Job 31:32
The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the travelers.
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(32) I opened my doors to the traveller.—The manners of Genesis 19:2-3, Judges 19:20-21, if not the incidents there recorded, are here implied. “The traveller” is literally the road or way: i.e., the wayfarer.

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.The stranger did not lodge in the street - This is designed to illustrate the sentiment in the previous verse, and to express his consciousness that he had showed the most generous hospitality.

But I opened my doors to the traveler - Margin, or way. The word used here ארח 'ôrach means properly way, path, road; but it also denotes those who travel on such a way; see Job 6:19, "The troops of Tema looked," Hebrew ארח תימא têymâ' 'ôrach - the ways, or paths of Tema; that is, those who traveled in those paths. Vulgate here, viatori. Septuagint, "To everyone that came" - παντί ἐλθόντι panti elthonti. This was one of the methods of hospitality - the central and crowning virtue among the Arabs to this day, and among the Orientals in all ages. Among the boasts of hospitality, showing the place which this virtue had in their estimation, and the methods by which it was practiced, we may refer to such expressions as the following: "I occupy the public way with my tent;" that is, to every traveler without distinction, my tent is open and my table is spread. "He makes the public path the place for the cords of his tent;" that is, he fixed the pins and cords of his tent in the midst of the public highway, so that every traveler might enter. These examples are quoted by Schultens from the Hamasa. Another beautiful example may be taken from the same collection of Arabic poems. I give the Latin translation of Schultens:

Quam saepe latratum imitanti viatori, cui resonabat echo

Suscitavi ignem, cujus lignum luculentum

Properusque surrexi ad eum, ut praedae mihi loco esset,

Prae metu ne populus mens eum ante me occuparet.

That is, "How often to the traveler, imitating the bark of the dog, and the echo of whose voice was heard, have I kindled a fire, the shining wood of which I quick raised up to him, as one would hasten to the prey, in fear lest someone of my own people should anticipate me in the privileges and rites of hospitality." The allusion to the imitation of the barking of a dog here, refers to the custom of travelers at night, who make this noise when they need a place of rest. This sound is responded to by the dogs which watch around the tents of their masters, and the sound is the signal for a general rush to show hospitality to the stranger. Burckhardt, speaking of the inhabitants of the Houran - the country east of the Jordan, and south of Damascus, says, "A traveler may alight at any house he pleases; a mat will be immediately spread for him, coffee made, and a breakfast or dinner set before him. In entering a village it has often happened to me, that several persons presented themselves, each begging that I would lodge at his house. It is a point of honor with the host never to receive the smallest return from a guest. Besides the private habitations, which offer to every traveler a secure night's shelter, there is in every village the Medhafe of the Sheikh, where all strangers of decent appearance are received and entertained. It is the duty of the Sheikh to maintain this Medhafe, which is like a tavern, with the difference that the host himself pays the bill. The Sheikh has public allowance to defray these expenses, and hence a man of the Houran, intending to travel about for a fortnight never thinks of putting a single para in his pocket; he is sure of being every where well received, and of living better, perhaps, than at his own home." Travels in Syria, pp. 294, 295.

32. traveller—literally, "way," that is, wayfarers; so expressed to include all of every kind (2Sa 12:4). The stranger; or, traveller as it follows.

Did not lodge in the street; but in my house, according to the laws of hospitality, and the usage of those times, when there were no public inns provided for the conveniency of such persons: see Genesis 18:3 19:2 Judges 19:15,21. The stranger did not lodge in the street,.... By a stranger is not meant an unconverted man, that is a stranger to God and godliness, to Christ, and the way of salvation by him, to the Spirit of God and spiritual things, nor a good man, who is a stranger and pilgrim on earth; but one that is out of his nation and country, and at a distance from it, whether a good man or a bad man; these Job would not suffer to lie in the streets in the night season, exposed to the air and the inclemencies of it; see Judges 19:15;

but I opened my doors to the traveller; even all the doors of his house, to denote his great liberality, that as many as would might enter it; and this was done by himself, or, however, by his order; and some think that it signifies that he was at his door, waiting and watching for travellers to invite them in, as Abraham and Lot, Genesis 18:1; or his doors were opened "to the way" (i): as it may be rendered, to the roadside; his house was built by the wayside; or, however, the doors which lay towards that side were thrown open for travellers to come in at as they pleased, and when they would; so very hospitable and kind to strangers and travellers was Job, and so welcome were they to his house and the entertainment of it, see Hebrews 13:2.

(i) "ad semitam seu viam", Mercerus; "versus viam", Piscator, Michaelis; Ben Gersom.

The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.
32. to the traveller] The word might mean to the way, the street; the general sense is the same. The verse confirms Job’s universal hospitality and liberality.Verse 32. - The stranger did not lodge in the street; i.e. "I did not suffer any stranger who came under my notice to lodge in the street, but, like Abraham (Genesis 18:2-8), went out to him, and invited him in, to partake of my hospitality." This is still the practice of Arab sheikhs in Syria, Palestine, and the adjacent countries (see Dr. Cunningham Geikie's 'Holy Land and the Bible,' vol. 1. p. 283). But I opened my doors to the traveller; literally, to the way; i.e. "my house gave on the street, and I kept my house door open." Compare the Mishna, "Let thy house be open to the street" ('Pirke Aboth,' § 5). 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,


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