Job 31:30
Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
31:24-32 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.Neither have I suffered my mouth - Margin, as in Hebrew, palate. The word is often used for the mouth in general, and especially as the organ of the voice from the use and importance of the palate in speaking. Proverbs 8:7. "For my palate (חכי chikiy) speaketh truth." It is used as the organ of taste, Job 12:11; compare Job 6:30; Psalm 119:103.

By wishing a curse to his soul - It must have been an extraordinary degree of piety which would permit a man to say this with truth, that he had never harbored a wish of injury to an enemy. Few are the people, probably, even now, who could say this, and who are enabled to keep their minds free from every wish that calamities and woes may overtake those who are seeking their hurt. Yet this is the nature of true religion. It controls the heart, represses the angry and revengeful feelings, and creates in the soul an earnest desire for the happiness even of those who injure us.

30. mouth—literally, "palate." (See on [532]Job 6:30).

wishing—literally, "so as to demand his (my enemy's) soul," that is, "life by a curse." This verse parenthetically confirms Job 31:30. Job in the patriarchal age of the promise, anterior to the law, realizes the Gospel spirit, which was the end of the law (compare Le 19:18; De 23:6, with Mt 5:43, 44).

My mouth, Heb. my palate, which being one of the instruments of speech, is put for another, or for all the rest. The sense is, If any secret passion or desire of his hurt did arise in me, I forthwith suppressed it, and did not suffer it to grow and break forth into an imprecation of hurt to him. Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin,.... Which, as it is the instrument of speech, is often the means of much sin; particularly of cursing men, and expressing much bitterness against enemies; but Job laid an embargo upon it, kept it as with a bridle, restrained it from uttering any evil, or wishing any to his worst adversaries; which is difficult to do, when provocations are given, as follows:

by wishing a curse to his soul; not to his soul as distinct from his body, being the superior excellency and immortal part; that it be everlastingly damned, as wicked men wish to their own souls, and the souls of others, but to his person, wishing some calamity might befall him, some disease seize upon him, or that God would take him away by death: Job would never suffer himself to wish anything of this kind unto his enemy.

Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
30. The verse, which is parenthetical, reads,

(Yea, I suffered not my mouth to sin,

To ask, with a curse, his life).

He was so far from rejoicing in the evil that befell his enemy that he had never permitted himself even in hasty anger to throw out an imprecation against him. On the obligation of love to enemies comp. Proverbs 24:17 seq., Proverbs 25:21 seq.Verse 30. - Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul. Much less, Job means, have I gone beyond the thought to the word, and imprecated a curse upon him with my mouth, as the manner of most hen is towards their enemies (see 2 Samuel 16:5; 1 Samuel 17:43; Nehemiah 13:25; Psalm 109:28; Jeremiah 15:10, etc). 24 If I made gold my confidence,

And said to the fine gold: O my trust;

25 If I rejoiced that my wealth was great,

And that my hand had gained much; -

26 If I saw the sunlight when it shone,

And the moon walking in splendour,

27 And my heart was secretly enticed,

And I threw them a kiss by my hand:

28 This also would be a punishable crime,

For I should have played the hypocrite to God above.

Not only from covetous extortion of another's goods was he conscious of being clear, but also from an excessive delight in earthly possessions. He has not made gold his כּסל, confidence (vid., on כּסלתך, Job 4:6); he has not said to כּתם, fine gold (pure, Job 28:19, of Ophir, Job 28:16), מבטחי (with Dag. forte implicitum as Job 8:14; Job 18:14): object (ground) of my trust! He has not rejoiced that his wealth is great (רב, adj.), and that his hand has attained כּבּיר, something great (neutral masc. Ew. 172, b). His joy was the fear of God, which ennobles man, not earthly things, which are not worthy to be accounted as man's highest good. He indeed avoided πλεονεξία as εἰλωλολατρεία (Colossians 3:5), how much more the heathenish deification of the stars! אור is here, as Job 37:21 and φάος in Homer, the sun as the great light of the earth. ירח is the moon as a wanderer (from רח equals ארח), i.e., night-wanderer (noctivaga), as the Arab. târik in a like sense is the name of the morning-star. The two words יקר הלד describe with exceeding beauty the solemn majestic wandering of the moon; יקר is acc. of closer definition, like תמים, Psalm 15:2, and this "brilliantly rolling on" is the acc. of the predicate to אראה, corresponding to the כּי יחל, "that (or how) it shoots forth rays" (Hiph. of הלל, distinct from יחל Isaiah 13:20), or even: that it shot forth rays (fut. in signif. of an imperf. as Genesis 48:17).

Job 31:27 proceeds with futt. consec. in order to express the effect which this imposing spectacle of the luminaries of the day and of the night might have produced on him, but has not. The Kal ויּפתּ is to be understood as in Deuteronomy 11:16 (comp. ib. iv. 19, נדּח): it was enticed, gave way to the seducing influence. Kissing is called נשׁק as being a joining of lip to lip. Accordingly the kiss by hand can be described by נשׁקה יד לפה; the kiss which the mouth gives the hand is to a certain extent also a kiss which the hand gives the mouth, since the hand joins itself to the mouth. Thus to kiss the hand in the direction of the object of veneration, or also to turn to it the kissed hand and at the same time the kiss which fastens on it (as compensation for the direct kiss, 1 Kings 19:18; Hosea 13:2), is the proper gesture of the προσκύνησις and adoratio mentioned; comp. Pliny, h. n. xxviii. 2, 5; Inter adorandum dexteram ad osculum referimus et totum corpus circumagimus. Tacitus, Hist. iii. 24, says that in Syria they value the rising sun; and that this was done by kissing the hand (τῆν χεῖρα κύσαντες) in Western Asia as in Greece, is to be inferred from Lucians Περὶ ὀρχήσεως, c. xvii.

(Note: Vid., Freund's Lat. Wrterbuch s. v. adorare, and K. Fr. Hermann's Gottesdienstliche Alterth. der Griechen, c. xxi. 16, but especially Excursus 123 in Dougtaeus' Analecta.)

In the passage before us Ew. finds an indication of the spread of the Zoroaster doctrine in the beginning of the seventh century b.c., at which period he is of opinion the book of Job was composed, but without any ground. The ancient Persian worship has no knowledge of the act of adoration by throwing a kiss; and the Avesta recognises in the sun and moon exalted genii, but created by Ahuramazda, and consequently not such as are to be worshipped as gods. On the other hand, star-worship is everywhere the oldest and also comparatively the purest form of heathenism. That the ancient Arabs, especially the Himjarites, adored the sun, שׁמשׁ, and the moon, שׂין (סין, whence סיני, the mountain dedicated to the moon), as divine, we know from the ancient testimonies,

continued...

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