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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Job 31

Verses 1-40

Job 31:1

'Chastity,' said Bishop Camus of Belley, 'is timid and sensitive, trembling at every shadow, quick at every sound, fearing every peril. It takes alarm at a glance as a very Job, who had made a covenant with his eyes; the slightest word disconcerts it; it is suspicious of sweet scents; good food seems a snare, mirth a levity, society treacherous, light reading a danger. It moves along all eyes and ears, like one covered with jewels who crosses a forest, and starts at every step, fancying he hears robbers.'

Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.

Thoreau, Walden (' Higher Laws').

Reference. XXXI. 14. G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 130.

Job 31:15

The races to whom we owe the Bible were cruel in war; they were revengeful; their veins were filled with blood, hot with lust; they knew no art, nor grace, nor dialectic, such as Greece knew, but one service they at least have rendered to the world. They have preserved in their prophets and poets this eternal verity He that made me in the womb made him and have proclaimed with Divine fury a Divine wrath upon all who may be seduced into forgetfulness of it.

Mark Rutherford in The Deliverance.

When Job had spoken of his duty to the lowly, he had given the sanction for it in the thought: Did not One fashion us? Jesus gives a higher sanction: Does not one Father love you all? In the presence of the Father the children are to lose their separateness. Royce, Religious Aspect of Philosophy, p. 42.

Job 31:16-18.31.17

Eugenius prescribes to himself many particular days of fasting and abstinence, in order to increase his private bank of charity, and sets aside what would be the current expenses of those times for the use of the poor. He often goes afoot when his business calls him, and at the end of his walk has given a shilling, which in his ordinary methods of expense would have gone for coach hire, to the first necessitous person that has fallen in his way. I have known him, when he has been going to a play or an opera, divert the money which was designed for that purpose upon an object of Charity whom he has met in the street.

Addison, Spectator (No. 177).

Job 31:19

'It was one of Job's boasts that "he had seen none perish for want of clothing"; and that he had often "made the heart of the widow to rejoice". And doubtless Dr. Sanderson,' says Izaak Walton, 'might have made the same religious boast of this and very many like occasions. But, since he did not, I rejoice that I have this just occasion to do it for him.'

Job 31:24

If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free; if our wealth command us, we are poor indeed.

Burke, First Letter on a Regicide Peace.

Job 31:26-18.31.27

'The scholar of the sixteenth century,' says Ruskin in the third volume of The Stones of Venice, 'if he saw the lightning shining from the east to the west, thought forthwith of Jupiter, not of the Son of Man; if he saw the moon walking in brightness, he thought of Diana, not of the throne which was to be established for ever as a faithful witness in heaven; and though his heart was but secretly enticed, yet thus he denied the God that is above.'

'Were I obliged to have a religion,' said Napoleon, 'I would worship the sun the source of all life the real God of the earth.'

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Job 31". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/job-31.html. 1910.