If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because my hand had gotten much;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 31:25. If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great — Esteeming myself happy in the possession of it, though without God’s love and favour; because my hand had gotten much — Ascribing my acquisition of it to my own skill or industry, rather than to God’s goodness and mercy. And these sins Job the rather mentions, partly for his own vindication, lest it should be thought that God took away his property because he had abused it to pride, or luxury, or the oppression of others; and partly for the instruction of mankind in succeeding generations, that they might take notice of the evil of such practices, though by most men they are reputed laudable or harmless, or, at the worst, but light and trivial instances of misconduct.
And because mine hand had gotten much - Margin, found. Prof. Lee translates this, "When as a mighty man my hand prevailed." But the usual interpretation is given in our translation, and this accords better with the connection. The word found better expresses the sense of the Hebrew than gotten, but the sense is not materially varied.If I rejoiced, to wit, carnally and excessively, esteeming myself happy therein without God’s love and favour; for otherwise it is not only lawful, but a duty and gift of God, moderately and thankfully to rejoice in the good things of this life; of which see Deu 12:7 Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 3:12,13 5:18,19.
Because mine hand had gotten much; ascribing my wealth to my own wit or industry, rather than to God’s goodness and mercy. And these sins he the rather mentions, partly for his own vindication, lest it should be thought that God took away his estate because he had abused it to pride, or carnal confidence, or luxury, or the oppression of others, &c.; and partly for the instruction of mankind in succeeding generations, that they might take notice of the malignity and odiousness of these practices, which by most men are reputed either laudable or harmless, or at worst but light and trivial miscarriages. Job 1:2; yet he did not set his heart upon it, please himself with it, indulge to a carnal joy on account of it, nor suffer it to engross his affections, or alienate them from God his chief joy; not but that a man may lawfully rejoice in the goodness of God unto him, in increasing his wealth, and praise him for it, who has placed him in such easy circumstances, and so comfortably provided for him and his family, and put him into a capacity to do good to others; and he may rejoice in what God has given him, and cheerfully partake of it, 1 Chronicles 29:13;
and because my hand had gotten much; though he had much wealth, he did not ascribe it to his own industry, and applaud his own wisdom and diligence, as men are apt to do, for all comes of God, and is owing to his blessing; he did not please himself when become rich, as if his own hand had found him much substance, as Ephraim did, Hosea 12:8.If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 25. - If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much. Job feels that it is wrong even to care greatly for wealth. He seems almost to anticipate the saying of St. Paul, that "covetousness is idolatry" (Colossians 3:5); and hence he passes on without pause from this sort of creature-worship to others common in his day (vers. 26, 27). which he likewise disclaims.
And that the needy had no covering;
20 If his loins blessed me not,
And he did not warm himself from the hide of my lambs;
21 If I have lifted up my hand over the orphan,
Because I saw my help in the gate:
22 Let my shoulder fall out of its shoulder-blade,
And mine arm be broken from its bone;
23 For terror would come upon me, the destruction of God,
And before His majesty I should not be able to stand.
On אובד comp. on Job 4:11; Job 29:13; he who is come down from his right place and is perishing (root בד, to separate, still perfectly visible through the Arab. bâda, ba‛ida, to perish), or also he who is already perished, periens and perditus. The clause, Job 31:19, forms the second obj. to אם אראה, which otherwise signifies si video, but here, in accordance with the connection, signifies si videbam. The blessing of the thankful (Job 29:13) is transferred from the person to the limbs in Job 31:20, which need and are benefited by the warmth imparted. אם־לא here is not an expression of an affirmative asseveration, but a negative turn to the continuation of the hypothetical antecedents. The shaking, הניף, of the hand, Job 31:21, is intended, like Isaiah 11:15; Isaiah 19:16 (comp. the Pilel, Isaiah 10:32), Zechariah 2:13, as a preparation for a crushing stroke. Job refrained himself from such designs upon the defenceless orphan, even when he saw his help in the gate, i.e., before the tribunal (Job 29:7), i.e., even when he had a certain prospect or powerful assistance there. If he has acted otherwise, his כּתף, i.e., his upper arm together with the shoulder, must fall out from its שׁכם, i.e., the back which bears it together with the shoulder-blades, and his אזרע, upper and lower arm, which is considered here according to its outward flesh, must be broken out of its קנה, tube, i.e., the reed-like hollow bone which gives support to it, i.e., be broken asunder from its basis (Syr. a radice sua), this sinning arm, which did not compassionate the naked, and mercilessly threatened the defenceless and helpless. The ת raphatum which follows in both cases, and the express testimony of the Masora, show that משּׁכמה and מקּנה have no Mappik. The He quiescens, however, is in both instances softened from the He mappic. of the suff., Ew. 21,f. פּחד in Job 31:23 is taken by most expositors as predicate: for terror is (was) to me evil as God, the righteous judge, decrees it. But אלי is not favourable to this. It establishes the particular thing which he imprecates upon himself, and that consequently which, according to his own conviction and perception, ought justly to overtake him out of the general mass, viz., that terror ought to come upon him, a divine decreed weight of affliction. איד אל is a permutative of פחד equals פחד אלהים, and אלי with Dech equivalent to אלי (יבא) יהיה, comp. Jeremiah 2:19 (where it is to be interpreted: and that thou lettest no fear before me come over thee). Thus also Job 31:23 is suitably connected with the preceding: and I should not overcome His majesty, i.e., I should succumb to it. The מן corresponds to the prae in praevalerem; שׂאת (lxx falsely, λῆμμα, judgment, decision equals משׂא, Jer. pondus) is not intended otherwise than Job 13:11 (parall. פחד as here).
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