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Bible Commentaries

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible
Job 31

 

 

Verse 1

"I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?" Job cites his attitudes as well as his actions. Not only was he innocent of adultery; he was not even guilty of the lustful look (Matthew 5:28). Compare with Isaiah 33:5 and Genesis 39. Notice this high moral standard and the understanding that lust is wrong as well as the actual act. Do we take being moral this seriously? Do our eyes control us or do we control our eyes? Who is really in charge of our thoughts? (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). "Knowing that the look could lead to desire in the heart, which desire could lead to sinful action, Job had resolved that he would avoid the very source of potential sin" (Zuck p. 134).


Verse 2

Job had thought that he would be rewarded for his faithfulness, because the obvious lot of the wicked is calamity and disaster (31:3).


Verse 4

Job believes that God indeed sees all his actions and knows all his thoughts, therefore God would know that he is innocent. "God could have struck him dead long ago if he had been guilty of breaking his covenant" (p. 135).


Verse 5

Notice the repetition of the word "if" in the section that follows. Job is willing to suffer the full consequences, "if" he had been guilty of any of the following sins. "Not only were his eyes innocent of lustful looks, but his feet were inculpable too. That is, he had not walked with falsehood as if it were a companion, nor had he pursued after deceit" (p. 135). Job has been completely honest in his dealings and words.


Verse 6

Job is willing to be measured or weighed by God"s standard of righteousness, and he is convinced that he would be viewed as righteous after such an examination. "If he had cheated in weighting out goods for others then he was willing for God to use scales in an honest way to judge him" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 753).


Verse 7

Job was willing to suffer punishment upon his farming efforts if he had turned away from God"s truth. He was willing to starve if such had happened. This would be true for any sin ("spot"). Do we take living by God"s standards this seriously. Are we willing to suffer the full consequences if we sin?


Verse 9

Adultery here is denied in strong language. If Job had given into the enticements of another woman he was willing that his wife become a slave for someone else (the grinding of corn by hand with millstones was a menial task of female slaves), and be degraded sexually by others. "This imprecation demonstrates Job"s firm convictions regarding his innocence, for no man would readily subject his wife to such a terrible curse" (Zuck p. 135).


Verse 11

Here are the consequences of adultery, a crime that is punishable by a court of law, a sin that consumed to the very heart of hell. "It consumes a man"s soul, destroying his reputation, his conscience, his body, his family relationships, his future, and even his increase (income)" (Zuck pp. 135-136). Is this how seriously we regard this sin today?


Verse 13

Job denies that he had abused or mistreated his servants, for he had been a very humane master. He did not abuse his position because he knew that he would answer to God. "Both he and his slaves were made by the same God in the womb. Job"s words are a lofty statement about the equality of the human race" (p. 136). Long before Thomas Jefferson came along, Job knew that God had created all men equal.


Verse 16

Neither had Job mistreated the widow, orphan, or those less fortunate. In fact, earlier Eliphaz had accused Job of failing to help those in need (22:7-9). Job shared his resources, guided the widows, and practiced the truths found in Matthew 25:31ff. In fact, Job even helped those who were unappreciative of this efforts (31:20). Neither had he mistreated the vulnerable in court (31:21). Job had not abused his power or position as an influential man in the community. Job was also mindful that he had grown up with these people that needed help (31:18). "Although his money and rank might have allowed him to influence judges and neglect the needy without his being punished, his prominence would be useless in forestalling the judgment of God" (Zuck p. 137).


Verse 23

Being terrified by God"s ability to destroy the wicked is not a bad thing, along with loving God, this fear of God had helped him stay on the straight and narrow.


Verse 24

Job denies that he had placed his trust in money or possessions (Matthew 6:19-21). He was not trying to serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). He was wealthy, but he did not worship or place his confidence in such. He had controlled his possessions, his wealth had not controlled him.


Verse 26

He had not been guilty of worshiping the sun or moon, and Job believes that such an act would have rightly merited God"s judgment. Obviously, Job could identify with the person who claims that God is too loving to send anyone to hell.


Verse 29

Job had not rejoiced at the downfall of his enemies or cursed them. He was seeking to love his enemy as himself. He had not even been secretly glad when an enemy died or faced trouble (see Proverbs 17:5b; 24:17).


Verse 31

Family members and servants in his extended family always had plenty to eat, and Job had opened his home up for travelers and strangers as well. He had been very hospitable.


Verse 33

Job knew about Adam and he also knew the specific details surrounding Adam"s life and transgression. After Adam sinned, he had tried to hide from God (Genesis 3:7-10). Clearly, Job had sinned in his life, but he had never hidden such sins, but had eagerly confessed them.


Verse 34

Job is not intimidated by human opinion, if he had sinned, he would have confessed it and faced the consequences, including public exposure.


Verse 35

Job longed for someone to hear and answer him. "So like a defendant in court, he signed (figuratively) his statement of his innocence" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 754). He also desires that God would write down in black and white the specific charges against him.


Verse 36

If God can convict him, then he is willingly to publicly wear such charges against him on his shoulder and as a crown.


Verse 37

Job is prepared to give to God a detailed description of his conduct and thoughts. He is willing to be examined in every aspect of his life. In princely confidence he would approach Him.


Verse 38

Here Job declares that he had been a good steward of God"s earth. He had paid his workers well, he had treated his livestock well, and he had not misused the land that he tilled. Neither had he taken land unjustly or in a shady deal.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 31:4". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-31.html. 1999-2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, May 29th, 2020
the Seventh Week after Easter
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