

16 If I haue withhelde the poore from their desire, or haue caused the eyes of the widow to faile:

17 Or haue eaten my morsell my selfe alone, and the fatherlesse hath not eaten thereof:

18 (For from my youth hee was brought vp with me as with a father, and I haue guided her from my mothers wombe.)

19 If I haue seene any perish for want of cloathing, or any poore without couering:

20 If his loynes haue not blessed me, and if hee were not warmed with the fleece of my sheepe:

21 If I haue lift vp my hand against the fatherlesse, when I saw my helpe in the gate:

22 Then let mine arme fall from my shoulder-blade, and mine arme be broken from the bone.

23 For destruction from God was a terrour to mee: and by reason of his highnesse, I could not endure.

24 If I haue made golde my hope, or haue said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence:

25 If I reioyced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much:

26 If I beheld the Sunne when it shined, or the Moone walking in brightnesse:

27 And my heart hath bene secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:

28 This also were an iniquitie to be punished by the Iudge: For I should haue denied the God that is aboue.

29 If I reioyced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lift vp my selfe when euill found him:

30 (Neither haue I suffered my mouth to sinne by wishing a curse to his soule.)

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

32 The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doores to the trauailer.

33 If I couered my transgressions, as Adam: by hiding mine iniquitie in my bosome:

34 Did I feare a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrifie me: that I kept silence, and went not out of the doore?

35 O that one would heare me! beholde, my desire is, that the Almightie would answere me, and that mine aduersary had written a booke.

36 Surely I would take it vpon my shoulder, and bind it as a crowne to me.

37 I would declare vnto him the number of my steps, as a prince would I goe neere vnto him.

38 If my land cry against me, or that the furrowes likewise thereof complaine:

39 If I haue eaten the fruits thereof without money, or haue caused the owners thereof to loose their life:

40 Let thistles grow in stead of wheat, and cockle in stead of barley. The words of Iob are ended.

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Commentary for Job 31

Job declares his uprightness. (1-8) His integrity. (9-15) Job merciful. (16-23) Job not guilty of covetousness or idolatry. (24-32) Job not guilty of hypocrisy and violence. (33-40)1-8 Job did not speak the things here recorded by way of boasting, but in answer to the charge of hypocrisy. He understood the spiritual nature of God's commandments, as reaching to the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is best to let our actions speak for us; but in some cases we owe it to ourselves and to the cause of God, solemnly to protest our innocence of the crimes of which we are falsely accused. The lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world, are two fatal rocks on which multitudes split; against these Job protests he was always careful to stand upon his guard. And God takes more exact notice of us than we do of ourselves; let us therefore walk circumspectly. He carefully avoided all sinful means of getting wealth. He dreaded all forbidden profit as much as all forbidden pleasure. What we have in the world may be used with comfort, or lost with comfort, if honestly gotten. Without strict honestly and faithfulness in all our dealings, we can have no good evidence of true godliness. Yet how many professors are unable to abide this touchstone!

9-15 All the defilements of the life come from a deceived heart. Lust is a fire in the soul: those that indulge it, are said to burn. It consumes all that is good there, and lays the conscience waste. It kindles the fire of God's wrath, which, if not quenched by the blood of Christ, will consume even to eternal destruction. It consumes the body; it consumes the substance. Burning lusts bring burning judgments. Job had a numerous household, and he managed it well. He considered that he had a Master in heaven; and as we are undone if God should be severe with us, we ought to be mild and gentle towards all with whom we have to do.

16-23 Job's conscience gave testimony concerning his just and charitable behaviour toward the poor. He is most large upon this head, because in this matter he was particularly accused. He was tender of all, and hurtful to none. Notice the principles by which Job was restrained from being uncharitable and unmerciful. He stood in awe of the Lord, as certainly against him, if he should wrong the poor. Regard to worldly interests may restrain a man from actual crimes; but the grace of God alone can make him hate, dread, and shun sinful thoughts and desires.

24-32 Job protests, 1. That he never set his heart upon the wealth of this world. How few prosperous professors can appeal to the Lord, that they have not rejoiced because their gains were great! Through the determination to be rich, numbers ruin their souls, or pierce themselves with many sorrows. 2. He never was guilty of idolatry. The source of idolatry is in the heart, and it corrupts men, and provokes God to send judgments upon a nation. 3. He neither desired nor delighted in the hurt of the worst enemy he had. If others bear malice to us, that will not justify us in bearing malice to them. 4. He had never been unkind to strangers. Hospitality is a Christian duty, #1Pe 4:9|.

33-40 Job clears himself from the charge of hypocrisy. We are loth to confess our faults, willing to excuse them, and to lay the blame upon others. But he that thus covers his sins, shall not prosper, #Pr 28:13|. He speaks of his courage in what is good, as an evidence of his sincerity in it. When men get estates unjustly, they are justly deprived of comfort from them; it was sown wheat, but shall come up thistles. What men do not come honestly by, will never do them any good. The words of Job are ended. They end with a bold assertion, that, with respect to accusation against his moral and religious character as the cause for his sufferings, he could appeal to God. But, however confident Job was, we shall see he was mistaken, chap. #40:4,5; 1Jo 1:8|. Let us all judge ourselves; wherein we are guilty, let us seek forgiveness in that blood which cleanseth from all sin; and may the Lord have mercy upon us, and write his laws in our hearts!

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Job 31

  • BSP
    Verse 15~Job realized the fact that all owe their lives to God and he did not elevate himself above others.
  • Anne

    While going through his suffering, Job is searching his heart to see if there is anything he did that was not pleasing to God. I am reminded of Ps. 139:23
  • Peter Mayumbe
    Job was a true man of God holy
  • Ahuwa Chiamaka Jecinta
    We should always learn how to humble ourselves no matter our position we are in life
  • Skyler
    Guys you do realize that God just used Job as an example
  • Verse 13-15
    I like how Job was humble, just, and merciful. And he was considerate of all people regardless of their social or economic status. We never want to put others down or think we are better because we have more financial stable than others.

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